After going out of fashion for a while, the holdout has returned to the NFL. Last year, it was Le’Veon Bell making headlines for (unwisely) not signing a franchise tender and not reporting to the team by the season’s halfway point. The Steelers didn’t give a shit and marched on without him.
Bell ended up signing with the sub-par Jets for the same amount he left on the table in Pittsburgh. This proves once again that holdouts are just plain fucking dumb, especially when the team being held out on couldn’t care less.
This year’s holdout darling is none other than Ezekiel Elliott, the “star” running back for the Dallas Cowboys, who is better known for his numerous public scuffles and disregard for women’s clothing than he is for anything on the field. Additionally, news recently broke of a car accident he was involved in over two years ago that was allegedly covered up by the team and the police to ensure Elliott’s eligibility for a playoff game. All that being said, why does Elliott think he has any leverage to blackmail the Cowboys into giving him an obscene contract? This holdout will fail spectacularly, as it should. Coach Jason Garrett refused to even mention his name on the first day of camp:
We really didn’t address it at all. We talked to our team as if it were Day 1 and we shared what our expectations are […] That’s really what we talked about as a team. Everyone is focused on what they need to do to be the best player, coach or staff member, and that’s really what we try to emphasize.
(Good. Fuck Zeke. He made his choice.)
Players who hold out are greedy and ungrateful. They are unprofessional and unfit for a pro locker room. The action is the equivalent of a small child folding their arms and holding their breath until they turn blue. It’s just pure manipulation, and teams that don’t play into it are the teams that come out ahead. More power to them. Football is a team sport, after all. It’s not about one individual, and anyone can be replaced at any time. There’s plenty of guys out there who would love an opportunity and wouldn’t be near the pain in the ass that Elliott (and others) are at the moment.
The 2019 season is just around the corner, and the biggest favor we can do for the holdouts is to pretend they don’t exist.