It happens every summer around the NFL. Star players looking to get paid on long-term deals hold out of training camp to apply pressure on their teams.
So which players could be looking at long-term holdouts during camps this year? These five stars are all prime candidates.
Dalvin Cook, running back, Minnesota Vikings
We already know that Cook has thrown down the gauntlet. According to multiple reports, Cook plans to hold out of any an all Vikings activities, including training camp, without a “reasonable” contract offer. Based on the amount of money he thinks is reasonable, he may be a long-term holdout this summer.
Exceptionally productive when healthy, Cook has piled up 3,018 yards and 19 touchdowns from scrimmage in 29 career games. Unfortunately, he’s struggled to stay healthy. An ACL tear cost him most of his first season, and in the two since he has failed to play a full 16-game season. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Cook is trying to get his big payday now, while his value is high coming off career-high totals of 1,135 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in 2019.
Jamal Adams, safety, New York Jets
Adams is one of the most dangerous, complete safeties in the NFL right now. A guy who makes plays all over the field, Adams has tallied 273 tackles, 12 sacks, two interceptions, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
It’s not surprising he wants a raise. He’s set to earn $825,000 in base salary this coming season. Even with his signing bonus and roster bonus, Adams’ cap hit of $7.17 million is well under what he’s worth in today’s market. For reference, the Chicago Bears are paying Eddie Jackson an average of $14.6 million per year.
Adams has already held out of offseason sessions. Nobody should be surprised if he is geared up for a summer holdout as trade rumors continue to swirl.
Joe Mixon, running back, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals landed a star when they used a second-round pick on Mixon back in 2017. The past three years, he’s racked up 3,801 yards and 21 touchdowns from scrimmage. And because of his draft slot, Mixon’s been had on the cheap. In 2020, without a contract extension, Mixon will bring him just over $1.1 million in base salary.
For a player of his caliber, that’s incredibly low. That’s why it’s in no way surprising that Mixon is reportedly “prepared for a holdout if they can’t agree to a long-term deal,” according to Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic.
Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE, Jacksonville Jaguars
There is a big chasm between Ngakoue and the Jaguars. The player has, for over a year, aired his grievances with the franchise over social media. He wants out, and that apparently has not changed one bit.
Recently, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said there is “no indication” that Ngakoue “is planning to join them any time soon.”
“We’ll see what happens once we get into training camp,” Garafolo continued. “Has not signed that franchise tag.”
Ngakoue, who has racked up 37.5 sacks the past four years, appears determined to hold out this summer.
Dak Prescott, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys
It seems unlikely that Prescott would hold out this summer when he’s due to make $31.4 million, fully guaranteed, this year. However, Prescott hasn’t signed his franchise tag yet, and the Cowboys have until July 15 to lock him up on a long-term extension.
The latest information regarding contract negotiations between Prescott and the ‘Boys doesn’t exactly paint a rosy picture. The two sides reportedly haven’t really engaged in meaningful talks in months. At the crux of the impasse, Prescott reportedly wants a four-year deal, while Dallas would like to tie him up at least one more year.