David Canter has been an NFL agent for more than a decade, and several prospects in last month’s NFL Draft were represented by Canter.
The NFL Players Association is currently investigating Canter after he allegedly tried to encourage teams to draft his clients, according to ESPN. Canter reportedly told teams that their employees could use his vacation properties if they selected one of his clients.
Last week, Canter’s attorney Adam Kenner released a statement saying, “Mr. Canter did not engage in any wrongdoing, and he is fully cooperating with the NFLPA. We expect the situation to be resolved shortly.”
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On Friday, another member of Canter’s legal team, attorney Mitchell Schuster, released a statement about the situation.
“It has been publicly reported that the NFLPA is investigating David Canter for so-called ‘bribery’ attempts during the NFL draft,” Schuster said. “Although we preferred to address this matter in a private fashion, the leak of the NFLPA’s investigation has compelled us to publicly respond.”
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Schuster also threw out a commonly used defense by claiming his client was simply joking.
“The communications that are the subject of the investigation were no more than playful banter by Mr. Canter with industry colleagues, who interpreted them to be made in jest, as any reasonable person would. It is unfortunate that Mr. Canter must not defend his reputation, both in the court of public opinion and within the confines of the NFLPA’s disciplinary committee,” he said.
The argument that someone was only kidding when accusations of NFL-related wrongdoing surface is nothing new.
Rob Gronkowski’s representatives threw out the “was only joking” line after the tight end claimed he was in possession of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ playbooks prior to joining the team. At the time, Gronkowski was still under contract with the New England Patriots.
It is unclear exactly how Schuster came to the conclusion that Canter’s “industry colleagues” universally interpreted the offers “to be made in jest.”
Canter’s defense, as articulated by Schuster, cries out for a full investigation by the league, which has had no comment on the matter.
It also remains unclear whether any offers were actually accepted or if Canter made offers to teams in previous years as it pertained to the drafting of his clients.
The act of incentivizing a team to select a specific player In the draft is not explicitly prohibited by the NFLPA. However, the player’s union investigation will have to decide whether Canter’s conduct is in violation of multiple articles in its Regulations for Contract Advisors.
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