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"Colts Sign Ex-Super Bowl MVP Rypien"
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Colts Sign Ex-Super Bowl MVP Rypien
By MICHAEL MAROT, AP Sports Writer
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) - Former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien is
back in the NFL.
Three years after leaving football so he could care for his ill
son and wife, the 38-year-old quarterback signed a one-year
contract for the minimum salary of $477,000 and incentives with the
Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday.
"I really got (the urge) last October," Rypien said following
his first practice with the Colts. "I'd watched football for a
year and a half, I saw the Rams in the playoffs two years ago, saw
some old faces. But maybe the biggest thing was my little girl
saying 'Dad, why don't you give it another shot?' "
Rypien joins a team with three other quarterbacks - Peyton
Manning, Billy Joe Hobert and Roderick Robinson - on its roster.
The Colts released another quarterback, rookie free agent Dave
Meyer, to clear a spot for Rypien.
Rypien has not played in the NFL since 1997 when he was last
with the St. Louis Rams.
He signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 1998, but because his
young son, Andrew, was suffering from a malignant brain tumor and
his wife, Annette, also was battling a serious illness, Rypien
decided to give up football.
The Falcons waived Rypien in July 1998. A month later, Rypien's
son died. His wife has since recovered from her illness, but Rypien
has not played football since.
"When my son passed away almost three years ago to the day, it
was important to get myself and my family together," he said.
Not so strangely, Rypien's family also played a prominent part
in his return.
Rypien's youngest daughter, Angela, who will turn 11 in October,
said she couldn't remember her father playing football.
That spurred Rypien, who was named the 1992 Super Bowl MVP in a
37-24 victory over Buffalo, to start preparing three months ago.
Last week, the Colts scheduled a workout and signed him within
"He seemed in good condition, very eager to play and his arm
strength was good," coach Jim Mora said. "He was very excited
about playing, he didn't look like an old guy to me."
But he brings the Colts something they wanted - postseason
"When you take a young superstar quarterback, like Peyton, I
guess it's probably helpful to have a backup who's won six or 10
playoff games," said Ken Staninger, Rypien's agent.
All of Rypien's playoff experience came with the Redskins, whom
he led to three straight playoff appearances in the early 1990s.
After suffering a shoulder injury the next season, however,
Rypien's career crumbled. He had surgery following the '92 season,
then was released by the Redskins after 12 games in 1993.
"I always felt, before Andrew got sick, that things didn't end
the way I wanted them to in Washington," Rypien said.
The next season, Rypien wound up in Cleveland, where he started
three games. In 1995, Rypien signed with the St. Louis Rams as a
backup to Chris Miller, but when the Rams tried to re-sign him,
Rypien said he'd rather retire than accept the pay cut the Rams
In October 1996, Rypien came back as a backup for the
Philadelphia Eagles, then returned to St. Louis for the 1997
"I told Mark 'We've got a young team,' " Mora said. " 'But
with you, we just made it a little older."
Now, Rypien's in Indianapolis, hoping his second chance in the
NFL will be a success.
"If I didn't feel I could come here and work to the point where
Billy Joe or I or whoever, if we were called upon, could do the
job," Rypien said. "I wouldn't be here."
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Colts Sign QB Mark Rypien to Deal (July 31)
Colts Sign Mark Rypien to Deal (July 31)
Colts Bring in Rypien for Workout (July 31)
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