first rounds of the past three drafts. But you know what, I'm guessing Kavika Pittman wasn't overly enthused by Ellis's arrival just two years after he was the team's first pick. This is just sort of the laws of the jungle: The young always is poised to replace the old. Catches up with all of us, no matter if it's football or what.
Sure Ellis is concerned with his playing time, and probably most of all, the likelihood of moving inside to a defensive tackle position on the nickel so Spencer can come in to rush the quarterback from his outside spot. But man, don't know how many more times the Cowboys can tell Ellis his is a vital piece to their 2007 puzzle. They want him.
No, this is all about the money. He wants more, but he's not eligible to get any, and knows he has no shot of ever receiving one of those huge signing bonuses floating around the league these days in the expanded salary cap era. That's because he has three years left on his deal and he turns 32 on Aug. 14. By time his deal runs out, he'll be turning 35 before that 2010 season, and knows the chances of receiving even a $5 million signing bonus at that stage of his career is rather remote.
To him, it's now or never.
But here is the illogical factor in all this. If Ellis doesn't get this signing bonus here, out of the goodness of Jones' heart, then which of the other 31 teams, assuming he was released and a free agent, would pay a 32-year outside linebacker/defensive end entering his 10th season coming off a surgically-repaired Achilles - and let's emphasize, that's an Achilles - who had to remove himself from the first time he tried to practice in pads this summer a huge signing bonus?
This is not the BONFL - Benevolent Order of the National Football League. These guys are businessmen, and you are right, most will do whatever it takes to win. But they all didn't earn enough money to afford one of these $50 million-$1 billion operations because they are bad businessmen. They don't routinely just hand away money.
Now my guess is, this too shall pass, and frankly, I thought it would have passed already - should have passed already, except the media can't resist an easy story. Just ask Ellis the question - have you had that proverbial meeting with Jones or are you unhappy - then turn on your mini-recorder and the story just writes itself. Easy Street.
Everybody gets what they need - Ellis a forum, the media a story, but in the meantime, there is Jones, bracing his patience.
Probably saying to himself, too, Greg, Greg, Greg.