McKenzie hires Rosenhaus

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Packers cornerback Mike McKenzie has hired famed agent Drew Rosenhaus.

In an interview with the AP, Rosenhaus said he was hired on Monday and the same day talked to and received permission from the Packers to seek a trade. Rosenhaus said he will attend next week's owners' meetings in Florida to try to find his client a new team.

According to Rosenhaus, the Packers are seeking a first-round draft pick for McKenzie.

"My goal is to work out a trade that's good for Mike and a team that needs a premier cornerback and also the Packers, one that's good for all three parties," Rosenhaus said.

Rosenhaus was asked if the status of McKenzie's trade demand had changed and whether there was a chance the two sides could patch up their differences. The agent replied by saying: "My job right now is I have permission to work on a trade. I'm not interested in (discussing) Mike's situation with the Packers beyond that."

McKenzie's last agent, Brian Parker, left McKenzie on May 3. Rosenhaus is McKenzie's fifth agent in his six-year NFL career, though Rosenhaus pointed out "several of his agents were all with the same company, so it's not fair to say he's had five agents."

Parker was hired to renegotiate the five-year, $17.1 million contract McKenzie signed in 2002. McKenzie was unhappy that several lesser cornerbacks received larger contracts during the latest round of free agency, and also sought to have a $200,000 off-season workout clause turned into a pair of $100,000 roster bonuses. McKenzie skipped the Packers' off-season workouts, forfeiting that money.

While the two sides talked, McKenzie reversed course and demanded a trade. Parker was given permission to find a suitor during the first round of the April 6 draft, but no deal was reached. McKenzie skipped the recent minicamp, and was fined by Packers coach/general manager Mike Sherman for doing so.

The Packers took steps to prepare for either a trade or McKenzie simply not showing up to play this season by drafting cornerback Ahmad Carroll in the first round and corner Joey Thomas in the third round.

Rosenhaus is the agent to several high-profile NFL players. The fast-talking Rosenhaus is the primary reason running back Willis McGahee was drafted in the first round of the 2003 draft by Buffalo. McGahee, the University of Miami's standout running back, tore up his knee in a gruesome injury during the January 2003 Fiesta Bowl national championship game against Ohio State. Rosenhaus repeatedly proclaimed his client not only would be ready to play for the 2003 season but would be the league's top rookie and rush for more than 1,000 yards. McGahee, however, did not play a single snap last season.


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