Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tin's Fins Exclusive Interview - Justin Schulman, Agent

Justin Schulman is an agent with the firm Athlete's First. They represent four Miami Dolphins, and are known primarily as the agents of now super-rich NFL quarterbacks, Mark Sanchez, and Matt Cassel.

Cassel signed a six year, $63 Million contract a week ago, and Mark Sanchez signed a five year, $44.5 Million contract in June.

Athlete's first also represents Dolphins quarterbacks, Chad Henne and Pat White, as well as wide receiver Patrick Turner, tight end Anthony Fasano, and former Dolphin QB, John Beck (now with the Ravens).

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Schulman about his Dolphins clients:

Tin:
Anthony Fasano is entering a contract year, after having a breakout season in 2008. Much has been made of the trade that brought Fasano and linebacker, Akin Ayodele, to the Dolphins last yer for a 4th round draft pick. It is considered by many Dolphin fans as a blockbuster move by the Trifecta. Does the Agency have any involvement in trades, and if so, at what time do the teams involved contact you?

J.S.: "
The only time a team would involve the agency is if they figure the player is not in their plans and as a courtesy would give the player the right to seek a deal."

Tin:
So, if the player is given this courtesy, he could tell you who they'd like to be shopped to?"

J.S.: "
Exactly. But with Fasano it wasn't like that. Parcells knew what he wanted and went out and [initiated the deal]."

Tin: "
Your agency has the perceived conundrum of representing both Henne and White. Do you see any conflict of interest there or do you think due to the way White will be used that his contract would not be based on the standard 2nd/3rd QB contract on the team?"

J.S.: "
No, we don't see any conflicts, because an Agent has no say with who gets on the field, so we'd work as hard for each player. I know the Dolphins think extremely highly of Chad Henne, and they also like Pat White. With White's contract, all those things [how they use him, playing time, etc.] go into consideration."

Tin: "
What do you think of Pat White as a person?"

J.S.: (without hesitation) "
A 100% quality person. Pat is the nicest guy. He held a leadership role at West Virginia for 4 years and he held it really well. I have to tell you, those fans up there in his hometown think the world of him."

Tin: "
Getting back to Chad Henne, what is it about him that made you seek him out as a client?"

J.S.: "
Our firm is known for representing top quarterbacks, so we're always going to sign that [type of player]. I went to Michigan because Chad showed that he is one of those guys."

Tin: "
Were you disappointed in his draft position? Do you think the team should sit him for another year or do you think he's ready to start?"

J.S.: "
Obviously, you like to go as high as you can go, but we feel he fell into a good situation, and ultimately you want your players to find those good situations. Chad will be fine whenever he's called upon. Remember he started from day one as a freshman at Michigan and started four years. But Pennington has been a great QB and a great mentor to Henne and to Beck before him. If Henne sits he sits and will learn that much more."

Tin: "
You recently got Patrick Turner signed to a four year deal. What's his story? He seems like the antithesis of an NFL WR as far as his personality goes."

J.S.: "
Patrick is an incredibly hard worker. He's a mature, thoughtful person. The thing with Turner is unlike a lot of other wide receivers, he doesn't need to let you know every time he makes a catch."

Tin: "
Can you walk us through your negotiations with the team? We always hear from the media that talks have not started even at this late juncture. It's hard to believe that a team and a player's agent wouldn't have at least done a preliminary look at the contract before the last 2 weeks of the deadline. So is what the papers say true, that Pat White, for example, has not even started talks?"

J.S.: "
Every team is different, the Jets and the Bears are done and have been for awhile. Some teams like to wait and see. Some teams like to start from the bottom up and sign the late round picks one by one. From an agents side of things, we start preparing before the draft, checking numbers, etc. I can't discuss negotiations, but we have had discussions with the Dolphins regarding Pat White, setting groundwork, etc."

Tin: "
Thanks for your time, Justin. Before I let you go I have one final question. When you have your agent/player meetings, what kind of snack food do you have at those meetings, and what is your specific favorite snack food?"

J.S.: "
Well, with recruits we can't have any kind of snacks or food there, as its against the rules. My favorite is any kind of chocolate candy."

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So, there you have it. Thanks again to Justin Schulman for taking the time to talk to me.

It should be noted that JS mentioned the B-word about 12 times during this interview. I reminded him that Beck was no longer a Dolphin, but he still kept bringing him up. I've edited all of that out, but he had this interesting quote which I think really applies to our current QBs as well: "John Beck was brought in to be the future face of the team, but then he lost his general manager and then his head coach." Well, I think he also lost his ability to play football, but Schulman does have a point. If, heavens forbid, the Trifecta were to move on from Miami, then our Knight in Shining Benchwarming Armor, Chad Henne, may not even get a shot. It's for this reason, I hope the Trifecta finds a way to showcase Henne in the next year or so.

