Drew Rosenhaus (born October 29, 1966) is an American sports agent who represents professional football players. He owns the Miami-based sports agency, Rosenhaus Sports, and is known for using aggressive tactics on behalf of his clients who play in the National Football League.
Rosenhaus was born on October 29, 1966 in South Orange, New Jersey. Four years later his family moved to North Miami, Florida. He attended and graduated in 1987 from the University of Miami. In 1990, he earned a law degree from Duke University School of Law. Drawing heavily from his college connections, 24 of Rosenhaus' 100-plus NFL clients are fellow University of Miami alumni. In 1989, aged 22, he became the youngest registered sports agent. By 2008, Rosenhaus had reportedly negotiated over one billion dollars in NFL contracts.
Rosenhaus' company is called Rosenhaus Sports Representation, which is abbreviated by RSR. The logo for Rosenhaus Sports are the letters RSR with the S similar to the Superman logo. In addition to Rosenhaus, other principals in the firm include Vice President Jason Rosenhaus (Drew's brother), director of marketing Robert Bailey, and director of client services Daniel F. Martoe.
Rosenhaus is known for his aggressive approach to the representation of his NFL clients, and also for often generating large contracts for them. Early in his career he convinced NFL general managers to allow cameras to document negotiations.
ESPN talked with six agents who have publicly and privately had issues with Rosenhaus and they claim Rosenhaus sometimes violates NFL Player's Association (NFLPA) rules by contacting clients signed with other agents. They claim that Rosenhaus uses players to recruit other NFL players and prospects, also a violation. One of the most recent example was All-Pro Brian Cushing with the Houston Texans. Cushing's original sport's agent coming out of college was Tom Condon. Two years into his rookie contract, Cushing and Condon went their own ways. The NFLPA have no formal findings of violations by Rosenhaus.
2003: Representation of Willis McGahee
One prominent example of Rosenhaus' success as an agent was his representation of former University of Miami star running back Willis McGahee. In January 2003, McGahee suffered a disastrous, potentially career-ending knee injury in his final college game (the Fiesta Bowl, which was the national championship game that year). One month after the injury, he signed with Rosenhaus, with the goal of obtaining an NFL contract.
Rosenhaus predicted that, under his representation, McGahee would be a first-round NFL draft pick in the 2003 NFL draft. A seemingly bold prediction at the time, Rosenhaus also offered to waive his standard three-percent commission and work for free if McGahee failed to be drafted in the first round. During the draft, cameras would cut to live shots of McGahee and Rosenhaus talking on their cellular phones, giving the impression that they were communicating with teams interested in drafting McGahee. Surprising to many, the Buffalo Bills picked McGahee in the first round as the 23rd overall choice in the draft. This was despite the fact that McGahee, still suffering from a devastating knee injury inflicted by future Buccaneers safety Will Allen, would start his career with the Bills not only unable to play, but also barely able to walk. After successful reconstructive surgery and intensive rehabilitation, McGahee signed a five-year contract with the Bills worth about $16 million.
2005–06: The Terrell Owens affair
On November 2, 2005, Rosenhaus client Terrell Owens' relationship with the Philadelphia Eagles deteriorated after Owens reportedly was involved in a physical altercation with former Eagles player and current sports talk radio host Hugh Douglas, just a day following Owens' public criticism of Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb in an interview with ESPN. Eagles coach Andy Reid privately demanded that Owens apologize to the team and to McNabb. Owens only partly fulfilled the request, however, issuing a brief public apology and failing to mention McNabb by name. Rosenhaus was subsequently asked by the Eagles to intervene with Owens in an effort to resolve the tensions between Owens and the team.
What efforts Rosenhaus exerted remain unknown, but they were unsuccessful. On November 5, 2005, a day before the team's conference game against the Washington Redskins, the Eagles announced that they were suspending Owens indefinitely from the team. The day following the game, on November 7, the Eagles announced that Owens would remain suspended and ultimately would be released from the team. Owens promptly filed a complaint against the Eagles with the NFLPA. On November 8, with Rosenhaus at his side, Owens issued an apology from the front lawn of his Moorestown, New Jersey home to Philadelphia fans, fellow players and the Eagles organization, expressing his desire to immediately return with the team. "There are players in the NFL that are arrested who violate the program when it comes to drugs and substance abuse and they are not punished as severely as him," Rosenhaus said.
