Agent Bob Lamonte not only has fired Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels but also has gone on the record to make his former client look bad by essentially calling him a liar.
“My word is my bond,” Lamonte told Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal. “Once you break that, there’s nothing left.”
This is the latest example of Lamonte engaging in full-blown damage control, aimed at preserving his ability to do future wink-nod deals and, secondarily, to help insulate another client, Colts G.M. Chris Ballard, from scrutiny over the fiasco that resulted in McDaniels not becoming the head coach of the Colts.
Ballard’s position is simple: If McDaniels doesn’t truly want to be here, I don’t want him here. Why won’t Lamonte offer a similar shoulder-shrug explanation? Why can’t Lamonte — who has been in this business for years — appreciate the possibility that a guy who faced the moment of absolute clarity that comes from putting pen to paper realized that signing it and moving forward would be worse for everyone involved than not signing it at all?
Lamonte knows that, sometimes, deals don’t get done. Based on McDaniels’ consistent reluctance to leave New England (he flirted with the 49ers last year, to the point where he was lining up a coaching staff), Lamonte knew or should have known that McDaniels potentially was going to decide not to ultimately do the deal.
Indeed, if PFT was consistently and persistently hearing that McDaniels was having misgivings about the Colts, shouldn’t Lamonte have known that too? Shouldn’t he have cautioned his other client (Ballard) to not do anything to rely on the deal being done until it was done? Instead, Lamonte was telling folks in the media that it was all #fakenews.
Making Lamonte’s sanctimony even more phony is the fact that, just a matter of weeks ago, he negotiated for one client (Jon Gruden) a head-coaching contract that resulted in another client (Jack Del Rio) losing his job. Did Lamonte, whose “word is my bond,” do anything to let Del Rio know that he was getting a knife plunged into his back? And if Del Rio, who surely was a little freaked out by the Gruden chatter, asked Lamonte a direct question about whether he was negotiating with the Raiders about Gruden, did Lamonte admit it?
Plenty of people deserve blame regarding what happened with McDaniels and the Colts. But Lamonte shouldn’t be one of the people throwing stones on this one. He should be one of the people who are ducking.