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    Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    RAMS WON’T NEGOTIATE UNTIL JACKSON SHOWS UP By Howard Balzer

    Friday, July 25, 2008
    The Rams drew a line in the sand Friday with Steven Jackson, telling the running back’s agent there would be no more negotiations until Jackson reports for training camp.
    According to general manager Jay Zygmunt, the two sides have been exchanging proposals since June, when Jackson hired Eugene Parker as his agent, after agent Gary Uberstine dropped Jackson as a client. Zygmunt said it was the team that approached Jackson and Uberstine early in the offseason to let them know the club was interested in signing him to a new contract.


    Zygmunt said the team made an offer Thursday night that would place Jackson within the group of the league’s highest-paid running backs. Parker got back to Zygmunt after lunch today and rejected the offer, further informing Zygmunt that Jackson would not be reporting to training camp.


    Said Zygmunt, “We are treating this as an unexcused absence and will be fining him. I also told Parker there will be no more negotiating until Jackson comes to training camp. We want him on this team for a long time. In the short term, we want him to show up so we can get this done.”


    Jackson is entering the final year of his contract and is scheduled to be paid $1.708 million. The maximum fine for players that do not report to camp when they are under contract is $15,000 per day.

    Jackson and second-round pick Donnie Avery were the only players not on the field for Friday afternoon’s first practice.


    Zygmunt said the team has offered Avery, a wide receiver, a contract less than the player picked in front of him (Miami defensive end Phillip Merling) and more than the player selected after him (Washington wide receiver Devin Thomas).

    “I’m sure it will be resolved quickly,” Zygmunt said.

    One thing that might get Avery to camp quicker is if the team sends him a tape of Friday’s practice where fourth-round wide receiver Keenan Burton was nothing short of spectacular. Burton caught every pass thrown his way, including one deep ball down the left side, one diving catch over the middle and another leaping catch in the middle of the field, where he used his hands well. Burton also showed his speed on an end-around, outracing the defense to the end zone from about 65 yards away.

    Said coach Scott Linehan, “Burton had a great day. It just shows when you put the pads on, how guys can stand out.”

    Linehan was pleased with the first practice of the summer. “It was a good opening day,” he said. “It was really challenging mentally. We had a lot of meetings and got a lot of work done.”

    SIMPLY NOTING


    *As expected, left tackle Orlando Pace participated in practice and did a lot of the work in the early part of practice. In the team segments, he took two snaps and then gave way for the rest of the segment to Adam Goldberg. “It was good to see Orlando out there,” Linehan said. “We will modify his work, like we are doing with (defensive tackle) Adam (Carriker). Adam did get more reps today than Orlando.”


    With the offensive line, Brett Romberg worked with the first unit at center and Richie Incognito with the second group. The No. 1 unit remains left tackle Pace/Goldberg, left guard Jacob Bell, center Romberg, right guard Mark Setterstrom and right tackle Alex Barron. The No. 2 unit, left to right, is Brandon Gorin, rookie Roy Schuening, Incognito, Dustin Fry and rookie John Greco.

    *Cornerback Fakhir Brown left practice about two-thirds into the workout with what was described as a strain. The injury has to be evaluated, but it wasn’t believed to be serious. Defensive end Victor Adeyanju was slowed by a tight hamstring.


    POSTCARD FROM MEQUON
    *The practice-field setup is outstanding. The football stadium, home of the Division III Concordia Falcons, has a FieldTurf surface. On the first day, that was the main field used. Individual work by linemen took place on a grass field behind the stadium. That field was built for the Rams, with the university replacing tennis courts. There is another FieldTurf surface behind the grass field, which is where the university’s soccer team plays. Friday, Rams kickers did their work there. … As a by-product of the 80-man roster, Donnie Jones is the only punter in camp.

    *Defensive end Leonard Little has a scar alongside the inside of his right foot, where surgery removed a bunion, which had stretched the ligament in his big toe. Little said the toe had deteriorated over time, and that it feels better now than when he injured it severely enough to require surgery. Little, wide receiver Torry Holt and tackle Orlando Pace are the only players remaining from the Rams’ 1999 Super Bowl team.

    *Friday was overcast, although it got fairly warm when the sun sneaked through the clouds a few times during practice. The Rams were on the field from about 4 p.m. until 6:15. By the end of practice, there was a nice breeze and cool temperatures.

    *Quarterback Marc Bulger drove to camp and was spotted by center Brett Romberg driving a Toyota. Joked Romberg, “You’re making $65 million and driving a hybrid!”


