Davenport in comfort zone

Najeh Davenport was going to "chill out" this year.

The Packers' backup running back had plans to play the 2005 season without representation by an agent, then hire one after the final game and "let the chips fall."

But those plans changed earlier this off-season when Davenport "kept bumping heads" with super agent Drew Rosenhaus. Davenport, who resides in Miami, was hanging out with wide receiver Javon Walker and former Packers cornerback Mike McKenzie at the time. Those two no doubt convinced Davenport that Rosenhaus is the agent for him.

So, Davenport fired Michael Harrison, who had represented him the last three years, and signed up with Rosenhaus after about a month-long search. Davenport and about 90 other NFL players currently are represented by Rosenhaus.

For Davenport, the decision was easy: Rosenhaus gives him the best chance of earning the most money during his short shelf life as a running back in the National Football League. "‘You can't play this game forever,' is basically what I told him."

Davenport will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2005 season. If he has a solid year as a backup behind Ahman Green and can avoid injury, he'll land a contract either with the Packers or another NFL team that will pay him much more than his current salary. The four-year pro signed a one-year, $656,000 tender as a restricted free agent in April.

Davenport says he immediately felt comfortable with Rosenhaus, who chased Davenport when he was coming out the University of Miami in 2002.

"Anytime you have somebody on your side that has a lot of respect, like Drew, it can't hurt," Davenport said. "A couple of times with my previous agent (Harrison), he would make a call into (Packers vice president of player finance) Andrew (Brandt) and it would be days before I got a message back from him that he contacted Andrew. When I hired Drew, it's like the next day. He (Rosenhaus) said Monday he was going to call me with what happened with a deal, and he called me Monday. I'm a guy, like a ‘show-me' guy, and that's what he showed me. He said he was going to call me Monday with all the details and he called me Monday with all the details. In other cases, it was like Thursday or Friday."

Davenport is in no position to hold out for a better contract, like Walker is attempting to do, but it is clear that he admires Rosenhaus' hustle and respects his advice. Davenport doesn't seem bothered that Rosenhaus is viewed as Darth Vader by many football fans.

"A lot of fans, I guess they get a negative aspect from him because it comes from what the media puts out," Davenport said. "The media is just you guys' opinion of people. Basically, you tell them what to think of him. They don't really know him first hand."

Davenport says that he does not expect to have a new contract before the season ends this year, but he is excited that his new agent will get him the best deal possible.

"The business that he's in ... he's not going to be liked by everybody," Davenport said. "His clients like him, and that's the No. 1 thing that counts. ... As long as he's getting things done for his clients, everything else is obsolete."

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