Emmanuel Sanders received a three-year, $15 million contract from the Denver Broncos that his agent, Steve Weinberg negotiated for him, but other teams are angry about the way it went down, suggesting foul play was going on. The city of Denver and their NFL team, the Denver Broncos, are ecstatic over their recent acquisition at wide receiver. After watching their number two receiver from last year, Eric Decker, sign with the New York Jets, the Denver Broncos went out and got themselves a younger, faster and dynamic receiver to fill the vacancy at wide receiver, further cementing their place as odds on favorite to win the Super Bowl.
Anytime a coveted free agent visits with multiple teams and ends up signing, the ones who missed out are going to be disappointed. This situation is different. The Kansas City Chiefs are claiming that Steve Weinberg conditionally accepted a deal for Emmanuel Sanders, but then turned around and used that deal as leverage with other teams. Mr. Weinberg talked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and informed them of the Kansas City Chiefs offer, but didn’t let them know that the deal was already agreed upon and pending. He then spoke with the Denver Broncos next and accepted their offer, which ended up becoming the deal that was signed.
Emmanuel Sanders responded to allegations from other teams over this agent and said the anger should not be his to bear. The young receiver said he never heard of the deal with the Kansas City Chiefs and definitely did not agree to anything. He was waiting for a phone call to tell him where to go next, saying he didn’t even know which coast his next meeting was going to be on. Once he was told about the Denver Broncos deal he accepted it and then found out the Kansas City Chiefs were expecting him to sign with them instead.
To add fuel to the fire, the San Francisco 49ers also got into the mix, saying that Mr. Weinberg had promised them that his client would meet with the team, but never did before agreeing to the Denver Broncos deal. Situations like this are not rare and often times agents may find themselves on general managers lists of agents not to trust, but those lists and issues generally stay in-house and don’t get leaked out to the public. Mr. Weinberg may have trouble dealing with other teams in the future because of this situation, although the Denver Broncos will most likely have no issue with dealing with him. Free agency is a hectic time where players are meeting with several teams a week and teams are reaching out to several players a day in a flurry to sign the best available. Situations like this, though not rare, hurt teams who may miss out on players expecting meetings and agreements to hold. Of course, nothing is official or legally binding till a contract is signed, and it may not be an advisable tactic, but it isn’t illegal and will not result in disbarment.
Most likely this will blow over shortly since the league is only in their first week of free agency and teams have more pressing issues to deal with, like other available players and preparing for the draft. Emmanuel Sanders confirmed at his press conference that he never agreed to any other deal and was not angry, but happy with his agent, siting business deals with other teams can often turn messy when one team doesn’t get what it wants, but that’s just the nature of the business and he got what he wanted, which is all anyone can ask for. Luckily for the Denver Broncos their new acquisition is already putting the ordeal behind him and is excited and eager to start playing football with his new team. Steve Weinberg may have upset some teams, but at the end of the day he got Emmanuel Sanders the contract he wanted and it was for three years, which should be enough time for teams to forget.
Commentary by Chris Dragicevich