The Tennessee Titans will open training camp without their first-round pick, as offensive guard Chance Warmack will hold out over disagreements over the language in his rookie contract, according to Titan Insider. The contention is 'offset language', by which the Titans could recover guaranteed money in the event a rookie is cut before the end of his rookie deal.
This has been the final stumbling block in rookies signing their contracts. The NFL's rookie pay scale ensured money is no longer a holdup, but instead the fight is waged over how much money is guaranteed, and how much could be recouped by teams.
Warmack was set to help Chris Johnson's return to running dominance. The star running back had an excellent 2012 season, finishing with over 1,200 yards -- but the organization, and Johnson acknowledged that better help on the offensive line would further increase his production. Warmack was the top right guard in the draft, and a natural fit for an offense looking to run the ball.
Head coach Mike Munchak was candid about what a holdout could mean to the rookie's ability to help the team in 2013.
"It's hard enough for a rookie to come in and start, especially on an offensive line. We'll have to wait and see. It's hard to say, but if he misses two, three or four weeks or something, there's no way he's gonna be able to come in and help us right away,"
Fernando Velasco and Robert Turner took reps at right guard in Warmack's absence, with both players switching roles throughout the day on the line's interior. It's clear the Titans need to get their first round pick into camp, and quickly -- but time will tell how general manager Ruston Webster will deal with the offset language.