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COLTS’ DICKERSON SETS HIS SIGHTS ON ANALYST’S OPENING JOB WITH TBS

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Eric Dickerson's threat to retire from football has yet to come true, but the Indianapolis Colt already is pursuing a broadcasting job.

"You all thought I was joking when I said I wanted to quit, but I wasn't," said Dickerson, who is the NFL's seventh-leading rusher with 11,226 yards in seven years.Dickerson said he will meet next week with a high-level executive from Turner Broadcasting System to discuss a job as a football analyst. TBS will televise National Football League games for the first time this fall.

"That means more to me than playing football," said Dickerson, who told a public television station two weeks ago that he intends to retire before the start of this season.

Dickerson, speaking to The Indianapolis News Friday from his Los Angeles home, said the Colts should give up any efforts to trade him.

"I have talked to (Colts general manager) Jimmy (Irsay)," he said. "and I told him up front, `Don't even talk to any other teams because if they come to me with a trade, I'm not going. I don't care where it is.' "

Colts officials could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Recently, Dickerson, 29, indicated he would continue to play if the Colts granted his demand to be traded to one of five teams before the April 22 college draft.

He had sought permission to speak with Washington, Philadelphia, Houston, the Los Angeles Raiders and the New York Giants.

Now, Dickerson says the Colts could trade him to a Super Bowl team and it wouldn't change his retirement plans.

"At times I liked football," he said about his seven-year career with the Colts and the Los Angeles Rams. "At times I loved football. But the last year and a half, it has put a bad taste in my mouth. My mother is glad I'm quitting. She is so happy."

Dickerson played most of last season with a hamstring injury and blamed the Colts' offensive line for many of his concerns.

Irsay has said the Colts can fine the running back in excess of seven figures if he refuses to play. Dickerson disputed that, saying the "most money I'd have to give back is like $120,000."

"If they want to sue me, go ahead, sue me," said Dickerson, whose contract calls for him to be paid $1.45 million this year.

Dickerson insists his hard-line stance is not a ploy to force the Colts to increase his salary.

"I understand where you should be skeptical, but just wait and see if I'm serious," he said. "I'm through with football, unless somebody wants to give me a team."