Posted Mon Feb 6th by Monty
The release of longtime Denver Broncos cap manager Mike Bluem didn’t go unnoticed, but it didn’t cause a huge stir either. Executives and personnel come and go, especially with regime changes, and the hiring of 25-year player rep Mike Sullivan could simply be a matter of John Elway finding a person with whom he felt more comfortable working.
Or it could be a matter of the Broncos making a dramatic move to “get tough” in player contract talks, as this tweet from former GM Ted Sundquist (posted minutes after the news of Bluem’s departure broke) suggests:
— Ted Sundquist (@Ted_Sundquist) February 3, 2012
“Bull dogs.” Hmm…
While this is all speculation, it seems likely to us that the former Broncos GM would reach out to Bluem, his former colleague, upon hearing the news and glean some info behind the decision. Clearly that decision was business-driven: the Broncos weren’t happy with the way Bluem was negotiating contracts, and putting two and two together, it was because Bluem was becoming too soft for the Broncos’ liking.
Did it have to do with the mega-contracts the Broncos have dealt to Elvis Dumervil and Champ Bailey in the past two offseasons? Was it the years of dead cap money they’ve been suffering under since the Mike Shanahan days? Was Tim Tebow‘s oft-cited, oft-debated rookie contract a factor in any way?
We likely won’t ever know, but the Broncos’ decision to hire Sullivan in Bluem’s place is very interesting. The AP reports that Sullivan was regarded as “one of the top contract negotiators in the business” before he was hired by Elway. He’s credited for inventing the option bonus in modern NFL draft pick contracts, and he’s been managing a sports agency for over a decade. Who better to toughen the Broncos’ contract negotiation strategies than someone from the other end of the table?
At the very least, Sullivan will offer a fresh, unique perspective in contract negotiations for the Broncos moving forward. He knows all of the agent’s tricks, and he knows the loopholes.
But, reading between the lines, the Broncos are hoping for more than a fresh perspective from Sullivan. They’re hoping he’ll turn the Broncos into contract-negotiating bull dogs.
That’s a conclusion all the more interesting considering the slew of contract negotiations the Broncos will soon be facing, in-house alone.