PFT: Ezekiel Elliott has privately said that he’s planning a training-camp*holdout

Iamtdg

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Posted by Mike Florio on July 15, 2019, 1:23 PM EDT



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Chargers running back Melvin Gordon isn’t being coy about his intent to hold out until he gets a new deal. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott apparently is, at least for now.

Per a league source, Elliott has privately said that he will hold out of training camp unless he gets a new contract.

The Cowboys haven’t focused on giving Elliott a new contract, largely because they don’t have to. They have instead focused on players with more immediate paths to free agency, from defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (who has signed) to quarterback Dak Prescott and receiver Amari Cooper (who haven’t).

Prescott and Cooper are due to become free agents next year. Elliott, the fourth overall draft pick in 2016, has two years remaining on his rookie deal, given that first-round selections are subject to a fifth-year option.

If Elliot indeed intends to holdout, he’s smart. He has significant value now, and after the next two years his worth to the franchise could plummet — either due to the wear and tear of playing tailback or a possible shift in offensive philosophy away from the team’s run-to-set-up-the-pass-but-still-run-a-lot strategy.

After former Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray led the league in rushing five years ago (and in turn set a single-season franchise record that still stands), the team let him leave via free agency. Elliott could be facing that same fate, which makes any plan to make a stand extremely sensible.

Due to make a salary of $3.85 million this year and $9.09 million in 2020, Elliott ultimately could looking for at least $10 million per year. Whether the Cowboys blink — and whether Elliott follows through on his plan to hold out — remains to be seen.
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He would be monumentally stupid to do this.
 

deadrise

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"If Elliot indeed intends to holdout, he’'s smart. He has significant value now, and after the next two years his worth to the franchise could plummet — either due to the wear and tear of playing tailback or a possible shift in offensive philosophy away from the team’s run-to-set-up-the-pass-but-still-run-a-lot strategy.

"After former Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray led the league in rushing five years ago (and in turn set a single-season franchise record that still stands), the team let him leave via free agency. Elliott could be facing that same fate, which makes any plan to make a stand extremely sensible."

Florio seem to think Elliot would be smart and sensible to hold out. I tend to agree, putting aside the moral aspects of breaking a contract. ("Contracts are made to be broken" the saying goes.)

Elliot has leverage now. At the end of five years, he'll have none. The organization clearly believes it has the pieces in place to make a run. Elliot is THE KEY PIECE out of all those pieces. Dak may be on the cusp of bigger things, but maybe not. Frederick is a question mark. Heath is a question mark. May be a question mark as to who starts at left guard.

Of all those question marks, Elliot is the only one who's not a question mark. Without him, the odds of making a run drop through the basement.

Garrett's job is on the line. (If it's not, it should be.) Everyone, including Elliot and his agent, knows Garrett will run Elliot into the ground this season. So if the team is going to ride on Elliot's back to the post season, why not make them pay? Now?

Two years from now a lot of the tread may be gone from Elliot's tires. If you're Elliot, you have to say, They're not gonna dump me like they did Murray. Pay me now, or kiss any hopes for this season goodbye.
 

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RB is sort of an odd man position in the NFL compared to others. Most positions are hitting their prime at the end of 4 or 5 seasons. So for them to wait until then to get paid the big bucks kind of makes sense for everyone. RB is different though. By the time they go through 5 seasons in the league their best years are often behind them. They aren't usually as valuable at that point as say a cheaper younger option in the draft. So of course RB's are in a position where pushing for the big contract early is their best bet. On the flip side why should Dallas extend him now? He is under contract for 2 more years. And unlike the franchise tag he can't just sit them out and become an unrestricted free agent. He'd basically be sacrificing his career and money for no reason.
 

