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July 27

(9:00 AM): Bears sign final pick...Chicago will have its full draft class from this year on the field later today when the Bears resume pre-season practice later today after signing the lone remaining holdout from the 2003 draft, 2nd round CB Charles Tillman.

(12:01 AM): Number of first-round holdouts takes big jump...With 10 teams opening formal training camp practice sessions yesterday, the number of official first-round holdouts jumped from four to ten. Entering the day, DTs William Joseph of the Giants and Jimmy Kennedy of St. Louis, C Jeff Faine and RB Willis McGahee of Buffalo were holding out. They were joined by DT Jonathan Sullivan of New Orleans, QB Byron Leftwich of Jacksonville, DE Jerome McDougle of Philadelphia and SS Troy Polamalu of Pittsburgh, along with Arizona's two #1 picks, WR Bryant Johnson and DE Calvin Pace. There are also three other unsigned first rounders - TE Dallas Clark of Indianapolis and Baltimore's two #1s, DE Terrel Suggs and QB Kyle Boller - however, those teams have until to tomorrow when they start practice to get their picks signed to avoid a formal holdout. Meanwhile, the ranks of unsigned lower round picks fell as Miami signed 5th round WR J.R. Tolver, while Washington, which also opens practice Monday, signed OG Derrick Dockery, a 3rd round pick, and Carolina completed the signing of its 2003 draft class by coming to terms with 2nd round OG Bruce Nelson.

July 26

(2:00 PM): Cowboys complete draft signings...Dallas got the last of its 2003 draft class coming to terms with TE Jason Witten and LB Bradie james, the Cowboys' 3rd and 4th round picks, respectively, this past April.

Tough start for Broncos' picks...Perhaps the Denver rookie class should have taken a page from the counterparts in Cleveland and held out! During the team's initial workout yesterday, RB Quentin Griffin, the Broncos' 4th round pick, fractured a fibula and will be out 4-6 weeks. Meanwhile, OT George Foster, the Broncos' #1 pick suffered a high ankle sprain. The Broncos were originally concerned that the injury could be serious, but an MRI indicated no structural damage and Foster could be back at work within the next day or two.

(9:00 AM): Bears holdouts down to one...After signing 2003 first round picks DE Michael Haynes and QB Rex Grossman yesterday, Chicago was also able to sign 3 of the 4 lower picks the Bears still had not come to terms with including 3rd round LB Lance Briggs, 4th round DT Ian Scott and 5th round WR Bobby Wade. That leaves 2nd round CB Charles Tillman as the only unsigned Bears' pick as the team heads into its second full day of pre-season practice.

49ers waive undrafted OG...San Francisco has waived former Stanford OG Greg Schindler, a promising undrafted free agent from the 2003 draft class.

(12:01 AM): Longer term deals at nexus of Browns' holdouts...Unquestionably, the oddest story of the first week of NFL training camp season has been that Cleveland will head to the second day of its full camp - and 5th day overall - later today without having signed any of its 2003 draft class. The problem stems from the fact that the Browns are requesting that all of its draft picks sign 5-year contracts. While 1st and 2nd rounders have traditionally signed such long-term deals, later round picks have almost always received either 3 or 4 deals. Players taken in the later rounds generally sign for close to league minimums and want to be able to get to free agency as soon as possible so sign for the shorter periods. The Browns, though, are reportedly concerned about losing some of their promising picks early in their careers as a result of the trend around the league of some teams to give up the draft picks necessary to sign restricted free agents after three years. Cleveland officials reportedly remain hopeful that C Jeff Faine and LB Chaun Thompson, the team's first and second round picks, respectively, this year, who are not affected by the 5-year factor, will be in camp by the end of the weekend and effect some kind of snowball affect on the rest of the rookies.

Bay area rooks all in camp...The signings of the first round picks of both Oakland and San Francisco made the headlines in the Bay area yesterday, but, in fact, the 49ers and Raiders were able to get their full 2003 draft classes signed and in camp yesterday.

Holdout update...Other than Cleveland, few teams that have opened training camps have unsigned 2003 draft picks. In fact, with more than half of the 32 teams now practicing only St. Louis (DT Jimmy Kennedy), the New York Giants (DT William Joseph) and Buffalo (RB Willis McGahee) have holdout #1 picks. And the Rams are reportedly close to signing Kennedy, while there doesn't appear to be much urgency in Buffalo where McGahee isn't expected to able to practice anytime soon anyway as he rehabs from the reconstructive surgery he underwent last January after tearing an ACL in Miami's Fiesta Bowl loss to Ohio State. At the same time, two teams - Chicago and Miami - have unsigned mid-rounders. Meanwhile, 10 more teams open practice sessions later today. Of the 10, only two - Houston and Tennessee - have signed their full 2003 draft classes, that is, at least the ones expected at camp as the Texans have not signed QB Drew Henson who is still committed to baseball. At the same time, Dallas (CB Terence Newman), Carolina (OT Jordan Gross), and Minnesota (DT Kevin Williams) have signed their #1 picks, but have at least one other pick still to come to terms with. The 5 other teams opening practice later today - Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Arizona, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans - have also signed the bulk of their draft classes, but have yet to sign their #1 picks. In fact, the Cardinals have two unsigned #1s: WR Bryant Johsnon and DE Calvin Pace. Of the unsigned #1s, Jacksonville and QB Byron Leftwich and the Saints and DT Jonathan Sullivan are reported to be far apart and expecting touchy holdouts.

Seahawks release former #1, top UFA P...Seattle has released OT Chris McIntosh, the team's #1 pick in 2000. McIntosh did not play last year because of an injury and didn't figure to make the Seahawks' starting lineup this fall even if healthy. Meanwhile, the Seahawks also released former Kentucky P Glenn Pakulak, one of the better undrafted free agent Ps from the 2003 draft class.

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