Many, including myself, have complained about how professional athletes today are paid too much money. This is particularly pertinent in the NFL, where enormous sums of guaranteed dollars are given to their players.
The aspect I disagree with the most is how unproven first round rookies are paid as if they are guaranteed future Hall of Famers. Last year, the Detroit Lions rewarded their prized No. 1 overall pick, QB Matthew Stafford, with a six-year $72 million contract. For comparison purposes, that’s $12 million more than three-time Super Bowl winning QB Tom Brady earns over the same span.
In my mind, even more mind-boggling is the fact that some are not satisfied with the money they are being offered. For players such as Michael Crabtree, $20 million is “unfair treatment”. As a result, several rookies each year undergo contract holdouts.
Not only does this show disrespect to the league, including your own organization and fellow teammates, but it is extremely detrimental to your development as a player.
A prime example of this exact principle is JaMarcus Russell. After the Oakland Raiders selected him with the No. 1 overall selection, he sat out nearly his entire rookie campaign.
Due to his contract holdout, he lost valuable time in the learning curve. Since he didn’t practice with the team, he didn’t receive the necessary training, didn’t have sufficient time to study the playbook, nor did he have the repetitions to build a rapport with his teammates.
Three years later, he’s unemployed, which just goes to show how important it is to get the whole contract issue settled as quickly as possible.
Of course, we can only dream of such an ideal situation. It is very likely that, once again, we will disappointingly witness a few more rookies hold out.
That said, here are the five rookies that I think are most likely to holdout. Of course, like always, be prepared for some bold predictions