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Old 08-19-2006, 07:50 AM   #1
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Default Falcons Consider Duckett Trade

Falcons consider Duckett trade

By STEVE WYCHE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 08/19/06

Green Bay, Wis. ? Tailback T.J. Duckett could be playing with the Falcons for the last time Saturday night. At least four teams have contacted Atlanta over the past few days about trading for the 2002 first-round pick, two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed.

The New York Jets are the only team that both sources would confirm, with recently demoted wide receiver Justin McCareins possibly coming to the Falcons for Duckett. Atlanta is in the market for a No. 3 wide receiver, and McCareins (6 feet 2, 215 pounds), a six-year veteran with 168 receptions and 15 touchdowns, could fit the need.

The Falcons also are looking for backup help at safety, defensive tackle and defensive end. Despite those needs, exchanging Duckett for a draft pick is a possibility.

The Falcons would not confirm any trade talks.

No trade involving Duckett is expected before Saturday's exhibition game against the Packers, which he is scheduled to start. Regular starter Warrick Dunn is being rested.

Duckett could play through the first quarter before turning things over to rookie Jerious Norwood, a speedster from Mississippi State. Since Norwood was drafted, he has inspired enough confidence for the team to engage in trade talks involving Duckett.

There is some apprehension among the Falcons coaching and personnel staffs about parting with Duckett, a four-year veteran (54 games, 552 carries, 2,175 yards), who provides a sense of security should Dunn, 31, get hurt. Norwood, though talented and a better fit in the Falcons' cutback running scheme than Duckett, is still relatively raw and is learning the system, coach Jim Mora has said.

Even so, with Duckett being in the final year of his contract, dealing him now would allow the Falcons to receive compensation instead of letting him walk away for nothing after the season.

Duckett has spent much of the summer deflecting trade speculation, which until now hit its crescendo on draft day after the Falcons' selected Norwood.

Some teams, one being the Pittsburgh Steelers, offered later-round picks, which the Falcons rejected.

After Duckett looked strong and rushedfor 59 yards on 10 carries in last week's exhibition-opening 26-23 victory over the New England Patriots, interest resurfaced.

Duckett insists he wants to remain with the Falcons and said he's going to try to have a breakout season, no matter what.

"I had a great offseason, we had a hard training camp, and I'm ready to make things happen," Duckett said Thursday.

Duckett was drafted 18th overall out of Michigan State in 2002, the same offseason the Falcons signed Dunn from Tampa Bay as a free agent.

The simultaneous pairing never allowed Duckett to emerge as a feature back, but he has earned team-wide respect for not complaining about playing time.

Duckett has been used primarily in short-yardage or change-of-pace situations and has rushed for 31 touchdowns in four seasons, 27 coming in the past three. Last season, however, he faltered down the stretch after suffering an ankle injury and averaged a career-low 3.1 yards per carry.

With Dunn nursing a sore hamstring over the final four games, Duckett's inability to provide much relief spawned trade speculation shortly after the season ended.
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Old 08-19-2006, 11:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Falcons Consider Duckett Trade

That would be sweet!!! Duckett is one of my keepers for Fantasy Football...Don't ask!
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Old 08-19-2006, 02:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Falcons Consider Duckett Trade

Duckett to the Jets would make the most sense - New York desperately needs some sort of ground game in order to keep the pressure off Noodles at QB.

You would think that they will outbid anyone else for his services - Mangini needs a reasonable first season (6 wins +) in order to keep the baying NY mob at bay.

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Old 08-20-2006, 01:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Falcons Consider Duckett Trade

Duckett is an awesome player, he sure made the Saturdays at Michigan State more exciting.
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Falcons Consider Duckett Trade

If it's to be done, just get it done so he can learn the system and get involved! I tire of trade rumors and bs stories.

Also, the Jets just picked up the SF rb - Barlow, so they're probably no longer interested in Duckett.
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