In the words of the great Vince Lombardi:
Earlier this evening it was reported Emmanuel Sanders was prepared to sign a deal with the Denver Broncos to become the team’s replacement for Eric Decker. What we didn’t know at the time, and now do, is Sanders’ agent had already agreed in principle to a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here is the unbelievable story from Ian Rapoport:
Agent Steve Weinberg, on behalf of the receiver, accepted a deal with the Chiefs in principle, according to one team source. Weinberg then engaged in negotiations with theTampa Bay Buccaneers, according to another source involved in the process.
While shopping the Chiefs offer to the Bucs, Weinberg never explained that he had already accepted the terms of Kansas City’s offer. Later in the night, Sanders’ agent had agreed to terms with the Broncos, which is where he is currently headed. Sanders and Weinberg also rankled the 49ers by agreeing to visit, then blowing it off.
Here’s something that needs to be understood right now: Emmanuel Sanders had nothing to do with this. This is his agent being a scumbag (for lack of a better word).
When a team and player (and agent) agree to a deal in principle, negotiations with other teams effectively stop. This wasn’t an offer Kansas City gave that was shopped around by the agent, which is a perfectly fine thing to do. This was an agreement that was shopped around by Weinberg which is, as the report says, against every negotiation rule in the book.
Agreement is principle puts the player in a weird purgatory where they are still technically a free agent but also a pending member of a team. There are a few technical things, such as a physical, that need to be done before a contract can be signed.
Think of it like being hired for a new job but needing to pass a drug test first – you have a job on the condition you pass the drug test. Same thing applies here, Sanders had a job on the condition he passed a physical.
Whether or not what the agent did was against league rules, I do not know. It is something we are going to continue to look into. However, it is an incredibly sleezy thing to do and some kind of action should be taken against Weinberg by the NFL or NFLPA.
What a disaster.
Oh, by the way, Quintin Demps signed with the New York Giants.
A quick Quintin Demps-to-Giants story here: http://t.co/5D29wpa5BQ
— Ebenezer Samuel (@ebenezersamuel) March 16, 2014
On rules and such from Rapoports updated article that is linked to above:
While Weinberg broke no laws in accepting a deal, the entire situation infuriated those he dealt with. It is commonly accepted in the league that once two sides agree to a deal — in writing or in handshake form — that’s the end of the story.