Holdouts could get very expensive for first-rounders in option year

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Several 2014 first-round draft picks continue to wait for their long-term contracts, including players like Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack, Falcons tackle Jake Matthews, Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr, Titans tackle Taylor Lewan, Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Beckham reportedly won’t hold out from training camp. Others (most notably Donald, who skipped all of camp and the preseason in 2017) still may.

For each of them, a specific provision of the CBA makes their potential absences less costly per day — but more costly per week, once the exhibition games begin.

The language appears in Article 7, Section 7(g) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement: “[A]ny unexcused late reporting to or absence from preseason training camp by a player in the fifth League Year of his contract (the option year) shall subject the player to a fine of $30,000 per day, plus one week’s regular season salary for each preseason game missed.”

The $30,000 daily fine is less than the $40,000 fine that other players will face. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news. The fine for each missed preseason game doesn’t apply to other players, and it can get very expensive.

For Donald, for example, a holdout that lingers into the preseason will cost him more than $405,000 per game. That’s more than $1.62 million of his $6.892 million salary if he once again boycotts the full preseason.

For top-10 picks like Clowney and Mack, it would be even more expensive. Clowney would potentially lose more than $723,000 for each preseason game missed. Mack would potentially lose more than $814,000 for each preseason game missed.

Thus, if any of the 2014 first-round picks choose to skip training camp, they would be wise to take a careful look at whether they’re willing to risk extending that holdout beyond the first preseason game. Although teams often don’t collect the fines arising from training-camp holdouts by players under contract, Article 7, Section 7(g) raises the stakes for the players operating under a fifth-year option, considerably.

23 responses to “Holdouts could get very expensive for first-rounders in option year

  1. Good. You are under contract. Team is not obligated to give you a new deal. Honor your contract or retire.

  2. I’m starting to think the rams getting Suh was in preparation for AD not necessarily being there as much as they’d like

  3. Written my every workday contract , I’d get fired from my median income job. So, I don’t hold out…Although, I wish I could.

  4. Rate This

    mm556 says:

    July 24, 2018 at 10:28 am

    I’m starting to think the rams getting Suh was in preparation for AD not necessarily being there as much as they’d like

    —–

    Should have just paid AD over Suh…

  5. Every time someone says you signed a contract you need to honor it, I think of the players who are injured and cut. Until their contracts are 100% guaranteed let’s stop says g this. If I’m a player in the final year of my contract and am looking for an extension do I risk blowing my knee out in training camp?

  6. Under the new CBA I think it would be helpful to abolish the Franchise/transition tags altogether and extend the 5 year option to 2nd round picks as well. So essentially after your first contract you can be franchised, once and only once before you hit FA and never have to consider the tag again. It gives the team that drafted them a bit more time and leverage to negotiate, but only for one additional offseason. I think it benefits both sides equally without any undue burden.

  7. Rate This

    lionshawk says:

    July 24, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Every time someone says you signed a contract you need to honor it, I think of the players who are injured and cut. Until their contracts are 100% guaranteed let’s stop says g this. If I’m a player in the final year of my contract and am looking for an extension do I risk blowing my knee out in training camp?

    ——

    I don’t totally disagree, but fully guaranteed contracts and salary caps don’t go together well. Look at the middle ground, the NBA…guaranteed contracts but flexability to get rid of them or go over the cap. Melo was going to make 27 mil this year…is that fair?

  8. djstat says:
    July 24, 2018 at 10:17 am
    Good. You are under contract. Team is not obligated to give you a new deal. Honor your contract or retire.
    ——

    You mean the contract he was forced to sign as a first round pick because of his dominance in college? He will get $6.892 million this year when he’s worth at least $18-$20 million per year. Why can’t you “average Joes” wrap your head around the fact that it’s a value issue. Would you stay at your job if you were getting paid 35% of your worth with no long-term security? That’s not even mentioning the dangers and length of a professional football career.

