Cleveland Browns Mandatory Minicamp Underway Minus Three Unsigned RFAs

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IJune 11, 2010

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 15:  Kicker Phil Dawson #4 of the Cleveland Browns misses a field goal against the Green Bay Packers during the preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 15, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Phil Dawson did attend the mandatory minicamp underway this weekend in Berea, but three restricted free agents chose not to participate.

D'Qwell Jackson, Abram Elam, and Matt Roth have decided not to participate in the mandatory minicamp. To be fair, they currently are not under contract, but that's ignoring the fact these three guys don't seem to understand the team will move on without them.

In Dawson's case, he is under contract, but he did not participate in the voluntary OTAs this past month while trying to get a new long-term deal.

Dawson is one of the best cold weather kickers in the game, and a new multi-year deal wouldn't be a bad idea. Since Dawson is in the last year of his contract, it would make sense to do an extension now, so why the Browns' front office is dragging their feet on this subject is a bit of a mystery.

Turning back to the three disgruntled RFAs, plenty has been written about these guys and why they should be in camp right now, especially Elam.

Missing OTAs really is no big deal, honestly. The coaches obviously want everybody there and treat OTAs as something that absolutely, positively can NOT be missed lest the offending player "fall behind."

That has the ring of truth to it for rookies or guys new to a particular system, but overall there's nothing going on in the OTAs that doesn't come up in training camp.

The mandatory minicamp, though, is a little more serious. It's the last get-together before the big summer break. From a management standpoint, you want all your guys there.

Jackson, Elam, and Roth somehow feel their contract tenders aren't good enough, but with the leverage the team has and given each players recent history, it's become kind of comical how these three guys view themselves.

Jackson is an adequate linebacker, but he certainly isn't one of the games' elites.

Roth was waived by Miami in the middle of last season, meaning the All Holy Father Bill Parcells didn't want him, so where he gets off thinking the second-round tender offered to him isn't enough is mind-boggling.

Finally, Elam was a major participant in what was arguably the worst defensive secondary in the NFL in 2009.

Dawson has a good track record, and it's fair to ask for a contract extension going into your final year, but the other three?

Sign the contracts, get into camp, and be happy you have a job.