Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brackens Unlikely to Make Opening of Training Camp Agent, Jaguars Say Sides Still Far Apart in Contract Negotiations

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brackens Unlikely to Make Opening of Training Camp Agent, Jaguars Say Sides Still Far Apart in Contract Negotiations

Article excerpt

Update on the Tony Brackens watch: The two sides talked yesterday, but there was no movement of any kind leading to the Jaguars' Pro Bowl defensive end being signed prior to the open of training camp Friday.

"It's unlikely he will be there," said Brackens' agent, Michael George. "We haven't had substantive talks in weeks. He wants to be in camp, but he can't come to camp unless he has a contract. That's the rule. And he doesn't have a contract."

Nor is he close to one.

Both sides admit they are far apart, although neither side will say how far. Brackens, designated the team's franchise player, is seeking a deal averaging $8 million a year thatincludes a $13 million signing bonus. The Jaguars are believed to be offering a deal averaging $5.5 million, similar to the deal Phillip Daniels signed with the Chicago Bears earlier this year as a free agent.

Brackens could sign the one-year franchise tender for $4.2 million and then hope to get a new deal later this season, but since the two sides are so far apart, George said that isn't going to happen.

That would leave two options: Sit out, or receive a new mutli-year deal. Sitting looks more and more like the likely option.

Michael Huyhgue, the Jaguars senior vice president of football operations, said Friday he was not optimistic that a deal could be worked out before the opening of camp, so the team has started to work on alternative plans in case Brackens isn't signed. One option is former Carolina Panthers defensive end/linebacker Kevin Greene, and another is former Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Eric Swann.

Swann arrived in Jacksonville last night for a visit and physical with the team. …

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