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Corey Dillon to NE

Discussion in 'Professional Football' started by sears3820, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. sears3820

    sears3820 Sitting around in my underwear.... Staff Member

    What a deal for the Pats!!!!!

    CINCINNATI -- Running back Corey Dillon got his wish Monday when the Cincinnati Bengals traded him to the New England Patriots for a second-round draft pick.

    The deal ended a stellar and stormy seven-year stay with the Bengals, who built their offense around him in the 1990s but tired of his complaining and his lobbying to play elsewhere.

    Dillon, who turns 30 in October, wound up going to the defending Super Bowl champions, who are trying to improve a running game that was one of their few weaknesses.

    "He's absolutely, positively thrilled with the move to the Patriots," agent Steve Feldman said. "He just wanted to go to a winner. It gives him the opportunity to restart, and gives them another piece to add to the puzzle."

    Dillon puzzled his Bengals teammates and coaches last season. While the Bengals were enjoying a renaissance under coach Marvin Lewis, Dillon complained about his lack of carries.

    A groin injury sidelined Dillon and allowed Rudi Johnson to show he could be the Bengals' featured back. When the season ended, Dillon cleaned out his locker and lobbied for a trade.

    Lewis tried to get Dillon to take more of a leadership role last season, but was rebuffed. Dillon's public complaints in the middle of a turnaround season essentially sealed his fate.

    "Corey has been a very productive back for the Bengals for a number of years," Lewis said in a statement. "But you don't get a second-round pick without giving something up, and we believe this clearly is the move that's in our team's best interests."

    Lewis declined to comment beyond the statement. The trade brought Cincinnati the 24th pick in the second round, 56th overall, and gave the Bengals seven picks in the first four rounds overall. New England had obtained the pick from Miami.

    New England gets the type of back that it coveted for an unbalanced offense. The Patriots had the league's 27th-ranked rushing attack behind Antowain Smith and Kevin Faulk last season, forcing them to rely on Tom Brady's short, high-percentage completions to get points.

    Brady led the Patriots to 15 straights wins last season, culminating in a 32-29 victory over Carolina in the Super Bowl. A week later, the Patriots decided not to exercise their contract option on Smith, who was their leading rusher for the past three seasons.

    "Corey joins Kevin Faulk and our other very good backs to deepen an already competitive running back position," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.

    The Patriots likely were not going to get a crack at the first running back in the draft Saturday, believed to be Steven Jackson of Oregon State. The Broncos moved to the 17th pick in the first round, giving teams around the league the idea they were going to take Jackson.

    The Raiders and Bengals had conversations about a trade weeks ago, but could not agree on a deal. The Bengals wanted a second-round pick. The Raiders were willing to give up a third-rounder and were going to be patient in trying to get the price.

    Dillon was a second-round pick in 1997 -- the 43rd overall -- and broke Jim Brown's rookie record by running for 246 yards against Tennessee. He set the single-game record with 278 yards against Denver in 2000, a mark eclipsed last season when Baltimore's Jamal Lewis had 295 yards against Cleveland.

    Heading into last season, Dillon was the Bengals' career rushing leader and one of only four players in NFL history to run for 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons. A groin injury -- the first significant injury of his career -- limited him to 11 starts and 541 yards last season.

    A traffic accident also prompted the Bengals to declare him inactive for one game.

    While the Bengals won without him, Dillon bristled at his lack of carries and told reporters he wanted out. After a loss to Cleveland left the Bengals 8-8 and ended their season, Dillon threw his helmet, shoulder pads and cleats into the stands at Paul Brown Stadium, convinced he would be traded with two years left on his contract.

    "They don't need me," Dillon said afterward. "They've been winning, quote unquote, without me."

    The Patriots will inherit the remaining two seasons on the five-year contract Dillon signed in 2001, which come with base salaries of $3.3 million for 2004 and $3.85 million for '05. The Bengals must carry a cap charge of $4.2 million for Dillon in 2004 but gain cap relief of $1.3 million.

    Dillon renewed his push for a trade last month by going on a national sports talk show dressed in a Raiders jersey. He also lashed out at Pro Bowl offensive tackle Willie Anderson, calling him "a bum." Anderson had criticized Dillon for being selfish while the team was in playoff contention.

    Cincinnati hasn't had a winning record since 1990, the longest such streak in the NFL.

    Information from The Associated Press and's John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli was used in this report.

    Sean Salisbury's Take:

    This is an absolutely unbelievable trade for the Patriots. General manager Scott Pioli just made a bid to repeat as executive of the year with this move. The Patriots are already the defending Super Bowl champions yet they continue to attempt to get better. They have a 26-year old cover boy quarterback who's already been Super Bowl MVP twice and now they've paired him with one of the best rushers in the league. This move easily makes the Patriots the favorite for next year's Super Bowl.

    Before last season, Dillon averaged over 1,200 yards per season and he's not close to being done yet as a top performer in this league. He's ornery and wants to prove himself and could help the Pats into next year's Super Bowl.
  2. gbearbuck

    gbearbuck Herbie for President

    good for the bungles... they got rid of a problem, and got their asking price (granted it was the last second round pick of the draft.... it is still a second round pick)...

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