As NFL teams begin their mandatory minicamps this week, a handful of notable players won’t be in attendance due to contract disputes. Four defensive stars have already not reported to their respective workouts and will now officially be considered holdouts.
Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, Seahawks safety Jamal Adams, Cardinals edge rusher Chandler Jones all will not participate in minicamps this week. All four are believed to be holdouts over contract issues.
Howard did not report for the start of Dolphins minicamp on Tuesday morning in what Miami head coach Brian Flores called a “unique” contract renegotiation. At 27 years old, the former second round pick is in the prime of his career and fresh off of an All-Pro season in 2020. He led the league with 10 interceptions last year but still feels that he is underpaid since the market for cornerbacks recently exploded. Although he signed a five-year extension in 2019, Howard is looking to be paid like the top defensive back that he is.
Adams, 25, has yet to ride out his rookie deal since being traded to the Seattle Seahawks from the New York Jets before the 2020 campaign. He made his third Pro Bowl last season and has proven to be one of the league’s brightest young defensive stars. The Seahawks exercised Adams’ fifth-year option but haven’t reached a compromise on a long term deal, leaving the former No. 6 overall pick without a contact for the 2022 season and beyond.
Players not participating in their respective minicamps over presumptive contract issues include: Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore, Dolphins CB Xavien Howard, Seahawks S Jamal Adams, Cardinals Edge Chandler Jones.
(Yes, Aaron Rodgers is in a different category) https://t.co/1Vra3PG2rs
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) June 15, 2021
Gilmore stole the attention of the league yesterday by not reporting for the start of Patriots minicamp. The 2019 NFL Player of the Year has just one year left on his deal and has expressed his interest in a longer, more lucrative contract. New England’s leadership seems unwilling to budge, leading to a standstill.
Jones did not report for last week’s voluntary OTAs in Arizona but did attend a pre-minicamp photoshoot with the Cardinals. The 31-year-old pass-rusher is also set to enter the final year of his deal in 2021, leading many to question about his future with the franchise. If Jones does return, he’ll lineup opposite of J.J. Watt in what could be one of the most fearsome defensive fronts in the NFL.
Some of these holdouts are expected to get resolved in the near future but others may drag well into the summer. If some of the situations aren’t remedied, a few of the league’s top defenders could be on the move.