Every preseason a few players from many of the teams in the NFL inevitably refuse to report to training camp or play in the preseason games in hopes of securing a new contract. Few players really have the leverage to accomplish much and eventually return to the team, ideally negotiating an agreeable new contract thereafter with no hard feelings. In rare occasions, a player has enough clout that he can afford to hold out into the season, such as Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson last season.
In 2011, though, things are a little different. The abbreviated training camps and heightened need to get some practice in a game environment in the preseason is reason enough to deter most players from staying away from camp, choosing instead to report to their teams and hope their agents can work things out. A more compelling reason for players to avoid holding out is the new CBA’s provision to fine players $30,000 each day they stay away from camp without prior approval. Not many players can afford the hefty price a holdout would cost them, and so holdouts are much fewer and yet far riskier than usual in 2011.
So, with holdouts becoming a whole new ballgame in 2011, how will the contract disputes of Chris Johnson and others affect their careers and their teams’ upcoming season?