Monday, February 27, 2006

Is it Deja Vu All Over Again?

Ever have the feeling you've been somewhere before? Like a threat of a holdout if a contract isn't re-negotiated? Sure, it's a common enough tactic in sports these days. Especially so in those days of yore when that Drew Rosenwhoisheagain was the agent flavor of the day. When impressionable -- and egotistical -- young players such as, oh, let's say...ummm...Javon Walker believed he was worth x-dollars and, despite a multi-year contract already in place, felt he was worth more than what he had already agreed to.

Well, Packer fans, here we go again. According to a report cited tonight by WTMJ-Radio sports guru, Bill Michaels, Walker and his new agent are again spouting some of the same rhetoric as last year. OK, this is Walker's last year of his contract. But it also coincides with a year in which he is coming off a serious knee injury. Will he regain his outstanding ability? Or will the injury leave him as just another run-of-the-mill receiver? Nobody knows. Including Walker. His strategy is to try to get the Pack to ante up before he has to show whether he can perform at the same level he did prior to the injury. In other words, take the money and run before you have to run. The Packers, especially GM Ted Thompson, will no doubt take a wait and see attitude, which is definitely the prudent thing to do. Walker probably won't report until he has to. That means he will probably miss camp and run the risk -- again -- of possible injury by not being in game shape when he does finally get thrown into the game. If Walker shows flashes of his old self, the Pack can try to re-sign him during the season -- although Walker's ego would no doubt have been so offended he will test the open market after the season ends. If, on the other hand, Walker fails to regain his former ability, the Packers are better off having kept the money in the bank. Keeping Walker, at that point, may or may not be in the Packers' best interests. And that, after all, is what it's all about...not assuaging Mr. Walker's ego.