With Lions defensive end Cliff Avril reporting for duty in Detroit, a total of four holdouts remain.
Each comes from a different category of holdout.
The lone remaining franchise player who has opted not to sign his franchise tender is Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe (pictured). All others either have negotiated long-term deals or accepted their one-year, big-money, guaranteed pay.
Bowe can show up only a few days before the start of the regular season and receive the full amount of his $9.5 million tender. Or he can show up as late as the Tuesday after Week 10, get credit for the season, and force the Chiefs to decide whether to use the tag on him again in 2012 (at $11.4 million) or to let him hit the market. The latter option means he’d lose $5.58 million.
Either way, he won’t be ready to make much of an impact in new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s attack.
Steelers receiver Mike Wallace is an unsigned restricted free agent. He’s in the same boat as Bowe, but with a much lower one-year salary of $2.7 million. If he shows by the Tuesday after Week 10, he becomes an unrestricted free agent in March 2013 — subject to the franchise tag, which the Steelers probably won’t use given the magnitude of the contract given to Antonio Brown.
Like Bowe, Wallace is missing reps and opportunities in a new offense, under Bowe’s former boss, Todd Haley.
Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon is an unsigned draft pick. The fifth overall selection presumably is at an impasse with the Jags regarding the protections the teams will use to ensure against another DUI or alcohol-related incident, in the wake of Blackmon’s post-draft 0.24-percent blood-alcohol result.
Then there’s Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, the only holdout who is under contract, and thus incurring $30,000 per day in fines. Someone has to blink in order to resolve this one, since the Jags have said there will be no adjustment of his current contract, which has two years remaining.
Like Bowe and Wallace, Jones-Drew needs to learn a new offense.
Chances are they’ll all show up at some point this season. But with four of them dug in fairly strongly at this point, there’s a chance at least one will not be with his team when the real games start, exactly one month from tonight.