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Burress is one of many players unhappy with current deal

  • By Adam Schefter NFL Network
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Attendance hasn't meant this much since elementary school. But these days, it provides a glimpse into the feelings of players and the hold teams have over them.

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Plaxico Burress reported to the Giants' mandatory minicamp on Wednesday but refused to work out because of a contract dispute.

Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress and tight end Jeremy Shockey were present for the start of New York's mandatory minicamp, though neither participated in practice -- draw your own conclusions.

Burress wants a new contract and says he will not be back on the field until he gets one. Shockey is upset with the comments about him that have emerged from the organization. The Giants believe Shockey will be with them this season; Shockey presumably hopes otherwise.

Cincinnati's mandatory minicamp kicks off Thursday, when Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson is likely to rejoin the Bengals. Or not.

Most Bengals expect Johnson to be there, as do people who know him well. Reporters, start your tape recorders!

While the prevailing feeling is he will be there, Johnson can be wildly unpredictable. He already has passed up $250,000 he would have earned had he gone through the Bengals' offseason workout program in Cincinnati. If he was willing to pass up a quarter-million dollars, Johnson would be able to shrug off the $8,638 in daily fines he would be subject to if he failed to report to the team's mandatory minicamp.

Yet even disgruntled players almost always show up for mandatory minicamp. Buffalo's Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters did not.

Until now, there was a question as to whether Peters was disgruntled. Peters still hasn't made any statements that he is; but now his actions have spoken.

Peters failed to report to Buffalo with the rest of his teammates Wednesday for the start of Buffalo's mandatory minicamp. Peters now will be subject to daily fines of $8,638, but the money will go to a cause.

Peters appears determined to let Buffalo know how unhappy he is with his contract. He is scheduled to earn $3.25 million in base salary this year, $2.95 million next year and $3.4 million in the final year of his contract. Buffalo also paid Peters $5.75 million worth of bonuses in July 2006, when he signed his extension. But that extension now pales in comparison to the type of deal that Tennessee's left tackle Michael Roos got last month, when he signed a six-year, $43 million deal.

If Peters was willing to miss this week's mandatory minicamp, then chances are he also will be willing to miss training camp, when the daily fines could increase to $15,116 per day. But when a player such as Peters is looking at the type of contract he is capable of signing, the daily fines he could rack up this spring and summer will not compare.

For now, it looks as if Peters will not be showing up in Buffalo anytime soon -- specifically until he has a new contract.

 

On guard

LeCharles Bentley , C

Height: 6-2
Weight: 309
College: Ohio State
Experience: 6

When the final bill was tallied, Cleveland wound up paying offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley $16.6 million without him ever playing a down for the Browns.

Bentley ruptured his patella tendon on the very first play of the first 11-on-11 drill on the opening day of training camp in 2006. Subsequently, Bentley endured two more knee surgeries, and the Browns released him Tuesday.

But the 28-year-old Bentley, who has been to the Pro Bowl at center and guard, is not expected to be unemployed long. Bentley insists he is healthy, ready to play, ready to return to his Pro Bowl level. If he is, Bently is going to make some team very happy.

Almost every team in the league has a need for interior offensive linemen, particularly Arizona, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Oakland and Pittsburgh. Bentley would prefer to play guard, but could play center just as easily.

And with the talent and strength he brings, some team will sign him to its roster with the hope it found last-minute help.

Things that make you go hmmm…


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Everyone around San Francisco expected Bryant Young, the 49ers' all-time sack leader, to retire this offseason. But for whatever reason, months after it was assumed he would step away from the game, Young still has not filed his retirement papers with the NFL.

Chances are it is nothing more than a formality, an oversight that Young has not addressed. But athletes have been known to unretire in the past. The 49ers would be fortunate if the leader who spent 14 seasons with them could be swayed back to camp.

It still is considered an outside shot that the 36-year-old Young could be persuaded to play again. But until he files the papers, the door will remain open and speculation will continue.

Extra points

»The Baltimore Ravens are holding an 11:30 a.m. ET news conference on Thursday to announce the retirement of perennial Pro Bowl offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, who went to 11 straight Pro Bowls. Put Ogden down as a surefire Hall of Famer. He was one of the best. And how about the draft that Ozzie Newsome had for the Ravens in 1996? Baltimore's two first-round picks were used on Ogden and linebacker Ray Lewis. Those might be the two finest first-round picks one team ever has had in one draft.

»The three-day waiver rule on running back Cedric Benson expires at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. If no team claims the former Chicago Bears running back -- and it is expected that no one will -- Benson will be free to sign with whichever team he chooses.

» Just as the New York Jets feud with guard Pete Kendall escalated as last summer went on, the same now appears to be happening with tight end Chris Baker. After Baker sounded off against the Jets and their front office last week, the team fined the veteran tight end $3,000 for missing a treatment session last week. Baker claims he missed no treatment session, and now there is another standoff to go along with their contract standoff.

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