Sports agents typically do their business amidst a cloud of perception. Some agents are seen as allies to teams trying to negotiate cheap contracts, and often earn considerable benefits from teams through unofficial means. Most, however, thrive because of their reputation for driving an incredibly hard bargain, something clients sign up for in hopes of a big payday. Agent Drew Rosenhaus may have taken a cannonball-sized blow to his ego, and will struggle to fire back.
A few days ago, TMZ reported that Jackson is suing former agent Drew Rosenhaus for bribing him to sign a contract with Rosenhaus Sports Representation. In 2009, the big fish in the agency field bribed Jackson with large amounts of cash stuffed in a Louis Vitton bag, Jackson claims. Now, an arbitrator has deemed that Jackson owes Rosenhaus around $500,000 in unpaid loans as a result of these dealings. Jackson is furious with the NFLPA for not “unwillingness to enforce its own regulations to protect its players – at least as to certain agents,” Jackson’s attorney stated.
Over a month ago, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and owner Jeff Lurie spoke on the release of DeSean Jackson, as the team participated in their 18th annual playground build. “We were going in a different direction at the wide receiver position,” Kelly stated, saying that the move has no association to anything that was ever written in a newspaper article or any off-field behavior from him,” he clarified.
Obviously, any bizarre conclusions from NJ.com, police sources, or Instagram posts are out of the question. DeSean Jackson is an innocent man. Similarly, the Eagles are innocent economists, trying to protect themselves for future acquisitions. Who then, is to blame?
The person of interest has a knack for relinquishing relationships between players and teams: Drew Rosenhaus, the devil himself.
Sometime in April, Reuben Frank—while on SportsRadio 94 WIP—acknowledged the possibility that Rosenhuas negotiated Jackson an unfavorable contract following his tense 2011 season. That would explain why Jackson fired Rosenhuas, one of the top agents in the sport, a few months after the deal. The Eagles, aware of Jackson’s motives, likely anticipated Rosenhaus’ blunder causing replacement Joel Segal to approach the Eagles about a new deal.
It seems as though Rosenhaus purposely negotiated Jackson a front-loaded contract that left him out to dry until the latter years of the deal. To put Jackson’s contract into perspective, Calvin Johnson;s most recent deal will earn him $60 million guaranteed, while Jackson’s ’11 deal would have netted him about $19 million guaranteed. Additionally, Jackson was due a major pay increase in the 2014 season, whereas Johnson will be earning a consistent pay increase. Jackson’s 2011 deal would have ranked eight in guaranteed salary, and ninth in bonus.
Translation: Jackson’s contract was never going to last past the 2013 season; however, the overall contract value, which was colossal, netted Rosenhaus a huge cut of the contract, but since the money was incentive-based, Jackson was never going to see the cash he earned. The backloaded deal was going to force the Eagles hand in trying to renegotiate with Jackson.
What would that have meant for Rosenhaus? Another contract, and another massive check.
In the end, Rosenhaus would have been filthy rich if he maintained his position as Jackson’s representative. Two contracts in three years would have filled a wallet the size of the Grand Canyon. However, Rosenhaus’ greed ended up costing the Eagles a Pro Bowl receiver, and significantly weakened an offense that flew with Jackson split out wide.
Photo: South Florida Sports Blog