Overstreet Could Face Malpractice Complaint After Former Client Loses $2M Bonus
Agent Brian Overstreet after being fired by 49ers CB Tarell Brown for allegedly not telling the player about a $2M bonus for participating in the team's offseason workout program "may be in for a rude awakening," according to Darren Heitner of FORBES.com. An agent said that he has "already contacted all of Overstreet’s remaining clients, who are perceived to be ripe for the taking." However, that agent "advises against being too quick to place the blame on" Overstreet. The agent said, "The player signed the contract, and as a player you need to know what you signed. If Overstreet actually told (Brown) he didn’t have to show up though ... that’s significant. If I am Overstreet, I would be looking at my agent malpractice policy." Individual agents such as Overstreet "must maintain professional liability insurance from an approved carrier." This type of policy "may shield Overstreet (up to his policy limits) if Brown chose to file a grievance against Overstreet based on a claim of malpractice." If Overstreet "told Brown that he did not have to show to the off-season workout in order to receive his bonus, then there is a significant risk of liability." If it is "merely a case of an agent failing to provide notice to a client concerning an obligation that the player knew about when he signed his contract, negligence and/or incompetence on the part of the agent is much less clear" (FORBES.com, 7/27). 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh yesterday said that he hoped Brown and the 49ers "could find a 'solution' to the salary snafu." Harbaugh said, "He deserves it. He's earned it." Harbaugh added that the 49ers like Overstreet were "unaware that Brown would lose the money" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 7/29).
CAUGHT OFF-GUARD: ABCNEWS.com's Paul Bacigalupo reported Brown "learned of his salary cut via Twitter" on Thursday, when he "read an NFL writer's tweet." EAG Sports Management CEO Denise White, acting as Brown’s spokesperson, said, "It wasn’t anything (Brown) was aware of. He had no idea. He was told by his agent he would be OK." Brown said that he was "unaware of the clause in his contract that indicates he needed to attend the offseason workouts." He added that agents "get paid to inform players about workouts, but his agent didn't do that" (ABCNEWS.com, 7/26). Brown: "No one wants to leave money on the table. If I would have known the clauses in my contract -- that's what agents get paid to do, to orchestrate the contract and to let you know what you can and can't do as far as workouts and OTAs and things of that sort. That's what he got paid to do. He didn't do that, so in my opinion, you have to be let go" (AP, 7/26).