Photo Essays  

 

Published: Aug. 29, 2012 at 07:30 p.m.
Updated: Sept. 3, 2012 at 05:12 p.m.

NFL Holdouts

Well, welcome back to the NFL Maurice Jones-Drew. We see holdouts all the time. Sure, some players do it just so they won't have to sweat through training camp, and some do it because they really want to get paid. But they all have a common thread: By and large, no one comes in late and has a good season. So let's take a look at some of the bigger holdouts of the past 20 years.

8 Photos Total

  • By last season, Chris Johnson holdouts had almost become a yearly occurrence. But finally, meaning business, he waited until Sept. 1 to come into camp, leaving himself just a few days to get ready for the season. In case you have short-term memory loss, I'm still waiting for him to be ready. He admitted he wasn't ready to play football and it showed. Somehow, he learned a new running style: patting your feet back and forth, holding onto the ball like a fullback, finding contact, and going down at the first sign of it. Instead of a jersey number in 2012, he should just have a question mark as we wonder whether or not he's still elite. 8

    Don Wright/Associated Press

    2011 -- CHRIS JOHNSON, TENNESSEE TITANS

    By last season, Chris Johnson holdouts had almost become a yearly occurrence. But finally, meaning business, he waited until Sept. 1 to come into camp, leaving himself just a few days to get ready for the season. In case you have short-term memory loss, I'm still waiting for him to be ready. He admitted he wasn't ready to play football and it showed. Somehow, he learned a new running style: patting your feet back and forth, holding onto the ball like a fullback, finding contact, and going down at the first sign of it. Instead of a jersey number in 2012, he should just have a question mark as we wonder whether or not he's still elite.

  • As a Jets fan, I remember when Revis' training camp holdout finally ended and I called one of my friends at 1:30 in the morning to tell him (his phone was off). So well-chronicled in "Hard Knocks," Revis' holdout really brought to light how negotiations work in these situations (hint: there's a lot of profanity). And who didn't cry at the end of "Hard Knocks" when the team slow-clapped for him when he finally arrived? Okay, maybe that was just me. Revis played well enough in 2010, and the Jets went to the AFC Championship Game. With that cause and effect, I think he should hold out every year. 7

    Don Wright/Associated Press

    2010 -- DARRELLE REVIS, NEW YORK JETS

    As a Jets fan, I remember when Revis' training camp holdout finally ended and I called one of my friends at 1:30 in the morning to tell him (his phone was off). So well-chronicled in "Hard Knocks," Revis' holdout really brought to light how negotiations work in these situations (hint: there's a lot of profanity). And who didn't cry at the end of "Hard Knocks" when the team slow-clapped for him when he finally arrived? Okay, maybe that was just me. Revis played well enough in 2010, and the Jets went to the AFC Championship Game. With that cause and effect, I think he should hold out every year.

  • Drafted to lift San Francisco's passing game, he didn't sign until October of that year -- can't blame THAT on Alex Smith. While he averaged more than 50 yards a game receiving in 2009, he never really became the franchise wide receiver he was supposed to be in the following couple of seasons. And when a team brings in Randy Moss because you're not performing enough? Wow, it's time to look in the mirror. "I know Moss doesn't try hard or even care anymore, but we can't keep throwing it to Crabtree, can we?" 6

    Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

    2009 -- MICHAEL CRABTREE, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

    Drafted to lift San Francisco's passing game, he didn't sign until October of that year -- can't blame THAT on Alex Smith. While he averaged more than 50 yards a game receiving in 2009, he never really became the franchise wide receiver he was supposed to be in the following couple of seasons. And when a team brings in Randy Moss because you're not performing enough? Wow, it's time to look in the mirror. "I know Moss doesn't try hard or even care anymore, but we can't keep throwing it to Crabtree, can we?"

  • Contrary to popular belief back then, Jackson did not hold out because he was upset at the music being played at the Edward Jones Dome. It took him until Aug. 21 of that year to agree on his $49 million contract. He did top 1,000 yards, but you could argue it was the worst season of his career since becoming the starter in St. Louis. And I'm pretty sure the Rams play whatever mixtape he brings on game-days now. ("Okay I got some Moby, some Mingus, a Screaming Trees song from 1995 and some other stuff. And play it LOUD!") 5

    Tom Gannam/Associated Press

    2008 -- STEVEN JACKSON, ST. LOUIS RAMS

    Contrary to popular belief back then, Jackson did not hold out because he was upset at the music being played at the Edward Jones Dome. It took him until Aug. 21 of that year to agree on his $49 million contract. He did top 1,000 yards, but you could argue it was the worst season of his career since becoming the starter in St. Louis. And I'm pretty sure the Rams play whatever mixtape he brings on game-days now. ("Okay I got some Moby, some Mingus, a Screaming Trees song from 1995 and some other stuff. And play it LOUD!")

