There are many things an NFL fan can count on every offseason. Trades, free agents, the draft, training camp, Brett Favre contemplating retirement, and last but not least, holdouts.
As Bill Simmons pointed out, there are several different types of holdouts, but whatever type they may be, they are a distraction that can get ugly fast if things aren’t worked out quickly.
Such is the case for these four players, that could have their holdouts last into the start of the season.
Marcus McNeill is one of three former Pro Bowlers to hold out on the San Diego Chargers (Now it's two, considering Shawne Merriman has reported to camp).
Jets offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson recently got a nice contract and McNeill wants in on the action. Chargers GM A.J. Smith, stubborn as ever, reduced the offer for McNeill from one-year, $3.168M to $600,000 dollars.
The Chargers and McNeill are in a deadlock, and the situation is only made worse for San Diego by other injuries at tackle to Tra Thomas. The two sides are talking, though it would seem that McNeill has the leverage here. He is confident something can get worked out sooner than later.
It’s become the prime topic of focus on HBO’s hit TV series “Hard Knocks”. Jets owner Woody Johnson even admits that his gut feeling is that Darrelle Revis won’t play this season.
Revis became nearly historic for his ability to shut down some of the league’s best receivers. Still, he’s only set to make one million next year. He wants a contract in the neighborhood of Nnamdi Asomugha’s three-year, $45.3 million deal that made him the highest-paid cornerback.
Losing the No. 1 corner not just on their team, but in the league, would be a tremendous blow to a defense that relies heavily on its ability to shut down the pass.
The Jets and Revis’ agent have agreed to keep the contract talks and any subsequent flame-throwing behind closed doors, but does that mean a deal will get done? Not necessarily.
Mankins was one of the many that was set to become an unrestricted free agent that instead became restricted due to the uncapped year. The Patriots offered him the highest tender possible, but Mankins felt disrespected after being told that the team would address a long-term deal in 2010.
The Boston Globe recently interviewed Mankins' agent, Frank Bauer, who told the Globe that the Patriots have "totally lost this player mentally" as the saga continues.
For a team that has lost a lot of veteran leadership over the past few years, this could be seen as a big blow. And while Mankins is one of the best at his position, he’s only a guard. Plenty of teams have gotten by without one.
Mankins seems content to sit out as long as he needs to in order to be satisfied, and the Patriots seem to be okay with letting him do just that. There doesn’t seem to be an easy resolution to this one.
The Chargers pass-heavy offense has come to rely on Vincent Jackson's unique combination of size and speed, and could feel the effects of that rather quickly in asking guys like Malcolm Floyd and Legedu Naanee to play on that level.
Jackson is asking for a deal similar to what Brandon Marshall got with Miami—four years, $47.5 million. With another DUI on his record and a three-game suspension looming upon his return, it seems highly unlikely that A.J. Smith is eager to pull the trigger on that one.
Jackson has gone on record saying that he’s prepared to sit out the whole year waiting for a long-term deal he can respect. If that’s the path he chooses to take, Jackson may be waiting awhile for Smith to come around.
If Floyd or Naanee can step up, though, it could be even longer, or maybe Jackson will see that the Chargers may not need him as bad as he needs the Chargers and an elite quarterback like Philip Rivers.