Unsigned an unknown

Hi Geoff,

With regard to Pollack, now that 15, 16, and 18 are signed, shouldn't it be a quick and easy process to get Pollack in? Are the Bengals trying to get something radically different than the other teams?

As for Thurman, why hold out for a 5 year contract as opposed to 4? The agent has a valid point, last years 2nd rounders for the Bengals, and this years 2nd round picks have 4 year deals. And when you consider the likelyhood of a holdout if he is any good anyway, whi bicker over 1 more year?

The team has a chance to be special this year, but they need Pollack and Thurman to upgrade the defense to do that.
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Thanks, Jason Boynton Beach Fl.

JASON:**

I agree with you on the defensive upgrade. With Pollack's agent not commenting and the team not talking, your guess is as good as mine why it's not done yet. What definitely has gone on in the first round is that everyone has waited everyone else out to better "slot," themselves in the draft order. Before camp, the Bengals most likely gave them an offer close to the No. 17 deal last year to use as a base. But if the agent has waited this long for the slot, you have to figure he'll wait and see what happens at Nos. 18 and 19.

There are no indications they're looking to do anything radical with Pollack (unless they don't want to match the hike in guaranteed money) and while Thurman's people argue they are going unorthodox with a five-year, the Bengals can simply point to them signing Chris Henry to five years in the third round. I think the team would like to deal on Pollack at this point, but what does the agent have to lose to see what happens at No. 18 if the kid has already agreed to sit out seven practices?

The problem I have with this process on both sides is that intelligent people can always argue their points well no matter the issue, but that doesn't get contracts done. It's due diligence, smart business, and necessary, and it's easy for me to say give the kid whatever he wants to get in, or the club is offering money the kid's never seen before he really ought to take it. But that's easy for me since it's not my money or client.

At this point I am now going to refer to a pretty smart thing Brian Simmons said today.

"Say you had a car you knew was worth $20,000," Simmons said. "Would you sell it for $15,000?"

OK, it's not the same thing, but the idea is similar. You've got two sides trying to get the best deal and who hasn't tried to do that at some point in the classifieds?

You can argue against Thurman's four-year deal, , but if they can't strike a deal with him after three years, or they have to franchise tag him after four instead of five, aren't people going to scream? Then we'll hear about what a difference a year makes if he's gone before five.

Everyone has a valid point, but that's still not getting anything done. Which is why I'm a big believer in the rookie wage scale a la the NBA. Here's your $2 million, now pass Go.

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