A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Hold On, I’m Not Coming……For Now!!!!
PHILADELPHIA — Holdouts are always big news leading up to and during training camp.But the holdout game can be very costly in terms of team chemistry and injuries — just ask the Kansas City Chiefs about how they feel about running back Larry Johnson’s holdout from ’07.
Also players under contract risk large amounts of money in fines (approximately $15,000 per training camp day missed) and accruing seniority toward (under a league rule, players under contract must report at least 30 days before the overall first NFL regular season game or lose an accrued season of seniority) by holding out.
None the less there is plenty of “holdout” talk around the NFL.
Philadelphia Eagles OG Shawn Andrews – (AWOL – Has not reported) One of the NFL’s most bizarre training camp stories gets stranger by the day.All of the speculation finally ended on Monday as news that the “The Big Kid” as he likes to call himself has an issue with depression.The fun part will now be how the Eagles handle Andrews’ huge fines ($15,000 per day) that have been piling up (But you know how this team operates when it comes to $$$).How this holdout turns out only time will tell as Andrews “says” he will be back before the end of training camp on Aug 13.The Eagles must make sure that they handle this situation carefully (Remember former Cowboys DE Demetrius Underwood and for Raiders O-Lineman Barrett Robbins).If this scenario has anything to do with money then Vikings’ Pro Bowl Guard Steve Hutchinson’s contract (7 years, $49 Million w/ 10 Million in guarantees) would be a good start for Andrews and his agent Rich Moran. Current Contract: In June 2006, Signed a 7-year contract extension for $40 million through 2015.
Buffalo Bills OT Jason Peters - (Holding Out) After sitting out almost all of the Bills’ off-season workouts, the big left tackle is looking to get paid by the small market Bills.The upstart AFC East franchise, which many are picking to make some noise in ’08 needs Peters to protect the blindside of whomever is the Bills’ starting quarterback. The former undrafted free agent from ’04 is coming off his first Pro Bowl season and is looking to receive a contract in the neighborhood of Cowboys LT Flozell Adams (six-year deal for more than $43 million with $15 million guaranteed).Peters has missed every day of camp since August 2nd causing him to have fines around $120,982 based on a daily maximum potential fine of $15,116 dollars. Current Contract: Signed a 2005 deal for five-years worth $15 million.
St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson – (Holding Out) After attending mandatory OTA’s, it was obvious that Jackon, who is in the last year of his contract was unhappy.The 25-year old power back has missed everyday of camp since it opened on July 25th in a holdout …ouch at $15,000 per day .. while his Agent Eugene Parker is trying to work out a deal.With 2nd yeat running back Adrian Peterson owning a six-year, $40.5 million contract w/ 17 million guaranteed, many veteran running backs want to also get paid.Unfortunately for the veteran RB’s, teams are not paying top dollars for them any longer – Just ask out of work RB’s Shawn Alexander, Cedric Benson, Ron Dayne and Travis Henry. Current Contract:Due $1.7 Million on five-year, $7 million deal he signed in July 2004.
Philadelphia Eagles RB Brian Westbrook – (Reported) B-West has never publicly complained and he came to camp ready to work in a professional manner.But everyone knows that the Eagles best player is grossly underpaid — In 2007, Westbroook made 2 Million from the contract extension that he signed in 2005. His ’07 salary ranked him 20th behind players like DeShaun Foster and LaMont Jordan.There is no doubt Westbrook at 29 years of age and nearing the magical age of 30, will have a difficult task getting “Stone Wall” Joe Banner to renogiate.Westbrook even told McNabb’s agent Fletcher Smith to take a walk in an effort to get a new deal — Signed with agent Todd France (also Omar Gaither’s rep) in hopes that he and the Eagles can work out an extension…don’t hold your breath though.I think Westbrook should at least be in the neighborhood Houston Texans running back Ahmad Green (four-year, $23 million contract).Current Contract: In November of 2005, signed a five-year contract extension that runs through the 2010 season and is worth slightly less than $25 million. The deal included a $12 Million dollar signing bonus.