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Just give him 4/60 now and be done with it. If you're going to extend him (and they will one way or the other), it's better to do it now than 2 years from now. Rip up the 5th year option, tack on 4/60 that begins next year, absorb some of the guaranteed money this year, and by the time that deal is up he'll be going on age 29 which I'd imagine will be just about the perfect time to move on. He's still going to be an elite RB at age 27, but you'd rather that he only has 2 years left on his deal at that point rather than 4.
 

deadrise

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RB is sort of an odd man position in the NFL compared to others. Most positions are hitting their prime at the end of 4 or 5 seasons. So for them to wait until then to get paid the big bucks kind of makes sense for everyone. RB is different though. By the time they go through 5 seasons in the league their best years are often behind them. They aren't usually as valuable at that point as say a cheaper younger option in the draft. So of course RB's are in a position where pushing for the big contract early is their best bet. On the flip side why should Dallas extend him now? He is under contract for 2 more years. And unlike the franchise tag he can't just sit them out and become an unrestricted free agent. He'd basically be sacrificing his career and money for no reason.
Dallas should extend him now because if he holds out for any length of time their season goes down the toilet. They're as close as they've been talent wise in a long time. But without him a huge chunk of that talent is missing.

It would be one thing if he were a great running back on an average team. But he's a great RB on what seems to be a fairly talented team that may be poised to go to the next level. I remember the Emmit Smith holdout when they lost the first two games of that season. Suddenly Jerry found the money.
 

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Dallas should extend him now because if he holds out for any length of time their season goes down the toilet. They're as close as they've been talent wise in a long time. But without him a huge chunk of that talent is missing.

It would be one thing if he were a great running back on an average team. But he's a great RB on what seems to be a fairly talented team that may be poised to go to the next level. I remember the Emmit Smith holdout when they lost the first two games of that season. Suddenly Jerry found the money.
I seriously doubt a guy making almost 10 mil next season is going to hold out with 2 years left on his contract. Dallas really holds all of the power in this situation. My guess is as most he holds out for camp and is back as soon as the paychecks would start coming.
 

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Dallas should extend him now because if he holds out for any length of time their season goes down the toilet. They're as close as they've been talent wise in a long time. But without him a huge chunk of that talent is missing.

It would be one thing if he were a great running back on an average team. But he's a great RB on what seems to be a fairly talented team that may be poised to go to the next level. I remember the Emmit Smith holdout when they lost the first two games of that season. Suddenly Jerry found the money.
It’s been something with Elliot every season. While he is a talented RB he always has some issue that keeps the team in a state of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now that the Commissioner has declared a no suspension issue he brings his own stick to stir the pot before the season even gets underway. I don’t think he will ever become a mature player. He just might fade away as one who falls into the what might have been label.
 

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Just give him 4/60 now and be done with it. If you're going to extend him (and they will one way or the other), it's better to do it now than 2 years from now. Rip up the 5th year option, tack on 4/60 that begins next year, absorb some of the guaranteed money this year, and by the time that deal is up he'll be going on age 29 which I'd imagine will be just about the perfect time to move on. He's still going to be an elite RB at age 27, but you'd rather that he only has 2 years left on his deal at that point rather than 4.
And I'm cool with this too. The guy is already making nearly 10 mil a season. Plus the fifth year option will be even more. Of course if he won't take a deal like this I'd probably just play hardball.
 

deadrise

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Just give him 4/60 now and be done with it. If you're going to extend him (and they will one way or the other), it's better to do it now than 2 years from now. Rip up the 5th year option, tack on 4/60 that begins next year, absorb some of the guaranteed money this year, and by the time that deal is up he'll be going on age 29 which I'd imagine will be just about the perfect time to move on. He's still going to be an elite RB at age 27, but you'd rather that he only has 2 years left on his deal at that point rather than 4.
Seems to be a very common sense solution. Pay the guy and be done with it.
 

deadrise

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It’s been something with Elliot every season. While he is a talented RB he always has some issue that keeps the team in a state of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now that the Commissioner has declared a no suspension issue he brings his own stick to stir the pot before the season even gets underway. I don’t think he will ever become a mature player. He just might fade away as one who falls into the what might have been label.

And Jerry's pathetic Super Bowl desperation will fade away along with him, once again, into the what might have been label.
 

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And Jerry's pathetic Super Bowl desperation will fade away along with him, once again, into the what might have been label.
Are you blaming Jones for Elliot’s behavioral problems of the past?
 

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Jerry thinks we're close, so this will never happen in a million years, but he has a point about Zeke's peak value. It'll never be higher.
 

