As first-round draft choice John Henderson was in the process of putting the finishing touches to his contract, coach Tom Coughlin was speaking to reporters about the absence of star wide receiver Jimmy Smith.
"I'm disappointed he's not here. I'm the coach. I'm disappointed it was in the press before we even had the holdout time," Coughlin said, referring to a story in The Florida Times-Union this morning in which Smith revealed he would be a training camp holdout.
Smith is seeking renegotiation of his current contract, which runs through the 2006 season. This season, Smith is due to make $2.75 million in salary and his $2.93 million in bonus money make him a $5.68 million hit on the Jaguars' salary cap.
In the Times-Union story, Smith expressed bitterness about renegotiation "promises" he claims were made to him a year ago. Other Jaguars players have made the same claims of "promises" from the team.
"Did I? I didn't," Coughlin said. "Perhaps there were some promises made I don't know about or Wayne Weaver doesn't know about. I've heard this before," Coughlin said.
Jaguars players were to report for the start of training camp by one p.m. today. Henderson was said to be in the process of finalizing his contract, and jaguars.com will update that situation as details become available. Smith was the only player on the Jaguars roster who had not reported to training camp this afternoon.
"I understand some of where Jimmy's coming from and where the club is coming from, too," Coughlin said in an attempt to be diplomatic. "Certainly there's great interest in Jimmy Smith. He's a great football player. We want him here."
However, it was easy to determine where Coughlin stood on the matter. He said Smith was being listed officially as "Reserve, Did Not Report," and that Smith will be fined.
"Wayne is very upset," Coughlin said of the Jaguars' owner. "Some of the things that were said; he's upset.
"It's not a free agent issue. The player is under contract. I would like to see this thing settled and everybody happy, but it doesn't work that way sometimes," Coughlin added.
Today's late-afternoon conditioning run was delayed by lightning. Coughlin said he would move the evening's schedule back to accommodate the conditioning run, weather permitting.