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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Why shouldn't Jackson use his leverage?

    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Friday, Jul. 25 2008

    MEQUON, Wis. There aren't that many perfect days in the life of a pro
    football coach, but this was as close as it could get for Scott Linehan.

    He had spent the past year suffering through the gawdawful nightmare of a 3-13
    season, and waited seven exasperating months for the opportunity to purge any
    memory of 2007 from his coaching resume. But here he was late Thursday
    afternoon with an easy smile on his face. That misery had been exchanged, at
    least momentarily, with the liberating feeling of a fresh new start to a
    football season.

    "I've been waiting for this day since the last game of the season," Linehan
    said shortly after he and the Rams arrived at Concordia University on the eve
    of summer training camp. So here he was in this little slice of football
    heaven, cruising along in the parking lot just outside the team's dormitory
    headquarters in his personal golf cart, feeling a cool breeze in his face, and
    admiring an absolutely breathtaking view from a bluff overlooking clear blue
    Lake Michigan.

    There's no better day in a football coach's life than the start of the season
    when the record is clean and the possibilities are endless. For Linehan, that
    means a chance to rid the troublesome prefix of "embattled" from his name.

    With a revamped coaching staff, a roster sprinkled with a few impressive
    rookies, healthy veterans and wealthy free agents, Linehan believes the
    organization has done enough to ensure that the history of that 3-13 train
    wreck won't repeat itself.

    "I remember standing on the sidelines during that last game with Arizona (a
    48-19 loss)," Linehan said. "It was a tough season, a tough finish to a season,
    and (defensive back) Todd Johnson walked up to me and said, 'You know we'll be
    back. We're going to have a chance to show everyone that this is not an
    indication of what kind of people we are, what kind of team we are.' I remember
    thinking, 'Man I can't wait to actually show that.'"

    That time has arrived, and you could see how anxious Linehan was for Friday
    morning to arrive and to assemble all his players for that first 9:15 team
    meeting that officially starts camp. The players' first official workout won't
    be until a 4:20 p.m. practice. But there is a potential glitch lurking out
    there, an unsettling little buzz that was circulating around Coburg Hall, the
    players' dormitory, on Thursday evening.

    Steven Jackson wasn't on the team charter to Wisconsin and hadn't arrived at
    camp, and many of the players were privately concerned that the Pro Bowl
    running back and most irreplaceable part of the offense was about to stage a
    holdout.

    Oh boy.

    Let me be the first to say that's not exactly the best way for Year Three of
    the Linehan Era to begin. As of Thursday night, team president Jay Zygmunt was
    burning the midnight oil, exchanging contract proposals with Jackson's new
    agent, Eugene Parker. Jackson is in the last year of his rookie contract and
    has been engaged in contract talks for a while with the Rams, but those talks
    stalled when his old agent essentially fired him. Parker came into the picture
    about two months ago, and the Indiana-based attorney is not afraid to use a
    training camp holdout as clout.

    While Parker is hammering out details with the Rams, he is also involved in a
    simultaneous game of contract chicken right down the road from Rams camp with
    the Chicago Bears over their young star kick returner/wide receiver Devin
    Hester. Hester failed to show up Wednesday in Bourbonnais, Ill., for the start
    of Bears camp, and as of Thursday had not come to terms.

    I can already hear the sounds of the Jackson haters freaking out, but let me
    remind you of one important thing about the nature of life in the National
    Football League.

    History tells us that based on the shabby treatment of retired players by the
    players union and the owners, who quibble with these battered and disabled old
    warriors over pensions and health benefits, that an active player would be a
    damned fool not to try to squeeze every single dime out of management when he
    has the leverage to do it.

    Steven Jackson has that leverage right now.

    I don't know whether he'll be in camp this morning or not. But if he and his
    agent think this is the best way to get a fair contract, more power to him.


  2. #2
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: Why shouldn't Jackson use his leverage?

    SJ just needs to go to camp, he will get his money very soon, this is going to get done quickly.

  3. #3
    OldSchoolRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: Why shouldn't Jackson use his leverage?

