With Young in fold, Bush remains lone top unsigned pick

Published 5:48 pm Friday, July 28, 2006

Vince Young’s deal is done. So is Chad Greenway’s and Jay Cutler’s.

First-round draft picks are signing contracts and making their way to training facilities as the majority of NFL teams prepare to open camp. The one big name with no agreement: Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush.

Neither Saints general manager Mickey Loomis nor Bush’s agent, Joel Segal, would comment on negotiations Thursday, but Loomis said recently that negotiations with Bush are running a “normal” course.

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Bush, the star running back and kick returner from Southern California, is looking for top pick money. Defensive end Mario Williams was the first overall choice in April and signed a six-year, $54 million contract with Houston, with $26.5 million guaranteed. On Thursday, third pick Young agreed to a five-year deal, with an option for a sixth, with $25.7 million guaranteed with Tennessee. It could have an overall value of $58 million with option and roster bonuses and salary.

Young led Texas to the national championship last season with a victory over Bush and USC in the Rose Bowl. Another Trojans running back, LenDale White, is now a Titans teammate of Young’s.

White, like Bush and Young, came out of college after his junior season, but he slipped to the second round, 45th overall, because of a right hamstring injury and a perceived poor attitude and work ethic by some scouts. He is behind starter Chris Brown and veteran Travis Henry in the backfield.

Greenway, a linebacker out of Iowa, was the No. 17 pick overall. His contract could be worth up to $13.25 million with roster and performance bonuses.

“When I was doing the agent (interview) process, I started off by saying, ’I don’t want to be a guy that’s going to hold out of camp, and we’re not going to be too proud as an agent or as a player to hold out,”’ Greenway said. “If that’s what they’re offering, that’s what we’re going to take.”

The Vikings’ rookies begin workouts Friday.

Quarterback Jay Cutler, the 11th pick in the draft out of Vanderbilt, agreed to a package worth up to $48 million over six years. The deal was expected to be signed in time for the Broncos’ first workout Friday.

“We got it done,” agent Bus Cook said of the deal that includes a team option for the sixth year.

Cutler was the last of Denver’s seven-member draft class to reach a deal.

The Broncos also signed punter Micah Knorr to fill in for Todd Sauerbrun, who will serve a four-game suspension for using the banned dietary supplement ephedra.

Kansas City Chiefs agreed to terms with first-round draft pick Tamba Hali, a defensive end from Penn State and the 20th overall pick. Hali received a five-year contract.

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Hali had 11 sacks during his senior season, including four against Wisconsin, tying a Nittany Lions single-game record.

Mathias Kiwanuka signed a five-year contract with the Giants that agent Tom Condon said could be worth up to $10 million if the Boston College defensive end hits all his incentives. Kiwanuka is guaranteed $5 million.

Late Thursday, Tampa Bay agreed to a deal with guard Davin Joseph of Oklahoma, its No. 1 pick and the 23rd overall selection. Joseph is expected to compete for a starting job right away.

Injuries already have struck even before most teams have practiced. Cleveland lost its top free-agent signing, LeCharles Bentley, a two-time Pro Bowl center. He tore his left patellar tendon and will undergo knee surgery and miss the season.

“He was the face of our free agent class,” general manager Phil Savage said. “We feel terrible for LeCharles, but life goes on.”

Blocking for Reuben Droughns on an off-tackle running play, Bentley, who played four years in New Orleans, was briefly engaged in a block up front with nose tackle Ted Washington when his left knee buckled.

“We’re still looking for a good year and I expect a good year. Nothing really has changed,” Crennel said. “Any time you lose a Pro Bowl player, you’re not quite as good. I told the team that everyone else has to pick up some slack, which I think we’ll do.”

Three veterans standouts, Jets running back Curtis Martin and Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour and safety Rodney Harrison were placed on the physically unable to perform list. All three are expected to be fine well before the season. Players can only be put on the PUP list before the first practice of training camp.