Every year, NFL stars hold out from training camp hoping for a new deal. We’ve seen guys like Rob Gronkowski begin talks on a contract extension, and he will be reporting to training camp next month. We still have a lot of huge names around the NFL that won’t be reporting to camp without a new contract.
One of the least surprising names on this list, Thomas’ gripes with the Seahawks have been noticed for a few months. These issues date back to after Seattle played the Cowboys last season, and Thomas ran up to Dallas head coach Jason Garrett after the game and said, “If y’all have a chance to get me, do it.” Thomas, who is making $8.5 million guaranteed in 2018, wants to get paid like Eric Berry. Berry recently earned a six-year, $78 million dollar extension with the Kansas City Chiefs. Thomas is set to be a free agent this offseason. Only time will tell what will happen with him, as there were many rumors around the NFL Draft that he might be traded.
The 2017 Defensive Player of the Year wants a new deal, and frankly, he deserves one. He’s arguably the best player in the league not named Tom Brady, and he knows it. He’s currently in the last year of his rookie deal, where he’ll be making just under $7 million. The Rams know how much it’s going to take to get Donald back, but the question is will they be willing to pay it? They’ve taken an all in approach for 2018, but what happens if Donald walks? The Rams should secure Aaron Donald while they have a chance. He’s one of the very few players in the NFL that deserve this kind of leverage.
Another stud defender from the 2014 draft class, Khalil Mack wants a new deal. The Raiders defensive end is holding out for a new deal, and like Donald, the Raiders should shell out a lot to keep him. The 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year has a ton of leverage in this negotiation, as, without him, the Raiders defense would be in shambles. Mack is in line to make $13.8 million from his fifth-year option, but he wants and deserves more. He’s the only player in NFL history to be named First Team All-Pro at two positions. Letting him hit the open market would be arguably the biggest mistake in Raiders history. The Raiders need to sign him to an extension now, because if he walks, who wouldn’t want to add Mack to their team?
One of the weirder holdouts we’ve seen in recent years, Jones’ is a curious case. After making his accounts private and deleting a lot of pictures and posts that had to do with the Falcons, no one knew what to expect. Mike Evans got paid this offseason, Sammy Watkins got a huge deal, and Odell Beckham’s situation should be resolved soon. Jones is arguably better than all three of these guys and thinks he should be paid as such. His injury history might make the Falcons a little wary, but Jones shouldn’t worry too much right now. He still has 3 years and $39 million left on his current deal, and if he continues to play the way he has over the last few seasons, he’ll earn a new contract.
One of the most surprising in terms of the name, but the least surprising in terms of his deal. Johnson is only owed $150 thousand in guaranteed money this year, which is arguably the biggest bargain contract in the NFL. Johnson racked up 20 total touchdowns in 2016, and over 2,000 all-purpose yards. He missed almost all of 2017 after a wrist injury in Week 1 derailed his season. The Cardinals will not want this young running back to hit the market, especially while they’re grooming rookie quarterback Josh Rosen. Expect him to get a new deal from Arizona soon, especially if he can prove that he’s back to 100 percent.