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The Bizarre Tale of Corey Simon

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Thin Corey
We all pretty much know how the story of Corey Simon started. Right here in Philadelphia when the Eagles picked him with the #6 overall pick in in the 2000 draft. In his first year he broke the Eagles' rookie sack record with 9.5 and despite not reaching that number again, he still put up 32 sacks in his first 5 years as an Eagle. A very impressive number for a DT.

As his rookie contract was drawing to a close, the problems started. Corey started holding out of camp in hopes of forcing the Eagles to give him a long term deal. The problem was, he appeared to do little more than eat during the time he would hold out and show up to camp horribly out of shape. His 2004 season on paper looked very good, but if you remember it took him until late in the year to really get into game shape. By the end of the year he was back in pro bowl form, but for a large part of the year he was useless.

So when in 2005 Corey held out again, the Eagles placed the franchise tag on him and attempted to make a trade. Not surprisingly no one was interested in trading for a guy that was technically not under contract, the Eagles became fed up late in training camp and simply cut Simon. The Colts, at that point desperate for help in the interior of the line, jumped on the former pro bowler and signed Corey to a five-year, $30 million deal. The team must have wondered what they'd done when Corey, a guy who has always been a smaller fast pass rusher, reported to the Colts having ballooned up well over 300 pounds and clearly in the worst shape of his career. He went on to post career lows in tackles, sacks(with zero), and games played with 13. Some Colts fans swear he did a good job against the run in that first year, but it certainly seemed that Corey had easily the worst year of his pro career.

Fat Corey
However, with a big contract in his pocket and a season under his belt it seemed as though Corey was set to rebound in 2006. Surely he'd be conditioning with the team during the offseason and in training camp on time for the first time in several years... Not quite. At this point, the saga of Corey Simon takes it's weirdest turn. Simon injured his knee and missed the entire preseason and the first four weeks of the regular season.

Then, for reasons widely speculated but really unknown the Colts placed him on the non-football illness/injury list. It meant Corey could not play for the rest of the season and the Colts didn't have to pay him. Since then, the players union and the Colts have been fighting back and forth over whether the team has to pay Corey or if he owes them signing bonus back. Presumably, it's the only reason he hasn't yet been cut.

Colts GM Bill Polian has indicated that signing Simon was a big mistake.

"Why so little [free agent] activity? The fiery Polian is quick with the answer.Mainly because we've made some big mistakes in the past, Corey Simon being the most obvious one," he said."

At this point, I would think it's very unlikely that Corey Simon will ever play in the NFL again. First off, it's hard to say if he even wants to play the game and if he did would anyone even be interested? Given his conditioning problems in the past, it's unlikely anyone would be interested in signing him unless they had a full offseason to work with him. Of course, that begs the question... why even bother?

Hat tip to Scout.com for some inspiration.