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Robert Meachem Would Be Wise to Not Hold Out

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Jun 23rd 2007 8:25PM by Tom Mantzouranis With the news that the team inked both of this year's fourth-rounders, running back Antonio Pittman and offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod, only one rookie draftee remains unsigned -- first-round receiver Robert Meachem. Considering ...

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Old 06-24-2007, 03:22 AM   #1
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Robert Meachem Would Be Wise to Not Hold Out

Jun 23rd 2007 8:25PM by Tom Mantzouranis

With the news that the team inked both of this year's fourth-rounders, running back Antonio Pittman and offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod, only one rookie draftee remains unsigned -- first-round receiver Robert Meachem.

Considering the terrible, injury-ridden start to Meachem's tenure with the Saints, a training camp holdout would serve as a death blow to the former Vol's first season -- he won't play. But the circumstances indicate that might be on the horizon. Meachem will be paying close attention to what the Chiefs pay Dwayne Bowe, the 23rd overall pick, this summer. That will set a jumping off point for negotiations with the Saints. If Bowe doesn't sign on-time, Meachem won't, either.

The Saints will want to work something out early because, quite frankly, Meachem's value is really low right now. Seeing as how he's seen about as much field time as Walter Thomas, they could save money. Meachem will want to delay the negotiating process until he can prove that he's worthy of the max price possible, which he'll probably want. But with a return date ominously close to the start of camp, it seems unlikely he'll sign something before getting some leverage back.

The best thing for everyone is for Meachem to swallow his pride, realize he hasn't earned a thing yet, and get a deal done before camp no matter what. We'll see if that turns out to be the case, but I doubt it.

"Man I was thinking the same thing, this kid better start ignoring his agents advise, get smart and sign, I think if he's not in camp on time, he might not play for the entire season."

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Old 06-24-2007, 06:33 AM   #2
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another article

Meachem signing may have some hurdles to clear
By Larry Holder
General Manager Mickey Loomis and chief negotiator Russ Ball have knocked out more New Orleans Saints rookie contract negotiations during the last two weeks than Adam "Wackman" Jones has racked up felony indictments.

And that's saying something.

The Saints didn't start signing their draft picks last offseason until July 17 when cornerback Josh Lay signed, which was less than two weeks before training camp. Reggie Bush was the last to sign a year ago as the two sides agreed to a deal on Aug. 1.

This year is a drastically different tale as six of the Saints' seven draft picks already are under contract and we're not even in July yet.

Wide receiver Robert Meachem is the lone wolf as the No. 27 overall pick lurks as the only rookie still unsigned. Needless to say Meachem's negotiations won't involve astronomical figures like Bush's deal, but contract talks with the former Tennessee pass catcher may be trickier than a year ago.

The huge domino already fell on draft day last year when the Houston Texans completed a deal for No. 1 overall pick Mario Williams before Paul Tagliabue made the announcement. Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young wrapped up his contract just before training camp began and Bush's deal fit somewhere in the middle.

With a lack of skill players taken near Meachem, the likely barometer for Meachem's contract will be determined by the Kansas City Chiefs' first-round pick Dwayne Bowe. It's likely Meachem will play the wait-and-see game and keep a close eye on Bowe's negotiations.

Running back DeAngelo Williams was taken No. 27 in 2006 by the Carolina Panthers and faced a similar situation as Laurence Maroney went to the New England Patriots at No. 21.

Williams signed a five-year deal with a $2.45 million base salary and about $5 million for his signing bonus. Maroney's base salary is worth $2.535 million for five seasons with more than $6 million in signing bonus money. Pittsburgh's Santonio Holmes signed a five-year, $8.11 million contract. The deal includes $5.42 million in bonuses as the No. 25 overall pick last year.

Atlanta's Roddy White, 2005's No. 27 pick, got $2.88 million through five years and received about $4.75 million as a signing bonus. Baltimore's Mark Clayton went No. 22 and is set to earn $2.83 million on his five-year deal with another $6 million guaranteed, while Jacksonville's Matt Jones went one pick before Clayton and his base contract is worth $2.345 million for five seasons with $6.07 million guaranteed.

The numbers for Bowe and Meachem will probably hover around the same neighborhood as their predecessors. Once the surrounding rookies begin the signings, the slotting system should sort itself out.

But Meachem may have another hurdle to jump in contract talks.

Meachem struggled as soon as he walked into the Saints' practice facility being overweight and out of shape. Then once he started to get the hang of things, he aggravated an old knee injury during the last day of minicamp and hasn't touched the field since. His rehab would have him ready by training camp - that is if there's a deal in place.

The Saints may not be willing to open up their pocketbooks as much as they were ready to do before the injury. Jeff Griffin, Meachem's agent, obviously will want his client to be paid as if he were healthy.

Now, am I suggesting Meachem will hold out? No. But is it possible considering the circumstances? Certainly.

Meachem's lackluster performance thus far suggests to me that he should ink that contract before "Wackman" gets sent to the hole and ends up in the real-life version of HBO's "Oz." And that could happen way before the Saints report to Millsaps on July 25.


Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over, over, and over again...and expecting a different outcome!
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:54 AM   #3
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this thing always happens, he'll sign a day or two after camp starts and start working.........i hope, if not we have devery,copper, and patten.
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:55 AM   #4
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Here is why I don't trust any sports writers. Remember this article.

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Old 06-24-2007, 10:32 AM   #5
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I honestly don't factor Meacham into our season run this year anyways. At this point, especially with the injury, I would not expect to see him in regular season games until late in the 4th when we start playing back ups or in meaningless situations late in the season. Until he learns our offense and actually shows some progress he is not a better option than Henderson, Copper or even Patten.

Like Henderson, who saw very little first year field time, Meacham needs to grow into his role. The way he came to camp made that really clear. A guy like Colston came in and without a chance in hell worked and performed his way into a starter spot. Meacham came in like Grady Jackson and it seemed to me the Saints should be honored to be in his presence.

I like his potential but he needs to pay some dues.
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:49 AM   #6
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injury being the key word........
who's to say he'll even be ready to go...........
if i'm the saints, i wanna see something for my money, first, a healthy player, and then, one who can perform........
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Old 06-24-2007, 02:12 PM   #7
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IMHO Devery will see the color of a new uniform in 2007...just as Stallworth did in 2006. His contract is up at the end of this year, and his past inability to catch the ball on a CONSISTENT basis may be his downfall with Payton.

It just seems Meachem was picked at 27th to take Devery's place on the squad. I also think McKnight will fit in as the slot receiver this year.
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