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Old 01-07-2009, 07:12 AM    (permalink
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Smile Lion's could have 39 million under cap...

http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf...major_ove.html


Lions' roster set for major overhaul in offseason
by Tom Kowalski
Wednesday January 07, 2009, 12:30 AM

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Releasing quarterback Daunte Culpepper would save the Detroit Lions $5 million on next year's salary cap.ALLEN PARK -- As the Detroit Lions continue their search for a new coach, one of the drawbacks to the job is the team's talent-challenged roster.

However, the Lions offer a couple of positives for a new coach: a lot of draft choices and a great deal of room under the salary cap. The Lions are expected to make a major overhaul of their roster in the offseason, and they are in position to do it.

After going 0-16, the Lions have eight draft picks, including five in the first 82 overall picks.

One of those is the first overall choice, the first time the Lions have held that selection since they took Oklahoma running back Billy Sims in 1980. The Lions also hope to get a compensatory pick, based on free agent losses in 2008, which would give them nine draft picks.

There are several other factors that will allow the Lions to make a lot of moves on the roster.

The Lions currently have $95 million committed to their 2009 roster, and, according to Sports Business Journal, the NFL cap for 2009 will be a minimum of $123 million. According to a document obtained from the NFL Players Association, Detroit has $28 million under the cap, but that number could grow significantly because of some expected roster moves.

Quarterback Daunte Culpepper, cornerback Leigh Bodden, guard Edwin Mulitalo, safety Dwight Smith and tight end Dan Campbell have big salaries coming, and they could be released in the offseason.

Culpepper, who was signed in mid-season, has a $2.5 million roster bonus due in late February that would trigger a $2.5 million salary for next season. If Culpepper is released, the Lions would save $5 million off their cap.

Bodden, who has an $8.6 million roster bonus also due in February, likely will be released, trimming $4.6 million of cap commitment in 2009. Mulitalo and Smith are in the last year of their contracts and, if they get cut, the Lions save $2.8 million and $2.3 million, respectively. Releasing Campbell would result in a savings of about $1 million.

If all of those players are released, the Lions would have an additional $15.7 million available in their cap, giving them almost $39 million to spend on new players for the 2009 season.

The Lions can look for free agents elsewhere because it doesn't appear they will re-sign many of their own unrestricted free agents. Detroit has 18 free agents, and there are only four or five the Lions likely will be interested in re-signing, and all of them, except kicker Jason Hanson, would fill backup roles.

In addition to the draft, the Lions will replenish their roster through free agency, but they won't do it with big-money signings, but a series of solid lower-profile players to fill starting gaps and backup positions.

"In terms of getting players to come here, I have a tremendous degree of confidence that we're going to be able to do that," Lions president Tom Lewand said. "It's not about spending a bunch of money in March to plug holes, and then, all of a sudden, 12 months later have the same holes.

"I've said it repeatedly, from a salary cap perspective, it's easy to get headlines in March. Those aren't the ones we're looking for. We're looking for headlines in December and January and hopefully beyond. Those are the ones that take a strong organization to build. We want to build through the draft."

Lewand isn't only referring to future drafts, but recent drafts as well. Lewand has said the team needs to make more of a commitment to play younger players and allow them to either blossom into productive starters, or cut their losses and move in a different direction.

The Lions have 24 players currently on their roster that are slated to make less than $1 million in salary next season, and 13 of those are former Detroit draft picks, most of whom haven't had a shot at much playing time. The Lions need to make evaluations on these young players so they know whether they need time to develop or whether they need to be replaced.

ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK
Here are five players with big salaries coming next season, and how much cap space they could save the Lions in 2009 if they're released:

QB Daunte Culpepper -- $5 million
CB Leigh Bodden -- $4.6 million
G Edwin Mulitalo -- $2.8 million
S Dwight Smith -- $2.3 million
TE Dan Campbell -- $1 million

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
Here is the list of Detroit's 18 unrestricted free agents (Jason Hanson is on the list, but because he's still tethered under the 1983 transition tag rule, he still is not totally free because the Lions will have the right of first refusal):

RB Aveion Cason
DT Shaun Cody
WR Keary Colbert
G Damion Cook
T George Foster
K Jason Hanson
RB Rudi Johnson
LB Paris Lenon
C Andy McCollum
WR Shaun McDonald
DT Langston Moore
LB Ryan Nece
FB Moran Norris
QB Dan Orlovsky
TE John Owens
DE Corey Smith
G Stephen Peterman
CB Stanley Wilson

(The Lions do not have any restricted free agents on their roster.)

UNDER A MILLION
The following 24 players are scheduled to earn less than $1 million in salary next season. In a couple of cases, their cap hit will be larger, but that money already has been paid and factored into the cap:

LB Ernie Sims
QB Drew Stanton
QB Drew Henson
RB Brian Calhoun
FB Jerome Felton
WR John Standeford
WR Adam Jennings
WR Travis Taylor
G Manny Ramirez
DT Chuck Darby
DE Ikaika Alama-Francis
DE Andre Fluellen
DE Cliff Avril
DT Landon Cohen
LB Jordon Dizon
CB Ramzee Robinson
S Gerald Alexander
S Daniel Bullocks
S Kalvin Pearson
CB Dexter Wynn
CB Chris Roberson
S Stuart Schweigert
S LaMarcus Hicks
LS Don Muhlbach

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

I hope we don't overspend on average talent just because we can this year. On the bright side we got enough cash to buy anyone.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:27 AM    (permalink
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i know people have said that hearing lewand and mayhew say the rights things brings them flashbacks of previous front officemen, but hearing about a better commitment to start drafted rookies and younger players is a plus. obviously what we are doing isnt right, so why not give someone else a shot? we had some young players who should've had a chance to play last year but didn't
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:20 AM    (permalink
Maybe Next Year Millen2
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I told you IAC we are good in shape for the cap.

39 million cutting all that dead weight like Daunte,Mulitalo,Dwight Smith etc. We could even keep Bodden if we wanted and have plenty of money around 28 million. But most likely Bodden is gone too.

Question is who wants to come to Detroit for money and who is worth that money and won't let up in their play after receiving money. Obviously we should be careful who we spend it on and not go Oakland Raiders on the league but we have money to spend.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:28 AM    (permalink
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i knew we'd have at least 24 million, but this is nice. we should still build from the draft and then spend our money. Jordan Gross and Suggs would be nice though.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:41 AM    (permalink
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We can use some of that money to extend Ernie. I'm not sure who else we could extend or want to?
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:56 AM    (permalink
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Sign Calvin Johnson to a 10-year extension, heh.

Don't take Kelvin Hayden away from the Colts. :(
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:11 AM    (permalink
Maybe Next Year Millen2
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Interesting free agents. Lets face it we need help from more than just the draft.

Pick 2 you want the most out of the above average free agents. Not top guys like Nnamdi,Gross or Peppers who have no shot to go to Detroit

Mike Goff G San Diego. One veteran and one guard through the draft 1-2 year deal.
Bobby Engram, some good years, some injured, Possession guy opposite Calvin 1-2 year deal
Atogwe-pretty good safety. Personally, I think we need an upgrade at safety because Alexander coming off injury and Bullocks can't cover(good in run support though)
Dunta Robinson-CB Coming off injury, but is a pretty good corner. Played second half of year
Mike Peterson-MLB. Falling out it seemed in Jacksonville. But solid Mike
Bertrand Berry-I like Avril and White is decent but Berry is better than both.
Tra Thomas-LT from Philly. Up there in age, Philly probably won't let him go but I'd take him over Backus any day.
Leroy Hill- We definitely need some bigger LBs. One vet and one from draft.
Michael Boley
NT-Tank Johnson, in case we don't get Raji
NT-Marcus Tubbs, fell off the face of the Earth in Seattle, take shot in the dark, it can't get worse than 171 yards per game can it?
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:48 PM    (permalink
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First off im not sure i would want to get rid of Bodden. yeah it saves money but we won't be able to get equal talent for less than him IMO.

anyways My first pick would be Dunta Robinson.

