Rams fans, NFL fans, any kind of fan-fans, let’s take a walk back through memory lane here, courtesy of news items from KFFL, CBS, and the New York Times.
– Marshall Faulk was traded to the Rams from the Colts on April 15th, 1999. Faulk, who was unhappy about his contract situation while in Indy, was now seeking a new contract from his new team.
– As of June, a contract agreement still had not been reached. A June minicamp holdout was looming, as Faulk’s agent Rocky Arceneaux had previously stated that he had expected something to get done before that event.
– Well, nothing happened. And when minicamp started on June 10th, Faulk was a no-show. According to the Post-Dispatch, he skipped a team meeting the night before, and since the minicamp was mandatory, Faulk was subject to fines.
– After skipping the entire minicamp, little headway was made in negotiations through the rest of the month. On June 28th, KSDK TV reported that Faulk and his agent were upset with the organization for trading for Faulk, knowing he wanted to be among the top paid running backs in the league, and then not delivering. Both Faulk and his agent said that he would be prepared to hold out into training camp or longer if necessary.
– Training camp was scheduled to begin on July 22nd, but it started without Faulk. “I think everybody knows it’s business when it comes down to contract time,” Adam Timmerman said of Faulk’s holdout. D’Marco Farr: “I’ll see him when I see him.”
– According to various reports, negotiations heated up through the training camp holdout, but the big hang up for Faulk’s side was making sure the Rams couldn’t franchise tag Faulk after voiding the final three years of a seven-year deal. Eventually, the Rams and Faulk officially agreed on a new deal, but that didn’t happen until… the first week of August (4th or 5th, depending on the report).
So, those of you who are upset at the way Steven Jackson is doing business, just keep in mind that this is nothing new to football nor is it new for Rams running backs. In some circles, Faulk tarnished his reputation in Indianapolis by demanding a new contract, and after being traded to the Rams, he proceeded to hold out of both minicamp and training camp in order to get his new deal. Eventually, he got his pay day, and the rest is history.