In the next few weeks you will see more and more top NFL draft picks being signed…and then you will notice the few who holdout. The most notable ones will probably be Jamarcus Russell and Brady Quinn.
I understand that as an agent your job is to get your client the most money possible, but it should also be your goal to get them in training camp on time. Nothing good comes from missing training camp; it puts the rookie behind schedule in terms of progress, could lead to losing out on a starting position.
Most think Jamarcus Russell will start opening day. If that is the case, he better be in training camp on time. A holdout will almost guarantee him not being the opening day starter. As for Brady Quinn, I understand he is a huge name and very marketable, along with being the future starting quarterback. But he was drafted 22 and deserves pick 22 money, or at least pick 22 money for the first 2 or 3 years. After that, he may be worthy of an increase. There is a reason he dropped to 22. It was not by mistake.
Quite Frankly, based on the way he has looked, he may not be starting as fast as everyone thinks. Let us just forget about the contract for a moment and talk endorsements. While Russell and Quinn will have a handful of quick endorsements, most will come during the season or after their first season, and if you ask me, a backup quarterback is not too sexy or marketable for companies. A perfect example of how important it is to be on the field is the case of Tony Romo. He was a nobody until he became the starting Qb. Now he is the biggest thing in Dallas.
It is almost a guarantee that Jamarcus Russell will start this season, whether is it week 1 or three weeks in. The same can not be said for Brady Quinn. He is coming into the season aa a backup behind Charlie Frye, but is in a position that can change hands in training camp or early in the regular season. With new developments in the contract talks between Browns brass and Tom Condon, it can end up costing Quinn even more of millions of dollars. While Quinn holds out, it locks up the starting position for Frye and makes it even harder for Quinn to learn the offense and make a contribution in year one. Worst case scenario, what if Frye has an unbelievable season and the Browns make the playoffs or close to the playoffs and Romeo Crennel’s job is saved? This can further complicate matters for Quinn.
Now that may be what dreams are made of, but as an agent it is your job to look at every possible scenario. Holding your rookie out can do more than get your client a higher salary, it can ruin his marketability. The quick solution is to follow the NBA formula, and set a value on each draft pick slot. The NFL can tweak the NBA’s model, but adopting a similar format is the best way to eliminate the dreaded rookie holdout. GET YOUR ROOKIES IN CAMP!!!