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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    08/05/2008

    MEQUON, Wis. Barring what would be a totally unexpected appearance by Steven Jackson today at Rams training camp, the running back's continuing holdout will cost him a year of NFL seniority toward free agency.

    Under a league rule, players under contract must report at least 30 days before the first regular season game or lose what's called an accrued season of seniority.

    The Post-Dispatch originally reported last week that the deadline for Jackson to report would be Aug. 8 this Friday or 30 days before the Rams' season opener at Philadelphia, on Sept. 7.

    But after further checking with the NFL office, the deadline to report is 30 days before the overall start of the NFL season. Because the Washington Redskins and New York Giants open the season on Sept. 4, a Thursday, the deadline for Jackson to report without losing credit is 30 days before that contest today.


    Jackson already has four years of NFL experience, which normally is the minimum seniority necessary to be eligible for unrestricted free agency. But if club owners void the current collective bargaining agreement, as is possible this fall, players would then need six years seniority to be eligible for free agency after the 2009 season.

    If that's the case, the following doomsday situation could develop for Jackson:

    With no contract extension, Jackson plays out 2008 under the final year of his current deal.

    In 2009, he is given the franchise tag by the Rams.

    With only five years seniority in 2010, Jackson becomes a restricted free agent, and the Rams have matching rights on any outside offers he might receive from other teams.

    Granted, those are a lot of "ifs" all based on what appears to be the still unlikely possibility that the labor agreement is voided. Even so, Jackson at least potentially exposes himself to those risks by not reporting today.

    But sources close to Jackson and his agent, Eugene Parker, say Jackson realized those potential consequences when deciding not to report to camp, and is prepared to deal with them if they arise.

    Jackson missed his 11th day of camp Monday, encompassing 15 practices. With a fine of $15,166 for every day he misses, Jackson now is out $166,826.

    Multiple sources confirmed Monday that there have been no negotiations between the Rams and Jackson's agent (Parker) since July 25 the first day of training camp at Concordia University Wisconsin.

    On that day, Parker informed the Rams that Jackson would not attend camp without a contract extension. The Rams countered by informing Parker that they would hold no further contract negotiations until Jackson reported to camp.

    The stalemate is closing in on two weeks, with neither side flinching. Jackson has been in steady contact with several teammates as well as some Rams coaches through text messaging. He has the team's daily practice scripts, so he can follow at least mentally with what the Rams are doing each day.

    But by Sunday, the Rams will be only four weeks away from the regular-season opener.

    Jackson appears to be getting close to a point at which a continued holdout would impair his ability to be ready for Philadelphia.

    "I would love to have him here," coach Scott Linehan said Monday. "But I also know that he's doing what it's going to take to be prepared when he does come. He has a great grasp of what we're doing. And we want him with his mind totally focused on what we need to do this season when he gets here. That day's going to be soon. I've never put a date on it."

    Linehan said he might be more concerned if it were a rookie missing extended camp time, or someone who was totally unfamiliar with the system.

    Even though the Rams have a new offense under coordinator Al Saunders, Jackson was exposed to it in 2004 and '05 under Mike Martz, and he did participate in the offseason program and organized team activities this spring.

    Linehan says he has yet to reach the stage where he's upset at Jackson's absence.

    "Not at all," Linehan said. "It's not a perfect world. ... This is a part of the game. And it's going to happen to our team again. And other teams again.

    "What you've got to do is figure out a resolution to it. There is a resolution. We haven't come to it. But it'll be resolved and Steven will be a Ram for probably the rest of his career."


  2. #2
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    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    But sources close to Jackson and his agent, Eugene Parker, say Jackson realized those potential consequences when deciding not to report to camp, and is prepared to deal with them if they arise.
    Then I would have to say some combination of Jackson and/or Parker is quite the fool. Show up and get the deal worked out. Then, barring the franchise tag, the worst is playing out the contract, and hitting the open market. If he doesn't show, he doesn't hit the open market. Jackson/Parker have no leverage in this. Missing the deadline only hurts himself.
    "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

  3. #3
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    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    I look at this as good news, in a way. The fact that Jackson does not seem to care about this deadline indicates that he is confident that a long term deal will be reached.

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    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I look at this as good news, in a way. The fact that Jackson does not seem to care about this deadline indicates that he is confident that a long term deal will be reached.
    My thoughts exactly!!
    Semper Fi!

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    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I look at this as good news, in a way. The fact that Jackson does not seem to care about this deadline indicates that he is confident that a long term deal will be reached.
    ...and that he wants to be here as well. Good point.

