Larry Johnson, Alvin Keels dispute raises new question regarding agent fees

1315.jpgIn 2007, agent Alvin Keels negotiated for former Chiefs running back Larry Johnson a big-money contract carrying $19 million in guaranteed money.

The next year, Keels resigned.

Johnson thereafter didn’t pay the fees Keels would have received in 2009.  So Keels filed a grievance against Johnson.

Keels confirmed that a hearing on the matter was conducted on Friday, and it’s believed that the issue presented has no precedent.

If a player fires an agent, the agent is entitled to his fees for the balance of the deal.  If the agent resigns, should he still get paid?

Though negotiating a contract is a big portion of the agent’s job, agents often provide services after the ink has dried.  In Johnson’s case, the resignation came at a time when the player was facing potential suspension for violation of the Personal Conduct Policy.

But a bright-line fired and get paid/quit and get stiffed rule probably makes little sense.  The facts of each case should be considered; in some circumstances, an agent who gets fired shouldn’t be paid, and in some cases an agent who quits should still receive compensation. 

The question, in our view, should turn on whether the player had just cause to end the relationship, or whether the agent had good cause to walk away.

14 responses to “Larry Johnson, Alvin Keels dispute raises new question regarding agent fees

  1. lookit, as far as i am concerned, johnson is a pos.
    but… keels quit… betting he assumed johnson would be suspended and be no source of future agentry income.
    keels made a business decision. it looked like a good one. (hey i have MANAGED risk managers. i know how this stuff works)
    well then after a while apparently it wasnt such a good decision anymore.
    (hey does this wayback machine even work?)
    why should he get to have it both ways? now his former client that HE ‘FIRED” has a new job, keels deserves some more of the take?
    what is he, the gay divorcee? johnson go spit on him.

  2. Not knowing all the details, I would first say he’s entitled to his % of the guaranteed money. Saying that, he may only be entitled to the 1st year or 1st year and prorated 2nd years’ salaries.
    I assume that’s why they have a contract & any good lawyer would tell you to have verbage in there addressing things like this…..

  3. And every single instance would then get decided on a case-by-case?
    May not be an issue… how often does this type of thing occur?

  4. slipkid: No offense, but I have a hard time believing you managed anyone with that terrible writing and grasp of the English language.

  5. very interesting
    the test should be whether either party has ill will or the split was amicable
    if amicable there’s a presumption of contract

  6. @ slipkid: I agree with you, don’t get me wrong, but common sense and “law-way” aren’t always in agreement.
    Hence the reason that any lawyer worth their salt would have a clause in there addressing it.

  7. So……What we have here is two peices of shit arguing over money they never earned…..Sounds like welfare to me

  8. Keel’s negotiated the deal and the player was paid PERIOD!!!!
    Under the CBA the agent earns his percentage at the time the player realizes his compensation under the contract!

  9. No. He gets nothing. Johnson had (I assume) to hire another agent. Does he pay 2? Lawyers are going to be the death of football.

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