  2. #2
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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    "Zygmunt said the team made an offer Thursday night that would place Jackson within the group of the league’s highest-paid running backs"

    Why was this rejected? Does SJ actually think that he deserves to be paid the most out of all RB's?? He needs to get on the field

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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD413 View Post
    "Zygmunt said the team made an offer Thursday night that would place Jackson within the group of the league’s highest-paid running backs"

    Why was this rejected? Does SJ actually think that he deserves to be paid the most out of all RB's?? He needs to get on the field
    Let's not go assuming it was just about money. What if there is something else they want in the contract. Money isnt the only thing offered in contracts.

    On another note I get all tingly inside hearing how good Burton looked on day one. Good to hear that he apparantly wants it and wants to prove he can do it at this level.
    Just Fix It

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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    Zygmunt is taking the right approach with Jackson here IMO, fining him and refusing to negotiate until he shows up is exactly what I would do too. Get in camp and let your agent handle the negotiations, you're still under contract.

    I'm very excited about Burton, I felt he was a good pick right from the beginning and hearing reports like this one really gets me fired up, hopefully Avery will be in there pushing him for playing time soon too. Let's see some competition for playing time at WR, there are quite a few candidates this year.

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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    Quote Originally Posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
    Zygmunt is taking the right approach with Jackson here IMO, fining him and refusing to negotiate until he shows up is exactly what I would do too. Get in camp and let your agent handle the negotiations, you're still under contract.

    I'm very excited about Burton, I felt he was a good pick right from the beginning and hearing reports like this one really gets me fired up, hopefully Avery will be in there pushing him for playing time soon too. Let's see some competition for playing time at WR, there are quite a few candidates this year.
    Wrong, let's say he gets injured while practicing, then what? They'll say let's wait and see how he heals. This is going backfire on Zygmunt, it's not like they don't know what they have in Jackson. In my opinion he should be the highest paid back in the league, not in the same area. He has proven what threat he is, and what kind of player he is. They need to get it done, and start negotiating with him in good faith. Not the other way around. You reward the players that perform for you, you don't hold them over a barrel. I'm not saying you handle all players this way, but Jackson deserves to be treated better than that. Just because someone offers you money doesn't mean you have to take it.

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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    Yeah, it could have been the length of the contract or the guaranteed money. A six year back-loaded contract that averages out to be among the best could in reality translate into lower pay for the first few years and the team trying to renegotiate before they ever have to pay the big money. A lot depends on how the contract is structured, and this one should take Jackson through his best years. That said, I still don't condone holdouts.

    Also glad to hear Burton is off to a good start.

    And is Dustin Fry now playing at right guard? Everybody's moving around the line so much...at this rate, our offensive line can run a Chinese fire drill before they get into their stances just to throw the defense off.

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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    Good. I'm glad they're fining him. They're star players, but they're a piece of the broader puzzle, that being the team. Yes, he deserves to be paid. But hold out for personal desires when you're already a multi-millionaire virtually guaranteed of a giant payday is, quite simply, not in the best interest of the franchise. These type of actions can be dealt with administratively, and, hopefully, act as somewhat of an educative reform.

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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    Since everyone has said my opinion on SJ, I will be the first to say that I'm glad Keenan Burton is turning heads in camp. If Avery doesn't sign soon he may be too far behind because he is losing ground to Burton right now. The best player gets to play on Sunday, and as of right now, Keenan has the inside track to the #3 WR spot.

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    Quote Originally Posted by jjigga3000 View Post
    Wrong, let's say he gets injured while practicing, then what? They'll say let's wait and see how he heals. This is going backfire on Zygmunt, it's not like they don't know what they have in Jackson. In my opinion he should be the highest paid back in the league, not in the same area. He has proven what threat he is, and what kind of player he is. They need to get it done, and start negotiating with him in good faith. Not the other way around. You reward the players that perform for you, you don't hold them over a barrel. I'm not saying you handle all players this way, but Jackson deserves to be treated better than that. Just because someone offers you money doesn't mean you have to take it.
    I see the logic behind that whole 'what if he gets injured' sentiment, but by that logic he might as well have started holding out with 2 years or 3 years left on his (relatively meager) rookie contract, where does it end? He's under contract for the whole year, there are lots of new players on the O-line, new offensive coordinator etc., he should get in camp and start preparing and let his agent handle the negotiations meanwhile.

    You think Jackson should be the highest paid back in the league and not even in the same area of everyone else?

