On the impact of holdouts

In working on Thursday’s Chris Johnson column, I had a very good conversation with veteran agent Ralph Cindrich. He represents a couple big veterans like Jeff Saturday and James Farrior while working as a consultant and a teacher.

I asked him about holdout potential for Chris Johnson, Andre Johnson (who rejoined the Texans Thursday after missing a few OTA days) and Rashean Mathis.

His opinion on CJ’s potential to holdout is included in that column.

Now, a few of his thoughts on the concept of training camp holdouts and their causes, before we get into Andre Johnson and Mathis in a few other posts:

  • “The only thing they can do is cause so much trouble, fuss and say ‘Get rid of me.’ It’s just a bad situation.”

  • “No one ever wins in a bad deal. But it’s hard for the club not to do it.”

  • “You’re like a paper tiger out there. If you hold to a certain position, it’s your career. It’s a lose-lose situation if the club really holds on. You muck it up enough so the team can’t have the type of season it would have with your type of contract.”

  • “If you work with a guy who wants to take the profession beyond his playing days, you have to say, 'Look, as far as your reputation, how you’re viewed in the NFL, community, you’re not going to be held in the same esteem as the greats who’ve been able to work these things out.'"

And one thought on both Andre Johnson and Mathis from J.I. Halsell of Football Outsiders:

“Whether it's Mathis or Andre Johnson, the issue of regret is that they signed extensions for such long terms. Players like Greg Jennings, who sign extensions for four new years with less total guaranteed money, set themselves up for a possible third payday at age 28 or 29. More importantly, they're comfortable with accepting the risk of injury or decline in lieu of taking the larger guarantee on their second deal, with the hopes of getting a third payday when the market has increased. It's all about risk management for both player and club.”