Heads turned at practice Monday with the appearance of agent Drew Rosenhaus. He represents some of the biggest names in the NFL and his arrival at training camp resulted in quite a bit of buzz among the sideline congregation.
Rosenhaus was able to set the record straight on why he was at Mankato. He recently was hired by Bryant McKinnie to represent him, but said his visit to Mankato was not work related.
"This isn't so much a business visit as it is to check in with my clients on the team," Rosenhaus said. "I do camp visits during August and I'm not here to work necessarily."
With the signing of McKinnie, Rosenhaus now represents seven Vikings – McKinnie, Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice, Fred Evans, Aundrae Allison, Glenn Holt and Marcus Walker. That number is expected to drop to six after Rosenhaus stated on his Twitter account Tuesday morning that the Vikings will either trade or release Allison by 5 p.m.
The McKinnie signing made the Vikings one of Rosnehaus' most represented teams in the NFL and he said that, while he isn't looking to get McKinnie a new contract, there are other aspects to his job that prompted the Vikings left tackle to switch from being represented by Ben Dogra to being represented by Rosenhaus.
"Bryant is a player that we've been very interested in since he was at the University of Miami," Rosenhaus said. "When he expressed an interest in hiring us, it was really a no-brainer on our end. While he does have a contract in place, that's not the only reason you work with guys. There are a lot of opportunities off the field that we hope to explore with him. We do represent a lot of clients and they're like family."
Rosenhaus, whose home base is in Miami, has many clients that are former players from "The U." He said McKinnie is very close to many of his former college teammates and Hurricanes players, including Baltimore running back Willis McGahee. He added that the Miami connection also comes into play with the Vikings front office, since Rick Spielman and Rob Brzezinski both came to the Vikings after working for the Miami Dolphins organization.
"We've got a good base here," Rosenhaus said. "We have a good relationship with the front office. I've known Rick (Spielman) and Rob (Brzezinski) since their days with the Miami Dolphins. We're always happy to work with Vikings and Hurricanes."
In a couple of other areas, Rosenhaus said he expected a big year from Berrian, saying that the learning curve he had coming to the Vikings a year ago is over and that he is ready to take his game to the next level.
"I think Bernard's going to have a great season," Rosenhaus said. "I thought he did a lot of great things last year. Usually the second year with a team you're through a lot of the transition and comfortable with the scheme and the organization. He should really dominate. I look for him to have an incredible year."
He also believes Rice is on the brink of having a big season as well. Dogged by injuries last year, Rice still proved to be a strong scoring threat and Rosenhaus said that, if he can stay healthy the entire season, big things will be expected.
"I think Sidney is going to be one of the real breakout players this year in the NFL," Rosenhaus said. "This is a very talented offense with a lot of big-time players and I think Sidney can give this team size, strength, leaping ability, run after the catch and a physical presence at wide receiver."
He also said he believes that the NFL and its players association will be able to come to some conclusion that will prevent a lockout after the 2010 season and said his agency has been in contact with representatives from both sides and, while dark clouds loom on the horizon, he believes a deal can get done that will appease both sides.
"I've got a lot of confidence in the players association and the league management council to get things worked out," Rosenhaus said. "Obviously, we're keeping a close eye on the situation and we've got a steady line of communication with the NFLPA. We'll see how things shake out."
Rosenhaus' Vikings ties run deep
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