Down but not totally out for Hatch

As the Giants kicked off their three-day rookie mini-camp Friday afternoon, there was one very notable absence. Third-round draft choice <STRONG>Jeff Hatch </STRONG>stood idly by as his mates ran through various drills. </P>

Hatch, New York's latest attempt to solve its left tackle woes, did not participate because his agent, Alan Herman, did not want him to accept the same waiver the team's other six draft choices had.

General Manager Ernie Accorsi, who was clearly irritated, said it was the first time in his 32 years in the NFL that he could remember a player sitting out a rookie mini-camp.

"It was okay for Lawrence Taylor and Phil Simms," Accorsi said. "It's not okay for Alan Herman."

"His agent didn't want him to sign the waiver, so he's not going to practice," said Head Coach Jim Fassel, who twice reprimanded Hatch during Friday afternoon's workout. "It's the only time it's happened (in my career). I don't want to talk about it."

The issue was resolved Friday night, without the Giants changing their stance. Hatch is expected to practice Saturday. Herman wanted a "full-protection agreement" in case of injury instead of what he called the Giants' offer to compensate "at their discretion."

Accorsi said of Herman's tactic, "I can tell you this, if it's a bargaining ploy, it's going to fail miserably. ... We're not going to rush to get this guy signed now just because Alan Herman wants to be unique with how he handles mini-camp."

Hatch was obviously uncomfortable in the middle of this standoff. "I can't really say anything," he said. "I don't want to make waves, but I can tell you it was really tough having to sit out."


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