Tag:The Sports XChange
Posted on: June 7, 2011 9:23 pm

Terrelle Pryor indeed leaving Ohio State early

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor has informed new Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell that he will be leaving the Buckeyes and through his attorney, Larry James of Crabb, Brown and James LLP of Columbus, has confirmed the decision through the media, as well.

The story, which was originally broken by Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, isn't a surprise to many considering the hot water Pryor has found himself in following investigations by Ohio State and the NCAA due to Pryor accepting inappropriate benefits from a local tattoo parlor and automobile dealership.

As I reported last weekend, however, it does come as a surprise to some in the NFL, as two high level sources with different teams questioned Pryor's readiness to make the jump to the NFL.

Pryor's statement, read by James over the telephone, included:

"In the best interests of my teammates, I have made the decision to forgo my senior year of football at the Ohio State University."

In a typical year, Pryor's next step would be to simply apply to the NFL for special admission into the supplemental draft, typically held each July.

With the lockout, however, this year has been anything but typical and despite the fact that my colleague Len Pasquarelli of The Sports XChange reported that the supplemental draft is covered by the prior CBA, some question if the NFL will indeed be able to conduct the special draft next month if a new deal isn't agreed to.

Regardless of when Pryor is made eligible for drafting, he could be waiting for awhile.

As I noted in my article on Pryor's possible jump into the supplemental draft, the Buckeye quarterback isn't viewed as highly by these two NFL sources as some might believe based on the amount of hype he's received since signing with Ohio State. One source characterized Pryor as a "mid-round pick at best" and another described him as a "basketball player playing football."

It only takes one team to fall in love with a player, but contacting other sources throughout the league since today's story broke, the consensus seems to be that Pryor has a better chance of going undrafted than he does of being the first round pick many prematurely billed him as when he signed with Ohio State.
Posted on: January 21, 2011 1:31 pm

Favre aiding agent recruit Cam Newton

For those of you who just can't imagine football without Brett Favre, there is the following nugget from The Sports XChange's Len Pasquarelli in his new Tip Sheet.*

*Lights, Cameron, action: So what's Brett Favre up to these days, given that he has opted to retire, and that this time his departure from the game seems official? Well, one of the things occupying his time, besides riding the tractor around the farm in Hattiesburg, Miss., The Sports Xchange has learned, is the recruitment of Auburn quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton. Word is that Newton's choice of agent representation is imminent - possibly as early as Friday - and that one of the finalists is Bus Cook, who represented Favre during his entire 20-year NFL career. Favre was part of the interview process when Newton met with Cook, and reportedly spent about 20 minutes talking with the Auburn star. It's a pretty good bet the two weren't swapping fishing tips. The other agents believed to still be in the hunt for Newton, as least as this was being written: Joel Segal, Peter Schaffer, and the newly-formed Pat Dye-Jimmy Sexton alliance. The representation for some of the other top quarterbacks in the 2011 draft: Both Blaine Gabbert of Missouri and Ryan Mallett of Arkansas are said to have hired Condon. And word is that David Dunn has landed Washington's Jake Locker. Condon, by the way, has represented five of the past seven No. 1 overall choices and five of the seven top quarterbacks chosen in the 2004-2010 drafts.

Agents using former or current players to help recruit new clients is hardly a new strategy. It is interesting that Cook is using Favre in this way, however. Favre is a superstar, an obvious first ballot Hall of Famer whose name and style of play is as recognizable as any in the history of the game. Unfortunately, his off-field actions have become just as consistent of a source of news as his play on the field recently.

As a prospective NFL quarterback with his own off-field concerns, Newton can relate, potentially making Favre a brilliant recruiting tool by Cook.

Despite what some may think, NFL teams don't typically put a great deal of thought into which agents players sign with. While certain agents are known in the scouting community as being particularly aggressive in their contract demands, trade requests and holdouts, most agents serve as little more than the link between the player and the team.

Newton's choice of agents, like those of the other top quarterbacks that Pasquarelli cites in his piece, make up some of the most successful companies in the industry -- and are counter to a odd year in which some of the biggest names in college football have opted to sign with lesser known agencies. Patrick Peterson and Nick Fairley, for example signed with Patrick Lawlor and Brian Overstreet, respectively, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal. 

Len Pasquarelli is a Senior NFL Writer for The Sports Xchange. He has covered the NFL for 33 years and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee. His NFL coverage earned recognition as the winner of the McCann Award for distinguished reporting in 2008.

*This piece hasn't been published yet. For last week's Tip Sheet, click here.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com