Agent for Kansas City Chiefs RB Larry Johnson Peter Schaffer appeared on 610 Sports yesterday evening to discuss the situation between the organization and his client. About an hour or so prior to this interview, Kent Babb of the Kansas City Star reported that Schaffer and his client are working on a "settlement" with the Chiefs.
"I can tell you there is no settlement," Schaffer began. "We're having discussions [going] down two roads. One, with the appeal, and two, trying to find a positive resolution.
"When I talk about a settlement, I look at it as a positive resolution. Both sides come out with enough that they can win from it. No different from what Robert Kennedy did in 1962 with the Cuban Missile Crisis....which actually saved us from annihilation of the entire world."
"First time the Cuban Missile Crisis has come up on your show?," he asked. Uhh, yeah, Chris and Cowboy, the hosts, said.
Much more after the jump.
As for the settlement, Schaffer and the Chiefs continue to plan discussions. Babb reported that settlement talks could delay the appeal of his suspension, which was reported to be filed yesterday morning.
"Every one of my conversations," he said, "and I've known Scott and worked with and against him for 20 years, has always been positive. Neither one of us would ever let our conversations go in any other direction except positive and productive. It doesn't mean we have to agree on everything but we respect each other and we'll always keep it positive."
When I think of the word settlement, I don't think the result means LJ will be in a Chiefs uniform again. I'm sure many of us think that. Schaffer declined comment on whether a settlement would involve a restructuring of his client's contract but did comment, however, on whether he's received any indication from the team that LJ has played his last game in a Chiefs uniform.
"I have no reason to think that at all," he said when asked. "No reason to think that from anybody. Our goal is to keep this positive. If we have to follow through on the appeal, it's not because we have any personal feelings against the Kansas City Chiefs for filing what they filed. That's what they had to do with regards to their professional obligation and I told Scott and Todd if we file an appeal to the sanctions they asked for it's nothing personal."
He said if the appeal does go through, then it will be ruled upon by an independent arbitrator and that whatever the decision, he and his client will respect the decision and move on as if LJ is a member of the Chiefs.
"We will move forward and the Kansas City Chiefs will be happy to have Larry Johnson back and Larry Johnson will be happy to be back," he said. "The goal is to win football games."
Another goal, per Schaffer, is to use this incident as a way to learn from it and educate others.
"What he wants, and what I want, and hopefully a lot more people want the same thing, we use these situations to educate people not punish people so everybody knows what words are appropriate and what words are not appropriate and why. It's not just enough to put a list out and say you can't use the words twiggle sticks because you say this is offensive to these people or this segment of society."
Yesterday, TMZ.com quoted Schaffer (and we can not confirm this but TMZ and others report it) as the agent basically saying he did not realize that LJ's slurs were offensive. "I'm learning that there's a segment of our society that finds it offensive and that it should not be used. I didn't realize that, but I do know now...," says the TMZ report.
LJ hired Schaffer over the offseason after his previous agent, Alvin Keels, quit following LJ's last suspension from the league. Schaffer indicates that ever since a February 3rd radio interview with 610 Sports where LJ repeatedly said he wanted out of Kansas City, he has been a happy camper.
"I don't think we've seen that this year," when asked about the moody LJ. "I don't think anyone who's been around that facility since February has seen a moody person that's not trying to be a member of the team. That may have been last year, whatever, but no one who has been around there this year can say that. I can be sure of that."
Listen to the full interview at 610Sports.com.