There are some interesting situations unfolding around the league that could lead to NFL players holding out of training camp, and potentially even the regular season.
From a disgruntled star left tackle who reportedly wants to be traded to a superstar receiver who is looking to set a new market, these players could assert their power by holding out this summer.
Damon Harrison, defensive tackle, Detroit Lions
“Snacks” was one of two prominent defensive stars on Detroit’s roster who held out of mandatory minicamp. The dominant run-stuffing defensive lineman is due to make just under $16 million the next two years. However, the guarantees left on his current deal are scant (just $3.2 million this year), and he will receive no roster bonus or signing bonus to soften the blow. That’s not going to be an attractive situation for any 30-year-old lineman in this league. With that in mind, don’t be surprised if Harrison continues his holdout well into training camp, or longer.
Trent Williams, left tackle, Washington Redskins
During the first week of June, an explosive report emerged indicating that Williams has demanded to be traded or released and has “vowed” to never play for the team again. He reportedly is upset about the way Washington handled what was a scary situation regarding a growth on his head, which thankfully turned out not to be malignant. The Washington Post recently shared that “some around the team” expect Williams to attend training camp. We’ll believe it when we see it.
Chris Jones, defensive tackle, Kansas City Chiefs
Currently one of the biggest bargains in the NFL, this dominant interior lineman is still playing out his rookie deal and is set to make under $2 million in 2019. Not surprisingly, Jones held out of mandatory minicamp as he angles for a new deal. The Chiefs are reportedly playing hardball with the former second-round pick and will not negotiate with him until he reports. A player who was an absolute nightmare last year (15.5 sacks) and clearly the best defender on Kansas City’s roster, Jones could be a long-term holdout due to the lack of compensation on his current contract.
Robbie Gould, kicker, San Francisco 49ers
Now here’s a unique situation. The 49ers used the franchise tag to keep Gould from hitting the open market earlier this spring. That’s understandable. Gould has made 96 percent of his kicks the past two years and is one of the best placekickers in the league. He reportedly pulled out of negotiations months ago saying he would not do a long-term deal with San Francisco, and it’s been widely reported that he wants to go back to Chicago and play for the Bears. Gould hasn’t been at any offseason workouts for the 49ers — voluntary or mandatory — and hasn’t given any indication he plans on budging heading into training camp.
Michael Thomas, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints
Since entering the NFL as a second-round rookie out of Ohio State, Thomas has caught more passes (321) than any other receiver in the league. That’s also an NFL record for a player’s first three seasons.