Is there anything more irritating than a rookie hold-out during training camp? Don't kid yourself, this is an intentional move.
The blame can be split almost equally between a player and his agent. Owners would really like to see rookies learning the system by this time of year so the pressure is on to cave in to the millions of dollars requested by the agents.
There is no better example of a player getting his cake and eating it than young Eli Manning. Combined, in the next four years, the Manning Boys will have enough cash flow to buy a small country. I suggest the Elipay Islands. Manningonia is also a good one.
First thing, the Chargers caved to his threats of sitting out an entire year. The Giants gave him the largest signing bonus ever, for a guy who has never taken a snap in the NFL. Here's hoping Kurt Warner goes down in the first quarter of the NFC East-opener against Philly. Eli meet Jevon Kearse, you'll be seeing a lot of him from a nice fetal position on the left hash mark.
Some teams avoid drafting a player simply because of the people they choose to represent them. The best case for this is the Washington Redskins picking Miami teammate Sean Taylor over self-proclaimed combat veteran, Kellen Winslow. The only reason they didn't choose Winslow was because the infamous Poston brothers signed with the stellar tight end.
At press-time the Postons are keeping Winslow out of the Brown's camp until he's guaranteed more than $40 million with incentives. The Browns have already agreed to make him the highest paid tight end in the league, worth well more than perennial All-Pro Tony Gonzales. Not good enough, the Postons won't stop until Winslow has enough bread to open embargo negotiations with the Elipay islands.
I know the guy sweeping the stadium after games doesn't care a whole lot about how much Winslow received in incentives. The guy selling T-shirts might. The big foam hand guy...maybe a little bit.
My theory is too much guaranteed free money can make a player complacent. Ricky Williams is set for life. Even after he pays back the money he owes the Dolphins, that's still a lot of spending (smoking) money.
The best move of the week didn't come in the NFL, it came from the MLB in Arizona by keeping Randy Johnson. Guess what, if your under contract, your club doesn't have to trade you. You struck out 14 and still got a no-decision because the bull-pen and offense didn't come through, that's rough.
One more thing, thanks Bob
Bob's passing leaves a hole in this newspaper figuratively and literally. Taking a job more than 150 miles from most of the people you've ever known wasn't an easy process. Don't think for a second, Bob's encouragement wasn't a big part of my willingness to stick it out (don't hold it against him).
"You're doing a lot better with your columns," I recall him saying. "Once you get to about 5,000 you should have it down."
Maybe, in time. I think I could get to about 4,800 and still be a far cry from the impact he had on this community.