Power Ranking NFL's Most Impactful Potential Training Camp Holdouts
Monday's deadline for franchised players signing long-term deals cut into what appeared to be a long list of potential training camp holdouts this summer.
Running backs Matt Forte and Ray Rice both got new deals, while the likes of Cliff Avril, Dwayne Bowe and Wes Welker will each play out next season on a one-year tender. Regardless of which way the negotiations went, however, those franchised (or, now, newly-inked) players are probably not going to hold out of training camp.
That leaves us with three big names: New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Each wants a new contract, and each are willing to miss some camp time to get it.
Let's run down the three in order of significance.
1. Darrelle Revis, Jets
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It's somewhat hard to believe that, even after Revis went through his very public holdout two summers ago, the game's best cornerback will enter the 2012 season as the NFL's 16th highest paid CB in terms of base salary. That's the reality Revis will likely attempt to change before next season begins, however.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen, who appeared on Mike and Mike in the Morning Monday, said he'd be "surprised" if Revis is with the Jets for day one of training camp. Another holdout seems likely if nothing is done to up his deal before camp.
After raking in almost $33 million in total money from the Jets over the first two years of his deal, Revis is scheduled to make just $13.5 million in total salary over the next two seasons. The last three years of his deal are all voidable years (player option) before Revis is scheduled for free agency in 2017.
Unless the Jets have a sudden change of heart, a holdout seems like the most likely path for arguably the NFL's best cornerback.
2. Ed Reed, Ravens
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While Reed has been somewhat uncommitted to another NFL season, part of his thinking could be influenced by a lack of contractual security. Reed, 11th all time in interceptions with 57, will make $7.2 million in 2012 before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2013.
Matt Vensei of the Baltimore Sun reported that a training camp holdout could be one avenue for Reed to convince the Ravens for more length in his contract.
The only way we protect ourselves, …the only way a player gets what he wants is by holding out. So if Ray Rice doesn't show up, so be it. If Joe Flacco didn't show up and got a contract, so be it.
Reed signed a six-year, $44.4 million deal back in 2006 that made him the highest paid safety in NFL history. That record has since been eclipsed numerous times, and Reed has suffered through some injuries that left his playing status up in the air.
No player, especially a veteran with health issues like Reed, wants to play a season on a one-year deal. If Reed wants a better contract situation, a hold out might be the way to get it.
3. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
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The cat has been out of the bag on Jones-Drew's potential holdout for months, so this isn't exactly new news. But it certainly has an impact, even if last season's leading rusher doesn't miss any regular-season games because of it.
Jones-Drew, who rushed for over 1,600 yards and nearly eclipsed 2,000 total yards in 2011, is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $30.95 million deal he signed in 2009.
However, with running backs like Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice and Matt Forte getting new contracts in recent weeks and months, the time is now for MJD to cash in on his best ever NFL season.
The reason is fairly easy to understand: Running backs have a limited shelf life, and a limited window to make max money.
Jones-Drew's window, despite him being only 27 years old, is starting to close. And coming off a season in which he carried the Jaguars offense despite almost nothing in terms of talent around him, his leverage is probably at an all-time high.
The Jaguars haven't moved an inch, so a reasonable conclusion could be for Jones-Drew to miss camp time in protest. There's enough here to think that a holdout is coming.