Nothing new on the first-rounders' contract negotiations, and that's really all that's left. They're going to wait to cut the last two until there's a signing to force it, just in case.
Which reminds me of my favorite pre-camp cut story of all time.
Back in 2001, the Panthers had signed a linebacker named Ron Merkerson. Big Merk, as the cool kids called him, had played with some distinction in the XFL for the New York/New Jersey Hitmen. Figuring he'd make a decent note, I approached him as he got out of a cab in front of the player's dorm on reporting day.
Asked him why he took a cab. He said he didn't know how else to get to campus from Spartanburg's bus station. Not knowing the Panthers would have provided transportation, he had cabbed from the team hotel in Charlotte to a Greyhound terminal there, and paid for his own $16 bus ticket to training camp.
“I got up early this morning, I made a couple of calls to see who was coming early, and I needed to get here a little earlier, so I grabbed a cab, jumped on the Greyhound and got here,” Merkerson said, noting the parade of luxury SUVs around him. “I don’t have a car out here like some guys — they got to ride down here in style.”
Problem was, when Dan Morgan and Chris Weinke signed contracts late the night before camp started, Merkerson was cut before he ever took the field. Team officials were chagrined that Big Merk had taken the bus, more so that someone found out. They swore they took him back to Charlotte. I hope they gave him his 16 bucks back.
So let that be a lesson if you're on the bubble. Don't pay your own way to Spartanburg out of your own pocket, because it could be a short trip.