FanPost

A Brief History of Doom's Agent

Garywichard_medium

via www.jewishsports.org 


Elvis Dumervil's agent is named Gary Wichard. The last time we had cause to really get to know an agent up close and personal, it was our buddy Bus Cook, Jay Cutler's agent. I definitely don't want to go through that again. I am not sure how much of Cutler's behavior was due to Cook's recommendations, but I know we don't want a repeat of the 2009 offseason.

Here is a brief look at Gary Wichard and his history of big contract deals. First, We'll look at who Wichard represents. Then, we'll take some comps from previous years. We'll look at the contract amount, the length of the terms, the timeframe of the signing, and we'll also look for a pattern in Wichard's actions to try to discern his negotiation tactics.

Jump on it!

Gary Wichard founded Pro Tect Management in 1980. A former player, Gary has an impressive list of clients. Darren Heitner of SportsAgentBlog.com has this to say about Wichard:

 

"Wichard and Pro Tect Management represent Jason Taylor, Dwight Freeney, Terrell Suggs, Keith Bulluck, Antonio Cromartie, Elvis Dumervil, Darren Sproles…okay, I’ll stop now before I take up the entire post with their fantastic list of clients.  Wichard keeps these guys because he signs them to record deals.  It also helps him on the recruiting trail, which he is dominating so far in 2010...

"At this point, it is reported that Pro Tect Management has signed Arrelious Benn (Illlinois), Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame), Everson Griffen (USC), Taylor Mays (USC), and C.J. Spiller (Clemson).  All of them have a chance of being first round picks in the 2010 NFL Draft.  Is CAA watching?"

A few of these high-profile players have signed record contracts under Wichard's services. The Chargers recently hit Darren Sproles with a $6.6 million franchise tag. That's great, but we know that teams look at comps for similar positions. No problem! Wichard seems to specialize in defensive tackles and defensive ends. The Raiders' Pro Bowl DE/DT Tommy Kelly, infamous for lookin' like a fool with his pants on the ground against the Broncos last season, was signed to a record 7-year, $50.5 million contract on Feb. 28, 2008.  Terrell Suggs of the Ravens was signed to a 6-year, $63 million deal on July 15, 2009. The grandaddy of all defensive deals was secured for Dwight Freeney on July 17, 2007. Freeney signed a 6-year, $72 million dollar contract, making him the highest-paid defensive player up to that point (currently, Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth's $100 million deal over 8 years, which was signed on February 27, 2009, is the top-paid defensive player).

So Wichard has experience getting big money for defensive tackles and defensive ends. But let's look at some facts that might be able to shed some light on his tactics. Does he encourage players to hold out? Does he play hardball? Is he Bus Cook, or is he Jerry Freakin' Maguire?

The signings in February and March are just deals that were completed early. But the two big ones above, Suggs and Freeney, were signed in mid-July (2009 and 2007, respectively). The Suggs contract looks like it was done in time, but we have to look to the year before to find some clues about Wichard. In 2008, Suggs did hold out, until August 20, "on the advice of his agent," until he signed an 8.47 million tender. He held out to protest the fact that the Ravens had placed a franchise tag on him. 

 

"It was the business side of it. I really didn't want to do it because I love football and running around," Suggs said in explaining his 23-day absence. "It was really no big deal. It gave me extended time to further prepare myself for the season."

Suggs expressed optimism that a long-term deal will be worked out with the Ravens. His return wasn't tied to any conditions and the team is free to franchise him again after this season. There are no financial penalties affixed for missing camp.

"I'm highly optimistic they'll eventually get something done," Suggs said. "I can't worry about it now. I haven't lost faith in them. I still think they want me here. That's all I've got to go on."

Suggs said he's going to treat several defensive players this week for an elaborate, expensive dinner as a penance for not reporting on time.

 

The Ravens did want him there, and paid a record wage to have him there the following off-season, before he ever had a chance to hold out. The part that might upset some Broncos fans in the fact that the agent advised Suggs to hold out. It paid off in the end for Suggs, and apparently for the Ravens.

The gigantic Freeney contract also came on the heels of a franchise tag. 

 

Unlike Lance BriggsAsante Samuel and Cory ReddingDwight Freeney doesn't mind being a franchise player.

 

Dwight Freeney
Freeney

 

Though franchise players often hold out of minicamps and training camp until they get the security of the long-term contract, Freeney plans to attend the Colts weekend minicamp because he wants to be with his franchise. Contract talks between the Colts and Freeney continue without any signs of a long-term deal, but that isn't going to change Freeney's plans.

Freeney will be at the team's minicamp this weekend.

"I want to make another run at the Super Bowl," Freeney said. "I want to be at the minicamp and talk to the young guys and be with my teammates. I will be there."

Freeney isn't complicating his position with emotions. The Colts put the exclusive franchise tag on him, meaning he had no ability to negotiate with any team in free agency. Under new franchise rules, he has until July 15 to get a long-term deal without the Colts losing the future ability to franchise players.

"I know I'm not going anywhere," Freeney said. "I'm not in a position where I can even talk to any other team. I feel it's very important to show I'm still a big part of this team."

As an exclusive franchise player, Freeney can accept a $9.43 million salary for one year or accept a long-term deal. If the team wants to franchise him next year, his salary would go up 20 percent, meaning he's going to make over $20 million over the next two seasons.

Briggs isn't expected to show up at the Bears mincamp and may hold out of training camp. Samuel and Redding might do the same thing. What Freeney finds ironic is that the Colts are known for their offense, but he's the franchise player.

 

Freeney's situation was win/win/win. Freeney was committed to the team with a great attitude, he got his money, his agent got the contract, and the Colts held on to a productive,, high character player. This kind of development is the ideal, and Broncos fans should hope and pray that Dumervil's negotiations go as smoothly. 

It should be noted that Brian Bosworth filed a lawsuit against Gary Wichard and Pro Tect Management for recommending a financial advisor who did some shady things with Bosworth's money, but that has nothing to do with Wichard's negotiation tactics. 

This is not a comprehensive list of all the players Wichard represents. This post is intended to give a feel for the negotiations of players similar to Dumervil. That being said, the uncapped year and the looming CBA negotiations might change everything. So far, however, Dumervil has carried himself like a class act, and Wichard seems to have a history of getting the big contract without a huge holdout most of the time. Even in the case where there was a holdout, relations between the team and player were not strained beyond repair. The Broncos and their fans could be in a much worse situation with a different agent in the mix here. 

I will not draw any further conclusions. That's what the comments section is for. Have at it! Compare, contrast, and speculate.

GO BRONCOS!

sources:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/ravens/2008-08-18-suggs-reports_N.htm

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2873898

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/138611 by Liz Mullen

http://www.sportsagentblog.com/2010/01/11/gary-wichard-is-on-freaking-fire/

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker