Steve Young may miss the opening of training camp. Troy Aikman may not miss as much camp as everyone thought he would.
Young's contract with the San Francisco 49ers expired after last season, and under league rules he cannot participate in camp until a new one is in place. The 49ers' camp opens Wednesday."We have every intention of him being in training camp, but it takes two to do a contract," said Leigh Steinberg, Young's agent. "We also have every intention of having him compensated fairly."
Aikman, the Super Bowl MVP, threw a football for the first time since undergoing back surgery June 19. He downplayed the short tosses as an insignificant step in his rehabilitation.
"Just standing there throwing, I didn't expect to feel any pain or any discomfort," Aikman said after making several dozen throws. "It really doesn't test the back all that much, at least in my opinion."
The Cowboys are hoping to have Aikman in practice the second week of August after the team returns from an exhibition game in London against the Detroit Lions.
In other NFL training camp news:
- Quarterback Billy Joe Hobert left his baseball bat in Sarasota, Fla., and reported to camp with the Los Angeles Raiders. Hobert, who was playing minor league baseball in the Chicago White Sox system for the past three weeks, became the first of the Raiders' six draft picks to come to terms and joined the team late in the second of two workouts Monday.
- The Seattle Seahawks' top draft pick, quarterback Rick Mirer, and six other 1993 draft choices are still not signed. Rookies and some veterans report to camp Wednesday in Kirkland, Wash., for physicals. Mirer, of Notre Dame, was the second player chosen in this year's draft.
- New Orleans Saints coach Jim Mora said it could take the entire preseason to decide on his No. 1 quarterback. Bobby Hebert left the Saints during the offseason and signed with Atlanta, leaving the competition between Wade Wilson, Steve Walsh and Mike Buck. "I don't think it makes any difference whatsoever," Mora said. "Our team is comfortable with all three guys."
- The Green Bay Packers will have all their draft choices in camp Wednesday when free agents, rookies and selected veterans report. The Packers spent $30 million to bring in defensive star Reggie White and six other free agents in an attempt to improve on a 9-7 finish last season.
- Wide receiver Andre Rison is participating in Atlanta Falcons workouts despite a contract dispute. Rison, who owns NFL records for most catches in the first three years (215) and four years (308) of a career, feels he's worth as much money as the Falcons paid some free agents they signed during the offseason. Also in Falcons camp was running back Eric Dickerson, acquired last week in a trade with the Los Angeles Raiders.
Young, who has never missed a day of training camp, made $2.5 million last season when he led the NFL in passing and was named the most valuable player. He guided San Francisco to a league-best 14-2 regular-season mark and a berth in the NFC championship, where the 49ers lost, 30-20, to the Cowboys.
"He was the MVP of the league, which distinguishes him from other people so that we're probably looking at a contract that would be a little bit trend setting," Steinberg said from his Newport Beach, Calif., office.
Carmen Policy, president of the 49ers, did not return a phone call seeking comment on the status of the negotiations with Young. Steinberg said he talked by phone with Policy on Sunday and planned to meet with him today or Wednesday.
In Irving, Texas, Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson was pleased with Aikman's workout.
"He's much farther along than what anybody ever anticipated. I really feel optimistic and somewhat realistic that he'll be there for the opening ballgame," Johnson said.