McAllister wants work on deal done by camp
Pro Bowl RB says 'focus is on season'
Saturday, June 11, 2005
By Jeff Duncan
Saints running back Deuce McAllister said he hopes to have contract negotiations completed before training camp opens July 29. If not, the two-time Pro Bowler plans to cut the negotiations off until after the regular season.
McAllister is entering the final year of the four-year contract he signed as a rookie in 2001. He is scheduled to earn a base salary of $2.3 million this season.
Saints officials are negotiating with McAllister's agent, Ben Dogra, on a long-term contract extension. In the past couple of weeks, the sides have exchanged proposals on seven- and eight-year deals.
"We'll get it done," McAllister said. "My main focus is on the season right now. I'll leave the contract up to my agent."
McAllister is expected to command a deal similar to the eight-year, $50.5 million contract Clinton Portis received from Washington in 2004. That deal included $13 million guaranteed in the first year.
When asked if he wanted "Clinton Portis money," McAllister laughed. "I want Deuce McAllister money," McAllister said. "We'll see how everything works out. I'm not worried about it."
HAKIM TO CHIEFS: Veteran wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim is close to signing a free-agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, Saints coach Jim Haslett said.
Hakim told Saints officials he enjoyed his visit to New Orleans but favored Kansas City because of his relationship with Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil and familiarity with coordinator Al Saunders' offense. Hakim played two seasons in St. Louis when Vermeil coached the Rams.
Haslett said the Saints will continue to pursue a veteran to bolster the depth at receiver.
"We're always looking to upgrade our football team," Haslett said. "It doesn't really make a difference whether it's at that position. We have confidence that Devery (Henderson) will handle the job, but you're always looking to make your football team better. If there's someone who we feel can make our team better, then we'll look into the option."
BOO ON THE BUBBLE? Fifth-year tight end Boo Williams said he feels "most definitely" that his job is in jeopardy this year after a disappointing 2004 season, in which he started only eight games, catching 33 passes for two touchdowns.
"I understand certain things are business matters," said Williams, who is scheduled to receive $850,000 this year. "But I have no say in what the coaches do. All I can control is what I do. I'm just trying to do the same things I've been doing and not worry about that stuff."
When asked if Williams is "in the doghouse," Haslett said no.
But the coach did say there is "some competition there at the tight end spot" with Ernie Conwell, Shad Meier, Zach Hilton, Mike Banks and Lamont Hall, among others.
"You know we can't keep them all. We can decide to keep three or four, but somebody's going, and that's just business," said Haslett, who admitted Williams' production dropped off last year after his 2003 season, in which he had 41 catches and five touchdowns.
YOUTH CAMP: The Saints, the New Orleans Police Department and the United Way for the Greater New Orleans area have teamed to sponsor several free community-wide youth camps this summer. The clinics, called the "Saints Community Patrol," will be conducted at the Saints facility in June and July. For information, call (504) 733-0255.
ETC.: Guard Montrae Holland missed both workouts Friday because of a death in his family. Haslett said the absence was excused. . . . Roger Knight (knee), Mike McKenzie (hamstring), Henderson (hamstring), Derrick Rodgers (back) and Brian Poli-Dixon (hamstring) participated on a part-time basis while nursing minor injuries. Linebacker James Allen suffered an unspecified injury during the morning practice and did not participate in the afternoon workout. . . . Tight end Mike Banks and fullback Mike Karney locked up in a scuffle at the end of afternoon workout, but no punches were thrown.
Hope this wasn't already posted but I saw some interesting things in this article.
1. Deuce is going about his contract extension the right way in my opinion. He knows he's worth the money and he's not letting a contract keep him out of football related things (like a holdout would).
2. Boo Williams knows how badly he sucked last season. I wonder if that means that he knows how much he has to prove to his team and his coaches and put up a monster season?
3. Mike Karney is a stud.... haha fighting a fourth string tight end in mini-camp. I love this guy's intensity. Next Mike Alstott in my opinion (worse runner, better blocker tho).
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