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Cards decline to consider releasing Edgerrin James

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[November 20, 2008]  TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Arizona Cardinals declined to consider releasing Edgerrin James when the running back's agent inquired about the possibility, the team's general manager said Wednesday.

RestaurantRod Graves said he received a call from agent Drew Rosenhaus three weeks ago after James was benched in favor of rookie Tim Hightower and didn't play a down in Arizona's 34-13 victory at St. Louis.

According to Graves, Rosenhaus asked if the team would consider releasing James "and we declined it as a consideration."

"I explained to him that we still saw Edgerrin as a valuable member of our football team," Graves said.

Rosenhaus has told several news outlets that he asked for James' release, but Graves said, "I don't know that it was that strong."

If it had been a direct request, Graves said he would have expected James to personally show up in his office to make it.

James has three carries for 5 yards since losing his starting job.


The Cardinals would have to return to James if Hightower was injured. The team's other running back, J.J. Arrington, is not considered an every-down player.

Releasing James, Graves said, "didn't make sense on several fronts."

Graves said he has talked to James since Rosenhaus' call.

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"He said he was still fully committed to this team and he would not be a distraction," Graves said. "He's been doing everything we asked him to do."

The 30-year-old James is in his 10th NFL season, third with Arizona. He has topped 1,000 yards each of the past five seasons. He ranks first among active players and 13th overall with 11,992 yards gained. James has 385 yards in 111 carries this season with three touchdowns.

Rosenhaus did not return messages left on his telephones.

[Associated Press; By BOB BAUM]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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