NYT article on DR


Mar 8, 2005
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The Agent Nonplayers Love to Hate

Published: May 24, 2005

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla., May 22 - Dressed in army fatigues and wearing a paintball mask, the N.F.L.'s most controversial agent resembled the villain some people portray him to be.

Drew Rosenhaus, in sunglasses, with clients: the Redskins' Santana Moss, far left; the Patriots' Duane Starks, center; and the Dolphins' Randy McMichael.

Drew Rosenhaus was in his element Sunday, playing paintball at a charity event here with about a dozen clients but ready to play hardball at a moment's notice: a cellphone attached to each hip, the numbers of general managers on speed dial.

No other N.F.L. agent creates the headlines or the emotion that Rosenhaus does. He is a 38-year-old workaholic with a black belt in tae kwon do who pursues deals with no apologies. During this off-season, some prominent Rosenhaus clients have skipped minicamps seeking to renegotiate their contracts, including Philadelphia receiver Terrell Owens, Indianapolis running back Edgerrin James and Green Bay receiver Javon Walker.

And a growing list of players have dumped their agents to hire Rosenhaus, including Giants receiver Plaxico Burress, Cleveland running back Reuben Droughns, Green Bay running back Najeh Davenport, Walker, James and Owens. In the last year alone, Rosenhaus has negotiated deals worth more than a half-billion dollars.

Rosenhaus, an agent for 17 years, has been both admired and resented. Sports fans have sent him irate e-mail messages, calling him Darth Vader or Satan. Competing agents have accused him of stealing clients. Rosenhaus offers no apologies; he is determined to fight for his clients, regardless of the animosity it may cause.

"I worry about the P.R. hit that my clients take, but I never worry about the P.R. hit that I take," said Rosenhaus, who represents 91 players, the most of any N.F.L. agent. "I've been hired to do a job. I pride myself on being a dealmaker. Not a tough negotiator, not a hardliner, not someone who pounds the teams. I want to be viewed as a guy who can make a deal. Once I get what's fair, I pull the trigger."

The situation involving Owens has made Rosenhaus less popular in Philadelphia than a bad cheese steak. Owens signed a seven-year, $49 million contract last year, but after 77 catches and 14 touchdowns, he and Rosenhaus have said that he is no longer being paid fair market value.

Owens fired his friend and longtime agent David Joseph after the season. Getting the Eagles to renegotiate represents one of Rosenhaus's greatest challenges. The Eagles have a history of taking a hard line with veterans' contracts, and their owner, Jeffrey Lurie, has already said the team will not renegotiate Owens's contract.

"It's very much up in the air," Rosenhaus said of the likelihood of Owens's reporting to camp. "I don't ever get in a situation where I stop communication, or take things personally. I like the Eagles, I respect the owner, I respect the president, I respect the head coach."

The dissatisfaction of Walker and Owens has already caused friction within their teams. Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre criticized Walker for holding out. The Owens situation could affect the chemistry in the Eagles' locker room, particularly after Owens said a few weeks ago, "I wasn't the one who got tired during the Super Bowl." That was a thinly veiled criticism of quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Rosenhaus says he knows that many fans will never understand players who are making millions asking for more money. But in a league in which contracts are not guaranteed and every game brings potential for serious injury, Rosenhaus sees himself as the underdog, negotiating against owners who have far more security than his clients.

"To unhappy fans, I can understand their emotions, but I wonder if they would feel differently if I represented them," he said. "If a team decides that it no longer needs a player's services, why shouldn't a player who is not being paid equal to his performance be able to ask the team for more money? Why should it be a one-way street?"

Rosenhaus runs a three-man operation, along with his brother Jason and Robert Bailey, who is responsible for endorsements.

How do three men handle 91 players?

"I literally work seven days a week, I'm not married, I have no kids, I don't take vacations," Rosenhaus said.

Instead of having an office in downtown Miami, Rosenhaus works from an elaborate setup at home. He does not even have a secretary.

"I don't believe in a secretary, because I want the guys to call me directly," he said.

Much of his recreation comes from hanging out with his clients, who are clearly amused by having an agent who plays paintball, plays video games and listens to rap music.


As an agent I can see where he is effective. As a person he leaves a lot to be desired.


Dec 15, 2004
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Lambeau Midwest
PackerTraxx said:
As an agent I can see where he is effective. As a person he leaves a lot to be desired.
I would have to agree with that assessment!

He tries to finesse it all by saying we'd certainly appreciate his Services...
Yet, as an IT guy - I don't see him out there working in my field of endeavor.

Sure, the money has to be pretty damn good - but he's missin' the boat on a lot in life which is worthwhile. No girlfriend, or wife - no kids... pretty sad when ya think about it. No matter how much his cut is - he still can't take it with him. And, no one to share it with. (unless you count Escorts, I suppose - big whoop)

Bottom Line? He's affecting Teams abilities to remain competitive in the Market place - yet ignores that fact totally in any conversation he brings to the media. You guys caught that, right?

The Players? Need to re-think whether they want the brass ring, or just the parking meter stuff...

History will not remember kindly, those who were more about the GREED factor...... than the Lombardi Trophy! You watch! 8)

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