Robert Quinn signs. An inside look at his agent shuffle

Editor's noteEditor’s note: This article was ready to go to press yesterday morning, but didn’t get published. Since it was written, Robert Quinn and the Rams came to terms, with the help of his new agency. My apologies to Tim, but the piece still deserves reading.

Robert Quinn, presented as the Rams’ first round pick. Quarterbacks, beware!

As Rams fans headed to Earth City yesterday to get their first glimpse of the 2011 team, there was one notable face missing from the group – Robert Quinn.  The 14th overall pick in this year’s draft remained unsigned and currently is the subject of a lawsuit.  

When the NFL Players Association decertified back in March, I was working for an agent in Greenville, South Carolina.  That night I jokingly remarked to my boss to get some money together in an attempt to steal other agent’s clients.  While I was joking, it seems as though there were some agents out there that intended to take advantage of the decertification of the NFLPA and the lack of oversight of their agents.  At least that is what Robert Quinn’s former agent, Carl Carey, has alleged in a law suit filed earlier this week in federal court in Houston.

Carey claims to have given $300,000 to Quinn for training, housing, transportation and other necessities since they formed their relationship in early December.  Carey is seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Impact Sports and two of its agents, Tony Fleming and Mitchell Frankel from negotiating Quinn’s contract.  Fleming and Frankel have countered by claiming that they do not represent Quinn.

Yesterday, Howard Balzer wrote an article on the website on the matter.  He came up with a creative way to end this whole thing.  Howard’s advice to Quinn?   Proceed on without an agent.  While having just graduated from law school under notion that someday I’d represent athletes myself, I cannot fully endorse this idea.  However, Howard brings up some valid points.  We are in a new age of contracting in the NFL.  The new CBA has greatly decreased the bargaining power of any agent by assigning value to every slot picked in the draft.   

Without a doubt, the biggest negative about the whole situation is Quinn’s absence from camp.  Quinn, like any young player, needs the time in camp to learn and develop.  Perhaps this time is more valuable to somebody like Quinn who missed all of last season.  He’s a very raw athlete who needs the time in camp to not only develop his skills but also to get reacquainted to the game.  Every rep counts.  Hopefully for all parties involved, there is a prompt resolution to this dispute.

Postscript: The Rams announced via their official Twitter account that the team has come to terms with Robert Quinn, and he is expected to practice on Sunday.