    2004: 673 yards, 4 TD's
    2005: 1046 yards, 8 TD's
    2006: 1528 yards, 13 TD's
    2007: 1002 yards, 5 TD's

    That's Jackson's first four years. Now here's Tomlinson's stats:

    2001: 1236 yards, 10 TD's
    2002: 1683 yards, 14 TD's
    2003: 1645 yards, 13 TD's
    2004: 1335 yards, 17 TD's
    2005: 1462 yards, 18 TD's
    2006: 1815 yards, 28 TD's
    2007: 1474 yards, 15 TD's

    Now we're in perfect agreement if you think Jackson should be paid as a top-3 back in the league, but the highest paid and not even in the same area, that's just crazy. He will get his extension and I'm sure he will be very well compensated as he should be. But not negotiating with him and fining him until he shows up is exactly the right approach here, we need him in camp but we can't allow him to hold the franchise hostage like this.

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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Howard Balzer

    Friday, July 25, 2008



    POSTCARD FROM MEQUON


    *Quarterback Marc Bulger drove to camp and was spotted by center Brett Romberg driving a Toyota. Joked Romberg, “You’re making $65 million and driving a hybrid!”
    I figured Marc Bulger would show up in an ambulance but at least he would be driving it, for now.

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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    God this is why I hate athletes. The lower paid athletes are still one of the best paid people on the planet, yet they complain when they're not happy about the money. I believe that the money plays a big role into this. I personally love Steven Jackson. He better get to camp. If we lose Jackson now...goodbye 08

    As for burton...WOW. I'm glad he is improving alot. We need a replacement for Bruce, and eventually Holt. And we got Burton. Let's hope Avery is outstanding as well.

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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    It didn't take long for the drama to start around here did it? Regardless, I'll side with the Rams front office on this one. It's not like they're not attempting to get a deal done. I feel that Jackson is going over board and is putting on a show by not reporting to camp. Like a few other members have previously stated, the man is still under contract. He needs to start acting like a member of the team and not like a selfish little kid.

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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    Jackson put his name on the dotted line. While he is under contract, it is his obligation to go to work. I'm with the FO on this one.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooselini View Post
    God this is why I hate athletes. The lower paid athletes are still one of the best paid people on the planet, yet they complain when they're not happy about the money. I believe that the money plays a big role into this. I personally love Steven Jackson. He better get to camp. If we lose Jackson now...goodbye
    It's true that the league minimum is up there in the neighborhood of $280,000, but it is worth remembering that these guys are putting their bodies at considerably more risk than most of us. A lot of guys tear up their knees, and enough of them sustain neck, back, and head injuries to be worrisome. Pretty much everybody gets hurt at some point, and there is that small but very real possibility of sustaining serious head trama, paralysis, etc. I agree that it's frustrating to hear these guys at the top griping about how much they're getting paid. I'm more sympathetic to the athletes who aren't earning the big-time contracts, though...especially considering how the NFL treats its retirees. These guys are probably going to be paying their own sports injury related medical bills for years after their career is over.

    Jackson needs to get to camp pronto, though.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Balzer Blog- Burton Shines/No SJ Negotiations until he shows up

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    Let's not go assuming it was just about money. What if there is something else they want in the contract. Money isnt the only thing offered in contracts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    Yeah, it could have been the length of the contract or the guaranteed money. A six year back-loaded contract that averages out to be among the best could in reality translate into lower pay for the first few years and the team trying to renegotiate before they ever have to pay the big money. A lot depends on how the contract is structured, and this one should take Jackson through his best years.
    Exactly. Maybe the Rams offered Jackson a $50 million deal, but it's over the course of the next seven years. Maybe the Rams' offer gives Jackson $22 million in guarantees, but a significant portion of that money is in the later years of the deal when the Rams could, potentially, opt not to pay them to an older Jackson.

    There are plenty of reasons why this contract might not be agreeable. Just because their offer would put him among the league's highest-paid 'backs doesn't necessarily make this a good offer. Time will tell, but Jackson and his agent have to look out for his own interests because this is likely the only "big money" Jackson is going to get as an NFL running back.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikhal5569 View Post
    He needs to start acting like a member of the team and not like a selfish little kid.
    The NFL is a selfish business. Teams do what's in their best interest all the time, regardless of what that means for the players they employ. Because of injuries that could have significant effects on a person later in their lifetime, because of the fact that this is likely going to be Jackson's only "big money" deal of his career, it's hard for me to blame him for wanting to maximize his income right now.

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