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30-day rule not as strong an incentive as some believe

So Titans running back Chris Johnson reportedly has told ESPN’s Michael Smith that Johnson is “mindful” of the 30-day rule.

It doesn’t mean that Johnson or any other player affected by the provision will definitely show up by August 10, the last day for players under contract to report in order to earn a year of credit toward free agency.  Though the teams possibly believe that they hold the cards, the reality is that, while a year of credit toward free agency moves a player closer to the open market, the player can still withhold services from his current team, if he’s wiling to pay the daily fine, to possibly give back some of his signing bonus (if any), and ultimately to sacrifice game checks.

For guys like Johnson and Revis, the thinking is that they’ll get new deals before they ever become unrestricted free agents.  So the question isn’t whether they’ll give up a year of credit toward something they’ll likely never be, but whether the teams are willing to go forward without them during training camp, the preseason, and possibly a portion of the regular season.

This doesn’t mean that they’ll definitely hold out.  But it does mean that, as applied to truly elite players, the 30-day rule doesn’t have quite the same oomph, especially when applied to a guy like Johnson, who is still three years away from free agency.

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6 Responses to “30-day rule not as strong an incentive as some believe”
  1. smithopher says: Jun 21, 2010 4:30 PM

    The reality of this all is that they’re smarter to not play this season and not get hurt this season. They’ve got talent worth the big bucks, and if they aren’t going to get insurance in respect to future earnings that they’re looking for, they might as well sit out. Look how it worked out for Leon. The Jets loved him, offered him a decent deal before last season, and instead of holding out for the deal he really wanted, he played last year, lost all his marketability to his current team, and ultimately got traded out of town because of the injury. Probably killed any chance of making serious money the guy ever had, and Leon is no Chris Johnson or Darrelle Revis. It’d be an even bigger shame to see Johnson or Revis get injured like Washington was and fall into that situation.

  2. Chuck D says: Jun 21, 2010 4:35 PM

    Do they really want to take that chance? If for example, the Jets find Revis a great player, but a headache and one which they don’t want to pay that sizable amount to, they can trade him next year. So if he comes in after the 10th of August, it could put him 1 year further behind in his quest…same with CJ.

  3. Jagmankane says: Jun 21, 2010 4:36 PM

    Or the team allows them to holdout until their greedy asses come back to work cuz they don’t want to lose too much money. and if they’re not in tip top shape, they get hurt, and then no big deal….ever.
    Keep holding out Chris. We don’t mind one bit in Jax.

  4. Jagmankane says: Jun 21, 2010 4:37 PM

    Or the team allows them to holdout until their greedy asses come back to work cuz they don’t want to lose too much money. and if they’re not in tip top shape, they get hurt, and then no big deal….ever.
    Keep holding out Chris. We don’t mind one bit in Jax.

  5. QJ1984 says: Jun 21, 2010 5:11 PM

    @Chuch D
    Any team that trades for either of them will likely already have an extenstion in place for them. Like the Anquan Boldin and Brandon Marshall trades this offseason. Baltimore and Miami had already agreed to terms, with the permission of their teams at that time, to work out a new deal before the trade was finalized.

  6. Stone says: Jun 21, 2010 5:34 PM

    I can definitely see this applying to Johnson because he isn’t making any money. I don’t see this for Revis because he will actually still make $10 mill or whatever over the next two years.

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