Grant still not practicing

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Read here for more info on Ryan Grant’s holdout from practice. The article’s author is dead wrong when he claims that “it isn’t exactly a contract holdout”. Actually, that is exactly what it is: a holdout. It’s funny that by showing up and telling us he wants to participate in practice, we all seem to be willing to sort of give him a pass – “ooohh, he’s not holding out, didn’t ya see he’s at the camp anyway, what a great guy! – hey by da way, did you have flooding issues? I did. tree cases of Pabst gone and even my Usingers had to be pitched – contaminated by sewage back-up. Ya, dat sucked”. But the fact is, Grant is holding out.  In fact, here is a definition of holdout:

a refusal to agree or compromise in order to obtain better terms in any kind of settlement.

He’s holding out.

I recognize that I have no idea what the Packers are offering and I suppose it’s possible it is the Packers who are grossly undervaluing Grant and this is causing the holdout. But my suspicion is that this is more Grant’s side going after a long-term, guaranteed deal of some kind. My inclination is to feel that Grant’s side should have gotten this taken care of already and he should be practicing under a new contract.

It’s interesting, one thing that has become quite popular over the last few years in particular is this “my agent handles the business side of things” attitude. These players refer to their contract situations as though they are not involved whatsoever. Maybe this is actually true for some of them, but if it is, I think that’s really stupid. If the topic of conversation were my salary, I would definitely want to be part of that – maybe I would have an agent represent me to guide me somewhat, but I wouldn’t be so completely removed from the situation as many pro athletes act like they are. (I do recognize that some may just act like they are uninvolved to spare their public image…but…) Anyway, if Grant is so serious about being on the team and not missing practice time, it would seem to me that he could put his foot down, get more engaged in the process himself and tell both parties he wants something worked out by a certain time (for example, prior to the beginning of this mini-camp).

Now, I know there are those of you out there who will contend that I know nothing about pro athlete contract negotiations and the truth is, you’re right, in fact, I haven’t even seen Jerry McGuire! (supporting Tom Cruise in any way is just not an option for me). But I still think that if a player wants to play badly enough, there are ways to work things out in a more timely fashion and the player likely has far more control over this than these players publicly let on.

Even though I just devoted a whole post to this, I’m actually not that fired up about it. I think it will probably get done relatively soon. If it doesn’t get done I’d say in 3-4 weeks though, I will be fired up about it and my opinion of Grant will suffer.

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6 Responses to “Grant still not practicing”

  1. Aaron Says:

    Don’t think of it as supporting Tom Cruise. Think of it as supporting Cameron Crowe before he lost it.

    Great movie.

  2. RayMidge Says:

    He *is* holding out, of course. I must admit, though, I have become more sympathetic to the NFL players in this situation because of the CBA which basically only guarantees bonuses and allows a team to cut bait anytime they want to. Yes, their union agreed to it but in some individual cases like this one I can see why the player feels he needs to use the only leverage he has to get some security. This isn’t a Chad Johnson or T.O. situation where a guy just cashed in a few years back and has a few years left on a deal that he agreed to or a Javon Walker situaiton where a guy was overpaid for years he wasn’t that productive and then suddenly decides after a huge year that he is underpaid. . . as an undrafted FA Grant has never gotten a big payday and he performed exceptionally well last year in a way that indicates he is the real deal.

    If it stretches into training camp, however, I’ll probably change my view.

  3. awhayes Says:

    thoughtful comment RayMidge, as usual. You’re right re the Grant situation being a bit different than some of the other high profile situations, but the bottom line still, is that Grant is missing camp. And you’re right about him having a good year last year. While I’d stop short of saying he’s a totally proven commodity at this point, it’s fairly evident the guy is quite good. My guess is the Packers are very aware of his talent and potential and it seems clear that they have big plans for him as their feature back. So I would be surprised to learn that the delay is due to the Packers low-balling/undervaluing.

    I guess I just think it’s incumbent upon Grant to make sure the contract situation gets figured out before the crucial team activities begin. I didn’t mind so much that he missed voluntary OTAs so much – those were voluntary. But now that attendance counts more as the season approaches, I would just feel better about Grant if I somehow knew he had done everything possible on his end to avoid a holdout. You’re right, he had a solid year last year and he clearly has the backing of his team and coach – but that should be good enough leverage to help him get a reasonable offer from the team. Again, it’s sort of hard to comment firmly on this without knowing the figures/contract details being discussed, but my suspicion is that Grant’s side is delaying this by over-reaching for money/guarantees.

  4. Aaron Says:

    Andy,

    Remember, there is zero precedent for Grant’s situation. That no doubt is complicating talks between his agent and the club. I agree with you in that Grant could, at anytime, say “Make a deal” to his agent. It’s his career.

    When the team is walking/jogging through in shorts, I’m not too concerned. But to echo RayMidge, if this goes one day into training camp, I will not be pleased.

  5. Joe Says:

    I just want to know what Grant and the team were doing between, say January and April? Also, Grant needs to realize that his leverage is not very good. He played a partial season and had great games and lousy games. I like, I think he may be the real deal, but his bargaining position is pretty weak. If I were Ted, I would probably remind him that I am pretty good at finding talent after all Ted found Grant didn’t he.

    As for the poor players who can get cut and lose their paychecks, welcome to life. They are adults and that is how it works for the vast majority of workers. I could get fired tomorrow and I have no guaranteed money. May be I should hold out too …

  6. awhayes Says:

    cheers Joe…

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