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It’s been something with Elliot every season. While he is a talented RB he always has some issue that keeps the team in a state of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now that the Commissioner has declared a no suspension issue he brings his own stick to stir the pot before the season even gets underway. I don’t think he will ever become a mature player. He just might fade away as one who falls into the what might have been label.
This isn't about being immature. Its a response to how teams view or pay the RB position now. He very well should get his money because if he waits then the team is going to use the wear and tear against him. The same wear and tear that they put on him. Use them and toss them seems to be the in thing to do now.
 

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This isn't about being immature. Its a response to how teams view or pay the RB position now. He very well should get his money because if he waits then the team is going to use the wear and tear against him. The same wear and tear that they put on him. Use them and toss them seems to be the in thing to do now.
I guess it’s a race whether he screws up beyond being retrieved first or is used up trying to break Murray’s rushing record for a season.
 

Rev

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I guess it’s a race whether he screws up beyond being retrieved first or is used up trying to break Murray’s rushing record for a season.
He dont need that record to be considered far superior. :hattip
 

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Jerry thinks we're close, so this will never happen in a million years, but he has a point about Zeke's peak value. It'll never be higher.
Id seriously consider trading Zeke.
 

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We rode this kid and Dak was useless without him

So we’re going to pay Dak a truckload and deal with Zeke “later”. Like when his back is broken?

I’d be like ”Fuck You”

Get what you can, Zeke, you’ve more than earned it
 

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How did you even get that from his post?
Get what? Are you reading in something again? The only person talking about superiority is Rev. I mentioned that the organization might try to run him in the ground like they did Murray. Let’s not start this what he said stuff again.
 

deadrise

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Jerry's window is closing. I have to believe that guides his thinking. He must look at this assemblage of talent and wonder when or if he'll be this close again, knowing that it might be the last opportunity before the window closes. That's what gives Zeke his leverage.

You don't just wave a magic wand and draft a RB like Zeke. They're out there, for sure, but it's always a crap shoot.
 

Rev

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Get what? Are you reading in something again? The only person talking about superiority is Rev. I mentioned that the organization might try to run him in the ground like they did Murray. Let’s not start this what he said stuff again.
Thats not what even what Iamtdg quoted and the only reason I said anything was because you were brimging up that record and frankly just for a chuckle. If you want to say the team will wear him down then say that. When you brimg the record up in a post that doesnt need it mentioned its agenda driven.
 

L.T. Fan

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Thats not what even what Iamtdg quoted and the only reason I said anything was because you were brimging up that record and frankly just for a chuckle. If you want to say the team will wear him down then say that. When you brimg the record up in a post that doesnt need it mentioned its agenda driven.
You are right. I did say the team might wear him down in the same manner they did Murray.
 

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Wouldn't be surprised at all if he did hold out. A lot of guys around the league had to notice Bell skipping an entire season and still getting paid.

This year, though, I suspect this is more about sending a message and getting to skip a boring and tedious training camp.
 

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Wouldn't be surprised at all if he did hold out. A lot of guys around the league had to notice Bell skipping an entire season and still getting paid.

This year, though, I suspect this is more about sending a message and getting to skip a boring and tedious training camp.
It's a little different when you have 2 years left on a contract as opposed to a franchise tag. If Zeke sits out the next 2 years for example he wouldn't become an unrestricted free agent. The years would toll and he would be a restricted free agent basically still stuck in Dallas.
 

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There was a time when players held out after the final year of their contract. Then it was the year before their final year. Now it's two?
Maybe Lawrence should hold out until he gets an extension on his extension.
All of this is way over the top
 

deadrise

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There was a time when players held out after the final year of their contract. Then it was the year before their final year. Now it's two?
Maybe Lawrence should hold out until he gets an extension on his extension.
All of this is way over the top

The players all know that the minute their salary outweighs their value to the team, they get cut loose. The only restraint on the team is how the dead money will affect the cap. All the leverage is with the team.

In the case of Zeke, the amount of his contract was determined by the rookie cap as determined by the CBA. He had no say in it, no bargaining power regardless of his worth to the team. And it tuned out his worth to the team was phenomenal: "There is no denying Elliott has produced at a phenomenal rate since entering the league. He has led the NFL in rushing over those three years by a healthy margin. Since 2016, he has 4,048 yards, which is 600 yards beyond any other player despite missing eight games over that stretch."

