McKenzie, agent go separate ways

The Mike McKenzie saga took a strange turn this week when his agent reportedly cut ties with the Green Bay Packers' disgruntled cornerback.

Andrew Brandt, the Packers' vice president of player finance, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that he received a phone call and letter from Mike McKenzie's agent, Brian Parker, this week, telling him he no longer would be representing McKenzie.

According to The Associated Press, Parker was the one who severed the relationship with McKenzie. McKenzie could not be reached for comment, and Parker was vacationing.

What this means for McKenzie's trade/contract demands isn't clear. McKenzie hired Parker last year and, in February, instructed him to seek a revised contract. Given the fact McKenzie got neither the new contract nor the trade, it's not hard to believe their relationship became strained and Parker bolted. Regardless, this doesn't seem like a sign McKenzie has softened his position toward the Packers.

McKenzie is entering the third year of a five-year, $17.1 million contract. Unhappy that the value of his contract has been surpassed by players lacking his credentials, McKenzie — who has never made the Pro Bowl but is well-regarded across the league — sought the renegotiated contract and, when that failed, a trade.

The Packers declined McKenzie's April 6 trade demand, but after a phone conversation with Packers coach/general manager Mike Sherman failed to soothe the ill feelings, Sherman allowed Parker to find a trade during the first round of last month's NFL draft.

With no deal struck, McKenzie skipped last week's minicamp. The final three days of the five-day camp were mandatory, and Sherman said McKenzie would be treated "like any other player," meaning he would be fined. McKenzie also skipped the off-season conditioning program, forfeiting a $200,000 bonus.

According to The Associated Press report, Brandt was not sure if McKenzie had hired a new agent.

Regardless, by drafting cornerbacks in the first and third rounds of last month's draft, the Packers perhaps signaled that McKenzie's time in Green Bay had come to an end.

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