The following article is a guest contribution by Benjamin Haynes, Esq. Haynes is a former Division 1 Basketball Player at Oral Roberts University and currently practices law in the State of Florida.
A week ago, the Green Bay Packers dominated the Chicago Bears in a 23-10 win. The Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler, had an atrocious game throwing only 11 for 27 with 4 interceptions. During that game, Cutler shoved and yelled at teammate J’Marcus Webb on the sideline during the loss. Cutler was sacked seven times during the game and was visibly frustrated.
The following day, Blake Baratz , Jermichael Finley’s (of the Green Bay Packers) agent, tweeted the following:
“Jay Cutler, u serious in ur press conf last night?U sound like a 6 yr old who just had his animal crackers taken. Quit being a [expletive], own up,”
“There’s a major difference & drop off in leadership from Manning, Brees, Brady, to the next best QB’s in the league. Cutler doesn’t get it.”
After a reading of the list of quarterbacks named off by Baratz, it was then asked why Baratz left his client’s quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, off of the list. Baratz tweeted his reply:
“ARod is a great QB he isn’t a great leader. There’s a major difference. Leaders take the blame & make every1 better. He doesn’t.”
While it is understandable that Baratz would take a shot at Cutler after Cutler’s performance, Baratz could potentially have placed his client in a bad situation with his comments on Aaron Rodgers. Why would Baratz take an unprovoked shot at Rodgers? It would be more understandable if an agent were voicing his frustrations had Aaron not thrown his client the ball all game, but Aaron found Jermichael Finley four times during the Thursday night match up for a total of 26 yards. Those four catches attributed to almost 20% of Rodgers’ completions that evening. Further, the Packers won the game.
On Tuesday, Baratz responded to complaints and justified his tweets:
“Last comment on Twitter Frenzy: 1) I apologize 2 @jermichaelf88 because he had nothing 2 do w MY comments or opinions. I understand the power of social media and how it can be taken in & out of context. Again, I will apologize for that.
“I will always own up 2 my own opinions, I have no reason 2 hide from them, but please always understand, they’re mine & mine only.”
It isn’t likely that Jermichael will just look over this issue. In June, Jermichael stressed the importance of having a good relationship with his quarterback. He was quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying, “Having chemistry with your quarterback is a big key to success.” Now, there could be some unwarranted tension between the tight end and his quarterback.
Baratz has a duty to help his client with his career, not hurt it. Rodgers could very well be thinking that Jermichael was complaining to Baratz and Baratz was just voicing Jermichael’s thoughts. Further, even if Jermichael was voicing frustrations to Baratz, it is Baratz responsibility as Jermichael’s agent to keep those discussions confidential. As an agent, Baratz should know that if he is frustrated, not to open up the all-too-accessible Twitter application on his phone and start voicing opinions. It is unwise and has the potential to hurt his client in a significant way.