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#1 Posted : Wednesday, February 20, 2013 9:23:20 AM(UTC)
What a great look at the small aspects that played roles in landing Reggie White. I remember the day he signed.. I was selling cars in Green Bay and going to UWGB. The city was electric with the signing.


Green Bay - Decades of sound practices on the financial front and one year of savvy leadership in the football operation have delivered Reggie White to the smallest city in the National Football League.

"We shocked the world, didn't we?" agent Jimmy Sexton said.

White, the superstar defensive end of the Philadelphia Eagles, chose to play for the small-town Green Bay Packers rather than 26 big-city franchises.

Shortly after noon Tuesday, negotiator Mike Reinfeldt poked his head into team President Bob Harlan's office and announced the stunning news: The free agent had agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $17 million.

They walked down the hall to inform general manager Ron Wolf and coach Mike Holmgren of their master stroke.

"Mike [Reinfeldt] had been telling me that Mike [Holmgren] and Ron wanted him in the worst way," Harlan said. "There was no embracing, just quick handshakes and congratulations.

"All I said to Holmgren was: 'This improves your football team, doesn't it?'

"He said: 'It sure does.'"

Sexton sat in his New Orleans hotel room Monday night, unable to use his ticket for the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball championship game at the Louisiana Superdome. He was placing calls with the Washington Redskins, the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers and White, who was at home in Knoxville, Tenn.

Harlan feared the agent was using the Packers. Several indicators suggested he was correct.

Sexton said Green Bay's offer of $16 million for four years stood until the $1 million increase Monday. It was the best offer of the three teams, but sources indicated the agent fully expected free-spending owner Jack Kent Cooke of Washington to match it, at least.

Cooke, however, recoiled at the idea of offering a 31-year-old defensive lineman more than $13 million over four years. One source said the high-payroll Redskins never made a formal proposal for even $14 million.

"Washington is close to home, but we just could never get onto the same page financially," Sexton said.

Then the 49ers, under new NFL financial limitations, were permitted to offer no more than $19.5 million over five years. Their offer included a $4 million signing bonus, and base salaries of $1.9 million, $3.7 million and $4.3 million.

"I feel the dollars offered by Green Bay were just far too much to overcome," 49ers President Carmen Policy said. "Without guaranteeing the contract, which we wouldn't do, we couldn't come close to matching the deal."

The Packers, with about $30 million in cash reserves, had the money to front-load their offer that basically blew away the opposition, including Cleveland, which was fourth in line. Without the financial restrictions, the Packers feared they would have been outbid by Debartalo. But the 49ers were handicapped.

"It wasn't so much how much money he got, but how it was structured," an official with the Browns said. "Obviously, the Packers could structure their deal."

Sexton said the Browns were the choice of White's wife Sara, who comes from Cleveland.

The Packers poured $6 million, or 35.3% of the total package, into bonus money that White can receive without putting on a uniform. The signing bonus was $4.5 million, and he is set to collect $1.5 million of his $4.5 million base salary this year just by reporting for training camp.

Included in the contract are base salaries of $3.15 million in 1994, $2.85 million in 1995 and $2 million in 1996. White's final contract in Philadelphia, which was fully guaranteed, averaged $1.513 million. His new one averages $4.25 million.

White became the third-highest paid player in league history, trailing only Denver quarterback John Elway ($4.75 million) and Miami quarterback Dan Marino ($4.43 million). The Packers refused to guarantee the base salaries, although the incredible bonus package and $9 million payout in the first year were guarantees in themselves. The contract contained not a single perk or incentive clause, Sexton said.
#2 Posted : Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:05:03 AM(UTC)
Reggie talked a little about the process in his book Reggie White: In the Trenches.

He thought he would end up in SF almost the whole time.

Not a bad book. A little self serving but I have read worse. I wish the book would have gone through the 96 or 97 season.
#3 Posted : Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:27:33 AM(UTC)
Pack93z said: Go to Quoted Post
Sexton said the Browns were the choice of White's wife Sara, who comes from Cleveland.

Sounds like bullshit to me.

Sara was all about the money.

Reggie said "God" told him to come to Green Bay. We all know who he meant by that.
#4 Posted : Wednesday, February 20, 2013 3:22:57 PM(UTC)
Incredible how John Elway was the highest paid at $4.75 million per year and now, 20 years later, we're looking at guys who make $20 million.
#5 Posted : Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:15:43 PM(UTC)
nerdmann said: Go to Quoted Post
Sounds like bullshit to me.

Sara was all about the money.

Reggie said "God" told him to come to Green Bay. We all know who he meant by that.

That made me laugh.
How right you are.

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