Chris Jones, Saquon Barkley among players skipping mandatory offseason practices

Every year, NFL stars hold out from mandatory team practices for a litany of reasons. Most times, it’s a contract negotiation tactic. Other times, it’s because of a trade request. Sometimes it’s both.

Regardless of the reason, players who skip mandatory offseason programs are subject to fines unless a team designates it as an excused absence. The other exception is for players who haven’t signed their franchise tag (like Saquon Barkley) and who are technically not on the team. Fines for missing minicamp are $16,459 for the first day, $31,920 for the second day and $49,374 for the third day and any day thereafter, according to the league’s collective bargaining agreement

Here are the top holdouts already reported:

Fresh off his second Super Bowl ring, Jones reportedly did not attend the first day of the Chiefs’ mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Jones is in the final year of the four-year, $80 million contract he signed in 2020 and has a $19.5 million base salary in 2023 with a $28.29 million salary cap hit, per Over The Cap. Schefter added that the Chiefs are open to signing Jones to a new extension.

This offseason, three defensive tackles inked long-term deals worth more than $87 million — DaRon Payne of the Washington Commanders, Jeffery Simmons of the Tenessee Titans and Dexter Lawrence of the New York Giants. The New York Jets’ Quinnen Williams is likely the next young defensive lineman to sign a lucrative extension.

Though slightly older, Jones, who turns 29 in July, is still one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. He made his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl this past season and tied his career-high with 15.5 sacks. Jones also registered a career-high 29 quarterback hits in 2023.

There are still some questions as to why Diggs didn’t show up for the first day of Bills’ camp, but the fact remains he’s missing practice and has head coach Sean McDermott “very concerned.” Diggs’ agent later clarified that the wideout would attend the rest of camp, but that “there are things being worked out.”

Diggs has been one of the best receivers in the NFL since he joined the Bills in 2020, and he’s been paid accordingly. He tallied at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past five seasons and is tied for the most receptions since 2020. His reason for skipping camp, though, remains to be seen.

New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley

Barkley announced Sunday his intention to skip Giants minicamp this week because he and the team haven’t agreed on a long-term extension. New York placed the $10.1 million franchise tag on Barkley this offseason, when they signed quarterback Daniel Jones, which Barkley already said he wouldn’t sign. He reportedly turned down an offer worth around $14 million per season. The two sides have until July 17 to agree on a new deal.

Barkley, 26, rushed for 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first full season since his rookie year and finished with 1,650 total yards.

Saquon Barkley is one of the top NFL players reportedly holding out. (AP Photo/John Munson)

Saquon Barkley is one of the top NFL players reportedly holding out. (AP Photo/John Munson)

Hunter will reportedly hold out, according to NFL Network and ESPN, over contract issues and his future with the Vikings. The defensive end is in the final year of the five-year, $72 million extension he signed in 2018 and is set to make $4.9 million in base salary this year, with nothing guaranteed, according to Over The Cap.

The Vikings reportedly received trade calls for the 28-year-old Hunter and already jettisoned veterans including running back Dalvin Cook, receiver Adam Thielen, linebacker Eric Kendricks and cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Hunter recorded 10.5 sacks in 2022 and has 71 career sacks since 2015.

Guy reportedly didn’t attend the Patriots’ first day of mandatory minicamp, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, because he’s looking for an adjustment in the deal he signed with New England in 2021. After he initially tested free agency, Guy signed a four-year, $11.5 million contract extension with the Patriots.

Guy, 33, tallied 106 combined tackles, 10 quarterback hits and 3.5 sacks the past two seasons. He’s set to make $2 million in base pay over the next two seasons, with no guaranteed money.