The agent for Emmanuel Sanders, Steve Weinberg, has final commented on the situation with the Chiefs and the apparent non-agreement he and his client had with the team. Weinberg released a press release stating there was never an agreement with the Chiefs.
From the press release:
“Contrary to Saturday’s NFL.com report, this never was a case of Weinberg calling numerous NFL teams to “shop the Kansas City deal.” Firstly, when Sanders left the building, there was no deal — not in principle or otherwise. Second, this failure to seal the deal is what led other disclosed and undisclosed NFL teams to call Sanders and Weinberg directly, not the other way around. Weinberg did not make even one such call to “shop the deal.” Weinberg was far more concerned with Sanders making his flight to San Francisco, and told him to hurry to the airport.
“While Sanders was en route to the airport, Weinberg received a call from a Chiefs executive. Weinberg was told that if Sanders would turn the car around and return to the building, the Chiefs were prepared to improve their offer.
“At the same time, the Bucs front office was also calling Weinberg with a new offer. With two new offers in hand, and still no offer from the 49ers, Sanders told Weinberg that for now, he had decided not to visit California. Instead, he instructed the driver to turn the car around.
“However, when Weinberg got Sanders on the phone with Chiefs executive, the X amount of money – the reason the car turned around – was no longer there. The new amount the Chiefs spoke of was $4 million less than it had been just moments ago.
“Weinberg then told Sanders to turn the car back around, get to the airport and fly to San Francisco as planned. As Weinberg continued to negotiate with Tampa, other teams were still calling. Then, out of the blue, Weinberg got a call from the Denver Broncos — Sanders’ first choice of teams from the very beginning. The Broncos told Weinberg they had been trying to sign another receiver on Saturday, but were unsuccessful, and they heard Sanders might still be available. If so, they were prepared to offer a three-year contract in the price range Sanders was looking for. Denver asked Weinberg to hold tight while they worked on preparing a formal offer. Sanders received a text from Weinberg that Denver had just called and they would have an offer soon.
“While waiting for Denver’s offer. Weinberg continued fielding calls from numerous teams interested in Sanders. With the phones ringing constantly, Weinberg was simply unable to take every call, and planned on checking his voicemail as soon as he could. Weinberg noticed the Chiefs had called, but there was no message.
“Sanders had already missed his flight, and there was no urgency to finalize anything.
“Waiting to hear back from Denver, Weinberg e-mailed the 49ers with news Sanders won’t be making his flight as planned. He then responded to the Chiefs’ latest offer, which had been sent to him via e-mail. With his client overwhelmed, Weinberg told the Chiefs what he had been telling all the teams – he and Sanders would review their offers that evening.
“The Chiefs replied about 10 minutes later; “No need to review it, Steve. Had you picked up your phone when we were calling, you would know that we have pulled the offer.”
“Weinberg was dumbfounded. After receiving a series of angry and threatening text messages, Weinberg realized that the Chiefs had obviously misinterpreted what was happening and jumped to unreasonable conclusions. They wrongfully assumed Weinberg was not picking up his phone because he was too busy calling other teams and “shopping” their “deal”. This was most definitely not the case.
“Reports all seem to criticize Weinberg for not honoring an oral agreement that did not exist; yet it was the Chiefs who actually pulled out of the deal — before Denver ever submitted their formal offer to Sanders.
“When Weinberg did finally receive Denver’s offer Saturday evening, he contacted Sanders to go over the details. Sanders was ecstatic, as were the Broncos. With Kansas City having pulled their offer, Sanders was choosing between Tampa Bay and Denver. Signing with the team he originally wanted was a no brainer.”
“If we reached or agreed to terms with the Chiefs, we would have signed with Kansas City and never turned back. There were absolutely no handshakes, verbal agreements or signed documents when Sanders left the Chiefs facility. Emmanuel was on his way to the airport when teams called us. We didn’t ‘shop any deals’ or ‘reach out’ to a single team. My fiduciary responsibility is to the players I represent and not to the NFL teams or their ‘good ole boys’ tactics.”
I don’t trust this Weinberg guy at all. “Then, out of the blue, Weinberg got a call from the Denver Broncos…” Riiiiight.
There is zero benefit for John Dorsey to make up a story like this. In the short period of time Dorsey has been in Kansas City we have come to realize the team keeps information close to the vest and does not leak out stories or rumors. The idea he would suddenly leak a story to Ian Rapoport because he was bitter about losing Sanders, which is basically what Weinberg is implying here, seems absurd.
This whole situation is only making me angrier.
You can read the entire press release (yes, there’s even more) and the full statements from Weinberg and Sanders at National Football Post. Aaron Wilson has the story.