NFL GMs And Agents In The News …

If you follow the NFL, you know that every team seeks to have its franchise QB in place and secured under contract.  Here in Washington, things are never that simple; consider:

  • Kirk Cousins is the best QB the Skins have had in at least 30 years and probably more.  The team has him playing under the franchise tag for the second year in a row; he and his agent have huge leverage in this situation.
  • Yesterday, the Skins’ “braintrust” – and I put that in quotation marks because there seems to be little rational thought extant in that assemblage of humankind – decided to tell the world that the reason no long-term deal was reached was because Kirk Cousins and his agent never even responded to the Skins’ contract offer.  And then they proceeded to go into “full-spin mode” and made the contract sound overly generous to Cousins & Co.  Skins’ GM, Bruce Allen issued a statement that sets the standard for “tone deafness”.

If you live outside this area, you might read this news and wonder how Kirk Cousins – a guy who made $20M last year under the franchise tag – could pooh-pooh an offer of $53M at signing and more than $72M guaranteed in the deal.  Well, here in Washington, we know in sports and in politics that the devil is in the details.  If you would like to understand why this situation is in the state that it is, I suggest that you read this analysis by Jerry Brewer in this morning’s Washington Post.  Brewer has only been with the Post for about 2 years but he clearly sees through the arm-waving PR that accompanies everything the Skins do and gets down to the core of the business.  I suggest you read his column in its entirety.

In other NFL QB news – having nothing to do with players and agents turning down “guarantees” of tens of millions of dollars – there is a sports agency that has a longshot exacta ticket in hand.  Select Sports Group is a Houston-based sports agency that represents about 50 players including Robert Ayers, Brent Celek and Andy Dalton.  According to recent reports, this agency also represents Colin Kaepernick as he seeks to find an NFL home and just recently added another wayward QB to the fold signing up Johnny Manziel.  As I understand it, Kaepernick and Manziel are represented by two different agents within Select Sports Group but things could get interesting within that agency.

There is not exactly a “hot market” out there for either Kaepernick or Manziel as of this morning.  It is virtually certain that no NFL GM or coach will wake up tomorrow morning and come to the realization that the key element to their ability to contend for the Super Bowl in 2017 is to have either of these guys be their starting QB in Week 1.  In fact, as of this morning, no GM or coach has even hinted that they would really like either of these guys to report to training camp just to be a “camp arm” to aid in the evaluation of the receiving corps.

However, let us suppose for a minute that a couple of season-ending injuries happen early in a mixture of training camps such that the search for a QB with some time on the field in an NFL game becomes a lot more difficult.  At that point, a team may consider either Kaepernick or Manziel meaning that they would sort of be in competition for a contract offer and at the same time be represented by the same agency.  There is nothing improper about that; but it could be more than a tad awkward during the weekly staff meetings at HQS in Houston.

So, that leads me to wonder …  If a team were to bring on one of these two players as a backup QB, which one would be the bigger “problem” from a PR standpoint?  Here is where I come out on that:

  • I believe Kaepernick would be the better player on the field AND I think he would be the bigger PR problem for the franchise.
  • Glad I am not an NFL GM who has to make that sort of decision…

It is not often that NFL GMs and agents create enough stories at the same time to fill up one of these rants but today is the exception that proves the rule.  The Carolina Panthers fired their GM, Dave Gettleman, yesterday.  With training camp about to open, this is not a typical time for a team to fire a GM – – although when you think about it, this is the time of year when the GM’s job goes quiescent for a brief interlude; the roster is assembled; there is not much scouting to be done; ticket sales have plateaued…  The interesting thing about Gettleman’s firing is the gleeful – almost vengeful – reactions from former Panthers’ players who were released by Gettleman.  These include Steve Smith Sr., Josh Norman and DeAngelo Williams.

Williams is a free agent RB looking for a team; recently, he listed several teams he would not play for under any circumstances and the Panthers were on that list because they released him unceremoniously in the past.  With news of Gettleman’s firing, Williams tweeted this:

“I want to publicly say @Panthers is off my list of teams I won’t play for due to the firing of that snake Dave gettleman (sic).  [Then four emojis follow]

I do not know Dave Gettleman from Donald Duck but I do recognize that Williams’ tweet and the reactions from other former Panthers’ players is unusually hostile.

Finally, let me close today with something that is a bit lighter and more upbeat than the rest of this commentary.  This comes from Brad Rock’s column Rock On in the Deseret News:

“Jimmer Fredette made 92 of 100 3-point attempts at a charity event.

“Warriors coach Steve Kerr is thinking: ‘Nice. But I have six of those guys.’”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports ………