Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack are two of the best defensive players in the league. They are also both heading into the final year of their contracts. They’re both angling for new deals and they’ve both threatened to holdout at various times to get those new deals. But, as Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com points out, there is a key difference in the two All-Pro’s situations.
Donald held out of training camp last year while Mack didn’t. Donald showed up just before the start of the regular season and ended up missing the first game before returning to form and easily winning the league’s defensive player of the year award. Since Donald missed all of training camp last year, due to an NFL rule, if he were to miss it again this year he wouldn’t be eligible to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Instead he would become a restricted free agent and the Rams would be able to match any offer Donald were to receive on the open market. As such, it appears Mack has much more leverage in his contract negotiations as Donald will be more or less forced to show up for training camp whether a deal gets done or not.
Here’s more from the football universe:
- The upstart new football league the Alliance of American Football continues to make waves as they ramp up operations. The team recently announced San Antonio as the final city for their inaugural season, and St. Louis was apparently hoping to get the spot, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis was apparently passed over due to issues with the proposed stadium for the team.
- In more AAF news, legendary coach Steve Spurrier, who will be coaching the Orlando AAF team, is recruiting Tim Tebow to be his team’s quarterback. Spurrier reached out to Tebow privately, according to Florio, but Tebow plans on continuing to play baseball for now.
- In case you missed it, Eli Manning recently spoke about issues like retirement, Odell Bekcham Jr., and the Giants’ 2018 season.