July 28, 2005

Rookie Jammal Brown Officially a Holdout

Jammal Brown is one of many unsigned first round picks around the league right now. Unsigned as of 6:00pm on Thursday, Brown is officially a contract holdout.

Bigger news is that the rookie Brown is the only holdout. Center LeCharles Bentley and cornerbacks Mike McKenzie and Fahkir Brown were among the players at the first team meeting on Thursday night at 6:00. All three were hoping for new contracts this offseasons but none took their greivance as far as to miss a mandatory meeting.

Brown sat out of the coaching sessions in protest, and as a result was listed on the third team defense in the Saints' unofficial depth chart released before training camp. Jason Craft and Fred Thomas have moved ahead of Brown. McKenzie missed the team's minicamp because of a hamstring injury and is still slated to start.

It is the sixth year in a row that the Saints' top draft pick is not in on time. Brown's official contract holdout will be only academic, however, if he makes it in before Friday's 3:00pm practice, the first of the new season.

Saints Senior Football Administrator Russ Ball is in charge of negotiations for the first round pick, and he and agent Ben Dogra of SFX Sports are hammering out the deal right now. Dogra only recently helped shape Deuce McAllister's new seven-year contract extension.

Ball has been a football administrator in the NFL for 16 years, conducting contract negotiations, organizing salary cap strategy and advising on all football matters.

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