http://morningsentinel.mainetoday.com/sports/stories/3089522.shtml Sunday, September 03, 2006 Deion and the Holdouts By Travis Lazarczyk , Staff Writer Copyright Ã‚Â© 2006 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc. Oh, Deion, Deion Deion... sooner or later, you might be the Wanderer. For now, you're just another holdout getting some lousy advice from your agent, Jason Chayut. Before you know it, Chayut will be telling you to take the Generals over the Globetrotters and give the points. Chayut is giving you the worst sports advice since Pedro told Grady he felt fine. This is an intervention. We want you back, catching passes from Tom Brady. We think you're on the verge of something special, and we'd like you to do it in a Patriots jersey. You've seen some teammates such as Richard Seymour and Corey Dillon get big paydays from the Patriots, and you've seen some former teammates, including fellow wideout David Givens, get big paydays on the free agent market. We don't blame you for asking "Where's mine?" If you play as well as we think you can, yours will be on the way. While the Tennessee Titans overpaid Givens, you're still under contract to one of the thriftiest teams in the NFL. The Patriots shop for talent they way most people shop for car insurance, they look around and see where they can the most output for the least price. In your case, we don't blame them for playing hardball. In your four years with the team, you've played in all 16 regular season games just once, when you did it last season. You've never had 1,000 yards receiving, and you've never caught more than five touchdown passes in a season. You are coming off a season in which you had career highs in receptions (78), yards (998) and touchdowns (five), so that's why we think you're on the verge of joining the NFL's elite receivers. What's with this grievance? Did you really think the Pats would rubber stamp a trade to the New York Jets? Not only is that a team in the AFC East, but there's a little history between Bill Belichick and the Jets. Yeah, we know the Pats traded quarterback Drew Bledsoe to divisional rival Buffalo a few years ago, but the difference between you and Bledsoe, Deion, is that you're about to enter your prime. Bledsoe had peaked. The Pats need you as much as you need them. On Saturday, New England traded for Oakland wide receiver Doug Gabriel, a guy who has 71 receptions for 1,122 yards and five touchdowns in three seasons. Gabriel isn't the answer to the question "Who is the Patriots' deep threat?" and neither is Reche Caldwell or Troy Brown. Chad Jackson might be someday, but right now he's a rookie with a bum hamstring. Tight end Ben Watson, like you Deion, is a ball of potential, but without you on the field to complement him, defenses can play him tight without fear of the breakaway receiver on the corner. You're one of the good guys. Before you played in Super Bowl XXXIX, a game in which you caught 11 passes for 133 yards and were named MVP, you called a dozen of your former football coaches, just to thank each one for his support. You look around Gillette Stadium, you'll see a lot of No. 83 jerseys. The fans like you, Deion, and they want to continue to like you. Do you really want to hold out until November, as has been mentioned as a possibility? We don't think so. The Patriots are around $13 million under the salary cap. We think if you were on the field, a contract both you and the club could be happy with would be worked out. Right now, you're an above average NFL wide receiver, but you have the chance to be great. Nobody becomes great sitting at home. We agree you're underpaid, but end your holdout and prove it. For the moment, we're still inclined to believe you're listening to Chayut whispering sweet nothings in your ear, but the longer this drags on, the more we'll be inclined to revoke your good guy card. Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242 firstname.lastname@example.org .