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    supachump is offline Registered User
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    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    in the meantime, he is only hurting the team. This is really starting to bother me. He better get his arse in camp. I'm secretly hoping that another back will step up and we won't need his services. Unfortunately, I don't think the current guys are capable.

  7. #7
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    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    "Not at all," Linehan said. "It's not a perfect world. ... This is a part of the game. And it's going to happen to our team again. And other teams again.

    "What you've got to do is figure out a resolution to it. There is a resolution. We haven't come to it. But it'll be resolved and Steven will be a Ram for probably the rest of his career."
    That sums it up right there. There really is nothing to worry about. At least Jackson is studying the new playbook & the practice scripts on his time off.
    Last edited by RamFan_Til_I_Die; -08-05-2008 at 12:44 PM.

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    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I look at this as good news, in a way. The fact that Jackson does not seem to care about this deadline indicates that he is confident that a long term deal will be reached.
    Quote Originally Posted by Richbert
    My thoughts exactly!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick
    ...and that he wants to be here as well. Good point.
    Whew....fellas. I sure hope you're right; I'm just not feelin' the confidence of gut just yet.
    "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

  9. #9
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    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    Quote Originally Posted by RamFan_Til_I_Die View Post
    That sums it up right there. There really is nothing to worry about. Let's just hope Jackson is at least studying the new playbook on his time off.
    My only worry is the stalemate situation and the fact that no negotiations are taking place. It's hard to move forward and get to a resolution when both sides aren't even talking.

    Reporting to camp would obviously be the best scenario, but at least Jackson is making some effort to stay involved with the team by staying in regular contact with his teammates and coaches, getting daily practice scripts and most likely studying the playbook. He sounds to me like a guy that is expecting a deal to get done and stay a Ram.

  10. #10
    RedArcher7 Guest

    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    But all of this hinges on the owners voiding the CBA... does anyone have the chances of that? If it does get voided, then just about every rookie signs a 5 year deal to become an RA one year before they're unrestricted. Which means the rookies that get 5 year deals now, the first rounders, will have to sign longer deals worth more money compounding the rookie spending problem we have now.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that's it's not probable the CBA will be voided because of other issues, and Jackson doesn't have as much to worry about.

  11. #11
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    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    How can anyone not worry about Jackson's physical condition given the training camp that he has missed.

    ramming speed to all

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  12. #12
    theodus69 Guest

    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    Well my fellow Ram Fans , I been gone awhile but this is a perfect Post to get in to piss everybody off.......... What.. do we have another Dickerson problem on our hands? No wait..Dickerson was a proven back. Jackson has a year left on the contract........Play it out you peice of $%#^&%*^&%%. I'm sick of these &^%*(&%%'s not fulfilling their obligations. I also think he should move on and play w/ Favre Infact they ought to have a team just for disgruntled players . That they have to play on this team for 1/2 the salary or loose a year of playing time! if they are already under contract! Like a farm club team w/ no perks. Then maybe these selfish $%%&$#'s might see the light!!!!! But then again i have always said I'm not a Jackson fan anyway.But don't be hatn me .....It's just an opinion.....RIGHT!!!!!!

  13. #13
    Chris58's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    My only worry is the stalemate situation and the fact that no negotiations are taking place. It's hard to move forward and get to a resolution when both sides aren't even talking.
    Exactly.

    And while SJ is communicating with Linehan, et al, the only meaningful dialogue is not taking; that being the one between Zygmunt and Parker.

    For those of you who feel that this is all sweetness and light, I hope you're right but let me say this: No one associated with the team is going to say anything that might sour the potential for negotiations. This is all pure diplomacy and Zygmunt probably laid down the law to all to put on a happy face. The truth is more likely that the offensive players are frustrated, Saunders is frustrated, Linehan is tired of the holdout, the team will become, or is already divided, the fans are pissed (witness this board) and the potential for losing SJ grows with each day the holdout continues.

  14. #14
    IzzyHigh1212 Guest

    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I look at this as good news, in a way. The fact that Jackson does not seem to care about this deadline indicates that he is confident that a long term deal will be reached.
    That's exactly what I was thinking.

  15. #15
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson isn't expected despite deadline looming

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris58 View Post
    The truth is more likely that the offensive players are frustrated, Saunders is frustrated, Linehan is tired of the holdout
    If you want to believe the comments from players and coaches are the result of a mandate from the front office, that's fine. You're welcome to that opinion.

    But how can you then turn around and say it's more likely that everyone is frustrated? What is out there that lends support to that being more likely?

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