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saintswhodi 04-18-2005 09:57 AM

Raynoch Thompson-WLB
From Mike D:


One interesting development to watch as draft day draws closer is the availability of former University of Tennessee and Arizona Cardinals standout outside linebacker Raynoch Thompson. This past week, the Cardinals released the former St Augustine High School (New Orleans) star linebacker after five seasons.

Thompson, 27, was considered just two seasons ago one of the better weakside linebackers in the NFC, but personal problems and a dispute over money not paid in a signing bonus soured the relationship between he and the Cardinals.

The former All-SEC performer is known around the league for his excellent athletic skills, speed to cover the field from sideline to sideline and quick read-and-reaction skills. While he has built more like a strong safety (6-2, 224), instead of a linebacker, Thompson was a strong open-field tackler who showed good blitzing skills coming off the edge.
The trouble with the Cardinals and Thompson started when the linebacker signed a new contract extension in 2003, but he did not inform the team he had tested positive under the league’s substance abuse rules for the second time in his career.

Team officials found out days after signing Thompson to the contract extension, and it resulted in a suspension for the final four games of the 2003 season. His first strike came in 2001, when he was cited for driving under the influence. Thompson tested positive for alcohol, which is prohibited under the substance-abuse policy.

Thompson filed a grievance against the team when they withheld a portion of the $2.63 million signing bonus from the extension. After being a full-time starter for the Cardinals for the past 3½ seasons, Thompson played in 11 games in 2004 but only started three. He had 34 tackles and one sack last season.

Thompson was considered the Cardinals’ top defensive player in 2001 and 2002, when he recorded 257 tackles and 3½ sacks.

For a team like the Saints, a shot to pick up a good starting weakside linebacker, one who has local ties is still in the prime of his career, would be mighty inviting.
Okay, he is only 27, well regarded for the most part, but on his second strike with the league could be an issue. Can you have a contract that says if he gets the 3rd strike, he can be cut without pay, since he would be suspended a year at that point? Is that admissable under the CBA? Seems like someone I would give a shot to. Can't be worse than signing Levar Fisher right?

[Edited on 18/4/2005 by saintswhodi]

baronm 04-18-2005 10:08 AM

Raynoch Thompson-WLB
could be another signing like the conerback a few years ago...but could be great as well. I\'d do it. It\'s better than letting him go to another team like hartwell. Also-it would free us up in the draft just a tad.

saintswhodi 04-18-2005 10:17 AM

Raynoch Thompson-WLB
You mean Dale Carter. Could be. But he was 34, and his substance abuse problems were more extensive than this guy\'s. Wasn\'t Carter already out of the NFL for a year or so when we signed him? So quite possibly could be the same, but if not, this guy may be a huge help to us. Like I said, word his contract that any substance abuse issues immediately allows the team to void the deal, kinda like what Dallas had with Quincy Carter.

baronm 04-18-2005 10:27 AM

Raynoch Thompson-WLB
q. yeah, dale carter-couldn\'t remmber his last name
2. i think that if the player does illegal substances and is caught by the league it is an automatic out for them as far as contracts go-but quincy carter was a different case altogether.

saintswhodi 04-18-2005 10:35 AM

Raynoch Thompson-WLB
If i\'m not mistaken, Dallas let Q go BEFORE the positive test was even made public, which is illegal under the CBA, but they said it was for performance reasons. But he had a clause in his contract about illegal substance use, I am pretty sure. Maybe we could do the same? Just wondering if it is worth the shot. I think so. But if they pass, I can understand why.

LKelley67 04-18-2005 10:57 AM

Raynoch Thompson-WLB
i saw the name over the wires and just thought \"there goes another one\". certainly some risk but besides lack of talent i am questioning LB depth as well.


then hodge behind allen, and ruff situational player

cannot expect anything from grant at this point, rodgers age and off back surgery cannot be depended on, fisher sounds like a grant clone- might be good if can ever play, knight is a fringe player.

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