The NFL players union filed a grievance against player agent Carl Poston, principal in his own agency with his brother Kevin, seeking disciplinary action against the firm “Professional Sports Planning” for alleged mishandling of Lavar Arrington’s contract with the Washington Redskins.
Arrington and Poston had filed a grievance against the Redskins stemming from his eight year $68,000,000 contract, claiming that the Redskins removed a $6.5 million bonus from the final contract without notification. The Postons have not proffered an excuse for not noticing the removal of the signing bonus before handing the contract to their client for execution. The grievance did not result in the reinstatement of the bonus clause, to the severe detriment of the player.
Malpractice is likely to be upheld if the NFLPA can show that the Poston’s were negligent in not re-reading the final version ofm the contract to be certain that clauses were not changed prior to the final draft being delivered. Responsibility for reviewing final versions of contracts is always the responsibility of the player’s agent. They receive huge sums in the form of percentages of the deal for their woirk in negotiating the terms of the contract.
The Postons have long been ridiculed within the NFL by industry insiders for questionable negotiating tactics, including telling players to hold out even though proposed contract terms are deemed reasonable by many. Recently, the credibility of their firm has suffered significant harm as they have had to forfeit signing bonuses and have had players dropped by teams. Other high profile stars such as Kelen Winslow, Jr. have been injured. BobGeorge of BosSports writes “At the epicenter of this whole thing are two agent brothers who are fast becoming personae non grata around the NFL. Carl and Kevin Poston, owners of Professional Sports Planning, Inc., have gained a notorious reputation for being tough and unreasonable negotiators over the years. But their shenanigans over the past two years involving six of their high profile clients may one day drive them out of the player agent business, as NFL clubs may become loath to doing business with these two men at all costs.How bad is the work of the Postons? Law’s outbursts are only the tip of the iceberg.
Pace, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is okay with a signing bonus in the $15-17 million range. But Carl Poston, Pace’s agent, demanded that the Rams agree to a ludicrous deal worth $71 million over 7 years, with a $27 million signing bonus and $34 million in guaranteed money. Ram president Jay Zygmunt called this contract proposal “ransom money”.”
Pace, like several other Poston clients fired the pair shortly after the debacle and represented himself, signing his own name in the box marked “Agent.”.
Some industry insiders claim a lack of tact, common sense and descretion are at the root of the Postons problems. Some point to the less than classy description that Kellen Winslow’s ill fated “Easy Rider” motorcycle ride “cost us a shitload” as a microcosm of the Poston issues in failing to earn the respect of the NFL. Winslow’s injuries have cost him over $10 million dollars.
Earlier this year professed “Superagent” Drew Rosenhaus saw his credibility take a savage hit after a poorly calculated and dreadfully received “press conference” following the Eagles’ dismisal of Terrell Owens. One pundit referred to Rosenhaus as “Dr. Kevorkian” for a player’s career. Rosenhaus has suffered world-wide ridicule for his string of “no comments” in response to pointed, but reasonable questions and his equally headscratching “I love this man” tirade during the same conference.
Some players are even repping themselves in a grassroots backlash to what is seen as poor representation and expensive percentages.
In a related article, the author offer’s his thoughts on how football, ESPN and golf all interact with the new TV deal. It’s here.