The Philadelphia media were critical of Rosenhaus' handling of the Owens' affair. Owens only read a short prepared statement, after which Rosenhaus dominated the podium and refused to answer most questions. One Philadelphia journalist asked Rosenhaus pointedly during the Owens press conference, "Drew, what have you done for T.O. other than get him kicked off the team?" The question drew a subtle smirk from Owens, and Rosenhaus responded only by asking for the "next question."
Despite the apology, the Eagles stated that they had no intention of permitting Owens to return to the team. They stated that had he done this before the game, they might have allowed him to return. They then reinforced that he would remain deactivated for the rest of the 2005 season, after being suspended for 4 games, the maximum a team can suspend a player for, after which the Eagles released him permanently. His future after the Eagles quickly became one of the largest sports stories of the year.
On November 18, 2005, Rosenhaus again returned to Philadelphia to represent Owens at a marathon 14-hour arbitration hearing on Owens' suspension. The hearing, which was closed to the public, also was attended by Reid and other Eagles officials, who continued to defend their decision to suspend Owens. Rosenhaus demanded the immediate reinstatement of the wide receiver, but the arbitrator found the Eagles were justified in suspending him for four games and that they do not have to allow him back after the suspension. In January 2006, Rosenhaus announced that he had received permission from the Eagles to pursue a new NFL affiliation for Owens in the 2006 season. On March 14, 2006, the Eagles released Owens, hours before he would be due a $5 million roster bonus.
In the public eye
In a profession known for generally operating behind the scenes, Rosenhaus is distinguished among his peers for his many prominent public appearances. He serves as an analyst for Sprint Exclusive Entertainment, giving Sprint customers inside information on the wheeling and dealing going on in the NFL. Rosenhaus is the only agent ever to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He also was featured on HBO’s Real Sports and Inside the NFL. Rosenhaus is one of the most recognizable agents who deals with professional football athletes. However, reports of an arbitration filing against him by his Vice President, Daniel Martoe includes allegations of rule violations, financial troubles, and fraud.
- Next Question: An NFL Super Agent's Proven Game Plan for Business Success was released September 2008. The book was primarily penned by Drew's brother Jason Rosenhaus.
- Rosenhaus's autobiography, A Shark Never Sleeps: Wheeling and Dealing with the NFL's Most Ruthless Agent was published in 1998.
- Rosenhaus appeared in the movie about professional football, Any Given Sunday, released in 1999.
The character Bob Sugar from the movie Jerry Maguire was reportedly based on Rosenhaus.
- Rosenhaus appeared as himself on Arli$$, a comedy about a sports agent. He appeared as a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman in the weeks preceding Owens' suspension from the Eagles. He is also a weekly contributor on "Sports Xtra", WSVN's Sunday night sports wrap-up show.
- Rosenhaus appeared in a "This is SportsCenter" commercial, with Scott Van Pelt and Neil Everett, in which he negotiates the price of their lunches with the cafeteria cashier.
- In 2006, Rosenhaus was in a television commercial for Burger King, in which he appears as an agent for the burger chain's mascot, The King. The commercial was a parody of the Terrell Owens public apology in November 2005. When reporters ask questions regarding the size of The King's head and other questions, Rosenhaus responds repeatedly with the line he used in the Owens press conference: "Next question."
On August 7, 2012 it was reported via Yahoo! Sports that Rosenhaus and his brother Jason Rosenhaus were accused of breach of contract and fraud by employee Daniel F. Martoe in an arbitration filing with the National Football League Players Association.
On August 16, 2012, Yahoo! Sports further detailed the accusations of illegal conduct which violated the rules of the National Football League Players Association by stating Rosenhaus would have his players steered towards a financial advisor at a SunTrust bank in exchange for larger loans with a lower interest rate. The article went into further details of financial troubles of Rosenhaus and his sports agency.
- "Rosenhaus' success draws cries of foul play". ESPN. Retrieved June 7, 2005.
- Rosenhaus, Drew; Jason Rosenhaus (September 2008). Next Question: An NFL Super Agent's Proven Game Plan for Business Success. Penguin Group. p. 29. ISBN 0-425-22344-2. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Drew Rosenhaus enjoying his 15 minutes", Ad Week (August 2006).
- "Agent Drew Rosenhaus accused of breach of contract, fraud by employee in arbitration filing". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "Agent Drew Rosenhaus accused of breach of contract, fraud by employee in arbitration filing". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- "Rosenhaus Sports Representation"
- Drew Rosenhaus at the Internet Movie Database
- "Drew Rosenhaus for President...of Something", FantasySportsTrades.com, November 9. 2005.