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"Colts Sign QB Mark Rypien to Deal"
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Colts Sign QB Mark Rypien to Deal
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 think he really feels he has some unfinished business,"
agent Ken Staninger told The Associated Press. "He's looking
forward to the challenge of being the No. 2 quarterback in
Rypien joins a roster that currently lists four quarterbacks -
Peyton Manning, Billy Joe Hobert, Roderick Robinson and Dave Meyer
- on it. Hobert is listed No. 2, but the Colts had not announced a
move that would clear a spot for Rypien.
Rypien was unavailable for immediate comment but was expected to
speak after the Colts finished practice Tuesday night.
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 then.
"I think the reason he had to leave the game was the illness to
his son, and that's not a real fond memory," Staninger said as he
explained why Rypien stayed away from the game for three years
before trying to come back. "He has been practicing for three
months, but he has not been on a playing field."
Rypien also has played hockey and golf routinely.
Staninger said he'd spoken with the Colts, and other teams about
Rypien's desire to play football again, for the past two months.
It wasn't until last week, though, that the Colts scheduled a
workout with Rypien, the MVP of the 1992 Super Bowl, in which
Washington defeated Buffalo 37-24.
"His agent called us and said he was looking for a chance,"
coach Jim Mora said following the Colts' morning practice session
Tuesday. "We thought we'd take a look."
The Colts apparently liked what they saw, signing Rypien within
hours of his workout.
One reason the Colts were interested in Rypien, Staninger said,
was his postseason experience.
"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," he said.
Rypien's playoff experience all 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.
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
Staninger said the shoulder is sound.
"He has rehabbed it," Staninger said. "It's not an issue to
In October 1996, Rypien came back as a backup for the
Philadelphia Eagles, then returned to St. Louis for the 1997
Now, a little less than two months before turning 39, Rypien is
ready for another chance in the NFL.
"Even when Mark was 22, his strengths were his arm strength,
his intelligence and his toughness," Staninger said. "Mark's got
more intelligence now than when he was 22 and he thinks his arm
strength is as good. Some guys lose a step, but Mark never had that
step to lose."
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Colts Sign Mark Rypien to Deal (July 31)
Colts Bring in Rypien for Workout (July 31)
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