Examining the Patriots’ rookies and their representation
|05.06.10 at 8:21 pm ET|
While it is still early — most rookie contracts aren’t completed until June or July — it’s never too early to familiarize yourself with some key participants so you can be ready when contract talks for the 12 Patriots rookies do begin. (For what it’s worth, last year, the first rookie deal completed was fourth-rounder Rich Ohrnberger, who signed on June 16. The last rookie deal done was sixth-round pick Jake Ingram, who agreed to a deal on July 29.)
Here’s a quick thumbnail sketch of the 12 Patriots’ draft picks and their representation, according to the latest information provided by the National Football League Players Association:
First-round pick Devin McCourty: Represented by PlayersRep and Andy Simms. Simms represented defensive lineman Ron Brace in his rookie negotiations with the Patriots last summer. If Brace’s contract was any indication, the cornerback out of Rutgers shouldn’t be a problem getting into camp on time: Brace signed on July 17 last summer, inking a four-year deal, with roughly $2.82 million in guarantees. In addition it’s worth mentioning that McCourty was asked at his introductory press conference about the importance of getting a deal done as fast as possible, and said it’s “very urgent.”
“I’m not used to being a guy who’s not practicing or nothing,” McCourty said. “I told my agents I want to be able to play and get with a team and get going as soon as possible, the first day of training camp I want to be here playing.”
Second-round pick Rob Gronkowski: The tight end out of Arizona is represented by Drew Rosenhaus of Rosenhaus Sports. Contrary to the opinion that many have of him, Rosenhaus has actually worked pretty closely with the Patriots over the years. Recent New England players who have been represented by Rosenhaus include Jabar Gaffney, Chris Hanson and Larry Izzo, as well as current Patriots running back Fred Taylor and cornerback Darius Butler.
Second-round pick Jermaine Cunnigham: The Florida product is represented by Jon Perzley and Brian Mackler of Sportstars, an agency based out of New York City. Current Patriots cornerback Jonathan Wilhite is also represented by Sportstars. They also serve as the agency for Seattle wide receiver Deion Branch, and while Branch had a different agent handling his affairs, they were still part of the same agency when the wide receiver was traded after a contract dispute in 2006.
Third-round pick Brandon Spikes: This Florida linebacker lists Terry Watson of Watson Sports Agency — based in Atlanta — as his agent. Watson doesn’t appear to have much of a history with New England players. (His two biggest clients appear to be Cortland Finnegan and Chansi Stuckey.)
Third-round pick Taylor Price: Like Watson, BTI Sports, who reps the wide receiver out of Ohio, doesn’t appear to have much of a background when it comes to negotiating deals with the Patriots. According to his NFLPA information, Price is represented specifically by Ron Slavin.
Fourth-round pick Aaron Hernandez: David Dunn of Athletes First is serving as the agent for the former Florida star, and he has a long history with the Patriots. The agency has served as representation for former Patriots’ quarterbacks Drew Bledsoe and Matt Cassel. In addition, Dunn also reps current Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker and Brandon Meriweather.
Fifth-round pick Zoltan Mesko: The punter out of Michigan is also listed as being part of the Athletes First roster. Just a gut feeling, but I’m guessing between the familiarity between Dunn and New England management and Mesko’s relative market value, this is the deal that gets done first.
Sixth-round pick Ted Larsen: Larsen, a center out of North Carolina State, is listed as having Eastern Athletic Services as his agency, the same group that represents current Patriots center Dan Koppen. The same agency also lists Detroit defensive lineman Kyle VandenBosch and New York Giants’ offensive linemen Chris Snee, Rich Seubert and Shaun O’Hara among its clients.
Seventh-round pick Thomas Welch: Welch, an offensive lineman who attended Vanderbilt, is represented by Pat Dye, Jr. of Profile Sports, the same agency that worked for former Patriots Heath Evans and Benjamin Watson.
Seventh-round pick Brandon Deaderick: The former Alabama defensive lineman lists Perennial Sports and Entertainment as his representation. If you’re a defensive lineman in the AFC East, this appears to be a popular choice: Other clients who are repped by the same agency include New York Jets’ defensive lineman Kris Jenkins, Miami defensive linemen Randy Starks and Travis Ivey and Buffalo defensive lineman Lonnie Harvey.
Seventh-round pick Kade Weston: Not available
Seventh-round pick Zac Robinson: Robinson is the third member of the Athletes First client list that was selected by the Patriots in this year’s draft. The Oklahoma State quarterback is in good company — in addition to serving as the agency for Bledsoe and Cassel, the quarterback-friendly agency also represents several other active signal-callers, including Mark Sanchez, Matt Schaub, Kerry Collins, Matt Hasselbeck, A.J. Feely, Kyle Orton and Pat White.
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