WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (CBS HOUSTON) – On the eve of training camp Houston Texans General Manager Rick Smith does not want to refer to Duane Brown’s absence from a “contract dispute” or a “hold out”. Whatever way Smith wants to describe it, a “hold out”, by all indications, is precisely what Brown is doing.
Brown missed all of the Texans organized team activities during the off-season and did not join the club in their trip to their new training camp site at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. Brown has two years left on his contract but neither year has any guaranteed money. Should Brown miss any games due to injury he would not collect a pro-rated portion of the $9.5 million he is scheduled to make nor are the Texans obligated to keep him on the roster without any major financial penalty.
Smith spoke to reporters on Tuesday and said he had spoken to Brown and elaborated that he is expected to be at camp.
“I have talked to Duane, yes. I don’t know that this is a holdout. There is no contract dispute. Duane is under contract for two more years. That’s our position,” Smith said. “We’re here to get our football team ready for the season. He should be a part of it.”
Brown has not spoken publicly about his contract dispute and canceled a recent public appearance at a Sportsradio 610 event to benefit the foundation of former teammate Wade Smith. It is not yet apparent what Brown is seeking in terms of his contract demands, but it likely will begin with a guarantee of his contract, at least partially of the final two years of his deal.
Brown will face fines of $40,000 per day missed in camp.
Smith said he did not know when Brown would join the team, but says he is expected to join the team at some point
“I’m not going to guess. I’m going to say that he ought to be here, Smith said. “We put him on the Reserve/Did Not Report list today. We’ve got 89 other guys that are here, ready to go to work right now. ”
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio