Antwan Barnes' agent, Marc Lillibridge -- a featured columnist on Bleacher Report -- detailed the angst and elation that comes with being an NFL agent in his Monday post. And he used Barnes’ recent experience as an example.
Lillibridge wrote that after his client visited the Jets Friday, Barnes told him "to get a deal done. He wanted to be a Jet."
"Knowing the Jets reciprocated Barnes' feelings and wanted him as well felt great on Friday night, but free agency is a fickle beast and until the ink is on the paper, nothing is done."
Between March 9-12, Lillibridge was able to whittle down the numbers of teams seriously interested in Barnes from nine to five. "Once March 14 arrived and the Jets asked to get Barnes on an airplane, I knew that would be our best fit. He knew head coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman from their time in Baltimore together (in 2007-08). I had been talking to Scott Cohen, the assistant general manager, since March 9 and knew the Jets had interest."
Lillibridge tried to gain some leverage by reaching out to other teams in need of a pass rushers, but no one was willing to bring in Barnes, 28, for a visit until after this week's owners meetings.
"I did not want to wait that long so I was relieved when Cohen called me Sunday to start the negotiations," he wrote. "After working through many different scenarios on structure, length and bonuses, we came to the current deal (three years, $4 million)."
Barnes -- who had his playing time decreased last season after recording 11 sacks in 2011 -- reportedly is scheduled to get $1.65 million in 2013 and $1.2 million in both 2014 and 2015. He stands to earn as much as $2 million in the last two years of his deal if he hits certain escalator clauses.
Though happy with the contract and that Barnes landed with his top choice, Lillibridge noted that he had hoped to get more money and more guarantees for his client.