Second would be between tank johnson, Tra Thomas or Mike Goff.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:08 PM    (permalink
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First off im not sure i would want to get rid of Bodden. yeah it saves money but we won't be able to get equal talent for less than him IMO.

anyways My first pick would be Dunta Robinson.

Second would be between tank johnson, Tra Thomas or Mike Goff.
I'd rather give Dunta money over Bodden because Dunta has more talent and speed IMO. But if its possible to keep both and still have a good chunk of money to work with that would definitley fix our secondary with Dunta as 1 and Bodden as 2.

Mike Goff is my other choice. He's 33 but is still playing at a high level. We need a veteran next to Gosder IMO.

Then draft Stafford and Raji and a Mike linebacker, another Guard and we'll have some pieces in place.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:24 PM    (permalink
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I really do think we need to get a significant free agent. It needs to fit, situation and scheme, and if that guy isn't out there then fine. We can look next year. But we need so much, if we have an opportunity to get a piece that can be a cornerstone for long term, we should spend the money and do that.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:15 PM    (permalink
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I'd rather give Dunta money over Bodden because Dunta has more talent and speed IMO. But if its possible to keep both and still have a good chunk of money to work with that would definitley fix our secondary with Dunta as 1 and Bodden as 2.

Mike Goff is my other choice. He's 33 but is still playing at a high level. We need a veteran next to Gosder IMO.

Then draft Stafford and Raji and a Mike linebacker, another Guard and we'll have some pieces in place.
i completely agree. two new guards. new #1 CB. Finally get our new NT along with a good young MLB and we have a pretty solid front seven on defense along with hopefully the right pieces to our oline to protect whoever is taking the snaps
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:33 PM    (permalink
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i knew we'd have at least 24 million, but this is nice. we should still build from the draft and then spend our money. Jordan Gross and Suggs would be nice though.
They'll be gone by the draft.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:35 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, Bodden has been bad... but he isn't exactly in a scheme suited for him. He was awesome when he got to play man to man. So let's wait and see what kind of D we are running.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:00 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, Bodden has been bad... but he isn't exactly in a scheme suited for him. He was awesome when he got to play man to man. So let's wait and see what kind of D we are running.
if we are not going to run a cover 2 we should keep him. In reality it will be hard for us to sign equal talent than he is. If our scheme next year fits with his skill set it could be a huge mistake to let him leave
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:07 PM    (permalink
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if we are not going to run a cover 2 we should keep him. In reality it will be hard for us to sign equal talent than he is. If our scheme next year fits with his skill set it could be a huge mistake to let him leave
Yeah... exactly my point. He'd be good in pretty much anything besides Cover 2, haha.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:08 PM    (permalink
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Are they willing to spend that amount of money or are they content with pocketing some of it? Another question do they have to spend a minimum on salaries? not sure on that.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:10 PM    (permalink
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Are they willing to spend that amount of money or are they content with pocketing some of it? Another question do they have to spend a minimum on salaries? not sure on that.
Where is our resident accountant? I'm sure we aren't gonna spend ALL of that. But we have to spend at least 20-25 of it, at minimum. We have so many people coming off the books.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:32 PM    (permalink
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we'll spend about 10 just in rookies with 3 picks in the top 33.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:16 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Maybe Next Year Millen2 View Post
I told you IAC we are good in shape for the cap.

39 million cutting all that dead weight like Daunte,Mulitalo,Dwight Smith etc. We could even keep Bodden if we wanted and have plenty of money around 28 million. But most likely Bodden is gone too.

Question is who wants to come to Detroit for money and who is worth that money and won't let up in their play after receiving money. Obviously we should be careful who we spend it on and not go Oakland Raiders on the league but we have money to spend.

