The 6 Ugliest, Nastiest Contract Holdouts in NFL History (And Lessons Learned)

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The 6 Ugliest, Nastiest Contract Holdouts in NFL History (And Lessons Learned)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Yes, that's a baseball player. But it's also Bo Jackson, an architect of one of the saltiest holdouts in NFL history.

Ah, the contract holdout, soon-to-be as lost an art as the guitar solo and as dead a language as face-to-face conversation (1).

All but legislating the holdout out of football business, the finally completed/ratified (2) collective bargaining agreement installs a rookie wage scale, fines holdouts $30,000 a day, and only credits players reporting to camp by August 9 (3) with a year of service, crucial to earning free agency.

In other words, if DeSean Jackson were to withhold his services, fine money would overtake his $565,000 base salary in 27 days -- by which time, he'd no longer be eligible to dip his toes in open market waters when his deal expires in at year's end.

So yeah. Something's telling me dude's showing up to Lehigh soon. As will Chris Johnson and Frank Gore.

What that means? No more sit-ups in Terrell Owens' driveway. No more threats by rushing champs to clean out their lockers. (Or forcing their way from L.A. to Indianapolis. (4)) Or using a strike for a launch pad.

In other words: This the it for claws out, fur flying contractual holdouts.

So in homage of the soon-to-be-six-feet-under practice of fabulously bailing on a legal obligation, we remember the following 6 ugliest, nastiest holdouts in NFL history.


(1) We're getting there. Saw two different publications -- Time and USA Today -- cover how our ability to communicate with one another is eroding within the last calendar year. Seems picking up girls in 140 characters or fewer is all the rage. Psh... Real easy to hide behind a smart phone. ... Come on, bros. Consider this a personal challenge to man up, and court chicks with some originality, if not personality, if not less technology.

(2) I know, right? Figured this was all wrapped up. But no, the union only recertified yesterday before the owner-imposed 4 p.m. deadline, let alone stamped approval on the latest owner-proposed CBA. Crazy...

(3) Or 27, or whatever concession the NFL makes in lieu of an accelerated and screwed up league year.

(4) I know, I know. What sane human being on this earth gives preference to the icy armpit (5) of the American Midwest versus Beverly Hills? I have no idea...

(5) It's actually not that bad. At all. Sweet people. Gorgeous scenery. Just wanted an excuse to use 'armpit,' and write a footnote inside of a footnote... Sorry, Hoosiers... Didn't mean it.

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