The new rules for the CBA say that a player who wants to get credit for a year of service this season needed to report by today. In Philadelphia, DeSean Jackson showed up on Monday because he’s in the last year of his contract and if he doesn’t want to be in this situation again next year, he needed to get his ass to camp.
In Tennessee though, Titans’ RB Chris Johnson is playing hardball. Big time. Johnson didn’t show up on Tuesday despite having two years left on his contract. He wants a new deal and apparently doesn’t care what the penalties are for not showing up.
We tend to side with Johnson. He is perhaps the best running back in the league and certainly one of the most explosive players. He’s on his rookie contract, which will pay him $800,000 this season. Is there anyone on the planet that thinks that’s what he’s worth? And running backs go south verrrry quickly. His best shot at getting paid is right now, before the speed goes and the injuries start to rack up.
While we don’t love holdouts in general (who does?), sometimes it’s the player’s only leverage. And Johnson has absolutely outplayed a contract that he had to sign because of the slotting system. If he was holding out because of a bad second contract that he opted to sign, we’d tell him to get over it and get into camp. But a rookie deal? Nah.
Good luck, Chris.