2019 NFL Agent Exam: One Last Shot

As I write this, we are exactly 24 hours away from the apex of Agent Week 2019, the exam itself. By most estimates, around 200 people will take the test tomorrow afternoon.

Statistically, the ones who’ve used our study materials will do best, passing at better than a two-thirds rate. Those who don’t will fail more than half the time.

Here are a few unsolicited testimonials from people who are in the room today.

  • “Definitely ready to take this exam on Friday thanks to you!”
  • “Thank you for all the support throughout the prep process. The newsletters have been very insightful as well.”
  • “It’s goin’ great! I really appreciate (the study guide)! I’m studying it hard as ever!”
  • “Thanks to you I’m feeling more than confident!”
  • Practice exam 2 was extremely helpful.”
  • “I can’t thank you enough for your help and especially the (study guide). It’s incredible; I’d be completely screwed without it.”
  • “I really appreciate you! And the tests you have are a big help!”
  • “Man, so far that study guide has been spot on.”
  • “Thank God I have your (study guide).”
  • I’m feeling very good about it because of your practice exam so I’m really glad I signed up. Your service was a lifesaver. . . Thank you so much again, your help will truly be the reason I pass!

If you’re sitting alongside these people today, best of luck, and I really hope you pass the exam. But if you’re feeling even a little bit unsure of what’s ahead, and your chances tomorrow, please give us a shot.


2019 NFL Agent Exam: Prices and Perspective

It’s Agent Week 2019! If you’re one of those people getting on a plane today, ready to head to Washington, D.C., for the 2019 NFLPA Exam, I know you’re excited, and I bid you safe travels.

Hopefully, you’ve spent the last several weeks preparing for the exam. Maybe you’ve been too busy to do that, and your first exposure to the CBA will take place on the flight in. Either way, you’re probably wondering what it’s going to cost to achieve your dream of becoming a successful NFL agent. In other words, how much money will it take to actually build a network, represent active NFL players, and make money doing it? Here’s a quick overview in round numbers.

  • Let’s say you pass the exam, which we hope you do. It will cost about $5,000 to register for the exam, pay first-year dues, and buy liability insurance. By the time you fly to D.C., pay for a room for a couple days, and eat, you’re looking at another $1,000 or so. Let’s say it’s $6,000 simply to take the exam and become a contract advisor.
  • Depending on where you decide to recruit, it’s going to cost you at least another couple hundred dollars, and more commonly a couple thousand, just to register with the respective states. Of course, you might choose not to register, but if you’re an attorney, you are probably loathe to risk a censure or disciplinary action, so you probably will (and if you’re recruiting Texas, you better). Let’s say $1,000, just to choose a round number, though that’s the floor if you recruit anywhere that has real prospects.
  • Let’s skip to January, and you are fortunate enough to sign 2-3 players that are worthy of the attention of NFL scouts (thought that’s probably a long shot, as a rookie agent). Keep in mind that, in 2019, every player of any import knows his worth. At a minimum, you are looking at $20,000 to train three players. You will spend probably another $3,000 on various expenses related solely to players — buying them a plane flight home mid-training; buying them workout clothes; renting them a car — and that’s a very conservative number. But let’s say $23,000, so we’re at around $30,000.
  • Travel, lodging and food are a big expense when you’re recruiting. Over the course of December, January and February, when you are fighting to sign players, then traveling to all-star games and the combine for the annual seminar, often buying flights late and renting hotel rooms in out-of-the-way places, I’d say you’ll spend another $5,000-$7,000, and again, that’s pretty conservative.
  • You’re going to spend another $2,000 to $3,000 somewhere along the way. Maybe it’s on a draft-day party, a stray rental payment for a player’s girlfriend, tickets to an NBA game, whatever. It adds up.

Bottom line, if you really do this, pursuing legitimate prospects and going for it, you’re looking at around $35,000.

