The Oakland Raiders have been diligently trying to get their draft class signed before training camp starts. Today, all players on the Raiders roster were supposed to check in. All rookies, with the exception of Juron Criner, have been signed and reported to the check-in today. A large portion of Raiders fans started to fear that Juron Criner would holdout after this Bill Williamson report. The report stated that the Raiders’ negotiations with Juron Criner are hung up on $14,000 of bonus money. With the new rookie wage-scale, Criner is supposed to get a contract $144,000 in bonus money. Criner supposedly wants $158,000 while the team is offering $144,000, in accordance with the wage-scale. Criner is the only non-first round pick that isn’t under contract yet. The rookie wage-scale was implemented to avoid situations like this. Even before the wage-scale was instituted, there weren’t many contract disputes with non-first round picks. There is no apparent reason why Criner would be doing this, it’s a lose-lose situation for him.
If you are worried about Criner missing a sizable portion of training camp, I wouldn’t worry about it. He’ll most likely sign the contractthe Raiders originally offered him tomorrow morning. At most, he’ll only miss a day or two of training camp. The Raiders all the leverage here. If Criner tries to holdout for substantial amount of time, it only hurts himself. If he misses a week or more of training camp, it hurts his chances of getting playing time during the regular season. Also, the first training camp is very important for an incoming rookie. If he tries to do something drastic like, holding-out the duration of training cam and beyond, it will seriously hinder his long-term development and potential as a player, in turn, hurting his chances of getting a big contract down-the-line. If he misses substantial time, he’s commuting career suicide. If his agents are giving him these ideas, or supporting his desire for an extra $14,000 in bonus money, he needs to fire them immediately. All that being said, Criner will most likely have a deal signed by tonight or tomorrow morning.