On Tuesday, Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito pulled a surprise move and delighted his fans. But this time the skillful move was in Morristown, not Rutherford, and involved pizza, not a pigskin.
The appearance of the undrafted rookie sensation at Coniglio’s Old Fashioned came after a scheduled appearance at the pizzeria had been canceled because of a reported dispute about DeVito’s fee. On Sunday, the pizzeria posted on social media that they would no longer be hosting DeVito on Tuesday, claiming they “received word from his agent that his appearance fee would be doubling,” from $10,000 to $20,000, following the Giants’ win over the Green Bay Packers last Monday.
But the hometown hero made it right, walking through the doors of the South Street pizzeria Tuesday with his marketing agent Sean Salci. Sean Stellato, the flashy, fedora-wearing NFL agent who had been negotiating with the pizzeria and accompanied DeVito on an earlier appearance that day at Bubbakoo’s Burritos in Livingston, was conspicuously absent.
It was later reported that Stellato had been replaced as DeVito’s marketing representative by Maxx Lepselter, but remains DeVito’s contract agent in football matters.
“It was really important to me,” DeVito, who lives in Cedar Grove, told the New York Post of appearing at Coniglio’s. “As soon as I was made aware of it…that’s when I was like, ‘We need to go in there, meet him face to face, set things right, eat the awesome pizza and have fun.”
During his visit, DeVito, 25, posed for photos with Coniglio and his wife, Shealyn, and held Penny, the couple’s 11-month old baby. Over egg creams from an antique machine and chicken cutlet sandwiches, DeVito’s favorite, the two agreed to a charity appearance there in January. At the event, which doesn’t yet have a date, DeVito, of Cedar Grove, will sign 100 autographs and Coniglio will sell 100 chicken cutlet sandwiches with proceeds going to Knights of Columbus charities.
Coniglio had decided to cancel the event when the quarterback’s appearance fee had reportedly doubled following the team’s third win in a row, from $10,000 to $20,000. “We are a small family-run business & decided $20,000 was a bit steep for 2 hours,” read his message on Instagram.
Stellato said it was a misunderstanding; he thought negotiations still were ongoing since no contract had been signed.
But Coniglio was not having it, and made it clear Stellato was not welcome at the pizzeria.
In an Instagram post in which he apologized for the cancellation, he said, “We’re Italian too & don’t like when someone says one thing & does another.”