Analysis: Drummond's Holdout Hurting Image
The 4 year veteran snuck under the radar as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State in 2002. As if being undrafted, undersized wasn't enough, he was behind a Michigan product, who happened to be a Heisman trophy winner AND a Super Bowl MVP in Desmond Howard.
Howard aged though, and Drummond's ability was undeniable. He stuck with the team and went on to be a Pro Bowl alternate last year.
Drummond was tendered as an restricted free agent at $1.4 million this year, but didn't sign it as per his agent's advice.
Drummond is represented by superagent Drew Rosenhaus. It is reported that Drummond was prepared to report to training camp on time and sign the tender, but went with his agent's advice and decided to holdout. Messages left with Rosenhaus were not immedietely returned to LionsFans.com.
"I am staying out of that situation," commented Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci following Saturday's practice. "I'm waiting for him to get in here and I know he wants to be in here big time."
Critics accuse the Lions of lowballing Drummond at the $1.4 million offer, but fail to realize several key factors.
The Lions could have pulled the offer off the table or lowered it, however decided to keep it as it is. Granted, it gives them leverage in situations such as this, but it still is fair to the player; something many teams wouldn't have done.
Also, Eddie has had trouble staying healthy, in fact he has never played a full season, including last year's Pro Bowl campaign. Even though he kept the team in games all by himself, he would get hurt frequently; and if it weren't for the coaching staff keeping him off of the Injured Reserve, something he should have been slapped with, he wouldn't have been eligible for the Pro Bowl; alternate or not. Again, another favor by the Lions organization.
The Lions are hoping to convince Drummond to sign the tender so that they can work a long term deal from there, but Drew Rosenhaus is living up to his reputation as playing hardball. On the third day since training camp opened, Eddie has not signed a tender or a contract.
For an undrafted player who can't stay healthy, on a team who has great special teams coaches and makes every kick returner look special (read: Larry Foster) he certainly isn't helping his case for making perhaps an unprecedented amount of money for a kick return only player. Meanwhile, players like Allen Rossum (Falcons) and Dante Hall (Chiefs) contribute on the wide recieving corp. Even without the Lions' depth at wideout, Eddie wouldn't be included in the offens at a paltry 5'9 190 pounds.
If Drummond doesn't report soon, the Lions will likely just plug another player into the position and do essentially just as well. WR Kevin Johnson has not taken reps at KR/PR as was speculated, however R.W. McQuarters has done this in his career and would do well if he was called to return the football.
At any rate, it's in Eddie's best interest to realize that his agent works for him, and not the other way around. He's got to understand the circumstances have been significantly played in his favor because the Lions appreciate him.
If he continues to wait, the Lions might appreciate someone else representing them in the Pro Bowl at his position.
Adrian Donofrio has written for LionsFans.com for five years, and can be contacted at email@example.com.
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