Pasquarelli: Mathis may hold out (UPDATED)

Interesting and disturbing comments from Len Pasquarelli about Robert Mathis today:

Said one person close to the Mathis situation: “He’ll never play another snap there under that (existing) contract.”

Mathis signed a frontloaded five-year, $30 million extension in 2006, and he has collected over $27 million of it. But the 30-year-old, eight-year veteran wants another deal, and seems willing to sit until he gets one. Of course, Mathis insisted the same thing a year ago, but people close to him suggested to The Sports Xchange that he is adamant this time around about his stance.

We’ll see. Tough words in June or July aren’t always an accurate indicator of just how tough a player will hang in August and September, when fiery rhetoric gives way to the potential for missed paychecks.

That’s couched language, but would be a distraction the Colts won’t need. Mathis did miss a workout bonus because of the lockout, but the last thing the Colts need if and when the season gets going is to have an extra contract to worry about. Perhaps paying the workout bonus would be a sign of good faith to calm tensions.

Mathis held out of OTAs last year, but that’s a rather common (and minor) issue.  He was in training camp on day one.  Mathis got a front loaded contract that provided him a lot of security and gave the team flexibility.  Understandably, he’s underpaid now, and he has every right to saber-rattle right up until camp actually starts.

Once he’s supposed to report, however, he needs to be there.

This is one of those, “it isn’t a crisis until it’s a crisis” situations, but it bears watching.  The truth is that Mathis does deserve a new, long term deal. Pass rushers can be effective well into their 30s, so it might be smart for the Colts to extend him now.  One thing is sure, however, they won’t take kindly to a holdout.  Honestly, given the lockout situation, I don’t think a holdout is particularly likely, but that quote is definitely disturbing.

Players have to use what leverage they can, and I support that right up until it actually starts to hurt the team. Nothing Mathis has done until now has affected the Colts negatively in any way at all. 

A holdout would break that streak.

UPDATE:

I asked Mathis via twitter if the report he was planning a hold out was accurate.

Mathis responded via Twitter tonight:

Haven’t thought of scheming up a yet for 3 reasons..(1)18 is up (2)87 needs his (3)free agents will b addressed b4 me

So there you have it. Seems like he’s not planning a hold out after all.

Good man, that Robert Mathis.

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