Bowe Is Locke'd Out
By Nick "The Erroneous One" Athan
Posted Jul 31, 2007
River Falls was buzzing late Tuesday afternoon as word spread quickly that first round draft pick Dwayne Bowe was certain to arrive within 24 hours. But that wasn’t the case yesterday afternoon, as a snag in negotiations hit. Ethan Locke’s infamous firm decided it wasn’t quite time for Bowe to report to Wisconsin.
In NFL circles, the firm is known as LMM Sports Management. The man behind the ‘L’ is Locke. The second man in the firm is Erik Metz - we’ll call him ‘M1.’ The third is the new guy, Vance Malinovic, who we will call ‘M2.’
Together, they are the firm that represents two first-round picks this year. One of them is the top overall pick, JaMarcus Russell. The second is Bowe.
In the past the firm has represented high-profile clients such as Panthers tackle Jordan Gross (five years, $38.5 million) and 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (five years, $23 million) to name a few. They also represented former Chief John Tait, and were successful in extracting nearly $34 million from the Chicago Bears with a poison pill contract that ended any chance their client would return to Kansas City. That was by design.
I’m not 100 percent sure what’s going on at LMM headquarters right now, but I have a theory. L is not involved in the Bowe negotiations, and neither is M1. The job has been left to M2. Evidently, the problem is that M2 thinks M1 is handling the negotiations, and they’re spending the entire day sending e-mails back and forth, jamming up the LMM internal network. All that traffic has rendered the company completely incapable of receiving contract proposals from the Chiefs.
This must be the truth, because over the last 48 hours LMM has completely ignored any offer the Chiefs have sent them.
Meanwhile, Bowe sits in Atlanta with his buddy Russell, hoping they might get to start the preseason with their respective teams. The Raiders signed Daunte Culpepper on Tuesday night, because it doesn’t look like there’s any chance Russell signs before the start of the season.
The Chiefs, on the other hand, are negotiating in good faith like most other NFL teams usually do with agents intent on making sure their clients get a proper start in the NFL.
But that doesn’t happen at LMM because neither L, M1 or M2 feel it’s important to get Bowe’s deal done in a timely manner. They want to set the world on fire by getting Russell the richest deal in NFL history. They don’t consider Bowe one of their top clients, because they’re lumping him together with Russell. Instead of ruining one NFL career, they’re destroying two.
It’s bad enough that Bowe had to carry Russell over the last several years at LSU. Now he has to wait for him to sign.
It appears that L has indicated to the Chiefs that his firm is no longer negotiating in regards to Bowe until they reach a deal with the Raiders for Russell.
With that said, you’d think L, M1 or M2 would put all of their energy in trying to get Russell signed, right? Wrong.
Instead of managing the deal themselves, they brought in a young, recently graduated associate. He has never negotiated an NFL contract, but is now running lead in Russell negotiations with Raiders owner Al Davis.
It’s obvious LMM needs some help, so let’s assist them. If we do the math for them maybe we can end this stalemate and get Bowe in River Falls.
I already know they don’t understand the NFL’s slotting system for first-round picks, so let’s look at the numbers from pick 20 to 25.
At #20 the New York Giants signed Texas cornerback Aaron Ross to a five-year deal worth $13.5 million, with $8 million guaranteed.
At #21 the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Florida safety Reggie Nelson to a five-year deal worth $13.2 million, with $7.2 million guaranteed.
At #22 the Cleveland Browns remain in a contract stalemate with quarterback Brady Quinn, who is represented by Tom Condon.
At #23 the Chiefs are still waiting for L to tell M1 and/or M2 to quit e-mailing each other and get to work.
At #24 the New England Patriots signed Miami Safety Brandon Meriweather to a five-year deal worth $11.5 million, with $6 million guaranteed.
At #25 the Carolina Panthers remain in a contract dispute with Miami linebacker John Beason.
Considering this data, the Chiefs have done nothing wrong. A source confirmed that the Chiefs have offered Bowe a contract valued somewhere between Meriweather’s and Nelson’s.
Common sense suggests Bowe has an offer on the table that could be worth $12 to $13 million, with guaranteed money somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 million. That’s not a bad payday for a player who showed up late to his rookie mini-camp and had a first-round chip on his shoulder similar to the one Larry Johnson now carries.
But this is not a slam of Bowe. All you have to do is look at the three amigos that represent him.
There is nothing more impressionable than a young NFL player with tremendous ability. Bowe was someone who could have started the season opposite Eddie Kennison in Houston.
He could have made an impact this season. Instead, his agents feel it’s better to get him in the head coach’s doghouse and ruin any chance he has of making a significant contribution this year, because this is how they operate their business.
There is a reason that L doesn’t have any respect among the 32 general managers in the NFL. It’s a wonder that any college junior or senior would allow themselves to be represented by men who, for the most part, don’t have the best interests of their clients in mind.
L and M1 (M2 is innocent) did this to the Chiefs one time already. My guess is they won’t put up with it again.
The firm has a personal vendetta against Chiefs President Carl Peterson, because L felt he needed to make a name for himself in the NFL. He succeeded in that endeavor, but I won’t repeat the name in this column space.
Even after months of bickering, they didn’t serve Tait all that well. He ended up taking less money than what the Chiefs offered on draft day.
In April, Bowe told reporters he’d show up to camp on time, and picked the firm of LMM because he felt they were best for him. It appears that he may have been a package deal with Russell. I wonder if he still believes LMM is a good fit for him now, as he sits out for no reason whatsoever other than ego – and not his, I might reiterate.
Here’s some advice for Bowe. Fire L, M1 or M2. Find a good agent who will get the job done and get you to Wisconsin.
Don’t believe another word you hear. They will be the same words you believed when you hired LMM, and they are the same ones that will end up delaying your future stardom in the NFL.
Take control of your own future, because sooner or later the Chiefs will move on without you.
Seven million in guaranteed dollars can go a long way towards helping your family.
It goes a long way with smart people around you, and agents that care about your long-term financial future instead of netting you an extra $250,000 now.
Even if you get that extra money, where will you be? The passes intended for you will be thrown at Samie Parker, Jeff Webb and Chris Hannon. I bet any of them would take the kind of coin you’ve been offered in a heartbeat.
So ask L, M1 or M2 to pick up the phone.