Yesterday, it was reported that Jason Garrett’s agent (David Dunn) may be the one who’s really behind the supposed cat-and-mouse game between the Cowboys, Ravens and Falcons. Without direct quotes from any of the parties involved regarding specific contract offers, there’s really no way to know for sure if there is actually some bidding war going on for Garrett’s services. It could just be his agent leaking false information to drive up Garrett’s next salary.
Some would call that sleazy, while others would say the agent is simply living up to his responsibility of maximizing his client’s compensation. Given Dunn’s track record, sleazy looks to be in the lead.
A little research on Dunn shows that he was successfully sued for $44.6 million by super agent Leigh Steinberg, after Dunn apparently raided Steinberg’s sports agency’s computer system and stole several of his big-name clients. Those actions also got him suspended for 18 months by the NFL Players Association, so he is not allowed to represent any NFL free agents or draft picks until May or June of this year (the suspension happened in November of 2006, but I do not know the exact date it expires). This suspension will surely cost Dunn some of the 60+ athletes that were in his stable at the time of the suspension, but he is obviously still free to represent coaches like Garrett, who are not members of the NFLPA.
Anyway, given Garrett’s waffling and the games his agent is apparently playing, John Harbaugh is looking better and better. As Nestor pointed out in his blog the other day, NFL sources (in Philly and elsewhere) are saying Harbaugh is ready to be a head coach, apparently much more so than Garrett. He is represented by the same agent as Andy Reid and Mike Holmgren (Bob LaMonte) and apparently already owns a highly detailed manual, which covers every aspect of being a head coach in the NFL. Plus, his coaching resume is about three times deeper than Garrett’s.
It’s easy to see how Garrett enamored Ravens president Dick Cass with his Cowboys and Princeton background (which Cass shares), but Harbaugh (admittedly the Ravens’ “Plan B”) might be the better choice at the end of the day.