Get Your Ready List, Ready

Pro Personnel Directors across the NFL are very busy during this time of year. Now that the regular season is in full swing, it is inevitable that injuries are going to happen and players will need to be replaced; for the long-term or short-term.  We have already seen injuries with players such as Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, Chicago Bears LB Brian Urlacher, and San Diego Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson.

When players are injured and a roster move needs to be facilitated, all 32 NFL teams are ready with three to five players per position whom the team feels have the ability to at least warrant consideration for filling a need or void on the roster.

I used to get phone call after phone call on Sunday nights and Monday mornings, after a Sunday afternoon game, from agents peddling their clients once it was known we had an injury to one of our players from the previous day’s game.  Most of the phone calls were from less experienced or lower level agents who were basically begging for any one of their clients to be placed on the team’s “Ready List”.  It was a tactic that rarely ever worked. Most knew it was a long shot to happen, but continued to call anyway. I would listen to their pitch, because they were just doing the job they were hired to do by their client, and maybe I could find out some updated background information just to place in the file on the player. 

The more prominent agents and more experienced agents rarely ever called peddling any of their players. Some may find that appalling and would not like to be associated with one of those sports agencies. But the more experienced agents know that there is very little influence, if any, they have on what the team is going to do with a position.  Most times when an experienced sports agent or sports agency makes phone calls, it is to ask a team if a veteran client or high-profile client is on that team’s “Ready List”. This allows the agent to find out if the sports agency should continue focusing energy on a client that seems to be lost in the minds of most NFL teams. These experienced agents know how the system works and do not waste a lot of energy on exercises that do not result personal monetary gain.

When you are watching your favorite team this Sunday, take note if there is a serious injury to a player. The team already has a few players from their “Ready List” they are considering as long-term or short-term replacements. By the time you wake up Monday morning, a player from the team’s “Ready List” is probably already on a flight to the team’s city for a workout or singing before you finish your morning cup of java.

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