Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Harvey Deal Is Done; Jags Rookie Ends Holdout, Joins Team

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Harvey Deal Is Done; Jags Rookie Ends Holdout, Joins Team

Article excerpt


Holding out was easy for Derrick Harvey when only $800 per week in training-camp pay was at stake.

The possibility of losing regular-season paychecks was another matter.

With the start of the regular season just 10 days away, Harvey decided Wednesday to take the Jaguars' five-year contract offer that can be worth up to $33.4 million. The Jaguars only had to do some tweaking in the playing-time qualifiers in the incentive package to have the rookie end his 33-day holdout and take the offer he initially rejected.

"In the end, it was so important for me to get this wrapped up so I could get here and get started," said Harvey, who received a base package of $23.8 million, with $17.177 million in guaranteed money.

The former University of Florida defensive end drove to Jacksonville from Pensacola, where he had been working out, and traveled with the Jaguars to Washington for tonight's preseason finale against the Redskins.

The Jaguars received a roster exemption for Harvey, the No. 8 overall pick in April's NFL Draft, so they don't have to immediately cut another player to make room for him.

The last time a high first-round pick missed significant time in the regular season with a holdout was in 2002, when Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie sat out the first eight games. Last year, quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 overall pick by the Oakland Raiders, missed the first game before signing on Sept. 11.

The Harvey holdout could have long-term ramifications because it might spur the owners' bid to get rookie salaries under control.

Said Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver: "This was a good example of the problem commissioner [Roger] Goodell has cited with the lack of a rookie pay scale."

Added Paul Vance, the Jaguars vice president who negotiated the deal with Harvey: "Throughout this process, Derrick and his family and his agent were straightforward and wanted to get this done. There were some unusual challenges and plenty of room for honest differences of opinion."

The difference of opinion was that the Jaguars wanted to pay Harvey more than Jamaal Anderson received from the Atlanta Falcons in the No. …

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