Holdouts continue for three top-10 picks


Three of the first 10 players in the 2013 draft continue to hold out from training camp, with the use of offset money on guaranteed contracts continuing to be the major sticking point for all three, primarily since under the rookie wage scale it’s the really only sticking point.

The Cardinals still have yet to see guard Jonathan Cooper (the seventh overall pick), the Jets have gotten camp rolling without Darrelle Revis replacement Dee Milliner (the ninth pick), and the Titans are still waiting for guard Chance Warmack (the 10th selection).

Through Sunday, Cooper and Milliner will have missed three days, and Warmack will have missed four.  (It’s a good thing no one holds out anymore.)

Jets coach Rex Ryan, who surely presumed he was done with cornerbacks who like to hold out when Revis was traded to Tampa, said Sunday he’s “frustrated” and “disappointed” that Milliner isn’t there.  (At least he’s not flabbergasted.  Yet.)

And for good reason.  As one league source explained it, rookies can’t afford to miss training-camp practices.  Each one puts them farther behind, and they could end up spending the entire season trying to catch up.  With Ryan needing to have a strong showing this season, he needs the most he can get out of Milliner.

All three holdouts arise directly from the battle over the meaningless-in-the-grand-scheme of things offset clause.

Three of the players taken  in the top 10 managed to have offset language removed from their fully-guaranteed contracts.  Four of the other top-10 players finagled structural adjustments in exchange for keeping in the term that prevents double-dipping in the event the player is cut before his rookie deal ends.

The alternative structure isn’t without potential flaws, however,.  As one league source with extensive knowledge of the negotiation of top-10 contracts has explained it, the use of a significant training-camp roster bonus in year four makes it harder for the player to hold out, if the team declines to give the player a new deal when he becomes eligible after three seasons.

Holding out, if under contract, is still no easy task under the new labor deal, since the player can be fined $30,000 for each day missed.

Players not under contract can’t be fined.  But they’re missing valuable time with their teams.  All because of a term that will become an issue only if the players become busts.

If they don’t show up soon, their chance of becoming busts could increase.

25 responses to “Holdouts continue for three top-10 picks

  1. So they’re risking their careers, or at the very least stunting the beginning of it, for the chance to make extra money if they suck bad enough to get cut.

    And that makes sense to them…

  2. Milner is already leaving a very bad taste in Jets fans mouth. Even if he resembles Revis on the field, the off the field was pathetic.

  3. Milliner has no leverage. If he doesn’t sign he may have to sit out a year and go back into the draft, and miss his chance to play for the Jets….

    … on second thought that’s not exactly a penalty

  4. I’m guessing the source with extensive knowledge of top 10 contracts was from Cleveland. They pick in the top 10 every year.

  5. As long as they get their money as that is the important thing and if their losing valuable time on the practice field is no big deal because the money will still be in the bank.

  6. Show up to camp you bums. If you don’t practice, you don’t play. If you don’t play, you don’t get paid. There are plenty of players with NFL experience sitting at home hoping you don’t show up. And they’ll be glad to take half your rookie contract. Idiots.

  7. The good thing about CB’s in Rex Ryan’s system is they only need to cover the receiver in front of them probably 80% of the time, so at least its probably the shortest learning curve of any position.

  8. All three teams with holdouts have ownership and/or front offices that have less than sterling reputations for dealing with agents. Not a coincidence I think.

  9. this is unreal these players need to be taught a lesson and the teams not sign them and let them reenter the draft NEXT year and lets see if they hold out then. this is just pure and simple greed and selfishness

  10. Milliner doesn’t want to be compared to Revis, but he’s making it hard not to compare them.

    Revis = holdout = Milliner

    All one in the same.

  11. If you think you’re good, then why are you worried about being cut? Not many first round picks get cut before year 3.

  12. I Received an awesome evaluation at work and a very small raise. We arw highly profitable and can afford more. So I protested and tried holding out. All I got out of it was a malcontent reputation and no chance of future promotions. Guess it only works in sports.

  13. They should have fixed this completely last go round. This should have been set up just like the NBA you get a deal based on where you get selected, the money isn’t great but it’s guaranteed, club option on the last year with an escalator clause for the player. There is no room for change you take what you get that’s that.

    The problem in the NFL is the agent culture every guy out there is trying to get their client a bigger chunk or one more concession, or the money they guy 6 picks ahead got because of the position his client plays. If this goes on for 5 more years there will be no rookie scale.

    If the league makes it static for rookie deals lots of players won’t get agents because there will be nothing to negotiate. That good for the NCAA and good for the NFL.

  14. Back loading contracts and insisting on offset language is not fair dealing. If teams want offset language that is fine, but you can’t get that AND put a significant portion of the money in the cuttable year.

    Most of these guys would be getting significantly more in an open market. Teams are just screwing with them back loading the deal and telling them they can’t have guaranteed money if they get cut and resigned. Guaranteed money is guaranteed money.

  15. Cards fans are losing their affection for Cooper and his prima donna act. This guy needs to be thankful at a chance to prove himself in the NFL and as rookie contracts are slotted and the holdout is over language that would keep him from “double dipping” should he be cut, it almost seems as if he lacks the confidence in himself to believe he’ll be around past his rookie season. Step up dude before the door is slammed in your face!

  16. Technically it is not a holdout as the player is not signed.

    It is a pretty insignificant point to haggle about. Since the new CBA top 10 picks have not been normally asked to put offset language in their contract. But now many teams are taking a harder line. The Jets have been one of the harder line teams on offset contracts for rookies the last few years although they resigned Sanchez last year with no offset which is likely the biggest reason in why he was not cut at the end of last season and the Jets were not able to bring in a more qualified QB.

    But the difference between Sanchez’s extension with offset is night and day compared to the much lower salaries rookies will get under the new CBA and the longer contract length of the rookie will protect the team even more. The possibility of savings for the Jets are so much less and the gain will be minimal compared to a resigning like Sanchez.

    One thing teams will not learn is that being hard line may cause contract problems down the line. The Jets tried a hardline approach after drafting Revis asking him to take a 6 year deal rather than the commonly accepted 5 year deal at the time for a #14 pick.

    Eventually the Jets caved and wrote a 4 year deal with a 2 year option at what was considered at the time to be a ridiculous price until Revis played all world and outplayed his contract. But the point here is the Jets hardline approach in Revis rookie year poisoned the negotiations for future years.

    The Jets want to learn from the Sanchez mistake last year but they should also learn from how they treated Revis and ended up paying for that hardline approach later. Sometimes one gain quite a bit by giving in a small amount. Hopefully Idzik will learn this lesson better than Tannenbaum. Give him the contract and get him in.

  17. First off. Its not a holdout when a player is not under contract. A holdout is when a player is under contract & does not report. These guys are not holding out.

    Second. No need to blast the player for not signing when the team is offering substandard deals. Teams know exactly what it will take to sign a player. They are playing chicken.

    I cannot understand why any player would accept a contract with offset language in it.

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