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  1. #1
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    Martz lashes out at Barron's agent

    Martz blisters Barron's agent
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Aug. 06 2005

    Mike Martz's frustration over the continued absence of first-round draft pick
    Alex Barron bubbled over in a big way Saturday.

    Martz accused Barron's agent, Roosevelt Barnes, of placing his interests ahead
    of Barron's. He said the difference between the Rams' offer and Barnes'
    proposal is insignificant. Martz also said that Barron has missed so much
    training camp that he won't be ready to play in the Rams' regular-season opener
    Sept. 11 in San Francisco.

    "It's impossible for him to get ready to play in the opener," Martz said.
    "There's no way. There's no way in the world in this offense with the high
    level at which these guys out here now are playing.

    "We've moved on. To have a chance to play, he needs to get in here. I know Alex
    well enough to know that he wants to be here."

    Through Saturday morning's workout at Rams Park, Barron, an offensive tackle,
    had missed 10 days of training camp and 16 full-squad practices. Martz also
    said Saturday that Barron had missed the Rams' rookie camp - a session held
    prior to training camp to get incoming rookies ready for the season - on the
    advice of Barnes.

    "His agent said to keep him out of (rookie camp), which is absolutely
    ridiculous," Martz said. "That really hurt him. So I'm not upset with the kid;
    I'm upset with the agent. I just think it's not right."

    With a largely veteran cast on offense, Martz said the unit started at a higher
    level this camp than in recent years in terms of installation.

    "We're at midseason in terms of what we have in, which is a first for us,"
    Martz said. "So Alex is not going to come in and get caught up. He's just not.
    To think that he's going to start . . . I'm not going to say he can't
    necessarily, but if he does, then he's a phenom. But he's going to have to
    prove that.

    "The preparation for him, to get him ready, he's got to come in the right way.
    To come in the right way, you've got to come in when you're learning your
    stance. Your first step. Your drop-back. All that stuff. He missed all that.

    "All the foundation of what we do. The (line) calls. Look at all the blitz
    periods and the nine-on-sevens that he's missed. How do you make that up? I
    don't know how you do that."

    In a telephone interview Saturday, Barnes said Barron will be ready to play
    against San Francisco, if Martz wants him to play.

    "Sometimes you have self-fulfilling prophecies," Barnes said. "Now, if Coach
    Martz believes in his mind that Alex Barron won't be able to play in the first
    game, then it won't happen. But if Coach Martz believes in his mind that Alex
    Barron can be ready for the first game, then it will happen.

    "It's really going to be up to Coach Martz. Because AB - Alex Barron - is going
    to do whatever it takes. Alex Barron is going to make sure it happens."

    On several occasions during his seven-minute vent Saturday morning, Martz said
    he wasn't blaming Barron, just his agent.

    "Let me just say this about this agent," Martz said. "This is not about the
    player; this is about the agent. Because what the kid is going to get out of
    his contract, the difference (in money) is insignificant. What this agent is
    doing is recruiting other players by doing this stuff.

    "He's thumping his chest out there. It's bad for professional football. It's
    bad for agents, you know; just the business of being an agent. It's just wrong.
    He's not taking this kid's best interest at heart. I want you to print that. .
    . . What he's doing is promoting himself as an agent, and that's just not

    When informed of those comments, Barnes replied: "I know Coach Martz is a
    little frustrated. I wish we could have the deal done, too. I would've
    preferred him to be in camp on time, also. But we're not there yet.

    "You know, there's always two sides. I don't control the checkbook. We just
    want what's best for the team and what's best for Alex. I don't think we're
    asking for anything that's unfair. We're just asking for a market deal, really.

    "If the difference in offers is insignificant, instead of attacking me, what he
    should do is go to his people and say, 'This is insignificant. Let (Barron)
    have it, so he can come on in.'

    "That's what I would say. But Jay (Zygmunt) is a good guy to work with, and I
    think we'll be able to work this stuff out."

    Zygmunt, the Rams' president of football operations, is handling negotiations
    with Barnes.

    As of Saturday afternoon, 23 of the 32 first-round draft picks in the NFL had
    been signed. There are two logjams of unsigned players in the round:

    Five of the top eight picks are without a contract.

    Pick nos. 17, 18, 19 (Barron), and 22 remain unsigned.

    Martz pointed out that clients of Maximum Sports Management, which is headed by
    the Indiana-based Barnes and Eugene Parker, are in the middle of both logjams:
    Chicago Bears running back Cedric Benson, No. 4 overall, remains unsigned and
    offensive tackle Barron at No. 19.

    "For these kids to stay out for the (financial) differences that they're
    talking about, it's just not right," Martz said. "I know that we've moved on
    this thing pretty good. I know that there's really no reason for him not to be
    here, other than the agent is posturing. And while he's doing this, his name's
    in the paper and all those good things.

    "To heck with that. I don't have to deal with those guys, thank goodness. But I
    do know what's going on. I feel bad for Alex. I know he's a good kid, and I
    know he wants to be here."

    Martz strongly hinted that Barnes is simply trying to wait and see what
    unsigned Minnesota Vikings defensive end Erasmus James gets at No. 18 overall -
    one ahead of Barron - and then will try to top that deal.

    "He doesn't care about his kid; he's worried about next year's recruiting
    class," Martz said. "If he can squeeze it out of us and leapfrog the guy that's
    in front of us financially, he's going to look like a genius, and he can
    recruit better next year.

    "What's that mean to Alex? Well, he's missed all of camp. Maybe he's got a
    little more money, but he's come in on a bad note. There's enough of these
    agents, unfortunately like this guy that's representing him, that it just makes
    it difficult."

    Barnes denied that he was waiting for James to sign before closing the deal
    with the Rams. Barnes said he has sent three different contract proposals to
    the Rams over the course of negotiations.

    "Be clear: I'm not waiting on anybody above us," Barnes said. "I think we can
    get a deal done quickly. I never have been waiting on anybody. It's just that
    we haven't come to terms yet.

    "I'm just kind of surprised that Coach Martz lashed out at me. But I forgive
    him, and I understand. . . . Coaches, they get emotional, and the natural thing
    for them to do is to lash out at the agent."

    Didn't see this posted, but it offers some good details on the situation.

  2. #2
    RamTime Guest

    Re: Martz lashes out at Barron's agent

    This is all stupid. It's stupid because it is avoidable. There is a finite amount of money to go around therefor all negotiations could be ended using a carefully constructed mathematical formula that is fair to all players and would end the agents role in the business. Some of the total money to be paid to players would be set aside for players who over achieve such as leading passers, rushers, linemen, and every position. Any player that does not like the fact that he will be paid the same amount of money as the same player at the same position with the same experience and generally the same career statistics can just go find another profession. There would be exactly zero "0" players walk away from the NFL because if most of them tried to do something in the real world they would suddenly be slapped in the face with reality which would cause them to run crying all the way back to league head quarters begging to sign a contract.


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