I started searching for "hold-out" "precedence" and "NFL" (google it yourself); and interesting article came up from the National Footbal Post (never heard of this site before). In any case it discusses more of the business end of football and hold outs - nothing that common sense doesn't tell us - but I thought I'd share it anyway:
It’s the crying season in the National Football League. Players upset that contracts to which they agreed in the recent past are now outdated are posturing, protesting, or withholding services in search of more money.
No NFL team is immune to this, and none should delude itself into thinking it is. It is predictable with human nature that these complications arise....
...To these players, highly competitive on the field and off, the equation is simple: “Player X got paid this. I am as good or better than Player X. Therefore, I deserve that or more.” The fact that the complainer has remaining years on his contract has little bearing in his mind.
Sound Familiar? Andrew Brandt (the author of the piece) goes on...
Even for the player with strong inner peace about his own worth, at the first news of a large contract extension for a similar player, there is often a cavalcade (his agent, competing agents, teammates, friends, family, media) whispering that he is underpaid and deserves more....
...What leverage does a player have under an existing contract? In many ways, that is dependent on how his team responds....
...A player’s perceived leverage may be to hold out of organized team activities, voluntary offseason events, or even mandatory offseason activities such as minicamp. He may even threaten to hold out of training camp.
As to fines...the amounts are minuscule compared with the potential bounty of a new contract.
The team’s response is important in ways far beyond the specific player, as the message resonates within the locker room on how the team deals with the issue.
If a team rewards a player who has expressed public or even private dissatisfaction, his teammates will take note. In contrast, if the team takes a stand that it will not rework the contract of one of its best players, the rest of the players know to be careful about how they handle these situations.
Every player can make a case why he should be treated differently, but the most compelling argument a team can make is existing precedent.
The crying season is in full swing and will continue through training camp. Some players will be rewarded with new contracts, others will be stonewalled and some will reach a compromise.
With the market changing drastically due to free agency, a rising (and perhaps disappearing) salary cap, and lush numbers given to players at the top of the draft, this by-product of unhappy players is becoming an annual rite of spring and summer in the NFL.
Come September, however, it will be a shock if any of these players is not playing. Still crying perhaps, but playing nonetheless.
Last year it was Strahan (Gints) and Samuel (Pats) , this year its Jackson (Rams) and Peters (Bills); player's holding out beyond any fan's comprehension. But there are good reasons, business and otherwise, why teams like the Bills need to set a strong precedence for dealing with hold-outs. I'm still hopeful that this gets work-out and I have a suspicion that it will. Remember last year both Strahan and Samuel ended their respective hold-outs at the end of August/beginning of September with barely a week to prepare for the first game.
I know the current Peter's hold-out is different; but there's always players willing to extend the "crying season" to the last moment. - and I'm hoping the same thing is going on here. I for one am still holding out hope.