I talk to a lot of agents who hate Drew Rosenhaus. But they all recognize Rosenhaus works his tail off for his clients and there really is little he wouldn't do to get them signed with an NFL team.
I've watched and reported on Rosenhaus since 1989. So I think I know small portions of his playbook.
And I saw some of that playbook put into motion this morning when ESPN reported the New York Jets have batted around the idea of signing Terrell Owens.
Owens is unsigned, even as teams are opening their training camps. That is a big surprise to no one except Owens, who is still demanding a considerable salary in return for his 2010 services. Owens is 36 years old and no longer an elite receiver.
He doesn't have the ability to separate he once had and his hands are still only average. That combined with his reputation for being a divisive force in the locker room has obviously given many teams pause about Owens.
(By the way, if you think Owens has changed based on his age and the fact he wasn't a problem in Buffalo last year, you simply need to tune to his reality show on VH-1 to see this is one troubled person. I only saw one episode over the weekend -- I have no life -- and in it, Owens went for psychological counseling, fought constantly with his girlfriend, showed commitment phobias, said the person he loved most in the world, his grandmother, never told him she loved him, and cried at various points in the show. Owens, by the way, was reared by his grandmother because his mom apparently didn't want to do it and his father refused to identify himself as the father to Owens despite the fact the dude lived across the street during much of Owens' childhood. I recognize it's only a show, but it pulled back the curtain on a man I felt compassion for. The show also gave me the sense I would never want Owens on my football team because he apparently has emotional issues to this day.)
But I digress.
On Monday the Cincinnati Bengals stepped up and said they have made an offer to Owens. The Bengals have made an offer and are in negotiations with Rosenhaus. But the offer is not what Owens and Rosenhaus are looking for yet.
So how does an agent get a team to raise its offer?
Find another suitor and get a bidding war going. Short of that, the next best way is to have the first team think there's a chance of losing the player. Thus, it was no surprise today when the report of Owens getting interest from another team -- the Jets -- made its way to ESPN, the nation's go-to sports media outlet.
I'm not saying Rosenhaus is among the "league sources," floating the idea the Jets might be serious about signing him. But, well, it does suit his agenda, doesn't it?
The story blares to the Bengals that they may have competition for Owens and should try to close the deal now. It effectively nullifies previous reports that such competition was dwindling, as when it was learned the Rams were not interested in Owens. And all this is happening only two days before the Bengals open training camp on Thursday.
It seems like a big push before a contract is done.
So why is this of interest to Dolphins fans?
Well, there are some out there still wishing the Fins would sign Owens. I'm told they've showed no interest in Owens despite dealing repeatedly with his agent, Rosenhaus on many matters.
There are some of you fearing Owens might end up with the division rival Jets. I have a hard time believing that will actually happen. I'm not saying it won't, I'm just saying it feels more like ploy than plan.
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