Mack, Donald holdouts would present slightly different circumstances

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On the surface, they’re relatively indistinguishable. One was the defensive player of the year in 2016, the other won the award in 2017.

Both arrived via round one of the 2014 draft. Both are entering the fifth year of their rookie contracts.

Neither has gotten the long-term deal he deserves.

But there’s a difference between Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, when it comes to a potential training-camp holdout.

Last year, Mack showed up. Donald didn’t. And Donald’s holdout kept him from getting a fourth year of credit toward free agency. Which means that, if he does it again (specifically, if he holds out and doesn’t show up at least 30 days before the start of the regular season), he’ll still be stuck on three accrued seasons — and he wouldn’t be eligible for unrestricted free agency next year.

That means he wouldn’t necessarily receive the franchise tag in 2019. While the Rams could still use it if they want, the Rams could instead tender him at the highest restricted free agency level, which would give the Rams the right to match an offer sheet from another team and first-round compensation if they don’t.

Donald may welcome that, since someone would surely make a run at him if the compensation is only a first-round pick. And if in the end the Rams realize that the safest course would be application of the exclusive franchise tag despite Donald having only three accrued years (even with the non-exclusive franchise tag, another team may happily surrender two first-round picks), Donald would be in the same place he would have been even if he shows up.

The only downside for Donald comes from a possible injury that would impair his market value and potentially prompt the Rams to roll the dice with the RFA tender, securing his rights for 2019 by putting millions less on the table. That dynamic would/could (should) make Donald more likely to carry a holdout deep into the regular season, in order to ensure that, come 2019, he’ll be getting the exclusive franchise tender.

By rule, he can show up as late as the Tuesday after Week 10 and get credit for the contract year. While few players ever do that, the sheer volume of disgruntled players in 2018 raises the odds that one of them will.

24 responses to “Mack, Donald holdouts would present slightly different circumstances

  1. Ah. So those are Golden Arches. I always thought they were Ram horns.

    La Big Mac (Pulp Fiction)

  2. kcsam76 says:

    June 22, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Mack > Donald.
    ———————
    Both are studs.. Can’t wait to see how Mack does with actual coaching and some talent around him.

  3. I would love to know how much of this is the agents telling Mack and Donald to wait until the other signs. Bigger contract for their guy means a bigger payday for the agents. Although it seems like Donald could have more to lose by holding out, so Mack’s agent may have the edge here.

  4. I thought the decision made by Donald last year rivaled Kam Chancellor’s (dumbest holdout ever) holdout decision several years ago.

  5. Donald held out last year, then proceeded to become DPY!

    I don’t think the Rams are too worried.

    Plus, Donald stays in great shape, even away from Rams camp.

    I believe his payday will come after this season.

    Hopefully he will stay healthy.

  6. as much as Mack deserves to get paid on a long term deal, he has 14 million reasons to show up this year. Raiders can not give him a stupid contact like von miller’s who is almost certain to be a cap casualty next year @ $25mill per.

  7. What am I missing here? The article says that if a player doesn’t show up to training camp at least 30 days before the regular season starts that he doesn’t get credit for an accrued season, but it also says he can show up the Tuesday after Week 10 and get credit for the year. I’ve always heard the latter but now we’re also saying a guy can’t be a free agent if he holds out of training camp? This seems weird.

  8. kcsam76 says:

    June 22, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Mack > Donald.
    ———————
    Both are studs.. Can’t wait to see how Mack does with actual coaching and some talent around him.

    ————–

    Me too. Hopefully when he leaves the Raiders he will find that.

  9. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:

    June 22, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    What am I missing here? The article says that if a player doesn’t show up to training camp at least 30 days before the regular season starts that he doesn’t get credit for an accrued season, but it also says he can show up the Tuesday after Week 10 and get credit for the year. I’ve always heard the latter but now we’re also saying a guy can’t be a free agent if he holds out of training camp? This seems weird.

    ______________

    Reading comprehension is key. As the article clearly states the reason for that is, “Last year, Mack showed up. Donald didn’t. And Donald’s holdout kept him from getting a fourth year of credit toward free agency.” Which means since Donald held out all of training camp and preseason last year if he was to do it again then his fourth year of credit toward free agency would be voided. 

  10. This is the problem: These two are studs but they don’t throw the ball and they don’t catch the ball, except for INTs. The guys who do those two things get the big bucks and take up like 20%-25% of their teams salary cap. Are these two guys worth giving 20%-25% of the salary cap? You start loosing other quality starters. Even QB’s recently have hurt their teams, Flacco with the Ravens and Brees with the Saints. they got what they deserved but they took from other players and their teams sank. Is one player worth that much???

  11. What’s with these NFL players wanting a new contract before they finish the original one.total BS!

  12. both these guys are at the top of their game for their position, and i can see why they want to hold out for long term deals. it only takes one good shot to the knee and thats alot of money gone if they arnt under long term contracts.

  13. The Rams defensive front 7 would be far better if they had an outside pass rush & good ILB corps, which they do not have. The Rams have zero outside pass rush, if they did their pass-rush would be far far better. As it is teams with good Guards dont have much to worry about & they can keep their RB in on 3rd down along with an inline TE ensuring no one gets to their QB as the Tackles dont have anything to worry about on the outside.

  14. @ Rob Brzezinski is a Magician-

    For Donald, if he doesn’t show up 30 days before the season, he will only have 3 years of service towards FA & will become a restricted FA, but only if he shows up Tuesday after week 10 or earlier. If he shows up after, his contract would toll being an “out” year (I believe he would have to play the following year under his rookie contracts final season amount, again).
    Seems similar, but there is a difference in contract years & years towards Free Agency for rookies.

  15. I hope these players are spending this time taking classes on money management and smart investing. That’s going to do them a whole lot more good down the road, than a few million extra dollars and no investment strategy.

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