So today's the day Jackson needs to report to camp by or risk losing a year of eligibility toward free agency, exactly one month before the start of the NFL season, and per Jim Thomas of the PD, the Rams star running back and the centerpiece of the offense is not expected to show up.
This whole thing is starting to get disconcerting. The thought was that Jackson would be in camp by the one month deadline. Although, that date was originally reported to be Friday, August 8, but subsequent inquiries clarified that date. Is there an outside chance that maybe Jackson and his agent Eugene Parker made that mistake too? I doubt it. They know what they're risking and would have covered all their bases before hand. It'd be nice though, huh? Besides, it doesn't sound like the lost year of eligibility is having too much effect on their negotiating position as the paper cites sources close to Jackson and his agent saying they were aware of the potential consequences.
Neither Jackson or his agent are saying anything to the press.
The Rams are standing firm on their refusal to talk contract until Jackson reports to camp, but I suspect, with the holdout now approaching two weeks, the Rams might inquire as to what it will take to get him into camp. They can say all they want about Jackson already being familiar with the offense, but don't forget his slow start to the season last year after not playing in preseason games. He opened the season against Carolina last year looking lost, fumbling twice and picking up just 58 yards on 18 carries. He needs to practice. The Rams personnel staff isn't quoted in the article, but head coach Scott Linehan had a whiff of optimism in his statement.
"There is a resolution. We haven't come to it. But it'll be resolved and Steven will be a Ram for probably the rest of his career."
Is there anything to read between the lines there? Doubtfully. But it does tell us the Rams are at least serious about making Steven Jackson a big part of their plans going forward...just as soon as he shows up.