David Canter has been an NFL agent for more than a decade, and Canter represented several prospects in last month’s NFL Draft.
The NFL Players Association is currently investigating Canter after he allegedly tried to encourage teams to recruit his clients, according to ESPN. Canter reportedly told the teams that his 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 has committed no crime and is fully cooperating with the NFLPA. We hope the situation will be resolved shortly.»
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On Friday, another member of Canter’s legal team, attorney Mitchell Schuster, issued a statement regarding the situation.
«It has been publicly reported that David Canter is being investigated by the NFLPA for so-called ‘bribery’ attempts during the NFL draft,» Schuster said. «While we prefer to address this matter privately, the leak of the NFLPA investigation has forced us to respond publicly.»
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Schuster also dismissed a commonly used defense by stating that his client was merely joking.
“The communications that are the subject of the investigation were nothing more than jokes by Mr. Canter with colleagues in the industry, who interpreted them as being made in jest, as any reasonable person would. It is unfortunate that Mr. Canter should not have his reputation upheld, both in the court of public opinion and within the confines of the NFLPA disciplinary committee,» he said.
The argument that someone was just joking when allegations of NFL-related wrongdoing surfaced is nothing new.
Rob Gronkowski’s representatives dropped the phrase «just kidding» after the tight end claimed he was in possession of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers playbooks before joining the team. At the time, Gronkowski was still under contract with the New England Patriots.
Exactly how Schuster came to the conclusion that Canter’s «industry colleagues» universally interpreted the offers as «joking» is unclear.
Canter’s defense, as articulated by Schuster, cries out for a full investigation by the league, which has not commented on it.
It’s also unclear if any offers were actually accepted or if Canter made offers to teams in prior years in regards to his client wording.
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The NFLPA does not explicitly prohibit the act of incentivizing a team to select a specific player in the draft. However, the player’s union investigation will have to decide whether Canter’s conduct violates multiple articles in its Contract Advisory Regulations.