There are still four NFL stars holding out of training camp and preseason games, for various reasons, with the regular season just weeks away. But will they miss regular-season games?
That’s what we’re diving into here.
Here’s how we see things playing out for each of them, ranking them from least to most likely to miss regular-season action.
Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE, Houston Texans (5%)
Clowney hasn’t been training or practicing with the Texans since before the offseason program began. He wanted a long-term extension but ultimately couldn’t work out a deal and is now stuck with the franchise tag (just under $16 million fully guaranteed).
There has been plenty of talk circulating around the league that Clowney could be traded. Yet he cannot sign a new contract until the season is over, when he’ll be a free agent, so there is risk involved for any team interested in trading for him.
The most likely outcome here is one that’s been reported by local beat writers for weeks now: Clowney will show up for work with the Texans before the regular season begins.
Ezekiel Elliott, running back, Dallas Cowboys (25%)
Lately, things have gotten downright prickly between Elliott and the Cowboys. Jerry Jones reportedly ticked his star running back off in a big way joking “Zeke who?” after rookie Tony Pollard shined in the second preseason game.
The Cowboys have also been utilizing some strong rhetoric in the media as a negotiating tactic and have stated they will not set a new market on any long-term deal.
As dire as all that seems, it would be a bit surprising if Elliott actually misses regular-season games.
It seems like the two sides will come together to hammer out a deal near the start of the regular season. If that doesn’t happen, then perhaps Elliott does hold out into the regular season. Yet he is due to count nearly $8 million against the cap. While he would get much more on an extension, that’s a lot of money to leave on the table.
Melvin Gordon, running back, Los Angeles Chargers (60%)
For weeks now, it’s been reported that the Chargers and their star running back are millions of dollars apart on a per-year figure.
We already know that Gordon feels the offer he’s received from Los Angeles is disrespectful, and that he hasn’t wavered about threatening to sit out regular-season games.
On top of that, Gordon has been recorded saying “I would too,” last year when his dad asked him if Bell would stay out for the year to get his preferred long-term deal.
As Gordon remains away from the team, Chargers second-year back Justin Jackson has been shining during preseason play. Simply put, it looks like Gordon will almost certainly miss at least one or two regular-season games.
Trent Williams, offensive tackle, Washington Redskins (99.9%)
It is going to take a miraculous development for Williams to be on the field for Washington come Week 1. The seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle is, according to multiple reports around the league, absolutely not going to play for Washington this year — or ever again.
Williams is reportedly fuming over the way the team’s medical staff treated a medical scare involving his scalp, which required multiple procedures this offseason. On top of that, he is reportedly looking for a new contract.
Neither Washington nor Williams are budging on any front. This holdout appears to be one that could last all season, barring a trade.