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NFL Agent Reacts to Sanders Deal: ‘You Have to Stand by Your Word’

by Chris Lingebach
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Emmanuel Sanders #88 of the Pittsburgh Steelers tries to avoid tackle of Chris Crocker #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals after a second quarter catch at Heinz Field on December 15, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Emmanuel Sanders #88 of the Pittsburgh Steelers tries to avoid tackle of Chris Crocker #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals after a second quarter catch at Heinz Field on December 15, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - NFL agent Steve Weinberg ruffled feathers around the league by taking a deal from the Broncos for his client, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, after reportedly accepting a deal, in principle, to sign with the Chiefs, then using that handshake agreement as leverage with the Buccaneers and Broncos.

One team official told Rapoport that Weinberg broke “every rule in negotiations,” including, according to the report, blowing off another meeting with the 49ers.

Another NFL agent, Andy Ross of Octagon, who admittedly wasn’t familiar with the Sanders deal, tells Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier, in dealing with teams, “You have to stand by your word.”

“Does it happen that agents and players will back out of a deal if there’s a handshake agreement? I’m sure it happens,” Ross said, stressing the importance of preparation, and knowing what deals are potentially available for the client prior to beginning the negotiating process.

“You gotta represent your players to the best of your ability, while at the same time, maintaining relationships with teams because there’s value in that and those relationships,” Ross said.

“When you give someone your word – whatever it is, whether it’s the draft process or free agency – I think you have to stand by your word,” he said.

“But that becomes part of your preparation,” he explained. “Saying, ‘Hey, this is the best deal out there for you, and this is where we’re at.’ And that’s where having the relationships, I think getting that information from the people you’re negotiating with, is important.”

Weinberg has since issued a statement refuting the claims against him, saying there were “absolutely no handshakes.”

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