Agent Marty Magid is defending his conduct last week in representing former client Elvis Dumervil, saying that his email agreement to accept a contract offer from the Denver Broncos was sufficient under the rules of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement.
Attorney David Cornwell said Tuesday that he has contacted the NFL Players Association to discuss the matter, hoping that the union will examine the case on behalf of both Magid and possibly Dumervil, who's now a free agent.
Although it's highly unlikely that Dumervil's agreement with Denver will be reinstated, the Broncos might be held liable if Dumervil fails to get at least $8 million guaranteed in his next contract. That was the amount the Broncos had agreed to pay Dumervil this season as part of a restructured three-year contract.
Denver vice president of football operations John Elway declined to discuss the situation Tuesday with Yahoo! Sports. However, ESPN.com Tuesday reported that Dumervil has been offered a contract by the Broncos, according to Elway. Terms of the deal were not available, according to ESPN.com's story.
Meanwhile, Cornwell pointed to Article 4, Section 5a of the CBA. The clause indicates that a team and player need only have an "agreement" on a contract. The section does not specify that the agreement has to be signed.
"Any agreement between any player and any Club concerning terms and conditions of employment shall be set forth in writing in a Player Contract as soon as practicable. Each Club shall provide to the NFL a copy of each such Player Contract within two days of the execution of such contract by the player and the Club," the section of the CBA reads.
By Cornwell's reading of the clause, the team and the player had an agreement when Magid emailed Denver at 3:24 p.m. ET Friday.
"At that point, the club could have notified [the] league that they had a new deal," Cornwell wrote in a text message. "They sent standard player contract that had inaccurate guarantee language and sent correct language at 3:40 [p.m.]."
From there, the situation unraveled to the point that when the Broncos didn't have an executed contract faxed over by the 4 p.m. ET deadline, they felt compelled to cut Dumervil rather than risk triggering a $12 million guarantee in the original contract. Dumervil has since fired Magid and is now represented by Tom Condon.
The issue is important on multiple levels. First, Magid is hoping to maintain his standing as a certified agent with the NFLPA. Second, any legal claims by Dumervil if he is unable to get $8 million this season would possibly be directed at the Broncos or the NFL rather than Magid.
There is also some concern that the estate of the late agent Gary Wichard could pursue legal action in the Dumervil case. Because Wichard, who died in 2011, negotiated Dumervil's original deal, his estate (and not Magid) may be entitled to the standard 3 percent commission from the contract. In this case, that would have been $240,000. A person close to Wichard's family said Monday that Wichard's estate would likely look into the matter.
Cornwell indicated it's questionable whether Dumervil would be able to get compensation from the Broncos or the league. However, Cornwell's concern is Magid, who he said "acted reasonably under the circumstances."
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