CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 22: Ken Hamlin #26 of the Dallas Cowboys gestures towards the bench during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 22, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
For a guy trying to convince the Dallas Cowboys of his worth--which, if he is retained for 2010, is about $4.5 million in base salary--safety Ken Hamlin took a fairly cavalier approach to showing up for the beginning of off-season conditioning, which commenced on Monday. Hamlin arrived today, a day late, after spending last weekend partying with teammates and other NFLers at the Playboy Mansion.
Will one day of lifting and running make a significant difference in Hamlin's prospects for this season? Probably not. But it does send a curious message to a team who, judging by reports, is debating cutting ties with him after three seasons.
Hamlin Tweeted his way through the weekend, from partying in Los Angeles--"Anyone want to come to the playboy mansion, meet me at the front door I will tell Hef to let you in. LOL"--to trouble at the airport--"I hate gettin to the airport early. Now I'm jus sitting at the gate twiddling my thumbs"--to arriving back in Dallas last night.
Today, he Tweeted that he had a "great" workout.
Again, Hamlin's tardiness may be a non-issue. But it's hard to think it doesn't send the team a mixed message. As Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com words it, "You'd think a guy with $4.5 million on the line (the difference between his guaranteed money and base salary for 2010) would seize every possible opportunity to convince the Cowboys he's worth keeping."
So perhaps an opportunity has been missed; Tony Romo made some small waves by arriving late to the first session of training camp last season, only to have the best year of his career. Then again, unless we missed something, the team hasn't devoted itself to making itself Hamlin-friendly this off-season.