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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Fans pile on Pace and Postons

    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist

    Online Columnist Jeff Gordon

    The Rams went to Oakland without Orlando Pace to play the Raiders. On the advice of his agents, the Poston brothers, the All-Pro left tackle is taking his holdout to the max.

    So the protests from the citizens of Rams Nation continue pouring into the "Letters to Gordo" bin. Here is another sampling:

    * * *

    "Pace has a couple things to gain. He gets to miss training camp. Isaac Bruce has said he doesn't think he needs training camp and wouldn't go if he didn't have to. Pace is living Bruce's dream. Almost everyone agrees that the preseason is too long.

    "And as the franchise player, not showing up for camp is Pace's only bargaining chip. If the Rams want Pace in camp they need to work out a deal with him. That's Pace's only leverage. I know Pace is a big dude but he can't play three positions at once . . . "

    -- Steve Dietrich

    GORDO: Trouble is, he can't bargain for a new deal until he signs the "franchise player" tender. So his holdout almost precludes him from negotiating a long-term deal before this season. It pushes the process back another year and prevents him from banking a signing bonus of, say, $17 million. This tactic didn't work last summer and it isn't likely to work this summer, either.

    As for Pace being but one player, that's true but he is demanding superstar, team-leading, anchor-of-the-unit dollars. He is the cornerstone of the unit. His absence makes every other player's job harder.

    * * *

    "Most NFL players hate training camp, and when it comes to linemen, they are lazy. If you check most 'holdout' negotiations, they are settled on the last week or two before the start opening of the season. Why? The player works at his own pace and when they arrive, they are still three to four weeks away from 'playing shape.'

    "Don't defend these guys by saying they are working hard on their own. They don't. The prima donnas of the league do what they have to do until the season starts, and they get into shape on the team's time, not their time."

    -- David Carriger, Florence, N.J.

    GORDO: You're right about playing shape. Pace may have skipped some work, but he is putting himself at risk for injury. He also stands to diminish his effectiveness. If this holdout leads to injury or poor play, then he will hurt his negotiating power. He won't set any new records for long-term deals if he scuffles through a sub-par 2004 season.

    * * *

    "Orlando has the worst agent in football. Why doesn`t the press try incessantly to contact Pace, putting pressure on him?"

    -- Warren Bartold

    GORDO: Should we stake out the Big O? That's an interesting thought, but I'm afraid we're not all that persuasive. If his teammates can't get him back to the camp, why would he listen to a bunch of reporters?

    * * *

    "I've seen my share of contract disputes (i.e. Eric Dickerson, who wanted to break the bank with a $1 million contract), so I have an understanding of how this works. Player/agents make demands; teams counter; player/agents counter the counter and so on.

    "Here's my take: The Poston brothers are simply bad for professional sports. They haven't learned how to play well with others (Sandbox 101). They have their own way of doing things. Postons make a completely unrealistic, sock-smoking, outrageous demand; teams counter with something slightly below the market; then the Postons go to the media and announce how the team does not negotiate in good faith. The Postons in my mind are the worst for football.

    "Open comment to Orlando Pace: Dump these morons, go sign with Leigh Steinberg or Drew Rosenhaus or even Tom Cruise! The reason you don't have a long-term deal is because of your AGENTS, not the team. The Postons are, in my opinion, walking, talking brain-donors -- and they didn't even get a receipt for their taxes! Orlando, I will welcome you back to your Blue and Gold No. 76, but your long term contract should be worked by some competent agents."

    -- Russell Huffer, Phoenix

    GORDO: The Postons aren't morons. They are very, very smart. They get really big deals for their clients. Many NFL executives find their negotiating style to be over the top, but it's their routine. Rosenhaus has a routine, Scott Boras has a routine in baseball, Rich "Nuclear" Winter has a routine in hockey it's just part of the business.

    If Pace wants to be a good teammate and help the Rams win, then he has to make his own decisions at some point in the process. We may all disagree with the Postons' strategy, but Pace is the guy giving the green light.

    * * *

    "You're right about Orlando Pace. He is not loyal to his teammates or the fans. It's all about mo' money, mo' money and mo' money. I would trade him. Sure he would go somewhere else and be a starter there if he showed up. But until somebody gets through that thick skull of his that he is only hurting himself, the team, the game, the fans and whoever else that looks up to him, he's just another greedy ballplayer with a strange agent wanting mo' money."

    -- Herb Tobias

    GORDO: As we've noted earlier, trading him is not an option right now. The demise of Kyle Turley and Dave Wohlabaugh leaves the offensive line rather thin. If those guys were here and healthy, perhaps the team could consider such a thing. But the injuries doubtlessly factored into Pace's strategy of extending this holdout so far

  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Fans pile on Pace and Postons

    I got a gut feeling about this one. I say Orlando signs the tender today.

    Friday, September 3rd, 2004 - Orlando Pace will sign the tender!!!

  3. #3
    sprtsmac Guest

    Re: Fans pile on Pace and Postons

    It would be nice for him to come in. I know if I was one of the Rams and the longer Pace stayed out the more my opinion would change of him, especially if I was an O-lineman who had been working my butt off the whole camp.

  4. #4
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    Re: Fans pile on Pace and Postons

    I say they better get themselves some Everest size pants for the slob

  5. #5
    sprtsmac Guest

    Re: Fans pile on Pace and Postons

    I can see it now....Pace bends over to get in a 3-point stance and..riiiip...right down the seam. Now that would be hilarious.

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