On the other hand, maybe you don’t recruit at all, signing only players that call you. You don’t register in any states, waiting to sign a player late and only registering in the state from which he came. You manage to convince your clients to train at school, or on their own, and they relent because they don’t have any choice. Your clients don’t get into all-star games or the combine, so you don’t have to travel so much. You’re still gonna wind up spending around $7,000-$8,000, even if you go the super-cheap route. And you still get to live your dream. You’re an NFL agent, even if you’re not exactly living large.

This weekend is about realizing a lifelong goal. Be smart about spending your money, but don’t pretend you don’t have to spend any money. That’s one reason we strongly recommend you don’t try to save a couple hundred dollars studying solely on your own, especially when we have proven, reliable materials that will drive up your chance of succeeding Friday. Isn’t it worth it to spend a little more to make sure you pass? We think so.

Of course, whatever you choose, we wish you good luck this weekend, and we look forward to working with you. Welcome to the biz!

2019 NFL Agent Exam: After the Exam

We’ve done a lot of talking about the NFLPA exam which is slated for next week, and, of course, we’ve touted our test materials. However, the exam is just step one in any agent’s career, with many important steps to follow.

While the exam is tough, actually being an agent is tougher. There’s a reason why, by my estimates, only about 10-15 percent of any agent class last five years or more. It’s because so many contract advisors don’t understand what they face entering the league and never adapt to what they should do to make it in the business.

Here’s my advice.

  • Know what success looks like: So, so many agents are rightly excited when they sign their first client. I get it. But honestly, that’s not so hard to do. If you look hard enough, and answer all the calls and emails from desperate draft-eligible players, you’ll sign someone. What most agents don’t realize is that signing the wrong person becomes a real albatross. Just signing someone, at the end of the day, means nothing.
  • Know when to spend money: I’d say spending money poorly is the No. 1 reason why agents fail. So many agents stumble through the fall in Year 1, then, in December or January, spend thousands on training for a player who didn’t get an all-star invite, isn’t going to the combine, and really isn’t a prospect at all.
  • Know when to be an agent, and when to be a human being: One of the classic mistakes many new agents make is that they unwisely think their most important quality is their ability to negotiate, which often pushes them to be skeptical and negative. This is especially true of the young agents who come out of the bigger sport management programs; for four years, they’re given misconceptions about the business. But I digress. The bottom line is, if you’re a first-year, independent agent, you’re going to a gunfight with a pillow. You have no horsepower. Rather than trying to bluff your way to success, or bully people, or whatever, try being fair, professional and friendly. I promise no one will take this as weakness, or at least, more people won’t than will. Plus, you don’t really have any other options. I’ve seen ’em come and I’ve seen ’em go in this business, and more often than not, the know-it-all guys have the least success.

Those are a few quick thoughts. In the meantime, in my humble opinion, spending $29.95/mo to become an ITL subscriber is the best investment a new agent can make, because we can steer new agents through the first-year maze. But first things first. If you’re a new agent, and you’ve been trying to decide whether it’s worth it to pay for study aids, I highly recommend you take a look at what we offer.

Here’s a full explanation of our study guide and both practice exams. If you’re still not sold, at least sign up for our free Friday Wrap, which will give you a much better idea of what we do, and at no cost. Here’s a look at last week’s edition.

2019 NFL Agent Exam: How to Pass

At Inside the League, we get a lot of questions on how you work in football, and particularly, how you become an agent. Obviously, to become an NFLPA-licensed contract advisor, you must first pass a test. This year’s exam will be administered in less than two weeks. So how do you pass the exam? Based on our work with agent hopefuls over the last eight years, here’s what we think.

