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Edgerrin James to be released soon – are Texans an option?

After drafting Chris “Beanie” Wells in the first round of the NFL draft on Saturday, the Arizona Republic expects the Cardinals to release running back Edgerrin James soon, possibly even as earlier as this weekend.

James started clamoring that he wanted out of Arizona last season when he started losing carries to Tim Hightower. James carried the ball only 133 times (his lowest total since an injury-plagued 2001 season) for 514 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games last season. He did rush for 236 yards on 61 carries in the playoffs last year (including the Super Bowl), but even then the writing seemed to be on the wall that he was done in the desert.

If he is released, James will get what he wants, although his market value will be extremely low now that the draft is over. At 30 years old, he’s at the age where teams stop looking at you as a starter and more as a backup in a platoon.

This is just speculation on my part, but one team that could be interested in James is the Texans. Steve Slaton emerged as a quality starter last year, but like most backs in the NFL, he wouldn’t be able to sustain the pounding of a full 16-game season. The team also still has Chris Brown and Ryan Moats on the roster, but Brown spent the entire 2008 season on IR due to a back injury and Moats rushed for just 94 yards on 26 carries last season.

Some speculated that the Texans would pick a running back in the first round of last week’s draft, but they decided to once again address their defense with the selection of linebacker Brian Cushing. Houston then went then entire weekend without taking a running back in any of the seven rounds.

James wouldn’t get more than a one or two year deal at this point, but he could make a nice complement to Slaton as long as he’s motivated. I know James still wants to be a starter, but at this point he better be willing to take a role in a platoon.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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2009 NFL Mock Draft Version 1.0

It would probably be good for me to do an intro to this piece, but I’m going to skip all the foreplay and just get right to the action. And let’s be honest – you probably wouldn’t have read the intro anyway.

Below is my first mock draft of the year. You can disagree all you want, but just make sure you go into detail in the comments section so I know you care. I hate those bastards that trash my work and don’t have the common courtesy to tell me how much of a moron I am in print…

Let’s mock!

1. Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
Jason Smith (Baylor), Eugene Monroe (Virginia) and Aaron Curry (Wake Forest) are all possibilities for new GM Martin Mayhew with this pick. But the offensive tackle and linebacker positions are deep in this year’s draft – the quarterback position is not. Mayhew can get his franchise quarterback in Stafford, select an offensive tackle at No. 20 and then fill the middle linebacker need in the second or third round. There, I just fixed the 0-16 Detroit Lions in less than 100 words.

2. St. Louis Rams: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
If Smith goes No. 1 to the Lions, then I fully expect the Rams to take Virginia offensive tackle Eugene Monroe. With the jettison of long-time veteran Orlando Pace this offseason, St. Louis needs to address their need at left tackle and they’ll do so with either Smith or Monroe depending on who’s available. If it’s Smith, then they land one of the most athletic offensive lineman in the draft.

3. Kansas City Chiefs: Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
The Chiefs could really use a right tackle to pair with last year’s first round pick, Branden Albert, but Curry would be too good to pass up here. GM Scott Pioli put a premium on versatile defenders while he was in New England, and that’s exactly what Curry is. The Wake Forest product could play either outside or inside in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme and is easily the best defensive prospect in this year’s draft.

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