Walker begins contract holdout

Wide receiver Javon Walker does not plan to participate in the Green Bay Packers' mini-camp this week, according to reports. With a breakout season under his belt, Walker wants the Packers to break the bank and reward him with a new contract.<p>

Walker was selected by Packers in first round of 2002 NFL draft (20th overall). His five-year, $7.5 million deal expires in 2006. He is scheduled to receive a base salary of $515,000 this season and $650,000 in 2006, which is clearly less than his value.

This off-season, Walker dropped his agent, David Ware, in favor of super-agent Drew Rosenhaus, which was a strong indication that he wants a new contract. Rosenhaus has represented a number of big-name players, including ex-cornerback Mike McKenzie. Ware also represents wide receiver Terrell Owens, who also wants a new contract even though he signed a seven-year deal last year with the Philadelphia Eagles.

"I'd like to be a Packer for the long-term," Walker told ESPN.

The Packers are holding voluntary practices for veterans on Wednesday and Thursday. Practices for the entire team begin on Friday and end on Sunday, and those are mandatory. Walker could be fined up to $1,000 a day under rules set by the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement for each missed practice beginning on Friday.

Walker finished third in the NFC in receiving yards in 2004 with 1,382. Officially designated as the team's third receiver behind Donald Driver and Robert Ferguson, Walker played in all 16 games, making 12 starts. He led the team with 12 touchdown catches and was named to the NFC squad in the annual Pro Bowl.

Walker's holdout, combined with Ferguson's status after he was injured in a game last December, may have been the reason that the Packers selected two wide receivers in the NFL draft. Texas A&M's Terrence Murphy and UCLA's Craig Bragg are expected to join the veterans in practice on Friday.

Last year, McKenzie held out of the off-season mini-camps and training camp before reporting during Week 2. McKenzie also was disgruntled over his contract and unhappy with coaching moves made by Mike Sherman. McKenzie ultimately was traded to the New Orleans Saints last October for a second-round draft pick and backup quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan.


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