Being an NFL Agent is one of the most sought after jobs in Sports Management and with the NFL Draft being held this month, player agents are scrambling to sign draft eligible college players as clients.
But don’t for a second believe that the only time an agent is traveling the countryside scouting and soliciting college players only happens in April.
Agents scout college players all season long and put together a list of players they would be interesting in signing and once the college bowl games are over every year, then the agent can begin to solicit their services to the players. NCAA rules prohibit agents from soliciting players until their college careers are officially over due to graduation, eligibility or declare as a junior that they will enter the NFL draft.
CONVINCING A PLAYER
While some superstar agents such as Drew Rosenhaus, Ben Dogra, Tom Condon or Eugene Parker has college players calling them for their services due to reputation, most agents do not have this luxury.
The majority of NFL agents have to convince college players they are the best choice. In addition, they have to not only convince the player but also his:
- College Coaches
You have to remember that college players are still young and vulnerable and for this reason they usually want to hear the opinions of their family, friends, teammates and college coaches in order to make the right decision when selecting an agent.
An agent has to convince client candidates that he will not only negotiate the best contract for the player but also additional services such as:
- Managing Investments
- Photo Ads
- Radio Appearances
- Autograph Signings
- Filing The Athlete’s Taxes Every Year
- Public Appearances
The biggest and most important thing an agent has to do when soliciting a possible client coming out of college is that he is trustworthy and honest. This is most important to a player’s family, most notably his parents.
Naturally, every agent’s desire is to sign and represent college stars that will be drafted in the first or second round of the draft because that is where the big bucks are, for both the player and the agent.
This does not mean that the agent will pass up a chance to represent players that are not drafted in the first or second round; those players are just the most desired.
In addition, once the draft is over, there is hundreds and hundreds of college players that were not drafted by an NFL team who want the chance to prove themselves and have a shot at the NFL who will also need an agent to talk to teams and get them into a teams training camp.
While it may be a long shot, there have been a lot of very successful undrafted players who got their shot and had very successful NFL careers including:
- QB Kurt Warner
- TE Antonio Gates
- RB Arian Foster
- DT John Randle
- K Adam Vinatieri
- C Jeff Saturday
However, as with the teams, drafted, regardless of what round, or undrafted, it is all a crap shoot as there have been many college superstars that were busts in the NFL but either way, the agent will still get his commission.
Being an NFL sports agent is highly competitive, and there are no promises that you will succeed.
Even though the glitz and glamour of being personally involved with professional football players sounds like it would be an exciting career, sports agents work long hours, have to be available 24 hours a day, and travel away from their families a majority of the time.
Less than 5% of sports agents earn over $100,000 a year. In addition, it usually takes several years as an agent to build up the clientele and reputation to earn enough money to live on and half of all NFL certified sports agents do not have even a single client.