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  • Contract season puts Postons into play


    Contract season puts Postons into play

    Howard Balzer writes for Sports Weekly, email him at [email protected]

    Around several NFL precincts this summer, it could very well be considered the summer of the Postons.
    Rather than talking about possible Super Bowls, who's looking good in training camp and just simple football talk, contract negotiations promise to take center stage.

    With July 15 here and the opening of camps within the next two weeks, fans will be reading way too much about contract issues but most notably those involving agents Carl and Kevin Poston in ...

    Cleveland, Jacksonville and Carolina, where they represent tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., the seventh overall selection in April's draft, as well as wide receiver Reggie Williams (ninth overall) and cornerback Chris Gamble (28th overall);

    Oakland, St. Louis and San Francisco, where three of the league's five unsigned franchise players play: cornerback Charles Woodson, tackle Orlando Pace and linebacker Julian Peterson. All have the Postons as their agent;

    Washington, where a grievance is expected to be heard in August regarding a $6.5 million roster bonus allegedly not included by the Redskins last December in a renegotiated contract for linebacker LaVar Arrington. Yes, Arrington is also represented by Carl Poston.

    The Winslow contract should be the least difficult, along with Williams and Gamble, considering that first-round picks are slotted according to where they are selected in the round. The Postons might try to claim that Winslow was rated No. 1 on some team's draft boards, but that argument is essentially one-sided. First, he wasn't picked No. 1, and second, when was the last time we heard an agent say he would accept less for a player because he was selected higher than expected? Next question.

    Where many of the contract stalemates occur is on a player's second contract and when that player has excelled at a high level. That's where the Postons' demands enter the stratosphere and make it near impossible for a team to negotiate.

    After the Rams received a $71 million proposal for Pace in March that included a $27 million signing bonus and another $7 million in guaranteed money (almost as much guaranteed money as the Colts gave quarterback Peyton Manning), president of football operations Jay Zygmunt said: "It's just a waste of time dealing with him (Carl). It makes no sense. Anyone can ask for anything; that's easy to do. Why not ask for a billion dollars? It wouldn't matter."

    Zygmunt noted how often the situations put the player at odds with the team.

    Look no further than the relationship between cornerback Ty Law, another Poston client, and the Patriots during the offseason.

    When either of the Postons talk to the media, which is rare (and they did not return a phone call for a comment for this column), they raise more questions about their tactics. Last year, in a radio interview with KFNS Radio in St. Louis, they noted that Pace's one-year tender as the franchise player was unfairly low because the league includes all offensive linemen contracts in computing the tender.

    Of course, the reverse is true. When some of the top five players are non-tackles, that only increases the tender from what it would be if only tackles were included. In fact, Pace's tender in 2003 would have been about $500,000 lower if it was determined on just the contracts of tackles.

    ***** general manager Terry Donahue felt compelled to inform the media that the team had offered Peterson a $15.5 million signing bonus, and that his total package was in the same area as Baltimore's Ray Lewis and Chicago's Brian Urlacher.

    Similar to Pace's, however, the guaranteed money in the proposal for Peterson was about $30 million. The agents don't simply seek deals that would make their players the best-paid at their position. They want them paid at the top of the entire league.

    In defending the asking price for Pace, Kevin Poston told The (Oakland) Tribune: "Anyone that knows football would tell you the value of a left tackle. Peyton Manning goes out and gets $98 million, gets $35 million to sign. Orlando Pace is being told that asking for $71 million is way too much. If those two guys are $30 million apart in value, then I need to get out of this business."

    No comment necessary.

    July 15 is a key date because that is the first time negotiations can resume on long-term contracts with franchise players so teams can retain a franchise tag for future years. In addition, the player must sign the tender first before talks can start. That tag would stay on the player for as long as the new contract if there was a deal signed before July 15, or if there were negotiations conducted after March 17 and before the tender was signed.

    It's clearly in the best interests of the player to sign the tender sooner, not later, so negotiations can begin again. The later in the summer the player signs the tender and reports, the less chance there is of reaching agreement on a new deal that includes a large signing bonus.

    There would be one way new deals could happen a lot quicker. The five franchise players tackle Walter Jones and cornerback Chris McAlister are the others have tenders totaling $36.1 million. Even if their agents charge just 3%, that would be $1.08 million in agent fees for a contract set by the league.

