Just when you think you’ve seen it all along comes a potential holdout by a 5th round draft pick. First let me backtrack and make it clear that in no way has Juron Criner directly indicate that he’s willing to holdout in order to get an extra $14,000 he believes he’s owed. According to an ESPN reportthe reason why Criner and the Raiders have yet to come to terms is related to a dispute over the rookie’s signing bonus.
The Raiders are said to be offering Criner the standard $144,000 in bonus money he’s owed per league guidelines. Problem is Criner reportedly wants $158,000 and won’t report to camp until the matter is resolved. No exactly a holdout but if it quacks like a duck…
How this situation could even arise is laughable at best. To date Criner has done nothing other than turn a few heads in some non-contact practices during the offseason. His MVP performance in OTAs might have made Reggie McKenzie comfortable enough to part with Louis Murphy but this contract situation is a real warning sign.
At the heart of the dispute is a mere technicality.
NFL rookies are slotted for financial compensation based on where they’re drafted. Criner was taken with a compensatory pick which means he’s exempt from the slotted bonus system. Per league guidelines the Raiders are only obligated to fork over $144,000 in bonus money. Criner wants to be paid in step with the player drafted directly in front of him who netted $160,000.
This situation bears a strange familiarity to Michael Crabtree’s pointless holdout as a rookie. Of course Crabtree was a top 10 pick. Criner was picking his nose for the first four rounds of the draft. His leverage is a few workouts without pads on. What am I missing?
No matter the specifics, Criner needs to get into camp and prove his worth. If he’s talented enough to earn more cash then his performance will dictate his future compensation. Right here and now he’s nothing more than another camp body.
Denarius Moore has a legitimate beef over his contract considering all the other players picked in front of him that got more loot than he did and didn’t do anything last season. However the only reason I can make that statement is because Moore showed up and then showed out. Criner should do the same.