After the LeSean McCoy news conference ended Thursday night at NovaCare, reporters broke into groups. One group clustered around agent Drew Rosenhaus, another around Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. Some TV reporters waited to do one-on-one interviews with McCoy about his new, five-year, $45 million deal.
As Rosenhaus was about to say something, he was interrupted by a voice bellowing from one of the other groups: "NEXT QUESTION!" Rosenhaus chuckled, as he has, oh, roughly a zillion times since that day late in 2005 when the agent stood on Terrell Owens' scraggly Moorestown yard and made himself the focal point of a region's collective anger and disappointment.
These are different days. Rosenhaus, who represents seven current Eagles, has worked out big-money long-term deals this offseason for three of those clients. Not only did the Eagles sign DeSean Jackson (5 years, $51 million), Evan Mathis (five years, $25.5 million) and McCoy, they did so with no bruised feelings, no public sparring, no anonymously-sourced intimations that one side or the other was being unreasonable.
As McCoy mentioned in the news conference, he briefly fired Rosenhaus last season, twice. Rosenhaus said Thursday that was because McCoy questioned the Rosenhaus relationship with the Eagles, whether the team would deal effectively with him. Certainly, there were tensions last season attending the Jackson situation. But those tensions clearly have resolved.
"Right now, we're on a roll with them," Rosenhaus said.
Rosenhaus said he spoke with team representatives three or four times a week this offseason about the McCoy contract. He said there was one major reason the deal got done.
"Andy Reid really wanted to see LeSean stay with the Eagles," Rosenhaus said. Of course, McCoy was probably going to stay with the Eagles regardless -- he had a year left on his rookie deal, the team could have just franchised him after that -- but what Rosenhaus meant was that Reid wanted McCoy to stay with the Eagles HAPPILY, a concept that has not always driven the Birds' negotiating strategy.
"When we we were working on this deal, coach Reid was sitting in on the meetings. It wasn't so much that he was taking sides, he just wanted to see it get done," Rosenhaus said. "So I think coach Reid really was the difference."
Rosenhaus also said: "We've had success working with Howie," in the two years since Roseman ascended to his current job.
Your Eagletarian asked Rosenhaus if he thinks the Eagles' thinking about the handling of such negotiations with key players has changed over the past several years.
"Yeah, there's no question," Rosenhaus said. "To me, the Eagles are one of the more aggressive ballclubs when it comes to retaining their players. Guys want to stay here. There's great stability here [with Reid]."
"I think so," Rosenhaus said, when asked if Reid's role was larger this time than it would have been in a similar negotiation several years back. "Certainly I can't speak for him, but in the multitude of deals we've negotiated with the Eagles, which are in the dozens since he's been the head coach, this is the most involved I've seen him."
Rosenhaus added that he "had a chance to visit with [team president] Joe Banner, I had a chance to visit with [chairman] Jeffrey Lurie. Both those guys were very involved, too. The meat and potatoes negotiations were with Howie, but this was a team approach."
"Howie is a straight shooter," Rosenhaus said. "He's aggressive. He wants to win. He's a pleasant guy to deal with, he's very honest. I like doing business with him ... I like dealing with all the teams in the league, but definitely, this is an unprecedented few months for me with one team. To do three deals of that magnitude is unique, for us."
"It does make it easier when you have a good relationship," said Rosenhaus, who also said his approach has evolved over the years. "The Eagles' regime went out of their way to let our clients know that we had a professional relationship with [the team]. Guys have been uneasy about some of the things that have happened in the past ... they let the players know they had no problem with us."