Would you hold out (in an NFL sense)?

This thread is inspired by the current semi-drama of Deion Branch holding out and not reporting to the Patriots’ training camp.

Now, to me, this seems like a hugely losing proposition. Yes, Richard Seymour got away with it last year, but isn’t it a hell of a gamble? As in, the Patriots decide they don’t want to go through this blackmail every year, and so stand Pat? Now Deion is losing $14,000 a day, and could end up impairing his value in free agency – if he won’t have played for a year – to the tune of millions of dollars. Why not play, have a bang-up season, and cash in? The only downside to playing is the chance of injury, of course.

So no, if I were Branch, I wouldn’t hold out. Anyone else?

Holding out isn’t very fan-friendly, it just smacks of greed. Rookies doing it deserve a good smack. I wouldn’t do it.

Absolutely not. I’m a fan of the Ottawa Senators, and I still hate Alexei Yashin for his holdout in the 1999-2000 season. Yashin’s contract paid him $3.6 million and was in its final year, but coming off of a season in which he was second in MVP voting, he wanted more and held out. Ottawa held firm. When he refused to play the first game of the regular, Ottawa suspended him without pay for the balance of season. That summer, Ottawa and the NHL took Yashin and the NHLPA to an arbitrator and argued that he still owed Ottawa one more season under his contract. The arbitrator agreed, and Yashin was forced to play the entire 2000-2001 season with Ottawa. He was booed mercilessly at home games. The best part was that he had to play well in order to secure a large raise in his next contract.

No NHL player has held out under contract since.

Already under contract? Holding out sucks. No contract, rookie or vet, no problem. It’s the only leverage you have until you sign on the dotted line.