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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Holdout Dreams

Some big name players are poised to hold out when training camp begins at the end of this month. I can see the want to hold out if you can versus doing two a day drills in the hot sun of summer. Today's players are in great physical condition so training camp is more about getting in tune with the team and playbook versus getting back in shape. The players who hold out will forego a weekly check and probably not miss that money. The real cash comes when the season starts. What are the other costs of holding out? Well you have the paycheck, reputation, possible endorsements, and the fan loyalty. The last one is something that the players don't care about at all, but will pander to the fans if it makes good press sense to do so.
The fans are the real losers in the hold out - the team suffers and thus the fan does. The team makes plans to go on without the names and potentially opens the door for a new, younger, hungrier player - that would be great - a guy holds out and the backup shines with the chance and the holdout player is forced to change their mind. Imagine Shaun Alexander holding out and Maurice Morris putting up better numbers than Alexander did - the team won't care, the fans will love it and Alexander will end his holdout just to get playing time. Can it happen? I am sure as fans we wish it was always the case. We would do anything to get the chance to play.
In Philadelphia, there could be two hold out scenario's - Corey Simon - who the Eagles traded and apparently Corey did not like the deal so it fell through with the Ravens and everyone's favorite holdout Terrell Owens - he will get all of the press for sure. No one cares about Corey Simon - what has he really done for the team to make him a stand out player - always a rookie or free agent to take his place. Owens - the Eagles really don't have anyone - drafted a WR and have Greg Lewis, but can they do the job? Can McNabb do the job without Owens? He did before, so why not now? If the WR's improve 10% and McNabb can utilize them - Owens will not be missed. Javon Walker in Green Bay - Please - where did he come from? He was hot and cold last year and had a more consistent year the year before - if Driver stays healthy then Farve will be fine - and he will force the ball to anyone who lines up.
Holding out benefits the pockets of the one who holds out. Maybe rightly so. In the case of Alexander - is the price of over $6 million not enough to play for? Owens? Sure you are in the 2nd year only making around $4 million with next year significantly higher - can't honor your signature on a contract and play? Perhaps you became too quick to sigh using the 'sharpie', but you did sign. It is a ton of cash, the kind no one who watches you play can ever hope to make - just play, play the game you love and win for your teams - not yourselves.


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