The less Drew Rosenhaus said, the more obvious it became that Lawrence Timmons was destined to become a Steeler.
It was prior to Timmons’ April 11 interview with the Steelers that Rosenhaus, the colossal, controversial and always colorful player agent — Mr. “Next Question” — clammed up. He refused to divulge what he knew about the Steelers’ interest in his client.
“If a team has a real interest in one of my clients, they’re probably not going to tell me that because they know I’m going to go to the other teams that are around them,” Rosenhaus said. “My job is to encourage the clubs that they need to trade up to get one of my clients, so teams are really hesitant to say too much to me.”
No one tells Rosenhaus what to do. His clients always come first. It’s why he has more than 90 of them. He fights for his clients unless he believes the battle is already won.
Despite media reports that Timmons was dropping on some teams’ draft boards, Rosenhaus remained strangely silent.
“I know you’ve got a job to do, but I just can’t say anything else,” Rosenhaus said.
When Rosenhaus is quiet, people listen.
Rosenhaus’ silence made Timmons selection by the Steelers a natural.
Rosenhaus understood the Steelers were targeting Timmons. Somehow — and he’s still not saying how — he knew. All he had to do was keep his mouth shut.
Negotiations with the Steelers over Timmons’ contract could be another story.
“I like Drew. Honestly,” Steelers’ director of football operations Kevin Colbert said of Rosenhaus, who represents running back Najeh Davenport. “Drew has always been very up front. If we’ve had to do a deal with him, we’ve been able to do deals with the guy. I’m sure there are different opinions, but we’ve always had a great relationship. Negotiations are always going to be tough. He’s going to do his job for his client, we’re going to do our job for the team. But we’ll come to an agreement.”
Colbert said he was surprised when Timmons declared for the draft following his junior season.
“As an underclassman, you don’t really evaluate those guys until they declare,” Colbert said. “Lawrence didn’t become a full-time starter until this season. Really, once he turned his name in for evaluation to the NFL, and I’m part of that committee, that was really my first knowledge of Lawrence thinking about coming out.”
Said Timmons: “I was pretty close to staying. I talked to the coaches about it, and they were behind me whatever I decided. I talked to my agent about it, and it worked out well.”
Timmons made an intelligent decision to enter the draft a year early, said his father, Lindsley Timmons.
“We figured that other guys at his position (Penn State’s Paul Posluszny and Miami’s Jon Beason) were coming off injuries this year,” said the elder Timmons, who played basketball at Duquesne with Norm Nixon in 1975-76. “We figured if he had a good year his senior year, his stock might have dropped from his junior year. He would have a better chance (to be a high draft choice) this year than next year.”
And — for better or worse — Rosenhaus would have a better chance to emerge from his shell and return to his normal, talkative self.