    Suppose a player told his agent he's paying the fee for only a contract actually negotiated? Now that's something to think about.

    THE NEXT DRAFT: The NFL will conduct a supplemental draft July 20, but, no, Maurice Clarett and Mike Williams won't be included. All are players with special circumstances that led to them applying for the draft.

    Last year, Houston selected running back Tony Hollings in the second round of the supplemental draft. This year, a few intriguing prospects could end up being selected or signed as free agents.

    A team drafting a player loses that pick in the applicable round next year.

    Available as of July 12 are: safety James Allen, Brigham Young; running back Reynaldo Brathwaite, Brigham Young; wide receiver Chris Chatman, Midwestern (Texas) State; linebacker Ike Emodi, East Carolina; running back Larry Graham, Virginia Union; linebacker Chad Mascoe, Central Florida; guard Mataio Toilolo, Montana State; and defensive end Seante Williams, Jacksonville State.

    Allen and Braithwaite were dismissed from school for a violation of the honor code. Braithwaite's was permanent, while Allen could have re-applied in one year. School officials said both are good people who made one mistake. Braithwaite (5-10, 170 pounds) led the Cougars in rushing last year with 891 yards, averaging 5.6 yards a carry, and had a 95-yard run. Also 5-10, 170, Allen has 4.38 speed in the 40 and had 57 tackles with four sacks last season. Special teams is where he could make an immediate mark on an NFL team.

    Others to watch are Emodi (6-4, 231), who was making the switch from safety before being declared academically ineligible; Toilolo, who started at left guard last season and has good quickness for his size; and Williams, who has good pass-rush skills.

    QUESTIONS ABOUT FAULK: There was a significant amount of over-reaction last week to reports that Rams running back Marshall Faulk might retire this summer.

    The truth is this: Faulk, who is 31, has told people he has some concern whether his knee will be right. There are those inside the Rams who share the concern. However, most still believe Faulk will play this season, even if it is in a smaller role after the selection of Steven Jackson in the draft.

    The Rams know the history of how runners' productivity dramatically declines after they reach the age of 30. That's why they were intrigued with Clarett at the combine and might have picked Kevin Jones if they hadn't traded up for Jackson.

    Retirement is the absolute worst-case scenario. To call it likely is a stretch.

  • #2
    Re: Contract season puts Postons into play

    If those two guys are $30 million apart in value, then I need to get out of this business.
    We can only dream.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Comment

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    • evil disco man
      Postons in the News
      by evil disco man
      The Postons are currently in disputes with about half a dozen NFL teams. Here are five of the teams and their disputes with the Postons.

      SAN FRANCISCO
      Linebacker Julian Peterson is franchised and headed for a holdout. The ***** are offering him the richest contract in team history, including a $15.5 million signing bonus. The Postons are reportedly seeking a $30 million bonus.

      ST. LOUIS
      Five-time Pro Bowler Orlando Pace is franchised for the second year in a row. The Postons are seeking a $27 million signing bonus and the Rams are offering a $13 million signing bonus. Pace reportedly wants to play for the Browns, who do not want to give up two No. 1 picks, the price for a franchise player. The Postons asked for a seven-year, $71 million deal for Pace. The Rams have offered a seven-year deal worth $42.5 million. Rams president of football operations Jay Zygmunt called the Postons' proposal a ransom note. "A ransom note? How can you call that a ransom note when Peyton Manning got a $98 million contract?" said Kevin Poston. "Do you really think that Peyton Manning is worth $30 million more than Orlando Pace? Orlando helped Kurt Warner become a two-time MVP. He helped Marshall Faulk become the league MVP."

      OAKLAND
      The Raiders had to franchise Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson, above, and are bracing for a holdout. He reportedly wants a bigger bonus than Poston client Ty Law received in 2001 ($14.2 million) from the Patriots.

      WASHINGTON
      The Postons and LaVar Arrington say the Redskins rushed Arrington into a deal that omitted an agreed-upon $6.5 million bonus for 2006. Union chief Gene Upshaw is trying to broker a deal, but the dispute is headed to arbitration next month. "We did nothing wrong on the Arrington contract," said Kevin Poston. "What we agreed to was not ultimately in the contract. A $6.5 million bonus was missing, and they rushed LaVar to sign it so they could meet a salary-cap deadline."

