Thursday, April 01, 2004

The offseason of the agent, part II
After the Terrell Owens fiasco, WR Dennis Northcutt, who was supposed to be a free agent this offseason but his agent also forgot to file the paperwork by the deadline, is now stuck on the Browns roster, but wants to play elsewhere.

Division rival, Baltimore has shown interest in Northcutt, but once the Browns found out that the Ravens would use him as a starter, they wanted compensation worthy of a starter -- namely another starter or a second round pick. Now given that the Eagles only gave up a 2nd and a 5th round pick for TO and he's one of the best WRs in the game, I can't believe that the Browns expect to get a 2nd round pick from the Ravens.

But don't blame the Browns, blame Northcutt's agent, Jerome Stanley. Stanley accused the Browns of trying to ruin his client's career by not trading him to the Ravens for a 5th round pick (that's what Baltimore offered) and here's what Cleveland owner Carmen Policy said in response (from today's Cleveland Plain Dealer):

"Why would we trade him to the team in our division that we have to chase? Why help them get better? Unless there's something significant by way of compensation. Right now, we don't feel that we have received the kind of offer that's significant enough to justify it."
That sounds like a legitimate concern to me. It's get better though. When Stanley was asked how he could miss the deadline to file the free agency paperwork on his client's behalf, here's what he said:
"My answer is they claim they didn't receive the certified letter. That's as far as I can go with the facts. They claim they didn't receive the letter."

(When asked if he sent the letter) "I'm saying they said they didn't get the letter. I have no reason to disbelieve they didn't receive the letter."
Quick thinking -- blame the postal service. The story goes on to mention that TO suffered a similar fate, but through hard work and a lot of whining he was able to get traded to his team of choice. The difference here is that Northcutt is nohwere near as good as TO and doesn't have any leverage.