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Center of Attention: Eugene Parker

Richard Seymour's holdout means I am forced to talk about it. I don't think this is news, but I feel the need to balance what is being said in the media and spread across cyber space faster than herpes at a Shawn Merriman/TilaTequila party.

Ann Killion wrote a piece this morning for SI about how agent Eugene Parker is the most powerful person in bay area sports right now. He has the 49ers and the Raiders by the "shorts." If only that was true. In fact, agent Eugene Parker needs the bay area teams more than they need him.

If Crabtree sits out the season, he walks away from millions without a chance of getting drafted anywhere near where he was this year in the 2010 NFL draft. Parker can't let a client walk away from millions of dollars, he would lose a lot of his big clients and future clients if he let that happen, 49ers or not.

If Parker is seriously considering the same kind of sit out the season with Seymour he also walks away from millions. The Raiders don't lose the 2011 draft pick unless Seymour reports. So in a sense, nothing changes for the Raiders. They are under no obligation to do anything with Seymour.

You would think the Raiders might want to lock up the man they gave up so much to get. If Seymour is seriously considering sitting out, he does so at a time where he is turning 30 and NFL pundits already believe he is declining in skill. If he reports there is a good chance Al Davis will sign him to a lucrative extension or franchise him next season and guarantee him in the neighborhood of $11 million for one season.

Whatever the case, Parker can't let his clients leave millions on the table no matter how dysfunctional the Raiders and 49ers are perceived to be.

Jason Peters (a Parker client) was a holdout in Buffalo until two days before the season started last year. Expect similar from Seymour even if no contract extension is in place.

Crabtree is a different animal, because he has other people around him telling him lies about his own ability. Still, you can't walk away from millions, so he will ultimately sign. The 49ers know that at this point his season is already lost, so why crack and offer more? Stick to your guns and he will come around.

While Eugene Parker may be the center of attention in the bay area sports scene, he really has very little leverage. Is he the Brett Favre of sports agents? He may have the bay area teams by the balls, but the bay area teams have control over his air supply.

Eugene Parker has a long history with the 49ers and Raiders, except this time, Parker has more to lose.


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