"jmcdon00" wrote:
"i_bleed_purple" wrote:
"hav0x" wrote:
"seaniemck7" wrote:
"Mark_The_Viking" wrote:
I hope so, not sure why rookies have such a hard time signing up to do what they love doing at the very top of their profession.

Its not the rookies, its the agents (usually).
It's always the rookies. They could take less money and be in camp the first day if they truly wanted to.
yes, but the agents will say "just wait, you're worth more, make them pay you what you're worth", and the players, having never dealt with an agent before, will likely go with what he says.
And the agents are right, these players may never get another payday, I wouldn't settle for less than my market value. Get everything you can. It goes both ways too, the team could just as easily pay the money and get them signed(NFL owners have more money than NFL rookies). If a team thinks a player will sign just to get to camp on time then they will low ball them, players have to be willing to miss camp or it will cost them money.
Always remember this is a business first and a game second.
Your point is correct, but there is another issue here.

The agent is paid by the player to be his representative.
The agent is duty bound to act in the best interest of that client only.
Not in the agent's best interest in being able to recruit players next year.
Not in the best interest of the agent's other players.
Not in the best interest of the other rookies around the league.

Once you get past about pick #10, the money value that a contract might change is relatively small.
So, for example, Brady Quinn held out for quite awhile and still ended up with a five-year contract worth $9.25 million (link).
That was pretty much right on what the slot called for.
The player right before Quinn (Reggie Nelson) got a five-year $9.55 million contract (link), and the player after him (Dwayne Bowe) got a five-year $9 million dollar contract (link).

The range there is about 5% of the value of the contract.
There's no reason to believe that holding out really helped Quinn at all, and certainly no more than a few hundred grand over five years.

On the other hand, missing all that camp time cost him the inside shot at the starting job, which has severely limited his playing time over the past couple years and could really hurt him when it comes time to sign his next contract.

I haven't seen any scientific study, but I think there are a lot of people (myself included) that think missing significant camp time hurts the individual player more than they gain anything from holding out.

The exception in my mind is those top ten players, where the range might be closer to $5 million that they are actually arguing over.