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Horn still hopeful Falcons will trade him


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Horn still hopeful Falcons will trade him

Veteran wideout says he will compete for job -- if he's here

By STEVE WYCHE

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 07/28/08

Flowery Branch — Veteran wide receiver Joe Horn, back from a months-long, self-imposed exile, spent time after practice Sunday running routes and catching balls — something he didn't do during the actual morning session of training camp.

Horn mostly watched practice because he's not fully ready to participate.

CURTIS COMPTON/ccompton@ajc.com

"When I left, I didn't study the playbook," Horn said. "My emotions let my study habits with the playbook leave. I stayed in shape, but I didn't study my playbook."

Horn's distanced himself from all things Falcons the past two months because he wants to be traded. The 13-year veteran asked out early this summer after a mandatory mini-camp at which he said he felt he was being put to pasture in favor of younger players.

Horn skipped all voluntary team functions, including six weeks of offseason team activities [OTAs], which are basically non-contact practices.

Coach Mike Smith said Horn, who signed a four-year, $14.5-million, free-agent contract in 2007 after spending most of his career with New Orleans, is expected to compete for playing time.

"There is a negotiating season, a pay season and a play season," Smith said. "It is play season and Joe is a football player. He is out there to compete and win a position on this football team."

Horn has put himself in a tough position to do that. He not only neglected his playbook, but he did not catch any balls from the team's quarterbacks or get overly familiarized with the new front office and coaching regime.

"After 12 years in this league, I know getting acclimated with your quarterback and getting your timing is necessary," said Horn, who caught 27 passes for 243 yards and one touchdown last season. "I didn't come to the offseason program. I didn't come to OTAs and I understand there's a thing called order. You have to come in as the eighth receiver. I understand that. I've got to work my way back up — if I'm here."

Horn, who remains hopeful that he will get traded even though interest has been minimal, continued: "I am here right now and when [wide receivers] coach [Terry] Robiskie and [offensive coordinator Mike] Mularkey feel it's time for me to come up in the offense and start getting reps and making plays, I'll do that."

The ability to trade Horn and the decision to retain him is complicated by his guaranteed, 2008 salary of $2.5 million salary. Potential suitors might not want to pay Horn that much and give Atlanta compensation in a trade. Horn's agent said Horn would restructure his contract to facilitate a trade.

The Falcons, meanwhile, would have to pay Horn even if they wanted to cut him.

Atlanta opened training camp with Roddy White and second-year man Laurent Robinson as the top two wide receivers with rookie Harry Douglas and veteran Michael Jenkins rounding out the top four spots. Brian Finneran, Adam Jennings, Eric Weems, Chandler Williams and Horn are competing for the remaining roster spot(s).

Most of those receivers, other than Horn, have spent the summer learning the system and the quarterbacks and have gotten off to good starts since Atlanta opened camp Saturday morning. Horn said he's happy for his teammates and that even though he wants out, he won't be a distraction.

"I'm good with them all," Horn said. "It's never going to be a locker-room issue. I respect all my coaches. I respect Coach Smith and everybody else. I'm going to come out here and be a professional. If they ask me to go, I'm going to go. Until I hear otherwise, been doing, working my [behind] off and catching balls."

TD... call Dallas ASAP......... Joe Horn has said that he would restructure his contract

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Did they ask him to study his play book?I like him but this is the wrong way to contirbute or not.

Everyone should have studied their playbook...... Joe Horn is trying to force a trade without looking like a bad guy.... Joe Horn know that his cap figure prevent the falcons from cutting him.......

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we don't need Horn he's about done and if we can get a free agent pick for him from the Cowgirls next yr let him go. WR is one of the strengths of this team. Keep Fin or Jennings and get rid of Horn and that fat contract that I questioned in the first place.

We have a good group but we need joe for depth.We are very young.

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We have a good group but we need joe for depth.We are very young.

Not really........ Roddy,Robinson,Douglas,Jenkins,Fin,Jennings,............ Then we will use Norwood in the passing game..........The only reason why Joe Horn has not been cut is because of the Cap hit.... its cheaper to keep him....... Unless we get a pick or a player in a trade...... Joe Horn will be here

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I'd trade Horn for anything just to get him off our books and from hurting our team with his negativity.

Just think, though: If Horn was a poster on this board, he'd fit right in.

That's one thing I just don't understand - A playoff team? Probably not this season. But it doesn't cost any more to be cautiously optimistic about this 2008 team (and I think it reasonable to be optimistic) than it does to be pessimistic. However, a good percentage of the posters on this board - and not just classic trolls - seem to receive a perverse pleasure in denigrating the Falcons for anything and everything, justified or not.

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We have a good group but we need joe for depth.We are very young.

you say we are young Jenkins in his 5th yr ,White in his 4th yr, Finneran in his 98th yr,....yell we are young....LOL!!!! Get rid of him even if we can only get a water boy to get rid of his contract. We don't need J horn

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Finneran is 10 times more valuable than Horn. Horn has the numbers historically but he is a complete cancer on morale for the Falcons. Finneran has better veteran leadership and has the drive and heart to be on the field again. Why are we even thinking that Horn can be a valuable asset to the team?

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I don't think Horn is a jerk... Selfish and non-contributing, yes. But not a jerk... Let him sulk all he wants, as long as he doesn't complain or start a bunch of arguments with coach/other players it's hardly a distraction. I'd love to see the Falcons get his salary off the books though, so any kind of trade would be welcome.

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