Tennessee Titans DT Albert Haynesworth - (Reported – Signed Franchise Deal) Begrudginly signed his 2008 “franchise” deal of $7.25 million for 1 year (wants the contract of Oakland Raiders DT Tommy Kelly, seven-year, $50.5 million w/ $18.125 million in guarantees). With the Titans losing every game that Haynesworth missed ‘in ’07 (record of 0-4), I am hearing that Titans owner Bud Adams and head coach Jeff Fisher are huddling to get a new contract in place, so this fiasco does not have to happen in February ’09.Current Contract: The aforementioned 1-year $7.25 million dollar “franchise” deal
Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Johnson – (Reported) Ocho Cinco had off-season surgery on his ankle not surprisingly right after he and his agent Drew “Next Question” Rosenhaus realized they had no leverage.Johnson is in camp, but has not practiced due to his “injury”.Hopefully sooner rather than later, Ocho and “Next Question” will realize that the Bengals and head coach Marvin Lewis will not budge, with the “promise” to look into Johnson’s deal after the season. Current Contract: April 2006 contract extension w/ terms six-years , $35.5 million deal. Contract paid Johnson $16 million in bonuses and salary for 2006 and 2007. The remaining money due includes $3 million for this season, $4.5 million in 2009, $5 million in 2010 and $6 million in 2011.
Detroit Lions WR Roy Williams – (Reported) After not reporting to some OTA sessions due to “bad weather”, Williams showed up for training camp on time, but still seems a little perturbed that he doesn’t have Terrell Owens’ four-year $34 million dollar contract extension. Look for Williams to play out his deal in hopes that GM Matt Millen can work out a trade or extension.My guess is the Lions will “franchise” Williams if nothing can be worked out. Current Contract: Signed a five-year, $15.25 million contract in August of 2004 and is due $5.8 million in ’08.
Arizona Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin – (Reported) After missing voluntary OTAs, his agent Drew Rosenhaus – Why is it he always seems to be part of holdout talk – made sure Boldin reported.Unfortunately a nagging hamstring injury has limited his activities and of course seeing Shockey and Taylor traded did not make the big receiver happy.He clearly wants the same $$$ that teammate Larry Fitzgerald received (four-year, $40 million contract, with $30 million guaranteed) this past off-season or to be traded, but GM Rod Graves is playing harball.Current Contract: Signed a four-year, $22.67 million contract extension through 2010 on 7/31/2005. The deal included a $5 million signing bonus and contains $10 million in total guarantees w/ Boldin due $2.5 million in ’08.
Philadelphia Eagles CB Lito Sheppard - (Reported) The former first round pick in 2002 made a power move by hiring Drew Rosenhaus as his agent.But I hope he doesn’t think that move will motivate “Stone Wall” Joe Banner to renogiate or trade him.With Asante Samuel’s hamstrings being very iffy and teams playing three receiver sets about 60% of the time, expect to see Sheppard in an Eagles uniform versus the St. Louis Rams on September 7.Current Contract: Signed a 8-year, $26.3 Million deal w/ a 8.7 Million signing bonus in ’04 season.
New Orleans Saints TE Jeremy Shockey – (Traded) The “big-mouth” tight end was traded to the New Orleans Saints by the NY Giants for a pair of draft picks in 2009 picks (2nd and 5th rounds).Shockey now he will not have to deal with Giants GM Jerry Reese and he will be reunited with Sean Payton, who somehow is on the violatile tight end’s good side.It will be interesting to see if Shockey has grown up from the injured player at the Super Bowl who swilled beer in a skybox as his teammates won the big game.Current Contract:On 10/12/2005, signed a contract extension for five-years at $26 million with $10.5 Million in guarantees
Washington Redskins DE Jason Taylor -(Traded) The NFL’s most interesting off-season Soap Opera came to an end on July 20 when the Miami Dolphins sent “Mr. Dancing With the Stars” and his career 117 sacks to the Washington Redskins for a second-round pick in 2009 and a sixth-rounder in 2010.The move clearly helped both sides as Taylor didn’t want to end his career on a team rebuilding from a 1-15 season and Bill Parcells needed the future picks for his 3-year plan. Current Contract: In 2004, Taylor signed a three-year contract extension that put him under contract through the 2009 season. The new deal runs from ’04 to ’09 and is worth $45 million including nearly $10 million guaranteed.
