Few NFL agents have represented better talent over four decades like Eugene Parker has.
And likely, fewer have been behind holdouts more often than Parker, too.
His client list includes two of the best players in Steelers history - Rod Woodson, who hails from his hometown of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Hines Ward. Both Woodson and Ward had contract scuffles with the Steelers during their tenures with the team. The last one Woodson had led to his departure after the 1996 season. Ward held out of training camp for the first two weeks in 2005 over a contract dispute. He would eventually return to camp and sign a four-year extension with the team.
Parker also represents free agent running back Felix Jones, a player the Steelers traded for before the 2013 season. Jones isn't expected to be re-signed any time soon, if at all.
Parker represents free agent defensive lineman Alex Carrington, a player the Bills attempted to sign to a long-term deal even after a quadriceps injury ended his 2013 season. The last news bit on Carrington was a ray of optimism over his meeting with the Steelers last week. The Browns were reportedly interested in the 2010 third round pick as well, but nothing new has materialized on that front.
Given his injury, and his agent's vast experience with capitalizing and profiting in free agency, it seems like Carrington would aim for a short-term contract - essentially letting Carrington get paid to play his way back to his top form before entering free agency again in 2015.
By all accounts, Carrington was a valued player in Buffalo, the kind of versatile weapon the Steelers really could use along its defensive line. He can play in the base defense as a 5-technique but move around with different sub packages, rushing from the outside or inside.
Considering his injury, it would seem his value would be better served in a short-term deal, but the rent-a-player strategy may be Carrington's and Parker's intentions. If the Steelers are to go for that, one benefit is they may have more interest in retaining him with a long-term deal after the 2014 season. Their salary cap picture is much brighter, and at the same time, while the team feels optimistic about the continued development of DE Brian Arnfelt and DE Nick Williams, Carrington can serve as a bridge to that point, and even a long-term option if all things work out.