      NEW ENGLAND
      Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law, above, recently called coach Bill Belichick a liar for allegedly promising him a guaranteed amount of money and then reneging on it. He will play this year at his cap-rich number of $10 million and then the two sides could be back at it again in the off-season. "The numbers don't lie," said Law. ". . . The Postons do everything possible to get fair market value. I'm going to live and die by the Postons on and off the field."

      - Mary Kay Cabot The Plain Dealer
      -07-18-2004, 11:57 AM
    • RamDez
      the Poston saga continues
      by RamDez
      peruse the final draft.

      Now, with Winslow nursing a broken leg that could cause him not to meet the play-time trigger for his $5.367 million incentive payment that was considered to be part of his guaranteed money, the Postons are being criticized for their failure to include language in the contract that would have prompted this "falling off of the log" incentive to roll over into future years.

      "It's mind boggling that they're still in business," one league insider told us on Thursday.

      They might not be in business for much longer. With Rams left tackle Orlando Pace firing the Postons last month and two other high-profile clients (Julian Peterson and Charles Woodson) signing franchise tenders after failing to work out long-term deals, some folks around the league believe that the remaining stable of Postons clients eventually will scatter.

      -Pro Football Talk

      -09-24-2004, 10:09 PM
    • txramsfan
      Postons are at it again...this time it's the whiners
      by txramsfan
      These guys are absolutely unbelievable......

      http://www.foxsports.com/content/view?contentId=2474730


      SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco ***** offered Julian Peterson the largest contract in franchise history, but general manager Terry Donahue doesn't expect it will be enough to sign the All-Pro linebacker to a long-term deal.

      Donahue did not reveal details of the offer, but he said it would include a team-record $15.5 million signing bonus.
      Peterson has been a no-show at each of San Francisco's three spring minicamps. Negotiations with Peterson's agents, Kevin and Carl Poston, have been at a standstill since the Niners placed the franchise tag on Peterson in February.

      The Niners made that move after Peterson declined a package that Donahue said would make the four-year veteran the second-highest paid linebacker in the NFL. The contract would trail only the seven-year, $50 million deal signed by Baltimore's Ray Lewis in 2002. That deal included a $19 million signing bonus.

      "I think we've made our intentions really clear," Donahue said. "Julian Peterson is an important part of the organization, and he is a player we would like to have here for the long term or we would have never made that kind of offer to him."

      Last season, Peterson led the Niners with seven sacks and three forced fumbles and was second on the team with 144 tackles. He was named to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year.

      The franchise tag prohibits Peterson from negotiating with any team except the *****.

      He has yet to sign the team's one-year tender offer of just over $6 million, which is the average salary of the five highest-paid players at Peterson's position.

      Negotiations between Peterson and the ***** cannot begin again until July 15.

      Donahue anticipates Peterson will holdout when training camp begins July 30.

      "Getting Julian Peterson into camp is important to us," Donahue said. "But at the same time, it is what it is. There really isn't a whole lot to discuss. I do not expect us to be in heavy negotiations (after July 15) or anything like that. We've gone where we can go. We've made a very, very competitive offer."

      Peterson's agents reportedly were asking for a deal that included $30 million in guaranteed money before talks broke off in February.

      When asked Wednesday if that figure was accurate, Donahue replied, "I don't know. I lost track."
      -06-10-2004, 07:11 AM
    • Nick
      Pasquarelli discusses Delhomme's new contract, among other things
      by Nick
      Delhomme's Pact Could Affect Couch, Warner
      By Len Pasquarelli
      ESPN.com

      It is called lagniappe, an old Cajun word that roughly translates into "a little bit extra," and a term with which Carolina Panthers quarterback and dyed-in-the-gumbo Louisiana native Jake Delhomme was familiar, long before he agreed Thursday morning to his pricey new five-year contract extension.

      Rewarding their emerging star with a contract that reportedly could be worth as much as $38 million, a deal criticized in some NFL precincts because there remains a core group of skeptics anxious to see if Delhomme was just a one-year wonder, certainly represented a heaping helping of lagniappe ladled out by Panthers management. No matter where one sides in the debate, though, the contract inarguably was aimed at providing security for both parties to the extension.

