2019 NFL training camp holdouts

Friday, July 26, 2019

The NFL is back in business as training camp has begun. Here is a list of players who have decided not to report.

Jadeveon Clowney, Houston Texans, defensive end/outside linebacker: Although Clowney is technically a no-show because he hasn't signed his franchise tag, the Texans' pass-rusher wants a new contract. Clowney is scheduled to make nearly $16 million in 2019 if he signs his franchise tag, but he is looking for a long-term deal either in Houston or elsewhere after the season. The Texans have other playmakers on defense, including J.J. Watt, but Clowney is a difference-maker who beat his block within 2.5 seconds on 35% of his pass rushes last season, which was the third-highest rate in the NFL, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. -- Sarah Barshop

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys, running back: Despite being under contract for two more years, Elliott is seeking a deal that will make him among the highest-paid running backs if not the highest paid. His only leverage is to withhold his services during training camp and see if the Cowboys will make him an offer he can't refuse. Elliott, who has led the league in rushing in two of his first three seasons, is the engine of the Cowboys' offense. An absence into the regular season could be devastating to a team with Super Bowl hopes. The only tailback currently on the roster with a carry in a regular-season game is Darius Jackson. He had six carries for 16 yards in the 2018 season finale. -- Todd Archer

Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers, running back: The Wisconsin running back is in the final year of a rookie contract that will pay him $5.6 million for the upcoming season, but he wants a new deal that would put him among the highest-paid running backs in the league. Gordon told the Chargers through his representation that if he does not receive a new contract, he'll sit out and demand a trade. "We don't like to talk about players that are not here," Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said when asked about Gordon's holdout. "We understand his situation. We love Melvin. We're a good football team with Melvin, but he's not here." -- Eric D. Williams

Yannick Ngakoue, Jacksonville Jaguars, defensive end: Ngakoue wants a new deal because he has outperformed his rookie contract. Since he entered the league as a third-round pick in 2016, he has recorded 29.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and 161 quarterback pressures. He has more sacks than Demarcus Lawrence (26), Dee Ford (25) and Trey Flowers (21), who all got new contracts that guaranteed them $65 million, $45 million and $56 million, respectively. Ngakoue is due to make $2.02 million this season and wants a deal similar to the mega-contracts that Lawrence and Frank Clark signed in the offseason. Both players' deals are worth more than $100 million and average more than $20 million annually. Ngakoue has until 30 days before the first game to report to accrue his fourth season and stay on track to become an unrestricted free agent in 2020. If he reports past that date and doesn't get a new deal, he'll be a restricted free agent after the season. The Jaguars drafted defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen seventh overall in April in hopes of pairing him with Ngakoue in their third-down rush package, and Allen will certainly benefit from the extra reps he will receive as long as Ngkaoue stays away from camp. -- Mike DiRocco

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints, wide receiver: Perhaps no holdout stands to gain more than Thomas, since he is scheduled to make just $1.148 million in the final year of his rookie deal. He's looking for something more in the $20 million range. The Saints have never paid any skill position player more than $10 million per year. But they have never relied on one more than they do Thomas, who set franchise records with 125 catches and 1,405 receiving yards in 2018. No other Saints WR or TE had more than 35 catches. -- Mike Triplett

Trent Williams, Washington Redskins, offensive tackle: Williams is upset with the way a medical condition was handled over the years, culminating in the removal of a growth on his head this offseason. The sides differ on what actually transpired over the years. Williams has two more years left on his contract, but he could be cut in the offseason, as his 2020 salary is not guaranteed. It's uncertain how much a new contract -- or more guaranteed money -- would appease Williams. -- John Keim

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