From the department of misleading statements:
Two "news" items caught my attention this morning. The first comes from Vito Stellino at the Florida Times-Union. In this article, Stellino explains some of the contract nuances surrounding Running Back Chauncey Washington, explores his roster possibilities, and takes a look at what it will take to sign Derrick Harvey.
ProFootballTalk, a site that trends toward negative stories in general, but especially toward the Jacksonville Jaguars, linked to the Times-Union story, under this headline:
Will the Jaguars have trouble signing first-round draft pick Derrick Harvey?
Because Stellino speculated that Harvey would be the most difficult pick to sign, based on his draft spot in the first round and the rarity of 2nd round or later picks to hold out, PFT implies that the Jaguars will somehow fail at signing their pick. Stellino, whether he intended it or not, leads his readers to believe that Harvey is likely to hold out based on the top ten pick and being represented by CAA and Tom Condon.:
Harvey is represented by Ken Kremer of CAA football, an agency that includes Tom Condon, who represented former Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich when he was a holdout in 2003.
This is misleading. Condon and Kremer represent several current Jaguars, none of which are mentioned. Clint Ingram, Vincent Manuwai, Mike Peterson, Tutan Reyes, and Maurice Williams are CAA clients and have been quiet as far as contracts are concerned. Williams even received a new contract withiout too much headache.
Instead of implying that Harvey would holdout like Byron Leftwich did five years ago, he could have just as well said this:
Harvey is represented by Ken Kremer of CAA football, an agency that includes Tom Condon, who represents Jaguars offensive lineman Maurice Williams who received a contract extension in 2008.
Connecting Harvey's current contract negotiations with those of Byron Leftwich lead the reader to believe that there will be problems in getting the player signed before training camp when there is no reason to believe that could happen. Signing a franchise quarterback is always more complicated than signing a defensive end, no matter where the player was drafted. Joe Flacco will have a more complicated contract than Harvey even though Joe was drafted later inthe first round.
To imply, however thinnly, that because Harvey is with CAA, and CAA held a player out in the past is a poor way to create a story out of nothing. Even if Harvey did holdout for a week into training camp, it's much different than what happens with a quarterback. Harvey does not have to get into a comfortable relationship with receivers, linemen, and running backs, he just has to be ready to rush the quarterback. Paul Vance, who negotiates for the Jaguars, has a good record of getting picks signed and into camp, so there's really no reason to worry.
The only reason I even bring up this bit of media nitpicking is that PFT has an uncanny knack for setting the national tone of coverage. For better or for worse, people in high places read PFT, and when things are quiet like they are now, suddenly questions could be rasied about Harvey, and I'd like to cut off any worry as quickly as possible.
So shame on you PFT for running with the negitive take on a non-story, and shame on you Vito Stellino for leading your readers to a misleading conclusion.