So now Zeke can look ahead (and back) and see what happens to RBs when wear and tear catches up to them. "Ride the horse as far as he can go ... and then find a new back."

One of Jerry's skills as a snake-oil salesman is pumping up the fan base's optimism before each season. Only this time he actually might not be bullshitting. So imagine a pumped up fan base and no Zeke in camp. Imagine an aging Jerry seeing the Grim Reaper around the corner, and Jerry knowing that there's only so many more shots at the Lombardi Trophy that has eluded and humiliated him for 23 years -- and no Zeke in camp.

The fans will blame both sides, but all the pressure will be on Jerry. You'll have Michael Irvin on TV screaming, "Pay the man!"

For Zeke, it's just business.
 

Cowboysrock55

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To be fair Zeke wasn't a second round pick or later like most RBs. He actually got a very lucrative deal up front.
 

mschmidt64

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Wouldn't be surprised at all if he did hold out. A lot of guys around the league had to notice Bell skipping an entire season and still getting paid.

This year, though, I suspect this is more about sending a message and getting to skip a boring and tedious training camp.
Bell got less money from the Jets than the Steelers were offering originally.

I bet a lot of guys around the league noticed that, too.
 

1bigfan13

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To be fair Zeke wasn't a second round pick or later like most RBs. He actually got a very lucrative deal up front.
He got more upfront than most RBs but here's the catch-22 for the RB position and it's why I can see Zeke's point in wanting to get paid now rather than later.

The NFL implemented the rookie wage scale in 2011. This fixed the problem of rookies coming directly into the NFL and being paid like 5 x All-Pros before they've even played a single snap of football at the NFL level. The expectation and what was probably sold to the players was once you've proven your worth, you'll receive that big pay day.

The system has seemingly worked out fine for just about every position except for the RB position.

What's happening is RBs are proving their worth but when it's time for them to receive their long-term, high salary contract some teams are balking and using the "RB work load" and short lifespan of RBs excuses against them. So if they can't get paid directly out of college and teams are dragging their feet at paying them when their first contract comes up....when the hell are they supposed to be paid their fair worth?

And the longer teams drag their feet on getting a deal done, the more wear and tear the RB is subjected to which further weakens his bargaining leverage. Which is why I don't blame Zeke for trying to get a deal done now because with the Cowboys style of play it's a pretty safe assumption that he's going to have at least 350 touches this season.
 

Iamtdg

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Zero needs to ride out this year and hope that he can get something done next year. He might get a second contract but a RBs best hope in today’s NFL is to get through your contract and then float around the league and continue to get paid (ala Frank Gore).
 

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As clock ticks for Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott, Zeke plans to travel out of the country


Posted by Mike Florio on July 20, 2019, 5:05 PM EDT


Our popcorn is indeed ready.

The Cowboys report for camp in five days. Running back Ezekiel Elliott may or may not be there. Per a league source, Elliott currently is believed to be making plans for a trip out of the country.

Of course, plans can quickly change. After PFT reported that Elliott is privately saying he intends to hold out absent a new contract, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports explained on Monday that it will be an important week between team and player, and that things could go “sideways fast.”

Elliott, instead of going to Oxnard (by way of Dallas) for training camp, could be going somewhere else. Elliott spent an extended period of time in Mexico during his six-week suspension in 2017.

Ultimately, he wants a new deal, as he should. COO Stephen Jones has called Zeke the “straw, if you will, that stirs our drink.” That drink could end up strawless for the start of camp, and possibly beyond, unless the Cowboys move quickly to make the straw one of the highest paid drink-stirrers at his position — if not the highest.
-----

Amazing how Florio just deftly avoids even making up a fake source to say Elliott is going to Mexico.
 

bbgun

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Takes a lot of balls to hold out with two years left on your contract.
 

deadrise

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Takes a lot of balls to hold out with two years left on your contract.

Or, a lot of foresight and business savvy. It's all about leverage. When Zeke was drafted he had none. His contract was predetermined by his draft spot and his position. "Here's your contract. Sign here." Period.

Now, two years later, he has some leverage. He is pivotal to the team's success. He couldn't negotiate when he was drafted, now he can.

Two years from now, as a RB with four years worth of tread worn off his tires, the leverage will shift back to the team. DeMarco Murray, case in point.
 
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