While in Kansas City last week, free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was close to striking a deal with the Chiefs before receiving information that he was getting a better deal from the Denver Broncos, where he ended up signing officially.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and the NFL Network, Sanders agent, Steve Weinberg, had agreed to a deal in principle with the Chiefs before shopping the details of that deal to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers without telling them that there was an agreement. Then, when the Buccs wouldn’t bite, John Elway jumped at the chance to sign Sanders based upon the details of the deal in Kansas City. So again, we have another reason to hate the damn Broncos and John Elway.
Things like this happen across the league from time to time, but the real problem with this story is that Steve Weinberg already has a sketchy history. In February, 2003, he lost his certification as an agent after the NFLPA charged that he violated various union regulations agents must follow. Apparently, he diverted assets in an offshore account during a dispute with his former business partner Howard F. Silber that left some of his clients open to wage garnishment, according to a report from the Dallas Business Journal in 2003.
As the current story continues, Weinberg technically didn’t violate any rules under the new CBA or NFLPA regulations in the handling of Sanders’ signing. But what he does face is trouble negotiating with teams in the future. Executives across the league were outraged by the handling of Sanders on the free agency market. He even managed to upset the San Francisco 49er’s when they blew off a meeting that was scheduled for Saturday in the bay area,
“This was one of the worst situations in modern football negotiations,” one executive involved said. “Totally wrong. This needs to be stopped.”
Weinberg had 42 clients previously to being stripped of his certification in 2003. He currently has 2 clients on NFL teams, not including Sanders’ according to Ian Rapoport. This, to me, peaks volumes about where Weinberg has headed these last ten years or so in terms of business and handling his clients.
The deal Emmanuel Sanders got from the Broncos is reported to be 3 years $15 million, a deal that the Chiefs were likely not looking to give seeing as they only have a little over $7 million in cap space left for 2014. It sucks to lose Sanders’ this way to our biggest rival, especially now knowing that it was pretty much a done deal that he was going to stay in Kansas City. But I say good riddance.
Missing on Sanders means the Chiefs will likely be looking a receiver with their first pick in this years NFL draft. The 2014 class is loaded with receiver talent so don’t fret too hard Chiefs fans. It does sting that we now have to watch Sanders catch balls for the Donkey’s, knowing that were this close to having him in Kansas City, but the Chiefs can find someone better than Sanders in this years draft class. For the sake of our mentality, lets hope that happens.