Sports Agent (non) Value, pt.2

We pick up where we left off in the last blog. As previously mentioned, the only other time a player is really in need of a sports agent is during Unrestricted Free Agency. But even here, it can be a bit misleading.  I recently spoke with a person who asked me which sports agent(s) I was working with under 44 management. I informed him that I was not working directly with any specific or particular agent(s) or sports agency.  He seemed perplexed asking, “So who gets the player the big signing bonus money for his contract? Don’t players have to have an agent?” This could not be further from the truth. Just as a person has the right to represent himself in court, he so to shall have the right to represent himself at the negotiation table. Truth be told, it is the player who gets himself paid, based on what the team values him and what amounts of money they have projected to spend.  In other words, any payer who gets paid, as an example) a 5-yr/$100 million contract had WAY more to do with how much he gets paid than the sports agent ever will.  The team is the entity that has a budget and will only spend what the budget allows. 

I never “drop” names of individuals relating to their personal stories; however I will regurgitate public information or comments. The statement below is from a current player who has begun to understand the “business” of the NFL. This player recently negotiated his own contract which will pay him at least $2.5 million dollars during the 2009 season. Should this player have had a sports agent and agreed to pay the sports agent the maximum 3% sports agent fee, he would pay his sports agent $75,000!  If he can negotiate his own contract for those numbers and save himself $75,000, where is the value in having a sports agent?

 “The decision I made in 2006 to represent myself rather than hire an agent has been an invaluable experience.  I now understand why so many people within the NFL community are uncomfortable with a player really learning the business.  The NFL has become more about power, money and control than passion, competition and the love of the game.”

Who is this player?

Don’t get me wrong, we all like to hire people to handle things we do not want to deal with ourselves and let the so-called professionals do it for us. However, there are very few NFL athletes who have the opportunity to even have a chance at obtaining such lucrative contracts and this is the majority of NFL players.  If that player really wanted to, make sure his best interests were being looked out for, he could make one simple phone call that will give him all the information he needs to be armed with all the ammunition he needs to negotiate his own contract in less than 30 minutes, saving him thousands of dollars in sports agent fees. I know I am not making to many friends in the sports agent world with these comments, but the “truth is the truth” and none of us can run from that forever.

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