New York Giants DE Osi Umenyiora – (Reported) With the retirement of Giants’ all-time sack leader Michael Strahan, the G-Men and Umenyiora appear headed toward a re-negoiation.However the ’07 Super Bowl Champs may want to wait and see if Umenyiora is still motivated.The G-Men have newly signed Renaldo Wynn and returning from injury Mathias Kiwanuka as insurance policies against Umenyiora walking out. The G-Men also have O-lineman Chris Snee, RB Brandon Jacobs, and WR Plaxico Burress looking for new deals.Current Contract:Signed a contract extension in December 2005 with the terms six years for $41 million w/ $15 Million guaranteed
Chicago Bears LB Brian Urlacher – (Reported – Signed an extension) The bad blood from OTA’s where the Bears Middle Linebacker reported, but sulked should be over after the McCaskey Family stepped up to key their star happy.Even though the deal was not the size of Lance Briggs (6 years, $36 Million w/ $13 Million guaranteed). Urlacher should now be happy.Current Contract:Had four years and approximately $25.5 million remaining on his original contract extension signed in 2002 (nine-years, $56.5 million contract with a 13 Million Dollar signing bonus). Under the terms of the upgraded ’08 deal, Urlacher will receive a $6 million signing bonus along with a $1 million bump in salary each of the next four years. The sides also have agreed to extend the pact into 2012, at a salary of $7.5 million. Urlacher can earn an additional $500,000 in a workout bonus in 2012. That’s a total of roughly $43.5 million over the next five years, with $18 million in new money.
Chicago Bears WR/KR Devin Hester – (Reported – Signed an extension) – After initially holding out at the start of training camp for 2 days then “injuring” his hamstring (probably didn’t make too many friends in blue collar Chicago when complaining about a salary of $445,000 for ’08), the Bears and McCaskey family stepped up again to keep one of their stars happy.There is no doubt that Hester is a special player (NFL single season return record of six in 2007) and the Bears needed to keep him after Bernard Berrian bolted for the Vikings.Current Contract:Hester had two years left on his ’06 rookie contract (four-year, $2.86 million rookie contract that called for him to make $445,000 in 2008 and $530,000 in 2009) With his new contract extension through 2013 for four years, $30 million including $15 million guaranteed with a max out at around $40 Million. The deal features escalators of $10 million in each of the final two years featuring receptions, yardage and other targets.
Dallas Cowboys Safety Ken Hamlin – (Reported – Signed to new deal) Much like Haynesworth, Hamlin was not happy with being “franchised”. So sure enough before the July 22nd franchise mandated signing date, open-pockted owner Jerry Jones gave Hamlin a new deal.Jones more than any owner in the NFL has seized the opening from a potention non-salary cap in 2010 by keeping his players happy (T.O, Pacman Jones, and others). Current Contract: Hamlin on July 15 signed a six-year, $39 million deal including a $9 Milllion dollar signing bonus.
Green Bay Packers RB Ryan Grant – (Reported – Signed new contract) Though technically the former unsigned restricted free agent was not an “official holdout”, this situation had reached an impasse as Grant would not sign the Packers tendered contract (minimum tender of 1-year, $370,000 for a second-year player).After running for over 1,000 yards including the playoffs, the former Giants practice squad player wanted more and he could not report to training camp as long as there was not a valid contract in place.Already feeling public pressure from the Brett Favre mess, the Packers gave Grant a healthy extension.Current Contract:Four-year deal w/ a cap of $30 million. Much of the money will come from performance-based escalators with the former Notre Dame star earning $4.25 million in ’09 ($3 million roster bonus at the signing and $1.25 million split up into $750,000 in base salary and an additional roster bonus worth $500,000).
