ProFootball Hall of Fame Class of 2020: Edgerrin James

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

In the 1999 NFL draft, the Indianapolis Colts had a decision to make. Take Edgerrin James or take Ricky Williams. With the fourth overall pick, the Colts decided James was their pick.

While some may have thought it would have been wiser to go the other direction, Williams has won the Heisman Trophy that year, James proved them all wrong by having an amazing rookie year, then continued his success throughout the rest of his career.

James, a running back out of Miami, came out of the gate stomping his competition. In his rookie year, he had 1553 yards rushing, 586 yards receiving, and a total of 17 touchdowns. He was named the AP’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, and he was just getting started.

James rushed for over 1,000 yards seven times and over 1500 yards four times in his 11-year career. He had double-digit touchdown totals in four seasons. He was named to the Pro Bowl four times, was All Pro first-team twice, and second-team twice.

James left the Colts in 2006 and immediately signed a four-year, $30 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals. In Arizona, he was mostly used as a pass blocker, and that didn’t sit well with James. In 2009 however, he did make it to the Super Bowl, which the Cardinals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. James only played 45 games with the Cardinals, but when he left he was 13th on their all-time rushing yards list.

Arizona released James in April of 2009 at his request. His long time partner and mother of his children had passed away from cancer and he wanted to be with his family.

In August of that year, James signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks. He only played seven games for the team.

In July of 2011, James announced his retirement from football after 11 seasons in the league. In 2012 he was added to the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor, where he holds 5 team records.

In his retirement, James is helping a new generation of sports stars through mentoring. He hosts football camps and other special events in Orlando, where he lives.

Congratulations to Edgerrin James on his induction to the ProFootball Hall of Fame. It is well deserved.

 

Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG

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