DeSean Jackson continues to deal with legal issues that started when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles. In April, an arbitrator ruled that he had to repay his former agent, Drew Rosenhaus, $516,415 of the $777,793 that was being sought in the case. The money was for loans, interest charges, credit card charges, insurance premiums, and agent fees. Jackson argued that the money loaned to him was an inducement to get him to sign which violated NFLPA rules and regulations, but the arbitrator ruled that Rosenhaus did not induce Jackson to sign.
The agreement between Rosenhaus and Jackson called for the wide receiver to receive $375,000: $50,000 cash and a $90,000 check upon signing in 2009, with the remaining $235,000 to be paid to Jackson in installments over a period of 24 months.
The agreement Rosenhaus and Jackson signed stated that $175,000 of that $375,000 would be forgiven if Jackson allowed Rosenhaus to negotiate his next contract. If Jackson had fired him, he'd have to pay back the full $375,000 with interest (7 percent).
Jackson ultimately allowed Rosenhaus to negotiate that five-year deal with the Eagles in 2012 that had a potential reported value of $48.5 million. Jackson was released by the Eagles after earning $17,750,000 of that money.
Jackson and Terrell Owens(previously) have both brought up the fact that there could be a conflict of interest with the NFLPA using arbitrator Roger Kaplan who rules on most of these matters. Kaplan failed to disclose to Jackson and the union that he had been receiving money from Rosenhaus to rule on a dispute between Rosenhaus and a former employee while he was hearing Jackson's grievance. This could create the appearance of bias due to the failure to disclose their financial relationship.
TMZ originally published the story about the court filing yesterday, but Yahoo Sports Rand Getlin has provided more details from the federal court filing last Thursday.
Drew Rosenhaus was reportedly the reason that DeSean Jackson tried to holdout during the 2011 preseason after failing to get a new deal during the 2010 season. Rosenhaus claimed to have influence with Eagle's management, and could get him a new deal, but that did not happen and Jackson was not happy about the failed attempt.
Jackson was so angry over the botched holdout that he says he told Rosenhaus he was going to fire him, but ended up staying with the agent after Rosenhaus paid him and his family $143,088 to remain a client. NFLPA regulations prohibit agents from "providing or offering money or any other thing of value to any player … to induce or encourage that player to utilize [his] services."
Rosenhaus gave Jackson a down payment of $50,000 cash around midnight, at a gas station parking lot, in a Louis Vuitton travel bag. He also gave Jackson a $90,000 check, and a $200,000 interest-free loan.
"We went over the contract on the car [on the side of the road]," Rosenhaus said in an arbitration hearing in September of 2013. "I waited until I saw on my phone that it was after midnight. We proceeded to execute the contract. After executing the contract, I then gave DeSean the money that we agreed to give him. I gave it to him in the [Louis Vuitton] bag."
There is speculation as to why Jackson is doing this. To avoid paying over half a million dollars is a pretty big reason, but getting Rosenhaus in trouble with the NFLPA could also be a reason. Rosenhaus will most likely not receive anything more than a slap on the wrist from the union unless Jackson has some damning evidence against Rosenhaus. The arbitration is done, even with the allegations about the relationship between Rosenhaus and the arbitrator.
Asked De Smith about allegations like this a few weeks back. He says the CARD committee of the NFLPA will be active: http://t.co/HHhep56Bpf— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) June 9, 2014
Rosenhaus has been investigated by the NFLPA in the past for a relationship with financial adviser Jeff Rubin and a number of Rosenhaus' NFL clients. Rosenhaus and his brother claimed complete ignorance and shock at the entire situation that led to his clients losing $43.6 million in a failed Alabama casino.
The relationship has been scrutinized in part because of a series of issues surrounding Rubin, who is at the center of a bankruptcy filing for the failed casino that cost the players as much as $43.6 million.
Starting in 2003, Rubin was questioned about financial transactions that could have raised red flags for a financial adviser, a five-month Y! Sports investigation has found. That included allegedly mismanaging a player’s game checks in 2003 and settling an issue related to allegedly falsified insurance documents in 2004.
The NFLPA is looking into whether Rosenhaus should have paid closer attention and kept his clients away from Rubin, founder of Pro Sports Financial. Multiple sources, including free agent NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, indicate Rosenhaus actively recruited players with Rubin and valued that association because it helped him increase his business. Although Rosenhaus specifically denied any relationship to the casino and there is no evidence to indicate he profited in any way from the project, his client base grew to more than 100 players during the seven years Rosenhaus and Rubin were associated. Rosenhaus currently represents about 140 players, more than any other agent in the NFL.
You'll notice a few familiar faces in this picture, a few current and former Redskins were burned in a failed casino deal that was organized by Jeff Rubin, a Rosenhaus associate. Another familiar face on the list is Eric Winston, the OT who seems to be linked to the Redskins before free agency starts every season. He is also the current NFLPA President, and it doesn't seem that he has disregarded his past experience with an agent who had questionable business practices. He, along with NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, have both talked about being more aggressive with predatory agents who deal with young men getting their first or second big deals.
So what does this all mean for the Washington Redskins? It is a distraction for DeSean Jackson right now, but it has not been blasted over the major news...yet. Jackson and his lawyer will attempt to get the arbitrator's decision reversed, but it most likely will not happen. Will Rosenhaus get into trouble with the union? I don't know if it will come to that, how serious the NFLPA is about going after agents, or how much of a case there really is here. Further details are sure to come out soon.
[UPDATE: 6/9/2014 4:30PM] Yahoo Sports has shared a copy of the court papers filed, and reported accusations made by Jackson against the NFLPA and DeMaurice Smith.