Maybe the voracious 24/7/365 NFL news cycle requires even the most obvious developments to be a story.
Regardless, it’s officially news that the two remaining unsigned franchise players won’t be showing up for the lifting-and-running phase of the offseason program.
In Denver, left tackle Ryan Clady won’t be there, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post.
Clady has yet to accept his one-year, $9.828 million offer. He therefore isn’t under contract. So if he’s not under contract, it’s a no-brainer that he shouldn’t attend voluntary offseason lifting and running. Especially since he’s rehabbing his shoulder following offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum.
Players have only one effective way to build leverage: Withholding services. For franchise players, there’s no requirement to show up for any offseason or preseason activities. Franchise players can sign their tenders only days before the start of the regular season, and they can still receive the full amount of their salaries.
Of course, they risk having the franchise tender rescinded, which would make them unrestricted free agents. In the current market, that could make it hard to get an equivalent rate on a long-term deal.
While this may be a reason to sign the tender (which six of this year’s eight franchise players have done), it’s not a reason to show up for any voluntary or mandatory activities until the tender is signed — preferably as a precursor to a long-term deal.