  • Again, chronicled on "Hard Knocks," L.J. stayed out until Aug. 21 before agreeing to a new contract. (What is it with Aug. 21?) He hurt his foot midway through the season and didn't play after Week 9. He was never the same running back after that, and never again topped 1,000 yards rushing in his career. I think because of that, the nickname of "L.J." officially goes back to Grandmama. 4

    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    2007 -- LARRY JOHNSON, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

    Again, chronicled on "Hard Knocks," L.J. stayed out until Aug. 21 before agreeing to a new contract. (What is it with Aug. 21?) He hurt his foot midway through the season and didn't play after Week 9. He was never the same running back after that, and never again topped 1,000 yards rushing in his career. I think because of that, the nickname of "L.J." officially goes back to Grandmama.

  • This wasn't a holdout, it was a hoooollllldoooouuuut. Somehow Russell, the No. 1 overall pick, couldn't come to terms with the Raiders until after the season started. He didn't play until Week 12. And when he did play after that, well, let's just say if he were STILL holding out he'd have a better reputation than he does now. At one point he weighed over 300 pounds with Oakland, yet he never threw for 300 yards in a game. Look at it this way: Whenever we have a "greatest busts of all time" conversation, he'll always be relevant and producers will want to book him for radio interviews at draft time. 3

    Scott A. Miller/Associated Press

    2007 -- JAMARCUS RUSSELL, OAKLAND RAIDERS

    This wasn't a holdout, it was a hoooollllldoooouuuut. Somehow Russell, the No. 1 overall pick, couldn't come to terms with the Raiders until after the season started. He didn't play until Week 12. And when he did play after that, well, let's just say if he were STILL holding out he'd have a better reputation than he does now. At one point he weighed over 300 pounds with Oakland, yet he never threw for 300 yards in a game. Look at it this way: Whenever we have a "greatest busts of all time" conversation, he'll always be relevant and producers will want to book him for radio interviews at draft time.

  • Well, if Russell's was a hoooolllldoooouuuuut, then Gilbert's was a hoooooooooollllll -- OK, you get it. So incensed about getting the franchise tag in 1996, Gilbert sat out the ENTIRE 1997 SEASON. Finally, he was traded to the Panthers, where he played well enough but wasn't the monster he was before he decided to take off the year Leo and Kate were kings of the world. And yes, I was extremely nervous knowing full well Gilbert is Revis' uncle. "Well you know what I did that showed THEM ..." 2

    Kevork Djansezian/Associated Pre

    1997 -- SEAN GILBERT, ST. LOUIS RAMS

    Well, if Russell's was a hoooolllldoooouuuuut, then Gilbert's was a hoooooooooollllll -- OK, you get it. So incensed about getting the franchise tag in 1996, Gilbert sat out the ENTIRE 1997 SEASON. Finally, he was traded to the Panthers, where he played well enough but wasn't the monster he was before he decided to take off the year Leo and Kate were kings of the world. And yes, I was extremely nervous knowing full well Gilbert is Revis' uncle. "Well you know what I did that showed THEM ..."

  • You won't pay me after Super Bowls and rushing titles? Then I'll sit out. And Emmitt Smith did, not playing for the first time until Week 3 in 1993. The layoff affected him so much he only ran for 1,486 yards to lead the league, and push Dallas to another Super Bowl victory. Slacker. Even though this was maybe the best instance of a holdout still having a great season, I quote Kelly McGillis from "Top Gun," when she tells Maverick in regards to a fighter pilot duel: "The encounter was a victory, but I think we've shown it as an example of what not to do." And now I'm picturing Emmitt throwing dog tags into the ocean. 1

    Tim Sharp/Associated Press

    1993 -- EMMITT SMITH, DALLAS COWBOYS

    You won't pay me after Super Bowls and rushing titles? Then I'll sit out. And Emmitt Smith did, not playing for the first time until Week 3 in 1993. The layoff affected him so much he only ran for 1,486 yards to lead the league, and push Dallas to another Super Bowl victory. Slacker. Even though this was maybe the best instance of a holdout still having a great season, I quote Kelly McGillis from "Top Gun," when she tells Maverick in regards to a fighter pilot duel: "The encounter was a victory, but I think we've shown it as an example of what not to do." And now I'm picturing Emmitt throwing dog tags into the ocean.