Allen Situation at Standstill

For those who thought that St. Louis signing 15ht overall Tye Hill over the weekend might speed up the process of the Dolphins getting 16th overall selection Jason Allen under contract, it might not be so simple. And the way Nick Saban was talking Monday morning, it looks like both sides are firmly entrenched in their position when it comes to the length of the contract.

It's well-known by now that the disagreement between the Dolphins and Allen and his agent's, Mitch Frankel, deals with the Dolphins wanting a six-year contract as opposed to a five-year deal.

Terms of the new CBA allow for a maximum six-year contract for the first 16 picks in the draft.

With Hill signing a five-year contract with the Rams, Saban was asked Monday whether that hurt his bargaining position with Allen and his agent. But Saban sounded very much like the Dolphins have no intention of budging.

"It really doesn't matter," Saban said of Hill's contract. "That was their choice, we got our choices. We're going to run our business the way we run our business. To be honest with you, there's not a whole lot in this collective bargaining agreement advantages that the clubs have. A lot of them, they're gone now. But they did say the first 16 guys in the draft could sign six-year contracts, so that's one that the clubs have.

"So what happened before or what some other club chooses to do, philosophically doesn't represent what we're going to do.That's just how I look at it. I'm not talking about specifics, but that's some of the value of the pick."

Saban also said signing Allen to a six-year contract would be "a precedent that's important to us."

Of course. one compromise would be for Allen to sign a six-year deal with a voidable year, the way the contract of 14th overall pick Kamerion Wimbley was structured with the Cleveland Browns.

No one knows how long Allen will be out, but with every day that passes it's more learning time disappearing from the rookie. And learning a new defense, one that's as complicated as that of the Dolphins, will take some time.

So the truth is that Allen might not be a lock to be in the starting lineup come opening day if he doesn't get to camp soon.

Ronnie Brown got off to a very slow start last year after missing the first three weeks of camp because of a contract dispute, and he played a position that didn't require that much learning in terms of schemes and adjustments.

Let's face it, running back is pretty basic. That's not true for the secondary.

So a holdout will be a lot more damaging to Allen. And that's why it would be nice to see him sign -- sooner rather later.

But at this point there appears to be little give from either side.


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