Harvey vs Jaguars: Who Blinks First?

The Jaguars and first-round pick Derrick Harvey are officially at day five of their contract stalemate and there doesn't seem to be a compromise in direct sight. Will Harvey take a less than market deal or will the Jaguars give in to the rookie's demands?

Rumors were bandied about a little over a week ago that the Jaguars and Derrick Harvey were close to a deal, and he wouldn't miss the start of training camp. More than five days after the start of camp, the two sides seem to be farther apart.

"We have a belief on where we're going to go and those people have a belief on where it's going to go, and right now we're not in agreement so he's out," said Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio.

Very recently, the sixth and seventh-overall picks, New York's (Jets) Vernon Gholston and New Orleans' Sedrick Ellis signed deals that totaled approximately $50 million and $49 million respectively, with $21 million and $19 million in guaranteed money. With Harvey being the eighth-overall pick, he and his agent are looking for a dollar amount that would fall in line with what Gholston and Ellis received, but the Jaguars don't seem ready to pony up that kind of cash.

"There are deals in front of us that are outrageous in my opinion, and it makes it difficult to have him here," Del Rio told reporters in his Wednesday press conference.

So which side is going to blink first? Derrick Harvey has no real choice but to sign with the Jaguars. Either that or sit out the year and enter the 2009 draft, which never seems to work out. The more time that Harvey misses, the less familiar he is with the Jaguars playbook, the speed of the NFL game, and the more opportunity it gives for his competition at defensive end to make an impact.

"It's unfortunate that he's not here," said Del Rio. "He's losing time. At some point, you lose so much work that you don't become as valuable, but we're not there yet. It's time to get him in camp so hopefully he wants to be here bad enough so we work something out."

As little leverage as Harvey has, the Jaguars may have even less. It's no secret that Jacksonville has a dire need at defensive end and Harvey is being counted on to take their defense to a higher level. The longer that this holdout goes the more that the Jaguars organization looks cheap, similar to the Oakland Raiders fiasco a year ago with top pick JaMarcus Russell.

Many draft experts have criticized the Jaguars draft-day maneuver to trade up to acquire Harvey, who most draftniks had as a first-round selection, just in the 12-15 range, not at #8 where the Jaguars selected him. If the Jaguars can't get Harvey signed in a timely manner, much of that early criticism will be justified.

Scout.com NFL Draft Expert Chris Steuber had this to say about the Jaguars using the eighth overall pick on Harvey–

"I thought it was a little bit of a reach for Harvey, but Del Rio obviously saw something in him that they liked."

The Jaguars appear to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender, but with the current rash of injuries that the team is suffering through, they will need all hands on deck to compete in an ultra-competitive AFC. All hands on deck will have to include Derrick Harvey. There's no question that the team need's their first-round pick, but rather how much money will Wayne Weaver have to spend to bring Harvey to camp?


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

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