  9. The CBA can be less fair for very good players selected outside if the top 10.
    And there is injury risk in playing pre-season games.
    On the other hand you want to be as productive as possible during the season, so as to justify the large salary demand you have.
    I think it’s not worth missing pre-season. I’d suck it up and play, so as to be as effective as possible during the season.

  10. Come on- this is being lead by 5% players and 95% agents.

    Those agents know the contracts and are VERY aware of the impact of these decisions.

    I just wonder- when the agent gets his cut of the initial contract, and they suggest a player hold out and lose money- do they have skin in the game? Are they retroactively responsible for their share of the players’ lost income as the player is?

    Likely not.

    Tell me again that the owners are crooks in these matters…

  11. What world we live in now a days… football players wont pay for 6 million a year… peanuts I guess…

    and before I get grilled on here, I am a Rams/Aaron Donald fan : )

  12. For the next CBA I think the players should try to force an injury clause into the rookie and franchise tag contracts. In that teams who use these tags must include an insurance policy that pays the player 75% of the franchise tag value each year missed after a season ending injury sustained under the tag for 10 years or until the player signs a contract that is valued at no less than 75% of the franchise tag in year over year average. If the player signs a contract that is less than 75% the policy will pay the difference.

    This would mitigate the risks assumed by the player and provide an incentive to sign the tags. It would also mean the owners have some skin in the game beyond the one year deal.

    The owners, in turn, could limit the earnings of players who have held out if they sign with other teams. Something like their year over year average cannot exceed 90% of the franchise tag value or some such for 5 years after missing x number of days of mandatory work.

  13. Players should all just be forced to sign $150,000 contracts. There is no point in making more money than that. They are living my dream and playing football, therefore the fact that they also make more money than me is a double slap in the face. Nothing makes me rage harder than knowing that someone else is not only successful, but achieving market-appropriate valuation for their success. Can anyone else here even BELIEVE that supply and demand actually affect these contracts?

  14. GenXJ says:
    July 24, 2018 at 10:38 am
    Written my every workday contract , I’d get fired from my median income job. So, I don’t hold out…Although, I wish I could.

    34 5 Rate This

    ————————-

    That’s because you are no kind of valuable to your company. Become more talented and you’ll get a better deal! See how that works?

  15. For all of the fans saying to pay AD, he’s worth it, he’s underpaid, etc – think of it this way:

    Rookie deals have limits set on them based on their draft position – yes, AD is underpaid, but for every AD out there, I can show you 10 Jamarcus Russells…

    You want the teams to fork over more money to the guys who outperform their rookie deals, but do you also ask the guys who underperform them to give that money back?

  16. It is funny to read all the people saying this and that about money. We always want more. We all feel pro atheletes get paid too much but thats the CBA for you. When the pwner is worth billions he has to pay millions.

  17. crik911 says:
    July 24, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    It is funny to read all the people saying this and that about money. We always want more. We all feel pro atheletes get paid too much but thats the CBA for you. When the pwner is worth billions he has to pay millions.
    ——————————————
    When the owner is worth billions then every fan thinks that player salaries come straight out of his pocket, and that every decision is made by the owner, as if the GM doesn’t exist…

  18. Rdog says:
    July 24, 2018 at 1:21 pm
    crik911 says:
    July 24, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    It is funny to read all the people saying this and that about money. We always want more. We all feel pro atheletes get paid too much but thats the CBA for you. When the pwner is worth billions he has to pay millions.
    ——————————————
    When the owner is worth billions then every fan thinks that player salaries come straight out of his pocket, and that every decision is made by the owner, as if the GM doesn’t exist…

    —————–

    People need to realize that each team can only spend a certain amount of money. If 25% goes to three players, then the remaining 50 players now must share the remaining 75%.

    At some point, not every player can get paid what they think they deserve.

  19. Donald should report, pull a hammy first day and sit out 2 months before even playing a snap. Then suddenly have turf toe his first game back and sit another 1-2 months. There’s different ways to deal with teams treating you like a paper plate.

  20. I don’t think Aaron Donald will take it to that extreme. He is smarter than Kam Chancellor, who still owns the record the the dumbest holdout ever.

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