By even considering a meeting with the Los Angeles Clippers about his future -- after committing to sign a free-agent contract with the Dallas Mavericks -- DeAndre Jordan has sent a message to the Mavericks. It’s one that Dallas can’t feel great about.
But Jordan would hardly be the first figure in the sports world to go back on an agreement (including even signed contracts).
Below are notable instances of athletes, coaches and owners having second thoughts about a handshake or verbal agreement and eventually backing out.
Wednesday: Jordan agreed to a four-year maximum-value deal with the Mavericks, but he appears to be wavering in his commitment and will reportedly meet again with the Clippers, for whom he has played his first seven seasons in the NBA.
March 2015: Free-agent running back Frank Gore appeared set to sign a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, as was widely reported. According to multiple reports, Gore was even telling friends that he was going to sign with the Eagles. But when Gore signed a contract, it was with the Indianapolis Colts for $1 million more in guaranteed money than the Eagles were offering.
June-July 2014: The Houston Astros selected Brady Aiken with the first pick in the 2014 first-year player draft, and they verbally agreed to a $6.5 million signing bonus, tying the highest offer for a high school pitcher.
The team cut its offered signing bonus to less than half that ($3.1 million) after a physical showed Aiken had a smaller than normal ulnar collateral ligament (an existing condition but not a new injury). The bonus was the lowest the Astros could offer while still recouping the second pick in the next year’s draft as compensation if Aiken didn’t sign (which he didn’t).
July 2014: New York Islanders owner Charles Wang supposedly had a deal to sell the team for $420 million to Andrew Barroway on July 28, 2014, but he raised his price after the Los Angeles Clippers were sold for $2 billion.
Barroway sued Wang, who sold a minority stake in the team to Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin. Fortune magazine reported Wang had also agreed to a deal with a third party, Peak Ridge Capital, apparently telling the investment firm on the same day (July 28) that they had a deal.
March 2014: Free-agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders agreed in principle to join the Kansas City Chiefs, according to reports, but ended up signing with the Denver Broncos. Word leaked while Sanders was in Kansas City that he would join the Broncos, and one day later, Sanders had reached a second agreement, with the Broncos.
Sanders’ agent, Steve Weinberg, was also reportedly negotiating with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after Sanders agreed to a deal with the Chiefs, an agreement the Buccaneers did not know about. Weinberg denied negotiating with the Buccaneers.
July 2009: Free agent forward Hedo Turkoglu reportedly committed to leaving the Orlando Magic and signing a contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. The day after that supposed commitment, though, he accepted a five-year, $53 million deal from the Toronto Raptors.
"Portland did everything we asked them to do, and they would be justified if they feel aggrieved. He simply decided Toronto was a better fit," Turkoglu’s agent, Lon Babby said.
June 2007: Billy Donovan was the coach of the Orlando Magic for less than a week. Donovan had second thoughts about leaving the University of Florida two days after he agreed to jump to the NBA. Donovan and the Magic reached an agreement to let him out of his five-year, $27.5 million deal to allow him to return to the Gators.
July 2004: The Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to forgo a $700,000 team option to allow Carlos Boozer to become a restricted free agent, with a handshake deal in place to re-sign Boozer for more money after he had outperformed his previous contract.
After becoming a restricted free agent, Boozer joined the Utah Jazz for $27 million more, signing a six-year, $68 million deal.
January 2000: Bill Belichick resigned as coach of the New York Jets (he is believed to have written his resignation on a cocktail napkin) two days after he inherited the job from Bill Parcells, and he joined the New England Patriots.
Belichick had been hired as Jets coach in February 1997 after the team failed to reach an agreement to acquire Parcells from the Patriots. But after getting Parcells a week later, the Jets demoted Belichick to assistant coach with a clause in his contract that he would assume the head coaching role after Parcells left (as he did in January 2000).
At the news conference to introduce him, Belichick announced his resignation. Why Belichick left, in his words to The New York Times: “I resigned because I wasn’t comfortable with the situation with the Jets.”