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Steven Jackson: no deal...yet

Obviously, you've heard by now that Steven Jackson is officially a "hold out," missing the first day of training camp. Calls for his head from anxious Rams fans surfaced shortly after the news broke.

Save the guillotine oil. The Rams and Jackson's agent are negotiating, which is a good bit more than some recent notorious NFL hold outs. I realize I'm citing circumstantial evidence here, which is all we've got to go on at the moment. However, neither the Jackson or his agent or the Rams have said nothing to the media indicating any animosity or big chasms between the two parties.

I suspect the stalemate is in part due to the recent rush to sign the 2008 draft picks. Signing the draft picks is easier because there's a little bit more of a formula to work from, with the exception this year being Chris Long given the 3rd overall pick signed a deal complicating the usual draft slot formula. For the draft picks, the devil, as they say, is in the details. The Rams worked into the night on a deal for their lone unsigned pick, 2nd rounder Donnie Avery, and expect to wrap that up soon. Anyway, that takes precious staff time away from negotiations with Jackson, which figure to be slightly more complex.

Also, take comfort in recent precedent. Last season, Marc Bulger missed the first two days of camp while working on a new contract with the Rams.