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Can Fans Expect the Chiefs First Round Pick Tyson Jackson to Hold Out of Training Camp?

You know, there are few times when a movie line truly sums up a profession. But when sports agent Jerry Maguire yelled, "Show me the money!", he pretty much nailed what the MO of that profession is all about.

And I'm not criticizing. I understand that NFL players are essentially trading their health later in life (at many positions anyway) for a payout now and a physical beating for their entire career. If I was going to do that, I'd want to get paid out the wazoo from the day I entered the NFL. I can't imagine putting something as precious as my health on the line for my job and not expect to be compensated to the point where I can support myself and my family the rest of my life without having to work ever again.

So I'm one of these guys (and it seems like there are not that many of us) who says let the contracts - rookie or veterans - run wild. The owners could band together if they wanted to and refuse to pay above certain levels..but they don't. They give in, year after year, to big time demands from NFL agents.

There's the rub for me. This is all voluntary between the players, owners and agents. Nobody's hand is truly forced into deals. It's a matter of who blinks first.

Which brings us to the Kansas City Chiefs' first round pick, the #3 overall pick Tyson Jackson. Jackson's agent is Eugene Parker of Maximum Sports Management. Parker is a highly successful NFL agent who represents a range of NFL stars. Check out his full client list here. Parker negotiated Deion Sander's deal back in 1995 which made him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL at the time. He got a deal that satisfied Deion Sanders? Well, I think that means you can say that Eugene Parker is good at what he does.

Parker's greatest negotiating victory came in 2004 while negotiation WR Larry Fitzgerald's rookie contract. Fitzgerald was the #3 overall pick and Eugene Parker was able to secure the largest contract ever for an NFL rookie and not miss a day of practice due to the negotiations. Fitzgerald's contract was worth $20 million in guaranteed money and had a ceiling of nearly $60 million. 2004's #1 overall pick, Eli Manning, received similar guaranteed money but only a ceiling of $54 million.

You're the agent of the #3 overall pick and you negotiate more money than the #1 pick, who was a quarterback no less? Eugene Parker is a shark of an agent.

Parker's agency also represents the Kansas City Chiefs third round pick Alex Magee.

What I wanted to do this morning was take a look at some of Eugene Parker's higher profile clients and see if they held out during their rookie or second contract negotiations. Here are some of Parker's higher profile clients, active and retired:

Offense Defense
WR Hines Ward DL Richard Seymour
WR Larry Fitzgerald LB Derrick Brooks
WR Laveranues Coles S Rod Woodson
WR James Hardy S Aeneas Williams
WR Greg Jennings QB Rex Grossman
RB Cedric Benson DL Sedrick Ellis
RB Curtis Martin
RB Felix Jones
RB Tashard Choice
RB Steven Jackson
T Walter Jones
T Jason Peters

Before we go on checking out these possible holdouts, there are a couple caveats. One, I'm assuming that Eugene Parker has represented each player for their entire career, unless I find information otherwise. Two, there is no "holdout database" so this is all manual research. Finally, I'll do my best to confirm that each holdout I mention is contract related.

After the jump, let's see which of Parker's clients have been holdouts during contract negotiations.

A quick Wikipedia search reveals that 10 of Parker's 18 clients listed above had holdouts at some point in their career.

Hines Ward - 2005

Ward missed the first two weeks of the Steelers' 2005 training camp while holding out for a new contract. He eventually came to the team's preseason games but didn't play in them. He signed a contract on September 5th, 2005, the richest in team history after rejecting an earlier offer that was also the richest deal in Steeler team history.

"No negotiations -- that was the policy," Parker said. "As Hines said -- and as Bill Cowher said -- they communicated. They weren't negotiating. They were talking, and that was a big factor in Hines coming back. He wanted to get a feel for what his coach felt about it. And, once he got clarity and was comfortable, that gave him an opportunity to get back and get things started (with negotiations)."

Winner: Eugene Parker

Richard Seymour - 2005

Seymour only held out the Patriots training camp for a few days before receiving a modest contract reworking. It was a mild contract dispute at best but Seymour got more money in the middle of his rookie deal.

During the negotiations, Parker relayed thoughts on player holdouts:

"Based on the alternatives available, you go back and play for the (salary you're contracted for), but what are the pros and cons of that? At least you're playing. But you're playing for less, and if you're injured, that's it. Absent that, the only recourse a player has is not to play."

Yep, sounds like an NFL agent alright.

Winner: Eugene Parker

Walter Jones - 2002-2004

Jones actually held out of three consecutive training camps for the Seahawks, feeling he was a victim of the franchise tag. The Seahawks franchised Jones from 2002 to 2004. In 2002, Jones held out of all of training camp and missed two regular season games. In 2003, he sat out of all of training camp. In 2004, Jones missed training camp again and played under the franchise tag for the third consecutive season. I don't think you can call this one for either side.

Winner: Draw

Derrick Brooks - 2001

Brooks held out of the Bucs training camp for 10 days while his agent and the Bucs GM worked on a contract extension. His new contract made him one of the highest paid linebackers in the NFL.

Winner: Eugene Parker

Devin Hester - 2008

Hester held out of the Bears training camp for two days before receiving a contract worth approximately $40 million. With a scheduled 2008 salary of $445,000 before the holdout, I would consider Hester's contract ridiculous.

Winner: Eugene Parker

Cedric Benson - 2005

Benson was a rookie in 2005 and he held out of training camp for the 36 days before receiving a 5-year, $36 million dollar contract from the Bears with $17 million guaranteed. The holdout cost Benson big time. The Bears had planned to make Benson their #1 RB but because of his missed practice time, the Bears chose Thomas Jones to lead the running attack instead. Jones had a great 2005 season and Benson ended up sitting behind Jones on the depth chart for the next two seasons. The fans and team soured on Benson, mainly because of his terrible attitude. Everybody lost in this one. Benson got paid but lost a career.

Winner: Draw

Laveranues Coles - 2008

Coles began to hold out of the Jets off season condition in spring 2008 with 2 years left on his contract worth about $11 million dollars. After a brief holdout, the Jets basically guaranteed the rest of Coles' contract. It was a compromise on both sides.

Winner: Draw

Jason Peters - 2008, 2009

After being signed by the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2004, Jason Peters made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and subsequently held out of all of training camp and the preseason hoping to get an increase on his meager $3.25 million dollar a year salary. The Bills didn't cave. Peters reported to the team on September 5th without a new contract.

Jason Peters again voiced his displeasure over his low salary in the 2009 off season, causing the Bills trade Peters to Philadelphia. Peters scored a $60 million dollar contract in Philly after the trade.

Winner: Buffalo Bills

Steven Jackson - 2008

In 2008, Jackson was entering the final season of his five-year, $7 million rookie deal. He held out of training camp for 27 days before securing a deal worth $21 million in guaranteed money. Despite getting top money, Jackson was reportedly dissatisfied with Eugene Parker early on the negotiations, with one report saying that Jackson was considering firing Parker.

Winner: Eugene Parker

Sedrick Ellis - 2008

Ellis was the #7 overall pick in the '08 draft and he had a brief holdout from the Saints training camp. Ellis signed a deal worth nearly $20 million in guaranteed money on July 29th after sitting out for six days of training camp. The 2007 #7 overall pick, Adrian Peterson of the Vikings, received $17 million guaranteed in his rookie contract.

Winner: Eugene Parker


There are ten holdouts listed above and Eugene Parker and his clients were pretty clear winners in six of those holdouts.

One reason I don't think there will be an issue with Tyson Jackson is that his draft position was much, much higher than anybody expected him to go. That gives the Chiefs leverage in the negotiations, as does Jackson's defensive end position which won't garner as much as a quarterback or a wide receiver for example.

When Tyson Jackson was drafted by the Chiefs, here is what Parker had to say:

"I know that Scott Pioli likes LSU players. He likes the discipline, the work ethic and the way they play the game."

Hopefully that translates into a quick and painless negotiation.

Thoughts on Eugene Parker's reputation and what we might see come training camp?

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