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  1. #1
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    Holding out costs Barron much-needed learning time

    Holding out costs Barron much-needed learning time
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Aug. 03 2005

    After two seasons in franchise-player limbo, offensive tackle Orlando Pace
    couldn't help but find some humor in the Alex Barron situation.
    "At least I'm not the story," Pace chuckled last week. "Now you guys can talk
    about the other holdout."

    Pace, of course, missed the past two training camps in a contract impasse
    caused by his franchise-player designation. In 1997, as the NFL's No. 1 overall
    draft choice, he missed all of camp before signing his first pro contract.

    In the case of Barron, the offensive tackle from Florida State, there didn't
    seem to be much to talk about a week ago. Sure, Barron remained unsigned as
    training camp started, but very few first-rounders were under contract when
    camps opened around the league.

    Besides, Barron was a No. 19 overall pick last April by the Rams, an
    institution not usually prone to contract disputes.

    But today marks Day 8 of Rams camp. Barron has missed 12 full-squad practices
    and counting. He has been working out daily in Tallahassee, Fla., but
    obviously, that's not the same as being in Earth City every day with the Rams,
    learning the vagaries of one of the NFL's most complex offenses and making the
    switch from left tackle to right tackle.

    "He's missing a lot," veteran Rams tackle Grant Williams said. "I know it's not
    all in his hands right now. And I know he would like to be here. But in this
    offense particularly, there are so many details. I haven't seen more details in
    all the offenses combined that I've been involved with. So he's missing a lot."

    Pace knows this from his rookie experience in 1997.

    "Coming into a new system, it's tough," Pace said. "It's a new league, the
    tempo and everything is that much higher. It's a tough transition. Coach (Jim)
    Hanifan did a great job with me when I came in, just grooming me, staying after
    practice, just getting me ready. And I didn't start until the sixth game."

    There are no indications of contentiousness in the negotiations between Jay
    Zygmunt, Rams president of football operations, and Barron's agent, Roosevelt
    Barnes. No name-calling. No public debates, and there have been no indications
    of any clear-cut sticking points in negotiations.

    Nonetheless, as of Wednesday evening, 23 of 32 first-round draft picks had
    either signed contracts or agreed to terms. From Washington Redskins cornerback
    Carlos Rodgers at No. 9 overall to New England offensive guard Logan Mankins at
    No. 32, a total of 20 of the last 24 picks in the round have signed or come to
    terms.

    The only exceptions among those 24 picks are Cincinnati defensive
    end-linebacker David Pollack at No. 17, Minnesota defensive end Erasmus James
    at No. 18, Baltimore wide receiver Mark Clayton at No. 22 overall - and Barron,
    at No. 19.

    Dallas defensive end Marcus Spears has signed a five-year, $9.3 million at No.
    20 overall just behind Barron. Barnes has denied that he's waiting on James'
    contract to come in before pulling the trigger on the Rams' offer.

    So what is he waiting on? Barnes did not return a phone message Wednesday from
    the Post-Dispatch. Meanwhile, Zygmunt provided few details.

    "We're just working on the deal," Zygmunt said Wednesday night. "We're
    continuing to talk. We just got off the phone (with Barnes) and we're going to
    talk in the morning. We don't have an agreement, and it's kind of hard to
    define that other than the basic premise that we don't have an agreement."

    In part because the league's collective bargaining agreement is set to expire
    in another year, there are a number of rules that have complicated signing
    draft picks this year and have led to a wide variety of contracts.

    For example, Zygmunt said the contract of one pick in the middle of the first
    round this year is 24 pages in length. Normally, such contracts are five or six
    pages, but a variety of guarantees, option years, escalators, incentives, and
    roster bonuses have complicated matters this year.

    With each day, that has complicated the Rams' plans to get Barron ready to play
    right away in 2005.


  2. #2
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    Re: Holding out costs Barron much-needed learning time

    Got moved back to second team after not be able to pick it up in Mini-camps and now he's missing time Holding out - Not the smartest move...

    Not the smartest move...

  3. #3
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Re: Holding out costs Barron much-needed learning time

    Maybe a league-mandated non-negotiable maximum agent commission of $50,000 should be enforced if a draftee contract isn't signed by July 25.
    Man, I wish Barron was in camp....

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    Still in Fla?

    What worries me most about this report is he is still in Tallahassee, Fla. So even when he signs he is in no rush to get here (those of you who have flown from Talla, know it will take him a day to get to St. Louis). The entire episode worries me a bit:

    1. Barron drops because people question his competitive fire.
    2. Named starter, but is quickly demoted due to lack of technique and difficulty in learning the offense.
    3. Holds out during the period where he could be learning the technique and the offense.

    As with Pace, we know while the agent does the negotiating it is the player who makes the final decision. With the #20 pick signing the difference in what they are arguing about can't be more than $200K up or a down.

    I am I the only one thinking that he doesn't want to be in camp, and doesn't want the responsibility of starting?

    Hmmmmmmmm...

  5. #5
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    Re: Still in Fla?

    Quote Originally Posted by ramhard
    I am I the only one thinking that he doesn't want to be in camp, and doesn't want the responsibility of starting?
    Yes. Yes you are.

    Barron wants to start. How do I know this? Because he's a football players, and football players want to start, not ride the bench.

    There's no doubt that it would have been better if he had signed before camp, but there's still a lot of time before opening day.

    Let's not make Barron into a bad guy before he's even had a chance to play.