The Pat White contract discussions are obviously under way but also obviously are still ongoing.

38 comments:

  1. Don't forget that Beck did get his shot!  He stayed the entire offseason throwing and working on his release, and then when training camp started, he sh*t the bed.  I remember reports that he was sailing throws and couldn't handle the buzzer timer thing that they did to get the ball out quick.  I mean, he was beat out by a rookie, but was outplaying McCown (which says ALOT about McCown's ability).

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  2. Tin, how do you get these interviews?  It's great, but I am not really sure what you do for a living.  I've heard jokes about making sandwiches, I've heard you say you are in "water" which is lucrative in CA.  Do they talk to you as a blogger or do you have some other "in".  Do you threaten to turn off thier water if they don't talk to ya? >LOL

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  3. Great job as usual by the way!

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  4. I don't make sandwiches, that's some inside joke that I was never 'in' on,
    lol.
    If you must know I was in the cocktail industry for 10+ years until getting
    a day job for an engineering/construction management firm. the division I'm
    in deals almost exclusively in water infrastructure.

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  5. Oh, and I get the interviews by asking for them ;)
    I have been turned down more than you want to know.

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  6. The Knight who says Ni!July 23, 2009 at 1:25 PM

    Tin, so you get these interviews in restrooms while these unexpected participants are relieving themselves in 'water' that you control?  :-E

    Rickphin, the sandwich thing was started by ffr who had a couch, he decided randy had a bucket, I had a garden where I grew NTs and Tin was a sandwich maker. They were known as the 'very silly' days.

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  7. Is Beck a client of this firm? If not, I think it means this agent, like many other professionals associated with the league, saw the same potential in JB as I (and Cameron and Mueller) did.

    NFL QBs (according to every reliable talent/personnel mind I've heard) need 300 to 400 throws of NFL regular season game action (in the same system) before you can get any reliable evaluation. How many did Beck get? 107. All 107 were in Cameron's system, not the trifectas. So I beg to differ with the above poster that Beck got his chance. Not according to anyone who evaluates QB play for a living. He got his START, but unless his confidence is shot, ala David Carr, which somehow I doubt considering his personality, his evaluation is incomplete.

    Furthermore, the idea that he "lost his ability to play football" is...I'm sorry to be so harsh tin....absurd.

    He's a professional football player, not a JV QB. He was well vetted before he ever got to the nfl. He may have lost his confidence (and I suppose you could argue that confidence is PART of his ability, but it's splitting hairs...), he didn't lose his ability to play.

    He may NEVER get a chance to prove he can be a starter in this league, but what's the deal with everyone disrespecting him now that he's gone?

    Is it......draft expectations? Hmmm....something's in the dolfan water.

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  8. Ahhh, I was a lurker then. I didn't think my input was pertinent enough to contribute to the conversations.  I got over my fear of rejection.  LOL those were your "bungle" days huh?

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  9. The Knight who says Ni!July 23, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    Jahndoh, Tin's never been impressed with John Beck. He once saw him play at BYU while flying over the stadium in a hot air balloon while interviewing the CEO of Nabisco/Oreo cookies.  :-D

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  10. How is the NT tree anyway? born any fruit yet?  If Soliai doesn't get his fat but in shape we may need one.

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  11. Speaking of the "very silly" days, where's Herdfan? I have seen her on the boards for a while.

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  12. Jahndoh, I have always been a huge critic of John Beck, I think that's well
    documented, and the only reason I brought it up at all. Yes, Schulman is
    Beck's agent as well, that's why he kept mentioning him. I think you are
    looking to deep into my statement of not being able to play football. I'm
    not saying he doesn't know how, but he didn't show any ability once he got
    on the field. Also, he had just as many snaps in OTAs/training camp as
    Henne did last year. He also ran the scout team all year The trifecta had
    loads of tape on the guy to make an evaluation. Don't say he didn't have a
    chance, he had way more game film than Henne does at this point.

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  13. She can't stand you guys, so she only comments on the facebook page these
    days. lol.

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  14. what's facebook?

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  15. maybe I'm not quite over my fear of rejection afterall.

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  16. "So I beg to differ with the above poster that Beck got his chance. "

    Jahndoh, come on it was Beck's job to lose last August and he did plain and simple.

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  17. HERDFAN!! I'M SORRY.  If you want me to change my avitar I will! Please come back! LOL

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  18. son of a son of a shulaJuly 23, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    "So I beg to differ with the above poster that Beck got his chance. "

    Jahndoh, come on it was Beck's job to lose last August and he did plain and simple.

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  19. The Knight who says Ni!July 23, 2009 at 1:53 PM

    Hey I was willing to give Beck a chance but he did not take advantage of his 2nd opportunities.

