Workouts continue today across the NFL and several prominent players will be nowhere in sight when their clubs begin or continue the organized team workouts. Drew Brees will be absent in New Orleans. Matt Forte won't be showing up in Chicago. Wes Welker won't be working in New England.
And in Miami ... Cameron Wake has a decision to make.
He missed last week's start to the offseason conditioning program as a mild statement protesting the fact he has not gotten an expected contract extension beyond the deal that expires after the 2012 season. So the club would be pleasantly surprised if Wake shows up today.
But, seriously, who are we kidding here? I believe Cameron Wake will carry his protest to training camp like I believe in unicorns -- which is to say, I don't think it will happen.
Simply, Wake doesn't have the leverage here. And while his agent is leaking statistics about his client's stats beyond sacks, he recognizes he's tilting at windmills (Don Quixote, look it up). Wake is under contract. If he sits out the conditioning program and OTAs he doesn't collect his workout bonus.
If he skips the mandatory minicamp, he's subject to fine. And if he holds out during training camp, the fines will be steeper and the issue will become more contentious.
There is no doubt Wake deserves a new contract -- eventually. But is he wise in making the point by sitting out meaningless workouts? Is the team ultimately more likely to give him a new contract because he's skipping the work? Are the Dolphins more likely to quake at the thought Wake isn't around or are they more likely to be annoyed?
I say the truth is closer to the latter than the former.
By the way, I can understand why this deal isn't done yet. First, Wake is under contract. Second, the Dolphins can hold Wake beyond the coming season with a franchise tag. Third, the club has got to be aware Wake had a very good season in 2010, but came back to Earth in 2011, his sacks going from 14.5 to 8.5 while his forced fumbles going from 3 in 2010 to none last year.
So is Wake closer to the dominant player that we saw in 2010? Or is he more like the player we saw in 2011? And how much better is he going to get now that he's reached 30 years old?
All these questions cloud and affect the Wake contract negotiation. No wonder there's an issue.