6-11-02, 5:30 p.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
The Bengals have extended an offer to Michael Westbrook, but the sides are far enough apart that no deal is imminent.
"We think we've put out an offer that meets what the market is now for a guy who has been out there for three months," said Duke Tobin, Bengals director of pro/college personnel.
Steve Zucker, Westbrook's agent, agreed Tuesday with about half of that statement.
"It's a good offer for this point in the season," Zucker said. "But not for the kind of player that is out there."
But both sides are resolved at trying to find what Tobin calls "common ground." Zucker has yet
to make a counter proposal, although he said he plans to once the sides are past the generalities.
"We'll work at it," Zucker said. "He'd like to be there, so we'll see what we can do."
At play are the deals of three other receivers, including the Bengals' own Darnay Scott. The Bengals still don't know if Scott's sore shin is ready for the season and with Scott unreachable and his agent, Rocky Arceneaux, out of the country, they have gotten nowhere in what is speculation they would like to re-negotiate his salary down from 2.5 million for this year.
It's actually $3 million because he's due a $500,000 bonus if he's on the active 53-man roster at the Sept. 1 cuts.
Also in the mix are deals reached last week by receivers on the market for just a few days. The Vikings gave Derrick Alexander $1.7 million per year and Keenan McCardell, off his fourth 80-catch season with 93 receptions, got $2.5 million per year from Tampa Bay.
"Steve is a pretty intelligent guy and I think he has a good feel for the market and what a player is worth at this time of year," Tobin said. "That is something he and Mike have to discuss and come to an agreement on what they are willing to do and see if we can find common ground. We have regard for him. We would like him to be here. We think he can help us. We think there's a role here for him."
DILLON CAMP:** The Corey Dillon Football Camp runs Wednesday through Saturday, June 12-15, for Grades 6-12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Landmark Christian Academy. Children can line up and sign up Wednesday morning. The camp costs $300 with the proceeds going to the Corey Dillon Foundation that is dedicated to helping inner-city youth. Dillon is expected to be on hand. Also expected are appearances from teammates Willie Anderson, Takeo Spikes, and Rodney Heath.