August 13, 2012|By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Sports agents work for their clients. It's not the other way around.
So when Bob LaMonte, Andy Reid's agent, showed up at Eagles training camp looking to leverage Jeffrey Lurie into contract negotiations – six days after the death of the head coach's son – he was doing it at the behest of his boss.
Otherwise, had LaMonte indeed gone rogue, spurring a damning rebuttal from Lurie – again, six days after Reid's son, Garrett, was found dead in his Lehigh University dormitory room – wouldn't the coach have at least condemned his agent's tactics?
Some might say it was a fireable offense.
And yet, when Reid was asked whether LaMonte's comments to a handful of reporters on Saturday were ill-timed, the coach didn't seem the least bit annoyed.
"It's fine. That's not where [LaMonte] was really coming from," Reid said Sunday. "I understand both sides. . . . I got it. I know the picture. So I'm not worried about all that."
Then what was the notoriously secretive LaMonte trying to do? Sit down with a handful of reporters he routinely avoids or speaks to in most cases off-the-record for a 22-minute, 'Hey, let's catch up, friend" interview?
It was so clear what LaMonte was trying to accomplish – he brought up the old story about Lurie always telling him that as long as he is owner, Reid is his coach – that Lurie fired off a succinct, 67-word statement less than two hours after the agent made his comments.
"As much respect as all of us have for Andy Reid, it is the nature of the profession that all coaches, executives, and players are evaluated each year," Lurie said in the meat of the statement.
Translation: You have two years remaining on your contract, you haven't won a playoff game in four years, you're coming off a bad season, and you want to talk contract extension now?
Reid distanced himself from LaMonte's ploy.
"I don't even go beyond that," the coach said. "I didn't even go through and read all the stuff, but it seemed like both people were positive, and that's not even where I'm at."
Positive? Really? If LaMonte weren't Reid's agent, Lurie would have ushered him to the stands the way the Eagles handled Drew Rosenhaus last August when he showed up at camp with DeSean Jackson looking for a new deal. That's how not positive the relationship is right now.