The NFL is not expected to decide this week whether to fine Sean Taylor, the Washington Redskins' top draft pick, for leaving the league's annual rookie symposium early. Taylor, a safety selected fifth overall in April, did not attend all of the NFL's four-day seminar in California last week, angering league officials.
The league spends $500,000 to hold the event, which is designed to educate young players about coping with celebrity and managing their money, and mandates that all rookies attend. Taylor, who played for the University of Miami, told officials he left early to avoid being evicted from his apartment. The NFL has fined players $10,000 for leaving or failing to attend the event in the past and is likely to settle on a punishment for Taylor, if there is one, next week, league officials said yesterday.
Taylor is also still seeking to secure an agent to represent him in contract negotiations with the Redskins. He fired agent Drew Rosenhaus shortly after the draft and has yet to name a replacement. The NFL Players Association had not received any paperwork about a representative from Taylor as of late yesterday.
The opening of NFL training camps is less than two weeks away and most teams are working to sign their top picks, wanting to avoid a preseason holdout. Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs has spoken firmly about the need for all rookies to report for the start of camp on July 30 and has said he has little tolerance for holdouts. Taylor is a strong candidate to win a starting job.
-- Jason La Canfora