Millen had money to spend for 7 years before he finally ran out and what did that get us = nothing.
The question remains a simple one, can Mayhew with little experience be counted on, using our scouting department to find solid FA's who don't cost too much but have some real upside to grow with the team. Can he assess talent.
No doubt WCF will make him sign at least 2 very expensive FA's to convince fans to buy tickets and will these expensive FA's come to Detroit because they want to win or are they simply coming for one last big payday. I'll ask you, if you wanted to go to a team that has absolutely no chance of being a winner, are you going to give 100% for this team or are you looking for an easy payday where nobody expects you to play hard. Millen found out the hard way that FA's aren't likely to come to a loser like this and put out enough to win.
Then I hear, 'build through the draft'. Nice idea in theory but can Mayhew recognize talent since he has no experience in assessing it.
"We'll play our younger players to give them experience and find out if they can be good". Another great theory if you have any young players who can get better but hardly a solution if you cannot draft well.
Mayhew not only has zero experience to convince me he is capable of building a franchise from scratch, he must also rely on our scouting department who has drafted more lemons than even the Ford Motor Co. produces. After all, WCF said he isn't going to allow a real shakeup within the Lion's organization.
I really don't care if the Lions have 80 million dollars in cap space, it won't make one iota of difference if you have a very weak organization led by a man whose only practical football experience was under Millen.
Does any other organization believe that Mayhew is going to be a great GM, would ANY of them hire Mayhew if he entered the open market to be their GM, not very likely, in fact there is zero chance that any other NFL team would hire Mayhew to be their GM. But don't worry, WCF has supreme confidence in him and we all know what that means.
Right now the organization is spouting the same cr-p that Marinelli came in saying. Tell the fans what they want to hear, give the fans a couple of big name FA's and finally give them a big name or 2 in the draft and ticket sales will rebound. This will work for 2 years anyways no matter what our record is.
My thought process is rather simple. I don't care what you say or who you sign or who you draft. Show me the wins and I'll believe it otherwise it remains just bullsh-t to me and I won't buy a ticket till I see for myself that the team is headed in the right direction.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:32 PM    (permalink
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If Hanson is not re-signed I will murder Mayhew.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:03 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Iamcanadian View Post
Millen had money to spend for 7 years before he finally ran out and what did that get us = nothing.
The question remains a simple one, can Mayhew with little experience be counted on, using our scouting department to find solid FA's who don't cost too much but have some real upside to grow with the team. Can he assess talent.
No doubt WCF will make him sign at least 2 very expensive FA's to convince fans to buy tickets and will these expensive FA's come to Detroit because they want to win or are they simply coming for one last big payday. I'll ask you, if you wanted to go to a team that has absolutely no chance of being a winner, are you going to give 100% for this team or are you looking for an easy payday where nobody expects you to play hard. Millen found out the hard way that FA's aren't likely to come to a loser like this and put out enough to win.
Then I hear, 'build through the draft'. Nice idea in theory but can Mayhew recognize talent since he has no experience in assessing it.
"We'll play our younger players to give them experience and find out if they can be good". Another great theory if you have any young players who can get better but hardly a solution if you cannot draft well.
Mayhew not only has zero experience to convince me he is capable of building a franchise from scratch, he must also rely on our scouting department who has drafted more lemons than even the Ford Motor Co. produces. After all, WCF said he isn't going to allow a real shakeup within the Lion's organization.
I really don't care if the Lions have 80 million dollars in cap space, it won't make one iota of difference if you have a very weak organization led by a man whose only practical football experience was under Millen.
Does any other organization believe that Mayhew is going to be a great GM, would ANY of them hire Mayhew if he entered the open market to be their GM, not very likely, in fact there is zero chance that any other NFL team would hire Mayhew to be their GM. But don't worry, WCF has supreme confidence in him and we all know what that means.
Right now the organization is spouting the same cr-p that Marinelli came in saying. Tell the fans what they want to hear, give the fans a couple of big name FA's and finally give them a big name or 2 in the draft and ticket sales will rebound. This will work for 2 years anyways no matter what our record is.
