Chris Johnson & Desean Jackson Have Every Right To Hold Out

Imagine working at your company for a couple of years fresh from college. Let’s assume you didn’t graduate with a sum or cum laude (neither did I) so you weren’t a heralded hire and received an average starting salary.  Fast forward a couple of years and now your company looks at you as the their go to person and an integral piece to what they want to accomplish in the future, yet you’re still getting paid that average salary you started off with.  Not to mention that in comparison to others in the same position of your industry, you’re severely underpaid.  Now you understand the plight of Chris Johnson and Desean Jackson.

Both are holding out from their respective teams and both have every right to.

Desean Jackson is due to make $600,000 this season.  That’s a lot more than I’m making but it’s nothing in his line of work.  A line of work that almost led to his dismantling last season may I add.  Yet Jackson bounced back and actually won the Eagles a game or two last season (see Philadelphia vs New York week 15 for a refresher).  Couple that with Jackson’s ability to take the top off of a defense (see first play of Philadelphia vs Washington week 10 for a refresher) and you should come to the conclusion that the man is due a pay increase.

Sure he didn’t catch 100 passes or even half of 100 for that matter, but he has outperformed his initial deal.  It’s time that Jeffrey Lurie fork over some of that cash he’s been doling out these past two weeks to an integral part of the Eagles future and Super Bowl aspirations.

The case of Chris Johnson is even worse than that of Jackson’s.  Two years removed from a 2000 yard season and expected to be the focal point of the Titan offense again this season, there’s not a reason that Johnson should only be due $800,000 this season.

There’s an argument for Chris Johnson as the most productive running back in football and he’s paid like one of the least.  Certainly, the least respected by his front office.After over 5,500 total yards and 38 touchdowns in three seasons, it’s borderline insane for Johnson to even consider playing for what he’s due this season.

The Titans finished last in their division this past season, fans are coming for one reason…Chris Johnson.  Do what’s right Bud Adams and pay the man.

8 thoughts on “Chris Johnson & Desean Jackson Have Every Right To Hold Out

  • Here’s the problem with your argument. Sure, both these guys can hold out, but it won’t do them any good. In the past (before the new CBA), if guys held out, they had to report to the team by Week 10 for that season to count towards their contract. Now, that is no longer the case. If Chris Johnson and DeSean Jackson hold out longer than mid-late August, not only will they be fined $33K daily, but the 2011 season will not count as an accrued season.

    Should these guys get paid…yes. But holding out makes no economical sense whatsoever anymore.

    • I’m well aware of the ramifications of their hold outs and what they stand to lose financially. True there are fines that will be levied but you and I both know that those have of history of disappearing as soon as said player arrives to camp. I’m not advocating that they miss any games as I doubt either would be willing to. I am saying that there can be something accomplished from holding out as Chris Johnson proved in holding out last year. My argument is that based purely on performance and team plans for both players, both have surpassed the expectations of their first contract and should be rewarded/paid as so.

  • Clenard, you obviously don’t know how the ‘real world’ works, so the analogy fails.

    In your hypothetical, a recent college-grad, who is now the ‘go to’ guy, would almost always be employed in an ‘at will’ situation. This means, at any time, either he or his employer could terminate the work relationship; thus, terms of employment are ALWAYS open for negotiation – 24/7, 365. That’s fair, and that’s fine.

    In the NFL, players sign contracts. Those contracts, by definition, take into account the player might do better, or worse, than what the player and team expect at the moment the contract is signed. Teams can cut players, but that’s what guaranteed money is for. Players may have “every right” to hold out, but the team also has “every right” to stand firm and not pay a player who is holding out.

    Also, let me know the first time a player, out of fairness or the goodness of his heart, decides to give back money to his team when he gets injured or greatly under-performs what the expectations were when he was signed. That would, logically and fairly, be the “other side” to a player under contract holding out for more money when he’s “outplayed” his contract.

    • Rob,

      Your logic fails because you dismiss the fact that teams cut players prior to the end of signed contracts. What teams are doing is reevaluating if a players is worth the contract they are being paid. Teams are signing players to long term contracts in bad faith. Teams view these contracts as short term deals. Players who hold out are doing the same. Would you support a player who refused to be cut because a team cut he 3 years into a 6 yr contract.

      • Law,

        The logic doesn’t fail because teams are only obligated to continue paying players they keep on the roster for that season — not counting the guaranteed money the player has already received. In theory, every contract is simply a year-to-year contract with the team holding the option. There is no “bad faith” in either the signing or conduct of the team in this scenario. Like I said, a player has the right to “hold out” to renegotiate his contract, but the team has the right not to pay him.

    • Do me a favor and provide me with a travel brochure of this real world you speak of, sounds like a place I should be familiar with. In your counter argument you speak of these things called contracts, funny I thought they played on a gentleman’s agreement. Whoever said you learn something every day was right. Based on precedences, holding out has proven to work in generating a quicker response from your team in renegotiating these contract things(see Chris Johnson 2010). I am fully aware of the terms of a contract and what rights the team and player have. In spite of these contracts, both parties have the right to terminate said contract albeit in different manners (see Minnesota Vikings & Randy Moss 2010 or Carson Palmer & Cincinnati Bengals 2011). Your scenario of a player returning money for underperforming would be logical if the two specified players hadn’t already outperformed their contracts and didn’t play a sport that often has a lasting physical effect on their post football life.

      • Clenard,

        I was merely pointing out that your analogy failed because newly-hired “real world” (i.e., non-professional athletes) employees almost never work under a contract, but instead on an at-will basis: one day at a time.

        I also did not say that there was no historical basis for a player’s hold-out generating a new contract. But a player does not have the right to unilaterally terminate a contract as you state, other than through retirement. If a player plays, he has to play for his team, and under the terms of his contract. A team, on the other hand, can cut a player any time it likes — so long as it pays him what he was owed at the time of the cut — and it makes the player a free agent.

        My final point was that while you frequently see players hold out for more money when they have outperformed their contracts, you NEVER see a player give back money when they have underpeformed (either intentionally, or through, for example, injury). NEVER. It has never happened, and never will.

        Finally, the points you raise about lasting physical effects are completely irrelevant. Those risks – real and potential – are KNOWN risks at the time every contract is signed, and it’s, therefore, incorporated into the agreement. Realistically, the overwhelming majority of NFL players would have NO CHANCE in the “real world” of making the kind of money they make in the NFL. The risks they face and injuries they incur are part of the “trade” for earning the money they do. It’s more than a fair trade, and something almost every working slob in the “real world” would jump at in a minute!

        An NFL player certainly has the right to hold out if he wants. That’s fine. But teams can, should, and perhaps will start to take a firmer stance in denying this tactic for renegotiating purposes.

        p.s. – Chris Johnson sucked last year. Maybe he really hasn’t outperformed his contract — depending on which is the real CJ – 2009 or 2010?

Comments are closed.