Horn Wants More Money - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Horn Wants More Money

Joe Horn, whose production as a Saints wide receiver has led to Pro Bowl invitations the past two seasons, is demanding a raise before his current $3 million-a-year contract expires. If no new deal is in the works soon, Horn said he will sit out the Saints' two minicamps _ the first of which begins Friday _ and possibly training camp as well. ``I'm not trying to be greedy, but other guys in this league are getting paid and I'm not making near their salary. That's not right,'' Horn said Wednesday. ``I've put up the numbers. I'm not getting in trouble. I'm not getting pulled over by the cops and going to jail for drugs.'' Horn believes his annual salary should be about $5 million, which is close to what the top five receivers in the NFL are making. His agent, Ralph Vitolo, said Saints General Manager Randy Mueller has so far ignored overtures concerning Horn's contract. Mueller did not immediately return a call on the matter Thursday. No Saints receiver has ever had back-to-back seasons as good as Horn's past two. Horn has 177 receptions with the Saints during the past two seasons, which is seventh in the league for that time. With 2,605 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns, Horn is near the top of the NFL in those categories as well. Horn, who played in the Pro Bowl following the 2000 season and declined an invitation this year, has three years remaining on a contract with annual base salaries of $1.7 million, $2.7 million and $2.9 million in 2002, 2003 and 2004, respectively.

Mueller extended Horn's contract after the 2000 season, when he caught a career-high 94 passes for 1,340 yards and eight touchdowns and was selected to the Pro Bowl. The extension included a $2.7 million signing bonus. Horn said he will attend meetings and continue rehabilitation on his surgically repaired left shoulder but won't participate in the on-field workouts. ``Joe's not going to participate in anything on-field until we get it done,'' Vitolo said. ``He feels like he's been a little shortchanged. Not in an ugly way, but it's time for the Saints to lock down one of their best players and build some tradition down there. He's paid his dues.'' Horn said he is willing to take the risk of losing his starting job to free-agent Jerome Pathon and top draft pick Donte Stallworth. ``If those guys outwork me, fine, then they deserve to be No. 1 and No. 2,'' Horn said. ``By all means, I'll work my way back if I have to when I come back healthy. ``I thought I've made a point that I am one of the elite receivers in this league, and I just want to be compensated for it. And I'm not going to give in to threats of being cut after June 1 or being traded. Those rumors aren't going to shake me one bit.''

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