NFL players are holding out of their contracts at an alarming rate the last few years. Most of the players do end up settling prior to or during training camp, but most still end up missing mini-camps, OTAs and other workouts. Not only is this a concern for the NFL as the power is being handed over to the players, but how long until this spills into other sports?
I understand football is a completely different animal in terms of the physicality of the sport and the bad condition most players are left in during retirement. The problem is that players know that in most cases fans will pressure ownership into the "just pay the man" line of thinking, while the owners are left to think "didn't we just sort this out last year?" The physical nature of the game is rough, but business is business. I'd like to see how most of us would do if we told our employer we weren't going to work until we got a raise just months after agreeing to one. I know the comparison is different given the nature of work, eligible replacements and contractual work vs hourly, but the comparison is still within the real of reason.
Should players have the right to demand a new contract while only 1-2 years into a 3-5 year deal? Teams can fine them all they want but eventually fan voices will be heard and in all cases I can remember the team has caved. What if it was the other way around and a team asked for money back due to lackluster performance?
It worries me for the future of contract negotiations not only in the NFL, but potentially the NBA and MLB (heck even NHL) in years to come. Curious how others feel about the topic.