  6. #6
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    Re: Holding out costs Barron much-needed learning time

    I blame Barnes for this. Nevermind that I rank agents in the same category as vampires and leaches, but the more I see from Barnes leads me to believe his mother's maiden name must have been Poston. Barron is a kid, who's probably never had two nickels to rub together (admitted assumption). He wouldn't know the difference between $1 mil and $10 mil. But who does? Barnes, that's who. He's fresh off the Walter Jones deal and looking for big money for his future star. Barron may be a little soft in the heart, but he may be a little softer in the melon.

    Barnes works for you young man, not the other way around. If you want to play, get signed and go to camp.
    "I'm not going to hide my opinions. They're coming to you between 7000-4000 Angstroms for all the world to see. Oh yes, you will be enlightened."

  7. #7
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Holding out costs Barron much-needed learning time

    I just thought of a great idea.

    One of the big football schools (UM, FSU, Ohio State, USC, Michigan) should start offering a course titled "Being Your Own Agent 101." Just by taking the course, the player can act as his own agent, close deals quicker, and save the agent fee!

    What a recruiting tool that would be, too! Imagine "well, son... you could go to UF, but they don't teach you to be your own agent, so you're going to lose 2-3% on every pro contract you sign..."

    Certainly would be a more useful course than "rocks for jocks."

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    Re: Holding out costs Barron much-needed learning time

    the conclusions some of you come to are just plain hilarious. LOL

  9. #9
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    Re: Holding out costs Barron much-needed learning time

    Quote Originally Posted by tanus
    the conclusions some of you come to are just plain hilarious. LOL
    ...which begs the question, "what conclusions have you come to?"
    "I'm not going to hide my opinions. They're coming to you between 7000-4000 Angstroms for all the world to see. Oh yes, you will be enlightened."

  10. #10
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    Re: Holding out costs Barron much-needed learning time

    Reaching a "conclusion" about Barron now would be like watching the first 3 minutes of a movie and then writing a review.

  11. #11
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    Re: Holding out costs Barron much-needed learning time

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy G. Biv
    ...which begs the question, "what conclusions have you come to?"
    well, there is no denying that the situation sucks, but to call in Barron's character or desire to be a starter is just ridiculous. it seems like most of you forget that this is a business for these guys. it is their chosen profession. their careers last at most 25% the length of our careers. they deserve the right to make sure their contract is written properly and that they get the most money that they can while they can get it.

    i havent heard of barron requesting a lot of money or being stupid in his demands. as the article states, it is a lot more complicated now because of the collective bargaining agreement expiring in a year.

    is it barron's fault that this is happening? no.

    is it barron's fault that the players before him dragged their feet as well? no.

    is it barron's responsibility to make sure he gets a fair contract so the players after him get a fair contract? yes.

    should the FO share some of the blame? yes.

    the main thing is that barron is not in the same situation that jerome carter was in and able to sign a contract right away. barron has an obligation to the other 1st round picks as well as himself. carter doesn't have to worry about that since his contract is for the minimum salary each year, just like any other later round pick.

    so my conclusion... it sucks, but im not mad at barron one bit. theres a lot of factors that he cant control. he has been working out and thats all we can ask for at this point. now, if he comes into camp out of shape, then you all have a right to be pissed off and i will be too.

  12. #12
    Roy G. Biv's Avatar
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    Re: Holding out costs Barron much-needed learning time

    to call in Barron's character or desire to be a starter is just ridiculous.
    agreed
    they deserve the right to make sure their contract is written properly and that they get the most money that they can while they can get it.
    agreed again, but if he, or as I suspect Barnes, is asking for too much, he winds up getting nothing, which is what he has currently. The position is slotted, he knows what the guy got behind him, he knows what the top OT got, he knows what the #19 from last year got...the number should be easy for both parties to see, yet apparently someone doesn't.
    i havent heard of barron requesting a lot of money or being stupid in his demands.
    well, I haven't heard of the FO low-balling either, doesn't mean it's not a possibility either way. I figure only Zygmunt and Barnes know for sure.
    it is a lot more complicated now because of the collective bargaining agreement expiring in a year.
    Well, it's been simple enough for 22 other first rounders so far.
    is it barron's fault that this is happening?
    maybe, maybe not. If the FO is low-balling, then no it's not his fault, but....
    is it barron's responsibility to make sure he gets a fair contract so the players after him get a fair contract? yes.
    Why should he care about other players? Should he make sure he gets market value for himself? You betcha. Does he have an obligation to any other player? Not in the least.
    should the FO share some of the blame? yes.
    With the assumption that Barnes isn't asking for ransom money
    barron has an obligation to the other 1st round picks
    No, he doesn't. They don't pay his bills. He needs to worry about his market value, not anybody else.
    so my conclusion... it sucks, but im not mad at barron one bit.
    It'd be silly to be mad at Barron at this point, but it'd be equally silly to completely absolve him from blame as well.
    theres a lot of factors that he cant control. he has been working out and thats all we can ask for at this point. now, if he comes into camp out of shape, then you all have a right to be pissed off and i will be too.
    I'd be shocked and amazed if his private workouts put him in as good a shape as he'd be in if he were at camp. Not to say it won't happen, but I may guess the winning lottery numbers tonight too.
    "I'm not going to hide my opinions. They're coming to you between 7000-4000 Angstroms for all the world to see. Oh yes, you will be enlightened."

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