Pro Bowl receiver Roddy White’s training camp holdout began this weekend, and soon-to-be ESPN’s Adam Schefter doesn’t think it will end anytime soon.
“Strong hunch that this Roddy White holdout is going to last a little while. At least,” Schefter wrote on his Twitter page Sunday morning.
Whether this holdout is a serious matter of concern is up for debate. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff sounded relatively comfortable with the situation.
“I’m confident things are going to get done, and they are going to work in
the best interest of both the club and Roddy,” Dimitroff said.
“I truly believe it’s something that won’t be
contentious. It’s about two parties working together in a fair and firm
Both White’s agent and the Falcons have kept things professional publicly. It doesn’t look like the issue will grow into a major distraction, even if it drags on throughout camp.
And before anyone holds White up as an example of the greedy modern day athlete, consider that he’s the only current high profile veteran holdout we can think of. (Let us know if we’re missing anyone.)
It was only a few decades ago when there were routinely multiple veteran holdouts on most teams, sometimes more than five. (Even an old-school guy like Mike Singletary held out twice, once for three weeks before Chicago’s Super Bowl run. Two teammates skipped that whole season.)
Granted, those players had less leverage and compensation to work with. But they also weren’t always in supreme year-round condition like today’s athletes.
The Falcons know what they have in White, and they don’t seem overly concerned that the business of football is taking precedence for now.
“I want to state that I’m not angry,” coach Mike Smith said. “How can you be angry on
the first day of training camp, the first day of the 2009 season?”