Agent Spotlight: Eugene Parker

Eugene Parker is the President of Maximum Sports Management and while he does not get the publicity that agent Drew Rosenhaus gets, Parker has negotiated NFL player contracts worth over $2 billion.

Parker, along with his longtime partner Roosevelt Barnes, has an excellent reputation of doing high-quality contracts for NFL players.

Parker began his ascent into the world of professional sports management when Barnes asked for his advice on his Detroit Lions contract.

EDUCATION

Parker graduated with a degree in Business Management from Purdue University in 1978, and graduated from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1982.

Parker was also a four-year starter on the Purdue men’s basketball team where he scored 1,430 career points and was a team captain for two years.

After his college career, Parker was drafted in the late rounds of the NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs but he turned down the opportunity to play in the NBA and took a graduate assistant coaching job at Valparaiso University while he earned a law degree.

MAXIMUM SPORTS MANAGEMENT

After receiving his law degree, Parker went on to found his company, Maximum Sports Management.

He trained former NFL client Roosevelt Barnes to be his long-time partner in the agent business and groomed Craig McKenzie, a fellow graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law to be an agent at Maximum Sports Management.

Parker now oversees five agents at Maximum Sports Management.

EARLY SIGNINGS

Parker’s early signings included NFL All-Pro defensive players and Hall of Famers Rod Woodson and Deion Sanders.

In 1995, Parker negotiated Deion Sanders’ lucrative seven year, 35 million dollar contract, with a 13 million dollar signing bonus, which at that time made Sanders the highest paid defensive player in the NFL.

In 2004 he negotiated a six year deal worth $60 million for wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, making him the highest paid rookie in the NFL ever.

HOLDOUTS

Many of Parker’s rookie clients have been holdouts in the NFL and teams cringe once they learn that their No.1 draft pick is being represented by Parker.

Most recently, the 2nd overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Ndamukong Suh held out for 4 days before signing a 5 year deal worth a possible $68 Million with $40 Million guaranteed.

In 2009, wide receiver Michael Crabtree held out for a third of his rookie season. Parker thought that Crabtree deserved more money compared to where he ended up being drafted.

Other holdouts that have been Parker’s clients include:

  • Derrick Brooks-10 days-2001
  • Cedric Benson- 36 days- 2005
  • Hines Ward- 14 days- 2005
  • Richard Seymour- three days- 2005
  • Devin Hester- two days- 2008
  • Steven Jackson-27 days- 2008
  • Sedrick Ellis- six days-2008

Parker and the seven holdouts listed above were pretty clear winners in all of the holdout negotiations once all were said and done.

HALL OF FAME PLAYERS

In 2011 Parker became one of only four sports agents to ever present a player into the National Football Hall of Fame when he presented his long-time client Deion Sanders into the Hall of Fame.

Other Hall of Famers on Parker’s client list includes:

  • Emmitt Smith
  • Curtis Martin
  • Rod Woodson

Looking at Parker’s current client list, I am sure that his Hall of Fame list is going to grow in the next decade.

CURRENT CLIENTS

Parker and Maximum Sports Management currently represent 50 NFL players including:

  • Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
  • Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams
  • Devin Hester, Chicago Bears
  • Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
  • Cedric Benson, Green Bay Packers
  • Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers
  • Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions
  • Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Richard Seymour, Oakland Raiders
  • Tracy Porter, New Orleans Saints

Parker feels that there is more to being a good agent than just his ability to negotiate top-notch contracts. Helping his clients adjust to their new life as a professional athlete is also extremely important to him.

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