The San Francisco 49ers have done a strong job with contract negotiations in recent years, and much of that is led by the work of chief negotiator Paraag Marathe. NFL agents recognize the work Marathe and his staff do, voting the 49ers the most prepared organization during contract negotiations.
USA Today spoke with 25 agents, polling them on topics ranging from most prepared for negotiations to who they respect to the best and worst things about the collective bargaining agreement. Not all responded to every question, but most responded when asked who was most and least prepared. The 49ers topped the list, followed by the Eagles, Patriots, Broncos, and Packers. The least prepared included the Browns, Bengals, Washington, and the Bears.
The poll asked which NFL decision-maker agents respected most and trusted least. The 49ers did not make an appearance on either of these. Ozzie Newsome and Bill Belichick topped most respected, while Washington president Bruce Allen and Dolphins executive of football operations Mike Tannenbaum were least trusted.
I’d be curious if John Lynch and/or Kyle Shanahan show up on either of these lists a year from now. They gave Joe Staley a pay raise even though they didn’t have to. At the same time, they’ve signed players to extensions only to cut or trade them before the next season began (Jeremy Kerley, Daniel Kilgore). They cut NaVorro Bowman last season rather than trade him so he could choose his next destination. I would think they might get on a most respected list, but you never know since it depends on which players the agents queried represent.