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  20. Ah!  You missed me. 

    Seriously, I have been very busy lately with work, family and life in general.  And Tinshaker is correct that I am on facebook more than anything else these days, usually in the evenings.  The only reason I have time today is I had a quick overnight trip and I just got home and needed a distraction.  The SS has been a mess of late whenever I look in.  Too much crap to bother with it. 

    And your avatar doesn't bother me.  Not exactly my thing, but I understand your infatuation with her.  I just can't read comments here at home with it on there.  I have young children who ask lots of questions! 

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  21. mommy, where's the back of her undies!?

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  22. The youngest one, referring to your avatar one evening asked, what is that picture of a lamp?  Didn't even know what he was talking about until he pointed.  I can just imagine what he would say about Rockphin's!

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  23. I know!  I had a hearty chuckle over that!  And before you start questioning my taste in home decor, he does have a spongebob nightlight that is sort of configured like that.

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  24. "Don't say he didn't have a 
    chance, he had way more game film than Henne does at this point."

    If you're inferring he ever really had a chance after Pennington and P. White came on board, that's also absurd. And don't pretend they drafted P. White because they thought Beck was so bad...they did it because they already had their favorite (the guy THEY drafted-Henne) in place to be the future, and P. White was too tempting a talent to allow to drop to the Pats.

    I'll never argue that the trifecta ever thought more of J. Beck than they did of the guys they drafted....but let's face it. He had 1/3 of a chance. Your guilty of badmouthing J. Beck just as much as those who badmouth J. Allen. Think about it. In the end, obviously the trifecta likes what it has at QB better than what it had last year....but that doesn't mean JB lost his ability to play.

    BTW...thanks both you guys for the RB projections on the other page.

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  25. What? Nonsense. It was Pennington's to lose, and they figured with Henne on board there was no harm in giving JB a chance to wow them. He was never more then lottery ticket to this regime.

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  26. His second opportunity was to outplay Pennington and the guy they drafted at the top of the 2nd round by a clear margin in one training camp...oh yeah...and do all that after you change you throwing motion guy!!!

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  27. son of a son of a shulaJuly 23, 2009 at 6:51 PM

    No. Pennington arrived on the eve of Pre-season game number 1 and Beck was about to blow his first start in the Sparano era. Word was at the time that Henne was already outplaying him. Pennington got here in Sept. and Beck effed up pretty much all of August.
    Just let him go its over.

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  28. The Knight who says Ni!July 23, 2009 at 7:04 PM

    Jahndoh, I get what you're saying but Beck never displayed big time potential. If he did he'd still be here. Teams don't get rid of good QB prospects for no reason. He wasn't in their plans. End of story.

    If we didn't pick up Pennington, Henne would have been the starter and it would have been a learning curve season. He outperformed Beck. McCown was never more than a temporary option. Beck didn't step up to the plate. He had the entire off-season to work on his new throwing motion and it didn't pay dividends in training camp or during the season. He wasn't as good as Pennington or Henne.

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  29. son of a son of a shulaJuly 23, 2009 at 7:18 PM

    Alright Pennington got here in August but Beck certainly blew his opportunity in early training camp. I say Blew his opportunity you could say failed to impress.

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  30. It bothers me,I can't get my laptop to sit level...

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  31. "Teams don't get rid of good QB prospects for no reason. "

    Of course he wasn't in their plans man. That's my point. Talent evaluation is subjective, and clearly another nfl staff found his talent employable. He didn't forget how to play.

    I'm done...this is all in the interest of discussion, that's all. I can appreciate everyone else's point of view too...even if I disagree :)

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  32. How come my replies don't go directly under the post I'm responding to,(LATELY)!!

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  33. Nice interview TIN!  Guess you were (respectfully) half right on PW...

    <span style="">J.S.: "<span style=" font-style: italic;"><span style="font-family: verdana;">Well, with recruits we can't have any kind of snacks or food there, as its against the rules.</span></span></span>!!

    Good rule,otherwise everybodied seek NE based agent's for live-lobster...



    ENJOYED this answer!!
    <span style="">J.S.: "<span style=" font-style: italic;"><span style="font-family: verdana;">Exactly. But with Fasano it wasn't like that. Parcells knew what he wanted and went out and [initiated the deal].</span></span></span><span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style=""><span style="font-family: verdana;"><span style="">"</span>
    </span></span></span>

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  34. "Word was at the time that Henne was already outplaying him."

    This is revisionist history...but I said I'm done so...whatever.

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  35. I was outplaying him too....on Madden...

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  36. The reason Tuna went after the deal is because he drafted Fasano and Irland and Saprano agreed that Fasano was hung behind Whitten and he still loads of talent.

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