Joe Haden, Other Cleveland Browns Rookies Should Avoid Holdout

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IJuly 26, 2010

BEREA, OH - MAY 01:  Joe Haden #5 of the Cleveland Browns looks on during rookie mini camp at the Cleveland Browns Training and Administrative Complex on May 1, 2010 in Berea, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Head coach Eric Mangini is not the kind of guy who sits around waiting for his players to sign their contracts.

While the front office has managed to sign their third-round draft picks and lower, including Colt McCoy, the top three picks remain unsigned as of this writing.

Joe Haden, T.J. Ward, and Montario Hardesty all await contracts and training camp is only a few days away.

On one hand, rookies need to take advantage of the opportunity afforded to them and get as much money as they can up front because their careers could end on one play.

On the other hand, the players also have to balance their need to get paid with their duty to be on the practice field. If they're not in pads, they're not getting the reps, and that means lost time.

Mangini has proved time and again he waits for no one and is fully prepared to move forward with or without "key" figures on the team. See Dawson, Phil, for an example.

Mangini also made it perfectly clear in 2009 he was ready to play without Joshua Cribbs had Cribbs decided to hold out.

While Haden and the other rookies have their own hype going into training camp, it means nothing unless they're on the field. Looking good in shorts in late spring is one thing, looking good in pads during training camp is something else.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

A lot can happen between now and Friday, but holdouts by any of the Browns rookies will be bad for them, the team, and the season.

Besides, if anyone wants to know what can happen to a person's career by holding out for too long, just ask Brady Quinn. By quibbling over what amounted to pennies, Quinn lost millions in escalators when Derek Anderson got the reps Quinn wasn't present for.

Any holdout who thinks the job will still be there waiting for them needs to remember there's always somebody hungrier out there waiting to take your job.

UPDATE: Montario Hardesty has signed, two more to go.