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Rams' Jackson a no-show for meeting, hopes for contract extension

MEQUON, Wis. -- St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson, entering the final year of his contract, was a no-show for the opening team meeting of training camp on Friday.

Coach Scott Linehan said Thursday after the team arrived at its new training site in suburban Milwaukee that Jackson had told him he would not be on the team charter flight from St. Louis.

The coach apparently was unaware that Jackson didn't make his own arrangements, either.

Linehan also said Thursday that getting a contract extension for Jackson was a "priority." The team has been in contact with Jackson's agent.

"I know within the last couple days there has been dialogue," Linehan said Thursday. "Our hope is that will be done pretty soon."

Jackson was considered a holdout after missing the meeting Friday morning, the team said on its Web site. The Rams' first practice at Concordia University was scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Jackson is in the final season of a five-year contract he signed after the Rams drafted him in the first round in 2004. He has had three straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons after totaling 1,002 last year despite injuries that sidelined him for four games.

The Rams also were negotiating with Donnie Avery, a second-round pick in this year's draft and the lone unsigned pick.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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