What is this world coming to?
http://www.greenbaynewschron.com/packer ... cle=131558
http://www.greenbaynewschron.com/packer ... cle=131558
Rosenhaus adds Davenport to player stable
Controversial agent is seeking new contract for Najeh Davenport but insists halfback won't hold out
By Todd McMahon
As if the Green Bay Packers haven't had enough of Drew Rosenhaus for a second straight off-season, now comes this bombshell straight from the mouth of the calculating superagent.
Reached Wednesday by telephone, Rosenhaus said he was recently hired by Packers halfback Najeh Davenport to be his agent. What's more, Rosenhaus is after a new contract for his new client.
Sound all too familiar?
Rosenhaus, though, gave assurances that Davenport won't be following the holdout lead of two other clients in Green Bay the last two years: wide receiver Javon Walker and cornerback Mike McKenzie.
"He won't miss any (practice) time or anything. But, it would be, I think, productive for both sides to get a long-term deal done," Rosenhaus said.
The Packers signed Davenport, who previously was represented by Michael Harrison, to a one-year contract last month.
Davenport was a restricted free agent who essentially signed for the low tender placed on him. However, his base salary of $656,000 was reduced to $641,000, in exchange for the Packers' reportedly giving him a $100,000 advance from the salary, which isn't paid out in weekly installments until the season starts.
"I've mentioned to the Packers that we would like to get an extension done for him," Rosenhaus said. "I'm looking forward to working with the Packers on Najeh, and hopefully, we can get a long-term deal done for him in the future."
Rosenhaus' desire is to get a new deal in place for Davenport before the start of the season. He argues that it would behoove the Packers to accommodate those wishes before Davenport becomes a potential hot commodity as an unrestricted free agent next year.
Davenport has merely been a top understudy to Ahman Green during three injury-marred seasons, with only one pro start.
"If he gets into free agency, all bets are off," Rosenhaus said. "He's definitely a player that's capable of being a quality starting running back in this league. I'm hopeful of working something out with the team before we get into the season. We'll see what happens."
Packers general manager Ted Thompson didn't cringe at having to enter into contract negotiations with Rosenhaus regarding another player on the roster.
"Drew represents a lot of players in this league, and we signed two of them," said Thompson, citing the free-agent acquisitions of veteran safeties Arturo Freeman and Earl Little this spring.
Rosenhaus has upset a number of team officials and players, including outspoken quarterback Brett Favre, by advising Walker to stay away from on-field activities in Green Bay until his contract demands are met.
Walker, coming off a breakout season that culminated with his first trip to the Pro Bowl, has two years left on the deal he signed as a first-round draft pick in 2002. Walker skipped the mandatory portion of the post-draft minicamp last month.
The receiver made an appearance in Milwaukee last weekend at his inaugural celebrity softball game and made it known he wants to be paid as one of the top receivers in the NFL. At the same time, Walker said he prefers to remain a Packer and expressed optimism the two sides will reach agreement on a new contract before training camp starts in late July.
It's not clear whether Walker will skip the start of training camp if a reworked pact isn't consummated by then. McKenzie staged a contract-related holdout through the entire preseason and the first game of the season last year. Three weeks after he finally rejoined the team, the Packers traded him to New Orleans.
While Rosenhaus was forthright in discussing the alignment with Davenport, he maintained his stance of not commenting on Walker's situation.
Walker is among a handful of players represented by Rosenhaus who have shown their dissatisfaction about existing contracts by boycotting team activities this off-season. Others include receivers Terrell Owens of Philadelphia and Anquan Boldin of Arizona and safety Sean Taylor of Washington.
There's no indication if Walker will show up for the Packers' second minicamp, which starts June 1 but is voluntary for players.
Head coach Mike Sherman, though, said Wednesday that Walker placed a call to his office the previous day and left a message.
"He wanted to see how I was doing. Catching up on me," Sherman said.
When asked if he interprets the call as a sign that Walker is prepared to return to the team, Sherman responded, "It's not a big deal."
As for whether he's optimistic that Walker will report on time for training camp and show that he is committed to playing for the Packers, Sherman added, "I can't tell you. When they're here (practicing), they're here. When they're not, they're not. That's all I know."
Meanwhile, Sherman didn't disclose whether he will have Favre participate in the upcoming minicamp. Sherman excused the 15th-year veteran from the last minicamp to allow him to tend to personal matters at his home in Mississippi.
The presumption is Favre will take part in some of the workouts at the seven-day minicamp because his annual charity softball game is June 5 at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute. "I have to call him and talk to him," Sherman said. "Yeah, pretty much (I have made a decision). But, I'll wait until we get to that point to talk about it in public."