July 27, 2002

Holdout Continues; First Minor Injury

Kenny Wilkerson of WWL radio reporting from Thibodaux, LA
Night practice report

Without Aaron Brooks the Saints went through their first practice in full gear on Saturday night. For all practical purposes it was a pretty sloppy workout but we'll get to that in a minute.

Of course, what is going on with Brooks? That is the million dollar question of the night. Let's shed some light. First... Mickey Loomis said after practice that he did speak with Aaron's agent Andre Colona on Saturday and that they would talk again Sunday morning. The agent said Brooks was not happy with his contract and that is no surprise. Loomis also said that he and Colona spoke on Wednesday before camp, and at that time Colona told him Aaron was not happy with his deal but Loomis added at that time he had no indication there would be a holdout.

Where does it go from here? The next 48 hours will tell us if Brooks just wants to make a point or if he plans to take this thing the distance. Loomis says he won't negotiate a deal with a player that is not in camp and is under contract. Whether he starts accumulating fines is up to Jim Haslett, who seems to be staying out of it right now and says that he has 88 other players to worry about.

There are rumblings that this thing could go a long way and that the signing of Rich Gannon has had some influence on Brooks decision. Off the record, some players on the team understand and have said that if they were Aaron they would not risk a possible $10 million dollar deal in light of a $500,000 dollar contract that he is scheduled to play for. Naturally there are two sides to every story and this one looks like it is going to be a doozy. Stay tuned.

Practice as we mentioned was sloppy. It was also the first one in pads and those usually are sloppy. Terry Allen pulled a hamstring but Haslett said he'll be ok, Grady Jackson is still not in camp. Darren Howard had a big night in the one-on-one drills while Victor Riley struggled.

Second-round pick LeCharles Bentley has a long way to go but you can tell the coaches really like him and are going to work hard with him to get him ready.

Practice at 3 tomorrow in full gear. See ya.

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