My thought process is rather simple. I don't care what you say or who you sign or who you draft. Show me the wins and I'll believe it otherwise it remains just bullsh-t to me and I won't buy a ticket till I see for myself that the team is headed in the right direction.
i understand you point but look at the tigers and how they approached it. they may come in with the mind set of not giving 100% but someguys will relish the oppourtunity of making money and being determined to be a winner (liek pudge was). But even as we learned 75 percent of what a great player is is better than what we have and if we do start winning then they pick up their play.
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:29 AM    (permalink
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What do you think about signing TJ Whosyourmomma? I also like Igor Olshanky DT from the Chargers.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:52 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by detroit4life View Post
i understand you point but look at the tigers and how they approached it. they may come in with the mind set of not giving 100% but some guys will relish the opportunity of making money and being determined to be a winner (like pudge was). But even as we learned 75 percent of what a great player is is better than what we have and if we do start winning then they pick up their play.
The Tigers did it the right way. They waited till they thought they had enough young studs and decided to spend a load on veterans to build around their youth. And even then, how did that work out, not too well as signing older veterans doesn't always get you a player who will try hard.
Smart teams wait till they are close before spending a load on other teams rejects. You have to remember that a FA is a reject from his previous team. This isn't baseball where you cannot tag a player. Football teams rarely let their stars enter FA unless they have seen slippage in their overall ability and realize that player can no longer produce at a high level no matter what they were in the past. Football veterans carry a high risk factor especially if they sign with a team like Detroit. Why, because if they wanted to go out as winners they sign with the NE's of this world not Detroit. The veterans who sign with Detroit realize this is their last big pay day and are signing strictly for the money, they couldn't care less whether Detroit wins or not and will play accordingly.
FA's impress fans who only see what the veteran was in the past, they don't realize that this player now has diminished talents and the huge salary you paid him is for past accomplishments, is an area he will never approach again. That's why their current team dumped them. Almost every decent FA gets tagged. There are exceptions, in the past small market teams like Buffalo who lack the revenue to retain all their stars have let some decent FA's enter the market and these are worth signing. Also a lot of young unproven players who play backup positions on winning teams are allowed to walk since they are not yet ready to start on those teams. These types of players usually aren't tagged because a winning team cannot afford to retain them at a franchise price.
These are the only 2 types of FA's worth signing, players whose playing careers aren't over but maybe just in their prime. However to sign this type of FA requires a GM and a scouting department that can assess talent and I'm not convinced yet that Mayhew and his scouting department can get the job done.
The worst FA's are those coming from winning team's who started for many years on that winning team and maybe even made all pro occasionally. They guys are now being allowed to enter FA because their teams no longer consider them solid players who can perform consistently at a higher lever. Their play has slipped to the point where the winning team wants to try someone else at their positions. Yet fans eat up the signing of these veterans FA's like they are saviors coming to our rescue when in fact they can no longer contribute at a high level and are only looking for a foolish franchise that will pay them huge bucks just before they call it quits. This type of FA is where Millen spent his money trying to fill holes and create a winning franchise from it. It failed miserably because he failed to understand who he was signing. He believed the previous hype about the players they once were and didn't ever understand that they were no longer capable to perform at a high level.
We'll have to see Mayhew's approach. Does he have a clue about FA's or will he try to build a team around them. Just another area where Mayhew is inexperienced and I want to see how he handles it before I get too excited.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:34 AM    (permalink
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The Bills do have two free agents I'm pretty interested in. John Digorgio and Jabari Greer.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:42 AM    (permalink
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I'd throw big money at Jordan Gross.

I imagine not every one of these players is necessarily out to play for a winning team, but rather just get a lot of money.

If we fix just the O-Line in free agency, then I think we'd actually be in a good position to just grab our QB at 1, and go defense the rest of the way.
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