Upon first glance, agent David Dunn might seem like one of the most fortunate men on the planet.
After all, the New York Jets traded up to the five spot in last month’s NFL draft to select his highly coveted client Mark Sanchez, assuring Dunn a hefty commission on the former USC quarterback’s monster contract.
But if you consider the all-too-ironic fact that Dunn also represents the Jets’ veteran backup quarterback Kellen Clemens, Sanchez’s biggest competition for the starting job, you might realize that Dunn is in a thoroughly sticky situation.
With his two clients’ best interests directly conflicting with one another, Dunn is stuck with the unenviable task of somehow keeping both players happy.
At the present time, due to the skewed rookie pay scale that rewards high draft picks, Sanchez would seem like the more valuable client.
But if Clemens is able to emerge as the starter or at least prove his worth to the point that other teams will consider giving him a solid contract next offseason, he could also end up being a client of high importance to Dunn.
However, based on the fact that the Jets not only selected Sanchez in the first round but also traded up incredibly high to do so, the edge for the starting position has to go to the former USC standout.
It’s unlikely that a team with a “win now” mentality would have so aggressively pursued a quarterback and agreed to pay him an exorbitant amount of money for that player to ride the pine for a full year.
Adding to the drama surrounding the Jets’ quarterback situation is the report that shortly after being drafted, Sanchez assembled the team’s core group of veteran receivers for an off-site throwing session.
If the rookie is commanding enough respect to pull off a workout with his receiving corps before training camp even begins, Clemens certainly has reason to be worried.
But until Sanchez and Clemens step onto the same field for official summer camp, one can only speculate as to who the true favorite will be.
Despite early indications that Sanchez is the front-runner, reasonable arguments can be made supporting Clemens’ cause.
Entering his fourth season as a pro, Clemens is already familiar with the Jets’ receivers, as well as the team’s offensive schemes.
While the Jets will likely run a much more dynamic offense this season now that one-year stopgap Brett Favre is out of the picture, there is no doubting that Clemens has had more than enough time to master the team’s playbook.
Sanchez’s lack of experience at the college level could also come into play.
Having started a mere 16 games at USC, including only one full season as the team’s starter, one might surmise that Sanchez isn’t quite ready to take the reins of an NFL team.
However, judging from early reports from Jets rookie camp, coaches are already impressed with Sanchez's intelligence and professionally confident demeanor.
Plus, with first-year head coach Rex Ryan coming from a Baltimore Ravens team that made it all the way to the AFC championship game last season under a rookie quarterback, the Jets might not be as hesitant as most to throw a first-year player into the fray.
So as David Dunn surveys the Jets' quarterback competition from afar, he's most likely anxious about the whole ordeal and impatiently awaiting its resolution.
Will Coach Ryan go with the steady veteran or the cheeky youngster with tremendous upside?
Dunn, caught in a most unusual situation, is proof that battles for NFL positions affect many more people than just teams and their fans, even if those people are wily sports agents.