    I know it has been said time and time again and is pretty much common knowledge, but the longevity of running backs is very shortened in comparison with all other positions. Taking that into consideration, this is a very critical point (and probably the most important one) in SJ's career. In my opinion, he has already proven himself an incredibly important commodity and the front office just needs to break down and pay him top value. They did very well with the contract for Long and it can even be argued that he was the value signing of the top 5. So then, SJ is proven, get him paid and get on with training camp. If this does turn into a holdout situation, I for one will not be placing blame on SJ.
    Steve

    What you see is what you get, but what you see depends on where you stand.

  4. #4
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    Re: Why shouldn't Jackson use his leverage?

    This was, of course, what we feared, in that Jackson and his agent are concerned about going into a season with no security blanket. If Jackson suffers a career ending injury this year, the Rams can say, oh well, and move on. So, will this be a hold out? maybe, but you would think that it could have been mentioned somehow. Maybe he just overslept and now has to drive or find his own flight?

    I know, I know, wishful thinking.

    It makes sense for everyone to sign him long-term now. Extend him five years, which will make his last season when he's 30. After then, we should have drafted a newer, younger back ready to take his place as he took Marshall's. The problem is the money, how much per year on average to give him, and what our cap looks like. We only have one more guy left to sign, so much of the rest of the cap can be used to lock up Jax. Anyone know what our situation is like?

  5. #5
    rollrams Guest

    Jackson holding out???

    Rotoworld

    Steven Jackson did not show for the Rams initial meeting this morning, officially making him a holdout.

    Team officials held discussions late into the night on a contract extension with Jackson's agent, and the hope is an agreement will be reached soon. The team's first practice will be late this afternoon, so there's still a chance he'll be on the field then.

  6. #6
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: Jackson holding out???

    I hope he doesn't miss anytime like all Rams fans are hoping,but if he is there by the end of this weekend the Rams and SJ will be fine.

  7. #7
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Jackson becomes official Rams holdout

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    07/25/2008

    MEQUON, Wis. -- The Rams held their initial team meeting of training camp this morning without two key members of their offense -- Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson and wide receiver Donnie Avery. That makes Jackson, who is entering the final year of his original NFL contract, officially a holdout.

    But team officials held discussions late into the night Thursday on a contract extension with Jackson's agent, Eugene Parker, and the hope is that Jackson will be on hand at Concordia University Wisconsin sooner rather than later.

    The Rams also worked into the wee hours Thursday night and Friday morning on a deal for Avery, a second-round draft pick in April and the first wide receiver taken in the draft. All indications are that the Avery deal will be done soon.


    The Rams' first practice of training camp doesn't take place until 4:20 p.m. today, so there's a chance one or both of the absent players will be on the practice field by then.

    Wide receiver-kick returner Dante Hall, whose flight was canceled yesterday, has arrived in Mequon and attended Friday's meeting.

    Our earlier story:

    MEQUON, Wis.-- Left tackle Orlando Pace and defensive lineman Adam Carriker will both be on the practice field Friday afternoon when the Rams conduct their first workout of training camp at Concordia University Wisconsin.

    Pace and Carriker both are coming off shoulder surgery. After meeting with Rams medical officials early Thursday evening following the team's arrival in Wisconsin, Pace and Carriker were cleared for practice. In the days leading up to camp, Linehan had raised the possibility that Pace might begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list. But that won't be case, following Thursday's discussions.

    "Orlando's cleared for practice," Linehan said late Thursday night. "We're going to limit his reps."

    But Pace will practice. In terms of Pace's early camp workload, Linehan said, "We're going to err on the conservative side."

    Medically, Linehan said everything checked out fine in terms of Pace's surgery for a torn labrum. Pace's overall conditioning is good, but he still needs to get into football shape.

    As for Carriker, Linehan said he will do more than Pac on the practice field but still wouldn't get a full workload at the start of camp.

  8. #8
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    Re: Jackson becomes official Rams holdout

    As much as I don't like reading the headline, he deserves his money. They better give it to him soon.

    Also, good to see Carriker right on schedule and on the field.

  9. #9
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    Re: Jackson becomes official Rams holdout

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    As much as I don't like reading the headline, he deserves his money. They better give it to him soon.

    Also, good to see Carriker right on schedule and on the field.
    I couldn't agree more he DOES deserve the money, a large amount guaranteed in order to protect his own interest. I will feel much better about the FO if they can get this done quick.
    Steve

    What you see is what you get, but what you see depends on where you stand.

