Taylor likely to rehire Rosenhaus

Updated: August 3, 2004, 7:44 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The roller coaster existence of Washington Redskins first-round free safety Sean Taylor, the fifth overall selection in the draft but a player who has struggled considerably through the early stages of training camp, continues to careen wildly.

Taylor on Tuesday dismissed agents Eugene Mato and Jeff Moorad and, for the second time in three months, will seek new representation, ESPN.com has learned. The pending irony in the move: Taylor's new agent is likely to be his old agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who the former University of Miami star inexplicably fired only a few days after the draft.

According to NFL Players Association rules, a player cannot retain a new agent for five days after dismissing his former representative. But it will be an upset if Rosenhaus isn't Taylor's agent of record by early next week.

Sources said that Taylor, who could not be reached for comment on Tuesday evening, is less than happy with how his contract compares to some of the deals bargained for other players in the top part of the first round. His hope is to convince Washington officials, perhaps after a season or two under his existing deal, to renegotiate the contract.

If he retains Rosenhaus, as anticipated, Taylor will have a strong ally in that regard. It was Rosenhaus who negotiated a landmark contract for two-year veteran Clinton Portis after Washington acquired the standout tailback from Denver via trade. Rosenhaus also has a strong relationship with Washington management, particularly owner Dan Snyder, and has several clients on the Redskins roster.

Even before the draft, Washington officials strongly recommended to Taylor that he consider retaining Rosenhaus.

Taylor signed a seven-year contract with a base value of $40 million and bonuses totaling about $13 million. Including incentives, the deal could be worth as much as $40 million. In recent days, however, there have been some monster contracts, notably those signed by quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals. The megadeals attracted the attention of the Resdskins safety.

Rosenhaus is known for being a hands-on agent, very close to his clients, and it appears Taylor could use a stabilizing force.

Touted as the best safety prospect to enter the league since Ronnie Lott in 1981, Taylor to this point has been unable to dislodge little-used third-year veteran Andre Lott, whose resume includes zero career starts, from the top of the free safety depth chart. He has looked ragged and confused at time in camp and hasn't made many plays.

The rough first week of camp follows what can only be viewed as a tumultuous offseason for the former Hurricanes star.

In addition to firing Rosenhaus, and then taking nearly three months to retain replacement representation, Taylor suffered a mild eye injury in an offseason workout when linebacker LaVar Arrington rubbed a shaving cream pie in his face. He then skipped out early on the NFL's mandatory symposium, drawing a $25,000 fine that is under appeal. Last week, in an organized workout preceding camp, he sustained a strained knee.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

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