Holding Out For A Hero?
On June 29, I Want to be a Sports Agent contributor Paul Schackman wrote a Rookie Holdouts post, where he declared that “It is almost a guarantee that Jamarcus Russell will start this season, whether is it week 1 or three weeks in.” 2 months and a few days later, it looks like Mr. Schackman may have underestimated the will of Russell and his representation. In fact, it looks like Paul got it all wrong. Brady Quinn’s immediate future looks much more promising than Russell’s.
As long as Russell does not sign a contract with the Raiders, he does not count towards the team’s 53-man active roster. At least the Raiders are finally making headlines for something. The franchise just eclipsed a mark set by the St. Louis Rams when it took the team 33 days to reach a deal with 1997 first-overall pick, Orlando Pace [Around the League: Russell makes history]. As of today, September 4th, Russell is up to 40 days of holding out. It seems like he really wants to make history, Barry Bonds style.
Another holdout discussion includes the friendly gap-toothed Michael Strahan. Strahan held out of camp for 36 days, but unlike Russell, he had to pay a fine for taking such an action. On July 27 of last year, I mentioned that the NFL had increased its fines on veteran holdouts to approximately $14,000 per day, which is a $9,000 increase over the former penalty [NFL Holdout Fine Increased]. Strahan will not have to pay the $514,368 that he currently owes to the Giants, but reports indicate that he will be paying a big chunk of the fine [Strahan ends holdout after incurring $514K in fines].
Should we as the media be criticizing these holdouts, though? This goes back to an issue that I brought up over a year ago [NFL Holdouts]. Russell has his reasons for holding out and Strahan had his own. Should we criticize them for their absence from the field without looking deeper into the reasoning behind their holdouts? Remember that as an agent, you must do what is best for your client. If that means garnering some bad initial publicity, it may still be worth it.