OTA’s have finished and minicamps around the league have begun. This is usually the time where Cardinals fans hear nothing but reviews on players progress. Traditionally, Arizona Cardinals fans don’t have to put up with the “drama” of players holding out for better contracts. One of the last holdouts I can remember was for Simeon Rice in 1996 or even the infamous holdout of Kelly Stouffer back when the organization notoriously underpaid players.
But here we are. David Johnson, the key to the entire offense, is holding out, per Adam Schefter.
Cardinals’ RB David Johnson is skipping this week’s mandatory minicamp that begins today, per league sources.
There have been discussions regarding a new contract and both sides hopeful. Johnson scheduled to make $1.8 million in last year of his deal.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 12, 2018
This comes as a shock to a lot of fans. The former third-round pick missed all but one game in the 2017 season after suffering a wrist injury. It is generally uncommon to holdout when coming off of a season where you did not contribute. Which begs the question, where is this coming from? My belief is that this holdout is directly coming from his agent, Jonathan Perzley of SportStars. Fans all know how humble David is and is certainly not the “flashy” type. It makes perfect sense that his agent is trying to maximize David’s earnings while he can. His contract is up after the 2018 season where he will make $1.8 million, certainly below his value to the team. We all remember Johnson’s production in the 2016 season of 1,239 rushing yards and 879 receiving yards. But how much can he actually earn? Spotrac has David Johnson’s Market Value at $9.2 million on a four-year deal. That would make him the second-highest paid running back in the market…for now.
We all know Le’veon Bell is also holding out and will look to receive a big-time incentive. Also, don’t forget that Devonta Freeman was grossly paid not too long ago ($41,250,000 to be exact). The injury that David Johnson suffered last year will actually protect the Arizona Cardinals from making David the highest paid running back in the league. Steve Keim isn’t going to give David a blank check, he still needs to build this team to compete for this year as well as future years. Especially when you consider the upcoming contracts of Markus Golden and Deone Bucannon.
My biggest issue with David Johnson’s holdout isn’t the money that it will cost, we all want him on this team and believe he is worth every penny. It isn’t even the appearance of his holdout being a greedy move, we all know he isn’t that type of guy. My issue is that he may lose continuity with the training staff and teammates. These camps are vital to a team’s chemistry. Missing time with your quarterback may mean some dropped passes, poorly executed routes, or those costly mental errors.
I hope that the Arizona Cardinals and David Johnson resolve this contract quicker than all the other holdouts among the NFL. That way we can get #31 back on the field doing what he does best, scoring touchdowns.