When the Patriots drafted Ben Watson at the bottom of the first round of the 2004 draft, the Pats had a habit of insisting that all first-round picks agree to six-year deals. Agent Tom Condon, who represented Watson at the time, refused to agree to six-year deals at the bottom of round one as a matter of principle.
Watson eventually caved, Condon refused to be a party to it and resigned, and the Patriots and Condon have done little or no business since then.
“We pretend there are 31 franchises in the NFL now and they pretend we don’t exist, even though we represent 140 [now over 160] of the best players in the NFL,” Condon once said, as dusted off by Ron Borges of the Boston Herald. ”That’s fine.”
The problem that Condon and the Patriots currently face is that one of his clients, receiver Brandon Lloyd, wants to play for the Patriots, where Josh McDaniels serves as offensive coordinator. And the Patriots want Lloyd to play for them.
“I’d prefer not to rehash things from seven years ago,” Condon told Borges last month. “I may never like them and they may never like me, but I appreciate that they’re smart guys who usually get what they want. I usually get what I want, too, and what I want is what my client wants.”
With reports that the Pats are close to signing Lloyd and that the Pats think Lloyd wants too much money, it’s hard not to wonder whether the Patriots are trying to drive the same wedge between Lloyd and Condon that the Pats successfully drove between Condon and Watson in 2004.
The Patriots possibly think that, if Lloyd wants to play for them badly enough, Lloyd will fire Condon and hire someone else. If that’s what the Patriots are up to, it’s petty and it’s juvenile and it’s wrong.
Here’s hoping for now that that’s not what the Patriots are up to.