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Deion Branch’s Agent At Fault?

Amidst all the talk about arbitration hearings, the Patriots reneging on their promise to trade Branch, etc, is there any place for Branch’s agent to be blamed for the Branch saga? believes that Jason Chayut, agent for Deion Branch, should have focused on first finding out from the Patriots exactly what it would take to get a trade done, and only then start to work on a contract with a new team once he knew where the Patriots stood.

Instead, Chayut started negotiating with other interested teams and then found out that the Patriots were not serious about striking a deal. This has definitely contributed to where the issue stands today and could have been avoided. Chayut got Branch’s hopes up, made teams interested in Branch excited about the possibility of acquiring a talented wide receiver (Seahawks/Jets), and made a lot of people angry (including his client) when everyone found out that the Patriots had no interest in trading Deion.

Now Deion Branch is stuck in a really tough situation. Going back to play for the Patriots would be like trying to get back together with a girlfriend that you had been cheating on…not a very comfortable situation.

If you do not know the current situation, here is a short timeline:

  • This Thursday and Friday, special master Stephen Burbank of Penn Law School will hear Branch’s grievance that the Patriots have not bargained with him in good faith.
  • On Sept. 7th, John Feerick of Fordham Law School decided to hold off on hearing Branch’s grievance concerning the Patriots reneging on a verbal promise to trade Branch if another team wanted to sign him and a fair trade was proposed to the Patriots, but did re-inforce the fact that he has juridiction over the matter.
  • The Patriots claim that John Feerick does not have jurisdiction over any grievance filed by Branch.
  • NFLPA attorney, Jeff Kessler, threatened to seek compensation from the Patriots if the grievances fail.
  • On Sept. 1st, Deion Branch filed two grievances against the Patriots.

Update: Sorry I did not update this sooner, but I was at this thing called college.  Anyway, as a commenter has already posted, the Seahawks have sent their 2007 first-round draft pick to the Patriots for the rights to Deion Branch.  The grievances have been dropped and all sides should be happy.  By the way, as of 8:18PM, this site has registered 750 hits today.  Thanks for the visits.
[tags]deion branch, new england patriots, jason chayut, sports agent, new york jets, seattle seahawks, arbitration[/tags]

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

6 replies on “Deion Branch’s Agent At Fault?”

I think these are oftentimes the issues where the sports media runs their mouth about something they don’t know much about. I’m not saying this is the case in this instance, but knowing that much of communication is non-verbal, it is really very difficult to tell what went on between Branch’s agent and the Patriot’s staff. Even if we had a transcript of everything said we wouldn’t have the tone in which it was said.

I do think this is a situation that hurts both the Patriots and Branch and that both sides need to put aside their egos and try and get something done (whether that be a trade or a contract.)

Quick update: Trade made between New England and Seattle, New England gets first rounder. With this new information I got to say that Jason Chayut got his job done.

I don’t think you can really blame the agent, unless he’s the one who convinced Branch to holdout in the first place. The biggest mistake was telling him he could seek a trade. It’s like the Patriots thought that he’d go out on the market and nobody would offer him the money he wanted…then he’d see the foolishness of his holdout and come into camp. It was an idiotic thing to do because if you’re the Jets or any other division rival with cap room you have to make him an offer just to hurt your competition. That’s what happened, and once he saw that someone was going to pay him #1 money he surely wasn’t going to come back to work for less.

In any case, I think Branch is probably the biggest winner now. He got a big contract and won’t give up anything, although he might feel bad if the Pats return to dominance.

Deion Branch is one of the most under rated WR in the game. The Patriots have been successful by refusing to “overpay” players — see Lawyer Milloy & Co. Who knows how this will pan out for the Pats this year. . . but it sure does seem like Tom Brady can throw to nearly anyone.

Maybe the Patriots will come up with new techniques on player valuation rather than saying “go see what you can get on the market because you will see that you won’t get much.”

Other players Chayut represents:

Dunta Robinson – Texans
Sheldon Brown – Eagles
Ko Simpson – Bills
Johnathan Joseph – Bengals
Tim Jennings – Colts
Greg Blue – Vikings

The agency that he works for, Manhattan-based ‘Sportstars’, won’s agent draft derby this past year: [ESPN External Link

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