New agent has yet to find new home for McKenzie

Posted May 22, 2004

A week after hiring the notorious Drew Rosenhaus as his fifth agent in as many years, disgruntled cornerback Mike McKenzie doesn’t appear any closer to finding a new job.

Rosenhaus, who announced Monday that he would represent McKenzie,. He immediately sought and received permission to seek a trade for McKenzie. After reporting that he had contacted all 31 teams besides Green Bay, but refusing to disclose his short list, Rosenhaus has yet to produce even a wisp of a rumor of a deal.

That might be because although McKenzie has new representation, his expectations for escaping his Packer contract are the same old thing. Rosenhaus told local media that he would be "trying to find compensation for the Packers along the lines of a first-round draft choice or a comparable player.”

The chances of a team parting with a first-round draft pick for McKenzie are slim. Coming off a draft rich in defensive backs, any team in need – like the Packers, for instance – could have found a bargain in the first three rounds.

McKenzie was a third-round pick (87th overall) in 1999 out of Memphis, and in fact was the third CB taken by the Packers in that draft, behind Antuan Edwards and Fred Vinson. Since then, he has been a five-year starter who has been very good but not quite great, never achieving Pro Bowl status. Last season didn’t boost McKenzie’s value any, as injuries interrupted a season that was erratic at best for the Packer secondary

The last rumored interest in McKenzie came from Houston earlier in the spring, but McKenzie’s previous agent Brian Parker was unable to extract a first-round pick out of the Texans for McKenzie before the draft.

The fifth-year player is unhappy with the deal he signed two seasons ago, worth $17.1 million and running through 2006. McKenzie has declined sizable incentive payments by refusing to show for offseason workouts and will be fined for skipping minicamp.

McKenzie may be finding out that he is no Clinton Portis, perhaps the poster boy for Rosenhaus’ talent for working an unworkable deal. Rosenhaus brokered a trade between the unwilling Broncos to the Washington Redskins two months ago for cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round draft pick. Like McKenzie, Portis had two years left on a four-year contract. Unlike McKenzie, Portis is perhaps one of the best in the league at his position and is just 22 years old.

Rosenhaus has called his discussions with the Packers “very cordial and productive.” So far, he hasn’t found a similarly cheerful party on the other end of the elusive McKenzie deal.

Like his client, Rosenhaus has declined comment on whether there is a possibility that McKenzie would play for the Packers in 2004.

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