Each season there is a player or two that will be an NFL mandatory mini-camp holdout. A lot of times the players hold out as a contract negation tactic. A player will be a mini-camp holdout in other situations because of a trade request. On a few occasions, a player will be a mini-camp holdout for both reasons. Therefore, this season is no different than many other seasons in the modern NFL. Regardless of the reason, players who miss mandatory offseason programs are subject to fines unless a team designates it as an excused absence. The other exception is for players who haven’t signed their franchise tag and are not technically on the team.
Chris Jones Kansas City Chiefs
Coming off his second SuperBowl ring Chris Jones was a mini-camp holdout on the first day. Jones is in the final year of his current contract that he signed. When he signed the contract it was $80 million which was in 2020 and the base salary of that contract is $19.5 million in 2023 with a cap hit of $28.29 million. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Chiefs are open to signing Jones to an extension. Jones who turns 29 in July is on the older side but still one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.
Saquon Barkley New York Giants
Saquon Barkley announced this past Sunday that he had intentions of skipping mini-camp because he and the team have not agreed to a contract extension. However, the Giants placed a $10.1 million franchise tag on Barkley that he has not signed. He turned down an offer of around $14 million per season. Barkley and the Giants have until July 17th to agree on a new deal. Barkley, 26, rushed for 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first full season since his rookie year and finished with 1,650 total yards.
Danielle Hunter Minnesota Vikings
Danielle Hunter will reportedly hold out over contract issues and his future with the Vikings. The defensive end is in the final year of the five-year, $72 million extension he signed in 2018 and is set to make $4.9 million in base salary this year, with nothing guaranteed. The Vikings reportedly received trade calls for the 28-year-old Hunter. So far there hasn’t been any traction on a trade front. Hunter recorded 10.5 sacks in 2022 and has had 71 career sacks since 2015.
Lawerence Guy New England Patriots
Lawerence Guy reportedly didn’t attend the New England Patriots first day of mandatory minicamp because he’s looking for an adjustment in the deal he signed with the Patriots in 2021. Guy tested the waters of free agency before he finally re-signed in New England. He signed a four-year $11.5 million contract extension. 33 years old Guy still had a productive last two seasons, tallying 106 combined tackles, 10 quarterback hits, and 3.5 sacks the past two seasons. He’s set to make $2 million in base pay over the next two seasons, with no guaranteed money.
Honorable Mention: Steffon Diggs Buffalo Bills
Stefon Diggs was a mini-camp holdout for the Buffalo Bills on the first day. However, Diggs did show up on the second day of the mandatory mini-camp. He participated during individual drills but did not participate during the team period. There are still some questions as to why Diggs didn’t show up on the first day of the mini-camp. but the fact remains he’s missing practice and has head coach Sean McDermott “very concerned.” Diggs’ agent later clarified that the wideout would attend the rest of camp, but that “there are things being worked out.” The reasons why he skipped are still unknown. He has performed well and is compensated just as well too. Time will tell the story of what’s next.
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