      Good news, Carolina management hopes, for a franchise now suddenly resurrected and seeking to sustain newfound success and to create stability. And absolutely great news for an itinerant quarterback whose league resume included just two regular-season starts before 2003.

      But bad news -- very bad news, in fact, it says here -- for signal-callers such as Tim Couch, Kurt Warner and Kordell Stewart. How do we draw a correlation between Delhomme's contract and the fortunes of those veteran quarterbacks?

      Because players like Couch have recently been forced into a kind of wait-until-next-year mindset, one in which they sign short-term deals in the hopes of finding a far more appealing employment market next March, when they will be free agents and perhaps have a chance to pursue a starting job. And contracts like the one Delhomme signed, in the big picture, mean there aren't going to be as many vacant starting spots in the NFL as some observers suggest there might be.

      It is, to be sure, one of the NFL's most notable dichotomies. Everyone focuses closely on the movement of quarterbacks in the league every spring, and this year was no different, as 19 quarterbacks had switched franchises at last count. But in a league where the best-kept secret appears to be the number of teams that have cemented their starters in place over the last few years, many of them with deals of astonishing length, few quarterbacks who changed addresses actually upgraded their status.

      Here's a fact-and-fiction proposition: It's a fact that the 32 quarterbacks projected to be starters in 2004 have an average of 4.4 more seasons remaining on their current contracts, meaning they are locked in through 2007. So it is fiction to assume that a slew of No. 1 spots will become available next spring, or even the offseason after that.

      The late-blooming Delhomme is the latest beneficiary of a trend in which teams have sought to reverse the quarterback carousel and put a stop to the calliope tune that annually accompanies...
      -06-18-2004, 02:40 PM
    • RamDez
      Rams can finally begin talks with Pace
      by RamDez
      BY STEVE KORTE

      Knight Ridder Newspapers


      ST. LOUIS - (KRT) - The St. Louis Rams reduced their number of unsigned draft picks to four by reaching a three-year deal with linebacker Brandon Chillar on Friday.

      The signing means that Chillar, a fourth-round pick out of UCLA, will take part in the Rams` training camp when it opens July 27 at Western Illinois University in Macomb.

      Chillar has some catching up to do after missing the team`s main minicamp in May due to an NFL rule that bans rookies from participating if their senior class has not graduated.

      First-round draft pick Steven Jackson, a running back from Oregon State, missed the minicamp for the same reason.

      The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Chillar was an All-Pac 10 Conference selection as a senior last season. He had 133 tackles, two sacks, an interception, two fumble recoveries and a blocked kick.

      The Rams are counting on Chillar providing valuable depth behind starters Tommy Polley, Pisa Tinoisamoa and Robert Thomas as well as contributing on special teams.

      Other draft picks who remain unsigned include Jackson, third-rounder Anthony Hargrove, sixth-rounder Jeff Smoker and seventh-rounder Erik Jensen.

      It`s safe to talk

      The Rams can begin negotiating with left tackle Orlando Pace without fear of losing the use of their franchise tag now that the NFL`s unofficial moratorium on signing franchise players has passed.

      Any team that signs a franchise player between March 17 and July 14 forfeits the use of their franchise tag for the length of the contract.

      Being able to re-open negotiations doesn`t mean that Pace, who missed all of training camp last year before agreeing to the one-year tender as franchise player, and the Rams are close to a deal.

      Pace`s agents, Carl and Kevin Poston, have asked for a seven-year deal worth $71 million that includes a $27 million signing bonus.

      The Rams have offered a deal with a $13 million signing bonus, but they reportedly are willing to up the ante by increasing the bonus to $16 million or $17 million.

      Three of the five currently unsigned franchise players - Oakland cornerback Charles Woodson, San Francisco linebacker Julian Peterson and Pace - are represented by the Poston brothers.

      Bulger, Holt answer challenge

      Rams quarterback Marc Bulger is among the nine NFL quarterbacks competing in the Quarterback Challenge that will air on CBS Sports (Channel 4 locally) from 4-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-2 p.m. Sunday.

      The contestants go head-to-head in four events - accuracy, speed and mobility, distance and no-huddle.

      The Rams' Torry Holt will be among the wide receivers taking part in the "no huddle" competition.

      Other quarterbacks in the challenge include Kansas City`s Trent...
      -07-18-2004, 02:26 AM
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