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    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: Jackson becomes official Rams holdout

    I'll agree with you Shower that he deserves more money on his next contract, but he still has a year left on this one. He should act like a member of a team and be in Mequon already.

    The sharp increase in hold-outs in this last decade is despicable and a gross indicator of a plain lack of integrity.

    Anyone else but me feel like when a player holds out by not honoring the terms of their contract, that its just as detrimental to the nfl's image as off field legal antics are?

    Seriously, in any other American business setting where one party stated a refusal to continue working under the contract, the injured party would normally cease all payments under the contract and request ADR or file a lawsuit for breach of contract, injunctive relief, and declaratory relief. Can you imagine a team suing its player within days of beginning a holdout? LOL, now that would be a circus.

  11. #11
    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: Why shouldn't Jackson use his leverage?

    I don't disagree with the assessment by this guy, but it is not without a critical error. He ends his piece by saying, "...if he and his agent think this is the best way to get a fair contract, more power to him."

    to get a fair contract? So, you mean Jackson's current contract is unfair?!
    SJ was a first round pick, so any notion that his original contract was crummy needs to go to the wayside. I'm not saying a new contract is not warranted, and i'm not saying he doesn't deserve to make a ton of money in a new contract. I'm saying that SJ is a Ram, still gets paid a lot of money to be a Ram, and therefore, should act like a Ram and have his butt in Mequon right now. I recognize the money issues, and that the search for more money now is fundamentally tied to an NFL player's constant risk of injury, but there's still a lot of time to do this contract thing. His holding out harms the team and is not the type of thing a 'team player' does. The Rams have showed that they'll re-do contracts during the season (See: Marc Bulger & Leonard Little). I respect SJ as a player and as a Ram, but I don't respect his decision to hold out.

    Respectfully submitted-

  12. #12
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Why shouldn't Jackson use his leverage?

    Quote Originally Posted by KoaKoi View Post
    to get a fair contract? So, you mean Jackson's current contract is unfair?!
    For a player of his current caliber, probably. Steven Jackson's rookie contract was five years, $7 million with $4 million in the form of a signing bonus. At the time, that was appropriate for a draft pick of his slotting. Four years later, Jackson is now one of the top 'backs in the league, making that contract pretty low. Jackson's '08 base salary of $1.7 is solid but still low when compared to the kind of money some of the league's other top backs like LT and Larry Johnson will be receiving this year in the form of salary and bonuses.

  13. #13
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    Re: Why shouldn't Jackson use his leverage?

    I am curious, how much does he want? Money comparable to the top RBs over five years doesn't sound unreasonable, I just don't have any idea how much that is. If it's comparable and there is room in the cap, and it is fiscally responsible (not meaning conservative), he needs to be resigned. He has been cheap for several seasons now.

    Again though, what is he looking for?
    Semper Fi!

  14. #14
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    Re: Jackson becomes official Rams holdout

    True. Good post Koi.

    The sharp increase in hold-outs in this last decade is despicable and a gross indicator of a plain lack of integrity.
    Yes, it is sad indeed. Disappointing. ...Jax, come on down!

  15. #15
    IzzyHigh1212 Guest

    Re: Jackson becomes official Rams holdout

    Quote Originally Posted by KoaKoi View Post
    I'll agree with you Shower that he deserves more money on his next contract, but he still has a year left on this one. He should act like a member of a team and be in Mequon already.

    The sharp increase in hold-outs in this last decade is despicable and a gross indicator of a plain lack of integrity.

    Anyone else but me feel like when a player holds out by not honoring the terms of their contract, that its just as detrimental to the nfl's image as off field legal antics are?

    Seriously, in any other American business setting where one party stated a refusal to continue working under the contract, the injured party would normally cease all payments under the contract and request ADR or file a lawsuit for breach of contract, injunctive relief, and declaratory relief. Can you imagine a team suing its player within days of beginning a holdout? LOL, now that would be a circus.
    Why? He's protecting his own interest. Look at Javon Walker a couple years ago. I have no problem with it. As long as I know he'll be a Ram for a few more seasons, because judging by the looks of it this offseason, I was not all that sure that he would come back.

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