JACKSON, Miss. (AP) Sedrick Ellis' holdout reached its sixth day Monday and Saints coach Sean Payton appeared to be growing tired of it.
"He's missing opportunities to get better, and that can affect his play," Payton said. "If you just look at the history of guys who have held out for longer than a period of four or five days, it hasn't been real good."
The Saints reported to training camp for weigh-ins and conditioning tests last Wednesday. They began two-a-day practices on Thursday, meaning Ellis has missed 10 practices in all.
The Saints, looking to bolster their pass rush, traded up in last spring's draft from the 10th slot to the seventh to get Ellis. Coaches were pleased with his work in rookie camp and minicamp, and it was clear he could compete for a starting job during training camp if he shows up.
Part of Payton's frustration stems from the fact the first through sixth draft picks have signed, setting somewhat of a precedent for the amount of money Ellis should receive.
"He needs to recognize, and I'm sure he will, that the slots ahead of him have signed and he's missing valuable playing time and valuable reps as a rookie," Payton said. "Then when he comes in, then all of a sudden we've got to get him acclimated because he hasn't been here. That's where there's some urgency on his part."
The top defensive tackle taken in the draft was LSU's Glenn Dorsey, selected fifth overall by Kansas City. He agreed to a five-year, $51 million deal that includes an option year and more than $22 million in guaranteed money.
Ellis' agent, Eugene Parker, did not return phone messages left at his office.
Ellis, a 6-foot-1, 307-pound defensive tackle out of Southern California, was an All-American and the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. In 13 games last season, Ellis had 58 tackles, 12 1/2 tackles for losses and 8 1/2 sacks. He also was credited with breaking up seven passes.
TITANS INJURED: At Nashville, Tennessee All-Pro placekicker Rob Bironas strained a groin muscle Monday during a special teams drill. Defensive end Ulrich Winkler of Germany hurt his left knee and had to be helped off the field, as well. Bironas said he felt a little pull as he was kicking off, and trainers chose to be cautious and check out the injury. Backup punter Josh Miller also pulled a groin muscle, forcing the Titans to use third-string quarterback Ingle Martin to kick a few punts during the afternoon session. Winkler, who was on the Titans' practice squad last year as an NFL Europa exemption, was pass rushing against Leroy Harris when his left leg buckled, and he yelled out.
PACKERS' GRANT SITS OUT: If it wasn't for the daily twists and turns of the Brett Favre unretirement saga, this would be considered a really big deal: Ryan Grant does not have a contract in place and skipped the first practice of Green Bay Packers training camp Monday. Grant, an exclusive rights free agent, is seeking a long-term deal with the Packers, but talks appear to have broken down. Grant's agent, Alan Herman, told the Wisconsin State Journal on Sunday that the team's offer of a six-year deal that included $1.75 million in guaranteed money was "insulting."
RAMS END BREAKS FINGER: St. Louis Rams defensive end Victor Adeyanju might have to get used to playing with a cast again. The third-year player will be sidelined two to four weeks after breaking his right middle finger in practice Sunday. He broke his right forearm during his rookie season in 2006.
NEWMAN SIDELINED: Dallas Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman missed practice Monday afternoon because of a strained groin sustained in the morning workout. Coach Wade Phillips said Newman got tangled up with a receiver during a play and twisted his leg awkwardly. Phillips doesn't consider the injury serious.