With the first preseason game looming in two days the hold out by Duane Brown continues with no end in sight. The amount of fines and salary de-escalators have been covered in past tweets by myself and others. However there is an additional factor that should be considered by Duane Brown. The Texans will make their final roster decisions by no later than September 2nd, at which point the roster will be churned down to the regular season 53 man roster. The regular season week 1 roster becomes set on September 7th when the NFL regular season opens.
Vested players (4 years of accrued service) will have their salaries fully guaranteed when the regular season opens, through the termination pay mechanism. In the event a vested player is released after week 1, the player can apply for termination pay that would equal the amount of the player’s base (P5) salary. The application for termination pay is available only once during a player’s NFL career. If the player is not on the 53 man roster when the regular season opens, then 100% termination pay is not available.
Duane Brown is currently on the Reserve/Did Not Report list. Brown would need to report to the team before the team can remove him from the Reserve list; and this would need to occur prior to the Sept 7th date. By reporting before this date, and assuming the Texans reinstate Brown to the active roster, then his $9.4 million dollar salary would become guaranteed at 3PM on September 7th through the termination pay mechanism.
If Brown skips week 1 of the regular season as part of his hold out, and then returns to the team on Week 2 or Week 3, then only 25% of his salary would be available through termination pay guarantee. Note that is highly unlikely that Brown would be released during the regular season; but this guarantee should be a strong factor given the amount of Brown’s 2017 salary.
I tweeted out earlier today that based on this mechanism I seriously doubt that Brown would miss regular season games.