Tampa Bay Bucs RB Earnest Graham – (Reported – Signed contract extension) After not reporting to all six OTA’s due to his unhappiness with a contract that called for him to make $605,000 in ’08, Graham’s persistence paid off. With leverage from a breakout season in ’07, GM Bruce Allen and head coach John Gruden decided they needed Graham in training camp.Graham joined Cadillac Williams, Warrick Dunn, and Michael Bennett in a crowded Bucs’ backfield after signing on June 30 right before training camp.Current Contract:Signed a contract extension for four-years worth $11 Million.
New York Giants Plaxico Burress- (Reported) Burress disgruntly reported to training camp, but made his contract demands known – Of course everyone on the 2007 Super Bowl Champs is now looking for their payday.The moody, but talented receiver has not endeared himself to ownership and GM Jerry Reese by not practicing due to a “Sore Ankle Injury”.We will have wait and see if the G-Men can keep their physical receiver happy, but he is asking for T.O type numbers of $9 million per season.Current Contract:Currently signed until 2010 from a 2005 contract with terms of six-years, $25 million.
Falcons WR Joe Horn – (Reported) It appears the Falcons’ career of this former Pro Bowl receiver will be coming soon.After a 27 catches for 243 yards w/ 1 TD season in ’07 and the Falcons going with youngsters including starters Roddy White and Laurent Robinson followed by Michael Jenkins and ’08 third-round draft pick Harry Douglas, it appears a preseason release is near.You have to wonder if new Falcons GM Tom Dimitroff is making Horn learn a lesson for speaking out during OTAs before sending him on his way.There have been rumors that the Cowboys and Titans could be interested, but don’t expect a trade as Horn will more than likely (barring an injury to the youngsters) will be looking for a job by late August.The veteran receiver said about whether he would be with the Falcons for their Sept. 7 opener against Detroit, “I don’t know.Within me, there’s frustration, but I can’t take it out on the field. That’s not fair to the younger guys.”Current Contract:Due $2.5 million in ’08 from a Summer 2007 deal w/ terms four-years, $14.5 million contract (before incentives) that runs through 2010
New York Jets TE Chris Baker – (Reported) Disgruntly reported to training camp, but his “ailing back” landed him on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list for a period.My main question is “Why is player thinking of possibly holding out on a non-playoff team that just drafted TE Dustin Keller in the first round?”Baker better start on trying to improve on his modest numbers (career high 41 catches in ’07), if he wants to be paid like Gates, Clark, or Gonzalez. Current Contract:Entering the third year of a four-year, $6.6 million contract.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jeff Garcia – (Reported) Disgruntly reported to training camp, but why is he even thinking of holding out as everyone knows Gruden has a gigillian quarterbacks on the rosters and is even thinking of bringing in Favre. Garcia, who has always had to prove himself, is talking retirement at age 38, but expect him as the Bucs starter at the start of the season. Current Contract:Garcia is to be paid $2 Million dollars in ’08 from his March ’07 deal with terms two years, $7 million contract that included a $3 million signing bonus. The deal also had another $7.5 million available through incentives
Philadelphia Eagles OG Scott Young – (Reported) After sitting out some OTA’s….Surprise, Surprise Young came to camp.Even with Pro Bowl guard Shawn Andrews AWOL, Young is still running with the 2nd team.But as I stated before, “Does anybody really care that a backup offensive guard best known for a crucial 4th down false-start penalty in a playoff loss is unhappy”.There have been no negoiations that I have heard of between Young’s reps and Joe Banner.Current Contract:Scheduled to be paid $525,000 in ’08 from his rookie 4-year contract signed in 2005.
Rookies Still on the Sidelines – The players selected 7th, 8th, and 9th in the 2008 NFL draft first-round remain unsigned (Saints defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, Jaguars defensive end Derrick Harvey and Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers).This is not uncommon as each draft position in the first round usually has a pay scale slotting that works off the previous or next one. Harvey’s agent Ken Kremer recently sait of his clients negoiations, “The Jaguars first-round pick Derrick Harvey still isn’t signed because the team has declined to pay him market value for being drafted eighth overall”.Hopefully these players don’t miss too much time or their rookie season could be a waste (think former Bengals quarterback Akilli Smith in1999).