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Welcome Back Kotter - DeMeco Ryans Edition

My feelings for DeMeco Ryans is a love that dare not speak its name.  DeMeco announced today that he has hired a new agent and that he will be joining the Texans' voluntary offseason on Monday.  Ryans had previously been working out in Scottsdale, Arizona with fellow disgruntled Texan Dunta Robinson.  DeMeco showed his true colors when explaining why he was coming back.

"I missed my teammates," Ryans said. "I'm ready to get with them and lead them and prepare to go to battle with them."

Ryans’ new agent is Ben Dogra, a St. Louis-based agent who also represents Mario Williams.  Dogra has been representing Williams since the 2006 Draft, the same year that Ryans was selected.  I don’t know that much about Dogra, but he seems to be giving DeMeco good advice, as evidenced by DeMeco’s further explanation:

"I think it's best for me to get back and start focusing on football. That's what I do best. I'll let my agent handle my contract."

Ryans is a rare talent, but his value for the team goes beyond that.  He’s a leader.  DeMeco has literally seven times more of a reason to be disgruntled about his contract than Dunta does, as he is scheduled to make $1.39 million dollars compared to the $9.957 million dollars that Robinson will make in 2009 if he doesn’t receive a new deal.  As opposed to Dunta, Ryans is coming off three consecutive phenomenal seasons in which he never missed a game and compiled 396 total tackles, an average of 132 a year.

Dogra knows that he has the leverage, and he’s playing his cards accordingly:

"I know the Texans are busy with the draft right now," Dogra said. "At some point after the draft, I look forward to having a discussion with them."

That just screams intelligence.  DeMeco is a fan favorite and for good reason, as listed above.  It makes no sense to keep making negative headlines when fans are concentrating on the draft, which is something that DeMeco’s old agent Kirk Wood obviously didn’t understand.  A month or two after draft fever subsides though, Texans fans are going to want to know why the foundation of the defense is still making pennies compared to what he deserves.

Maybe he was offered a contract that would make him among the top five paid MLBs in the league.  That is simply a rumor at this point, but even if that’s true, we don’t know how many years were or how much guaranteed money was offered.  Besides, I personally can’t think of five MLBs I’d rather have than DeMeco.  For right now, I’m just thrilled to have him back.