Second-round talks yet to boil

BY GEOFF HOBSON

  The agent for Bengals second-round draft pick Mark Roman may not have a comment on the club's signing bonus language. But Joel Sigel certainly has a say in what kind of contracts are signed in the second round.
Sigel not only represents the 34th pick in Roman, a cornerback from Louisiana State, but he also has the 36th pick in Eagles receiver Todd Pinkston, the 43rd pick in Chargers defensive back Rogers Beckett and the 47th in Raiders receiver Jerry Porter.
"I've had preliminary discussions with the Bengals, nothing more than that," Sigel said.
The Bengals apparently have all but agreed on numbers with third-round pick Ron Dugans, who along with Florida State teammate Peter Warrick is to replace wide receiver Carl Pickens. But agent Jim Steiner has "philosophical," problems with the Bengals'  Carl Pickens Clause. The language is designed to prevent players from forcing their release with public criticism of coaches and the organization by fining them some or all of their signing bonus.

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Sigel has no comment on a clause that has been signed under protest by fourth-rounder Curtis Keaton and fifth-rounder Robert Bean on the advice of NFL Players Association as it plans to file a grievance. But Bengals vice president Paul Brown, negotiating the Roman deal,  feels the Bengals have made the clause workable  by framing it in language already agreed upon by the NFLPA in the collective bargaining agreement and in every player contract.
Section 6 of Article 55 in the CBA states, "The NFLPA and Management Council agree that each will use its best efforts to curtail public comments by Club personnel or players which express criticism of any club, its coach, or its operation and policy, or which tend to cast discredit upon a Club, a player, or any other person involved in the operation of a Club, the NFL, the Management Council or the NFLPA."
Bengals President Mike Brown said, "We have no desire to stop normal media discourse. (The agents) argue this is an extra penalty. We say it's something that's been negotiated."
On other fronts, the Bengals don't appear to be drawing any nearer to a deal with left tackle John Jackson. Both sides indicated they are willing to wait with training camp more than three weeks away.
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