Some would say that there are no holdouts under the new rookie wage scale. Reminded that, yes, there indeed are some holdouts under the new rookie wage scale, some of the some would say that it’s not really a holdout unless the guy misses a week of training camp.
Even under that expanded standard, Cardinals guard Jonathan Cooper could end up being a holdout.
The seventh overall pick has yet to work out a contract with the team, and Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports that there currently is “no middle ground” between the two sides.
The sticking point is, as we’ve reported, offset language in the fully-guaranteed contract. Without it, Cooper can (if he’s cut in the next four years) collect the full amount of his Cardinals contract and keep every dollar he makes elsewhere. With it, the Cardinals would get a credit for any money Cooper earns from a new team over the balance of contract with Arizona.
Part of the problem is that the Cardinals waited a long time to engage Cooper in serious talks. Up until a few days ago, there had been no discussions.
For Cooper to ever blink on offset language, he’d need the kind of structure and payout received by other top-10 picks who have agreed to offset language in the past two years. If the Cardinals are going to insist on offset language and refuse to structure the deal in a more favorable way to Cooper, the rookie could miss a significant chunk of his first training camp.