Happy campers and unhappy holdouts are making news as NFL training camps get into full swing.
Several high draft picks and veterans agreed to contracts Tuesday. At the same time, nearly every team has key holdouts.Neil Smith, the second pick overall in last April's draft, signed with Kansas City. Smith, a defensive end from Nebraska, virtually has been handed a starting spot on the line.
Receiver Aaron Cox, the 20th player selected, became the 12th of 14 draftees signed by the Rams. But their other first-round choice, running back Gaston Green, is not in camp. San Francisco signed Daniel Stubbs, its top pick and the 33rd overall. Stubbs also is a defensive lineman out of national champion Miami.
The Chicago Bears signed linebacker Otis Wilson and tackle Steve McMichael, two key performers on the 46 Defense. Dallas signed safety Michael Downs to a three-year deal, while the New York Jets reached agreement with cornerback Carl Howard and Buffalo signed wide receiver Clint Sampson.
Denver linebacker Ricky Hunley, who started the last two seasons as the Broncos won the AFC championship, was traded to Phoenix for Mike Ruether, a guard-tackle.
Among the veterans cut on Tuesday were linebacker Jeff Barnes and defensive tackle Barry Bennett by the Raiders, and linebacker Jeff Davis by Tampa Bay.
Teams getting worried about players who haven't reached contract agreements include Seattle, where All-Pro linebacker Fredd Young wants to renegotiate his contract; the Raiders, who are without defensive back Stacey Toran and LB Matt Millen; and Houston, where the Oilers are threatening to trade their unsigned starting cornerbacks, Patrick Allen or Steve Brown, to the 49ers for cornerback Tim McKyer.
Smith, taken after Aundray Bruce of Auburn was the first selection by Atlanta, signed five one-year contracts. He is expected to move into the slot opened when Art Still was traded to Buffalo.
Cox, from Arizona State, reportedly got a four-year, $1.55-million contract and was relieved that negotiations were over.
Stubbs, the last of the 49ers' eight draft picks to sign, reportedly got $1 million for three years.
Ladd Herzeg, the Oilers' general manager, had his offer of Allen or Brown for McKyer turned down by 49ers general manager John McVay. Brown and Allen are among five Oiler starters who remained unsigned.
Brown, who earned $282,000 last season, said he had been offered only a $2,000 raise by the Oilers. Allen earned $180,000 last season.
Young, who was supposed to have reported last Saturday, was missing for the third straight day. But Seahawks GM Mike McCormack said he met with Young on Tuesday.
"There's nothing new to report other than that we had our first conversation and I think it was a good conversation," McCormack said. "In my mind, that's a positive step."
Millen and Toran are unsigned and were declared free agents June 3 by the NFL Players Association when the Raiders failed to send the union contract offers by the June 1 deadline.
"They're supposed to be here, but obviously there was a problem with their contracts," Shanahan said. "Anytime a member of your team isn't here, you're disappointed.