Much has been made this year of veteran contract disputes, particularly those of Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis for the Colts. As has been discussed ad nauseum by many who cover the team, the likelihood that players with the reputations and integrity of Wayne and Mathis would actually hold out during training camp, and risk hurting the club’s development, is very slim. However, those opinions are based solely upon each players reputation as stand-up guys and team players, and maybe by the threat of minor fines for failing to attend camp.
What makes veteran holdouts even less likely, in Indianapolis or elsewhere, is something The Sports Exchange discusses in a story that was posted at ColtPower.com earlier today.
“Failing to report for the start of training camp on Aug. 1 exposes each player to a $14,000-per-day fine. If a veteran under contract fails to report by Aug. 10, he has another year tacked onto his existing contract under rules in place during an uncapped year.”
It should go without saying that even without sterling reputations, no player that is unhappy with his current contract or salary would risk extending his current contract by another year for failing to report to camp by August 10th. It just does not make any good sense, financially, for a player’s career, and certainly does not improve a player’s leverage.
Essentially, even players with big contracts like Mathis and Wayne who could possibly afford the fines, if they were inclined to do so, lose all leverage on August 10th. This rule, which is only in place because 2010 in an uncapped year and is not subject to normal Collective Bargaining Agreement rules, makes many of these stories have rather foreseeable conclusions. Particularly in the case of an organization like the Colts, and two players known for their loyalty to the team’s success.
Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis will attend training camp. Count on it.