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Rosenhaus Speaks

Update(8:56): From

 Plaxico Burress seemingly wants to leave the New York Giants.

Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for the troubled receiver, sent an e-mail to the NFL’s teams earlier this week letting them know that Burress was one of his three clients who wants to be traded, an NFL executive told The Associated Presson Thursday. The person requested anonymity because the e-mail was supposed to remain private.

The Star-Ledger of Newark was the first to have the story, reporting in its Wednesday editions that Rosenhaus’ initial e-mail to the teams said that Burress could be acquired through a trade.

However, the NFL executive who asked not to be identified because he had to deal with Rosenhaus, said the initial e-mail said that the agent had three “players DESIRING a trade.”

The other two players are Anquan Boldin of the NFC champion Arizona Cardinals and Chad Johnson of theCincinnati Bengals.

Arizona general manager Rod Graves did not return a telephone call left by The Associated Press at his office.

Giants general manager Jerry Reese refused to comment.

Rosenhaus did not return two telephone calls and an e-mail seeking comment.

Burress’ future has been in limbo since he shot himself in the right thigh at a New York City nightclub in late November. He was charged with felony gun possession and is due in court March 31. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 31/2 years in prison.

The 31-year-old also faces a possible suspension by the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy.


In an interview with WQAM radio in Miami, agent Drew Rosenhaus responded to a story posted here last night. The report stated Rosenhaus contacted all the teams in the league to notify them Plaxico Burress, Anquan Boldin and Chad Johnson are available via trade.

“I’ve read that story in the Star-Ledger,” Rosenhaus said. “There’s a lot of elements about it that are inaccurate.”

To his credit, Joe “Big Dog” Rose immediately asked Rosenhaus what was incorrect about the report.

“The bottom line is they make it seem like it’s impermissible for an agent to talk to teams, to communicate with teams about players who are under contract. That’s not correct,” Rosenhaus said. “I’m not violating any rules. I’m not required to follow the rules of NFL teams. According to NFLPA rules, which I’m governed by, which is the players association, I’m permitted to talk to the teams about any of my clients. As long as they have a representation agreement with me and they’re my client, I can advance whatever agenda I want.”

Only one problem: the story concurs with Rosenhaus’ claim no violation occurred.

“Neither the collective bargaining agreement nor the NFL Players Association regulations for agents prohibit an agent from alerting teams of a player’s potential availability via trade,” I wrote.

Rosenhaus is a good agent. And you don’t get the kind of client list he’s got (which I believe is the longest of any certified agent) without knowing the rules. So when I first heard what had happened, I figured he was within his rights as an NFLPA-certified contract advisor. Sure enough, he was.

“Let me just say in general that as an agent I can do whatever I want,” Rosenhaus said today.

That’s not entirely accurate as there are plenty of agent regulations set forth by the NFLPA. But a rule against an agent sending an e-mail to the entire league stating a client of his wants a trade is not one of them. The term “tampering” doesn’t come into play until a team contacts Rosenhaus to inquire about a trade.

“Let me clarify the rules: teams cannot talk to an agent about a player who is under contract, but there’s no limits on what an agent can try and do to help his client,” Rosenhaus said. “You know, the bottom line is that I get paid by my clients to advance their agenda, not the teams’ agendas. And there’s no rule that prohibits me from talking to teams about any of my clients. I’m going to do my job. That’s the bottom line.”

But that doesn’t mean the Giants weren’t upset with his e-mail. They were. And while Rosenhaus focused on the part of the story about whether a violation had occurred (again, I wrote that there isn’t one), he disputed the part about the Giants’ reaction or the fact that he sent out another e-mail to clarify he didn’t have permission from the team to seek a trade.

Rosenhaus did confirm the original e-mail.

“I can tell you that I send e-mails, probably three, four times a week, year-round, which list my free agent clients, my pending free agent clients, my restricted free agent clients, my upcoming rookies in the draft, players that are potentially going to be released, and players who, you know, are interested or who desire a trade,” he said. “The bottom line is that I send these e-mails out to specific executives on every NFL club and you know what they’re confidential e-mails. The bottom line is I’m not going to divulge these inter-team e-mails around the NFL because that’s what an agent does. I’m doing my job.”

Rosenhaus’ job in the Burress situation is going to be a tricky one. Rose asked him directly if Burress wants out.

Rosenhaus would not say yes or no.

“His situation right now, Joe, is very convoluted,” Rosenhaus said. “We have a legal process that has to take care of itself. He has been suspended by the Giants, which happened at the end of the season. They placed him on the Non-Football Injury list. The Giants have made an effort to recoup money from his contract. He’s filed a counter-grievance against the team alleging that all those things were not done fairly. So it’s a very different situation with the team right now.”

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