But there remains plenty of tough negotiating ahead for a long-term contract.
Brackens accepted the $4.25 million to which he is entitled as a defensive end with the franchise label. However, the Jaguars gave him no guarantees that they would lift the franchise tag and no agreement to waive fines should he leave camp.
Their only concession - if you can call it one - was a promise to negotiate in good faith.
The parties have 23 days to make a deal before the regular season starts. By signing and reporting to camp, Brackens, who led the team with 12 sacks last season, now holds a card of his own.
"If there's no deal, he won't be here for the regular season," said Brackens' agent, Michael George.
Dressed in baggy jeans and a loose-fitting shirt, Brackens spoke to media briefly, before being shuffled off to the training room. He was scheduled to start practicing when the team resumes training camp Sunday.
"It feels great," Brackens said. "I've been wanting to be here for a long time. I'm ready to get to work."
Coming to camp probably was his best option.
Jaguars senior vice president Michael Huyghue said the team had already pulled its offer, worth an average of $6.1 million per year with an $11 million signing bonus, off the table.
"We basically said, `Tony, we're better off with you than without,'" Huyghue said. "But at some point, you have to make the decision to go on, and we were prepared to do that."
"That's irrelevant, because there was no offer there that we were going to accept," George said.
The first veteran holdout in franchise history contained a hint of ill will. That's something new for the Jaguars, who have a reputation of getting contracts done quickly and cleanly.
It seems the next three weeks will have their rough moments as well.
Both Huyghue and George agreed that they are no closer to a long-term deal than they were before the tender was signed.
The Jaguars are thinking more in the range of Robert Porcher, who signed a four-year deal with the Lions last week for $25 million.
Porcher's signing came two days after he signd a one-year tender, an action that can sometimes signal a deal is close.
That's not necessarily the case with Brackens and the Jaguars, though.
The team could be up to $30 million over the salary cap next year and has to think about the future. Meanwhile, like any rising player in this violent sport, Brackens knows his next contract could be his last and he must try to get all he can.
"We're going to negotiate in good faith," George said. "We don't have much time. The key is whether we reach an agreement before the regular season starts. All bets are off after that."
©2000 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed