FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Star defensive lineman Richard Seymour
was among 10 players placed on New England's physically unable to
perform list on Thursday.
While fans attending Friday's opening of training camp weren't
expecting to see the team's top wide receiver Deion Branch, who
wants a new contract, they won't see defensive captain Seymour
The four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman also missed the start
of training camp last year in a holdout, got a raise for 2005 and a
multiyear contract after last season. He missed four games with a
knee injury and there is no indication he's seriously injured now;
the Patriots did not indicate why he was placed on the PUP list.
Players can only be put on the PUP list before the first
practice of training camp. If they are not removed from it before
the final roster cutdown to 53 players on Sept. 2, they must stay
on it for the first six weeks of the season. At any time during
Weeks 7-10, they can be activated or work out with the team.
After the first 10 weeks of the season, they must be activated,
waived or placed on injured reserve, requiring them to miss the
rest of the season.
Any of the PUP players can be taken off the list in training
camp once they're ready to practice.
Branch's likely absence has nothing to do with his health.
Entering his fifth season, the 2002 second-round draft choice wants
more than the $1.045 million he's scheduled to make this year, the
last of his original contract. Jason Chayut, Branch's agent, said
this week the player wouldn't be in camp "until he feels he's
being treated fairly," according to the Boston Globe.
Chayut did not return a call from The Associated Press seeking
Branch, who also missed a mandatory minicamp in June, can be
fined $14,000 for each day he stays away from training camp.
The others placed on the PUP list were safety Rodney Harrison
and center Dan Koppen, who both underwent surgery and were
sidelined for most of last season; running back Patrick Pass;
tackle Nick Kaczur; cornerback Randall Gay; wide receivers
Chad Jackson and Bam Childress; long snapper Lonie Paxton and defensive
tackle Johnathan Sullivan.
Harrison is as important to the defense as Seymour and is the
leader of the secondary. Koppen has been a fixture on the offensive