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Contract Madness

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With news at a low ebb two and a half weeks before the draft, we have officially entered the NFL's silly season. It is silly not in the traditional sense, when rumors of player movement or coaching changes dominate. Rather it is silly in the literal sense, when players under contract begin to express jealousy at their colleagues who just struck it rich in free agency. Consider the childishness in the NFC East alone:

Last night, ESPN's Ed Werder reported that Cowboys WR Keyshawn Johnson had missed three of the team's offseason training sessions because of dissatisfaction with his current contract. Johnson denied that he is holding out, and stated his respect for coach Bill Parcells prevented him from ever taking such a step. Is Johnson on the level or engaging in damage control? If Keyshawn is sulking, he's certainly not alone.

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs is miffed that newly acquired WR Santana Moss and second year S Sean Taylor are skipping Washington's offseason workouts. Both are apparently posturing for better deals.

The biggest poutfest is taking place in Philadelphia, where the NFC Champs are dealing with the high cost of success. No fewer than five key Eagles starters, WR Terrell Owens, RB Brian Westbrook, OT Tra Thomas and DTs Hollas Thomas and Corey Simon are unhappy with their current contracts. Owens and Thomas recently switched agents, employing the maverick Drew Rosenhaus, who visited with Eagles President Joe Banner yesterday in the hopes of sparking new contract talks. Owens' demands, subtle though they are, roll the eyes the most because T.O. got a new deal from the Eagles upon joining them last year. Rosenhaus claims, however, that Owens has "already outgrown his contract."

Apparently that's the only thing these coddled, infantile "professionals" can outgrow.