NFL Northwest - Rypien

Former Washington State star Mark Rypien, 38, returned to the NFL after taking off three seasons to care for his wife Annette and son Andrew, who suffered from a malignant brain tumor.

The 1992 Super Bowl MVP signed a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts worth $477,000 plus incentives and becomes one of four signal callers who will battle it out for the backup spot behind starter Peyton Manning. The list of candidates includes former Husky Billy Joe Hobert, Roderick Robinson and Dave Meyer.

The Atlanta Falcons released Rypien in July 1998 after he decided to give up football. One month later, his son passed away and his wife recovered from her illness.

Rypien, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, led the Washington Redskins to a 37-24 Super Bowl win over the Buffalo Bills in 1992. He passed for 18,416 yards in 13 seasons.

Over the past six or seven years in the NFL, a trend has emerged where teams have opted to sign veteran backup quarterbacks to groom younger starters. Rypien's playoff experience could help Manning and also give the Colts stability if their No. 1 guy is injured. Rypien guided the Redskins to three consecutive playoff appearances in the early 1990s and knows how to help Manning and the Colts through difficult times.

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