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Pacman not going to camp; Briggs, Bears finally agree on deal

Just as quarterback Michael Vick will be barred from training camp, so will cornerback Adam ''Pacman'' Jones.  

Despite speculation that Jones could be allowed to participate in training camp this summer at a time he is serving his year-long suspension, he will not, according to a Tennessee source familiar with the situation.  

Jones' agent, Michael Huyghue - who has done an admirable job representing his client – has been hoping to get Jones cleared to practice, conversing with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.  

Huyghue even said Wednesday he was ''hopefu'' that Jones would get clearance from the league, which is expected to issue its decision Thursday.  

But when the Titans kick off their training camp Friday, Jones is not expected to be a part of it. Nor is Jones expected to be in uniform for a single Titans practice this summer, as dictated by the specific conditions that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spelled out in his ruling last spring.  

Under Goodell's prior ruling, Jones will be allowed at the Titans training facility once a week, but only to meet with Tennessee's player development officials.  

Tennessee is ready to meet and accept the challenge that Jones' absence will create. It drafted Texas safety Michael Griffin in the first round in April and promptly moved him to cornerback. The Titans also lured away cornerback Nick Harper from their division-rival Indianapolis Colts.  

Tennesse also has Reynaldo Hill returning from an injury and Cortland Finnegan coming off a season in which he started two games. The Titans believe that, even without Jones, they have the talent and depth they need at the cornerback position.  

Then there is the point to consider: Even if Jones were granted permission to practice, which he will not be, it likely would result in objections from all the teams in the Titans division and their conference. With Jones on the field, Tenneesse would have one more player on its roster than other teams because Jones is on the reserved/suspended list, where he is not considered an active player for the Titans.  

So there are no questions about Jones' status, only answers. He is sidelined and will continue to be so until he is reinstated.   


When Chicago's franchise linebacker Lance Briggs agreed to sign his $7.2 million contract tender and report to training camp in time, the player and the Bears each scored a victory.  

Briggs signed the tender with the promise that, if he plays in 75 pecent of the Bears plays this season, they cannot place the franchise tag on him again next season. This means that Briggs would become an unrestricted free agent just as cornerback Nate Clements did, when he left Buffalo for San Francisco and an $80 million contract.  

''This is a good move for everybody'' said Briggs' agent, Drew Rosenhaus. ''The advantages of signing outweighed holding out.''  

Briggs' only downside is failing to hit the 75 percent play time mark, but he is hardly worried about it. In each of the past three seasons, Briggs has participated in over 90 percent of the Bears defensive plays.  

Asked what would happen if, hypothetically, Briggs pulled his hamstring in week 11, missed the rest of the season and did not meet the 75 percent marker, Rosenhaus said, ''The Bears made their promise in the spirit of not franchising Lance again next year.''  

In other words, Rosenhaus and Briggs are expecting to hit next year's free agent market.  

In return, Chicago got something, too. It now will avoid any controversy at training camp and it will have one of its top players, and one of the best defensive players in all of football. Briggs will be happy to be in camp, and the Bears expect it to be reflected in his performance.  

Briggs' deal caps a busy off-season for the Bears. Behind the leadership of general manager Jerry Angelo and senior director of football administration Cliff Stein, Chicago became the first team to sign all its draft picks.  

The last one, second-round pick Dan Bazuin, signed a four-year deal Wednesday, one day before the Bears were scheduled to report to camp. The Bears front office did its job. Now it's time for the players to do theirs.   


The letter Goodell sent Vick barring him from training camp included specific language that said the quarterback would not be in violation of his contract by not reporting to the Falcons this summer.  

This is a key point for this reason: It means that Vick will not be in default of his contract Thursday when the Falcons report to training camp and the quarterback doesn't. Thus, Atlanta will not have a clearcut path to pursue the $37 million worth of bonuses it already had paid Vick.  

Had Goodell not included that phrase, it would have been difficult for Vick to agree to the conditions set out in the letter.  

By including the default language, Goodell is extending a verbal rope to Vick, giving him leeway to get his life in order and prove his innocence with no contractual damage.  

For what it's worth – and that's $37 million – most NFL executives don't believe the Falcons ever will be able to recoup that money, no matter how the Vick case turns out.   


Since last season ended, quarterback and Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys have hoped to hammer out a contract extension.  

But the two never got to the talking stage. Any talks or hopes that would result in a new contract for Romo, who is going into his first full season as the Cowboys starter, have been tabled.  

This is a gamble on both sides part. If Romo shines this season the way he did last year, Dallas will wind up paying more for him later. But if he struggles or regresses, then Dallas will have saved some money while being charged with the task of finding a quarterback for the future.   


Philadelphia gave its second-round pick Kevin Kolb a four-year contract that included $2.62 million worth of guaranteed money – only a fraction of what he will earn if he turns out to be the quarterback that the Eagles think he will be.

Kolb's take was an 11.5 percent increase over the same player picked at No. 36 last year, New England wide receiver Chad Jackson, and the highest percentage increase in this year's draft.  

But the Eagles were willing to pay Kolb like they did because they have that much faith and belief in him. Now, the clock starts on Donovan McNabb, who remains one of football's top quarterbacks.   

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