The decertification of the NFLPA ended all oversight by the union-turned-trade-association of player agents. The good news for agents inclined to pilfer players from other agents is that no suspension or other consequences would be imposed for pilfering players from other agents.
The bad news for such agents? It unlocked the ability of agents from whom players were pilfered to pursue relief against the other agent — and the player — in court.
And that’s exactly what has happened.
Former North Carolina defensive lineman Robert Quinn, who lost all of his 2010 eligibility due to dealings with an agent, has been sued by Carl Carey. Quinn allegedly fired Carey and hired Impact Sports.
“It’s out of the book of the dirty side of this business,” Carey told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “With the help of [Quinn's] parents, we went through an agent selection process. They knew he needed guidance and somebody he could trust. . . . He’s basically been lured away.”
Carey, who represents Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, claims that $300,000 has been spent on preparing Quinn for the draft.
Meanwhile, Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal reports that Carey has filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent Impact Sports from negotiating Quinn’s rookie contract. And that shouldn’t be a problem, since Mitch Frankel of Impact Sports told Mullen that the firm hasn’t signed Quinn.
Also, Rams spokesman Ted Crews told Mullen that the team was not aware of any change in representation.
Said Carey today in a statement released to Josina Anderson of FOX 31 in Denver, “In the best interest of Robert Quinn, given that he lost a year of eligibility at UNC already for NCAA violations for accepting extra benefits from agents and jewelers, and in the interest of the investment I put in him in the amount of about $300,000, I am seeking a temporary restraining order against Impact Sports to prevent them from negotiating on Quinn’s behalf.”
On one hand, we think it’s great that an agent who believes a client was swiped from him has taken a stand. On the other hand, we can only support that move fully and completely if the player actually has been, you know, swiped.
Moreover, Carey is taking a big risk in suing Quinn. Given the ultra-competitive nature of the business, it will be hard for Carey to attract more clients if other agents are telling them that Carey is the guy who sued a first-round draft pick and tried to delay his ability to sign his rookie deal.