  • Take the test seriously. Here’s a quote from one of our clients who emailed me immediately after taking it last year: “Like you predicted, there were several people in the lobby (seconds before the exam) seemingly reviewing materials for the first time and highlighting! All I could do was chuckle!” This happens every year, even though there’s a 55 percent chance of failing it. And oh, by the way, don’t misunderstand this tweet and think the passage rate is near 100 percent. The tweet refers to a continuing education exam veteran contract advisors were required to take last year.
  • Know what accrued season, credited season and benefit credit language are. Atlanta-based agent Spencer Charles, who took the exam last summer, called them the “three pillars” that are “indirectly or directly . . . encoded in 60 to 75 percent of the exam.” I think he’s right.
  • Put tabs on your notes, your copy of the CBA, and the ITL study guide (you can buy it here) before you go into the exam. Even though it’s an open-book test, seconds count. Really. You’ll thank me later.
  • Use our materials. I know that sounds like a shameless plug, but I would say this even if they weren’t ours. Read about the successes of our clients, and why our materials are best, in last week’s Friday Wrap, which is here. For about $400 (if you’re not an ITL client), and about $300 (if you are), you can have the best resources on the market to get ready for the test. You’ll need them, and really, why would you take a risk? For more details on what we offer, click here.
  • Read our daily newsletters aimed directly at the people taking the exam this summer. You can start by reading dozens of success stories from last year here. We’ve got a new edition from our series that hits the inboxes of agent hopefuls every morning at 6 a.m. CT, Monday through Thursday. If you order any of our materials, you’ll be added.

We’ll be back this week with more advice, more ideas, and more counsel on the business. In the meantime, if we can be of service, or if you have any questions, be sure to contact us.

2019 NFL Agent Exam: Lessons Learned

Monday, we published the Year 1 fears of several people who’ll be taking the NFLPA exam later this month (July 18, to be exact). It sparked a reaction on Twitter from a veteran contract advisor, with a handful of other agents “liking” his tweet. Members of the NFL business community are passionate about the business; they have to be if they want to succeed in such a competitive environment.

So what were the lessons learned by first-year agents over the past 12 months? We asked several of the clients we worked with this year. Here were some of the lessons they said they learned.

Don’t go in expecting a daily party: “Being an agent is not all glitz and glamour. . .  This is not a job where you are hanging out with players all day, every day,” said Peter Ariz of First-Round Management. Peter was the only rookie agent from 2018 who co-repped a first-rounder, Texans OT Tytus Howard of Alabama State.

Scouts are not your friends: “The difficulty of making connections on the scouting side” is one of the hardest parts of the business according to Austin Pfenninger of Pfenninger Management Group, who had two players sign UDFA deals.

Save money for combine prep: “Have more information on the training process for clients,” cautioned Sean Russi, whose first-year success landed him a role as director of AG Sports. “Training fees can cost around $20,000 for pre-draft training at high-end training facilities.”

Don’t count your chickens . . . . : “Just because you have multiple conversations with potential clients doesn’t guarantee anything,” said Anthony LaRubbio of JL Sports, who had a draftee and two UDFAs in his first year in the biz. “These athletes are 21, 22, 23 years old, and have a lot of people in their ears. Things can change in an instant.”

Film counts, not numbers: “(Don’t) get too bogged down on stats,” said Chad Berger of Enter-Sports. “A player’s film speaks more to NFL decision-makers than what the stats say on paper.”

For more reactions from first-year agents, check out our full spate of interviews here. We wrote extensively about expectations and lessons in last week’s Friday Wrap. You can register for the Friday Wrap — it’s free, and everyone in the football business reads it — here.

Of course, you can’t learn the lessons of being an agent until you are one. The exam is just about two weeks away. If you’re one of those people who’s getting set to take the exam, make sure you check out our study guide and two practice exams, the leading aids on the market. You can read more about them here.



NFL Agent Exam 2019: What Do Agent Hopefuls Fear Most?

The 2019 NFLPA Contract Advisors exam is less than three weeks away, and we’re hard at work helping dozens of would-be agents get ready for a pretty challenging test by using our exam prep materials. Still, the exam itself is just the first challenge our clients face.

We do extensive interviews with the rookie agents we worked with to find out what they learned from Year 1. However, this year, we decided to look at the issue from the other side, so we asked several prospective 2019 agents this question: What do you expect will be your biggest obstacle in Year 1? What do you see as the greatest hurdle you will face as a rookie agent, presuming you pass the exam?

This is actually a continuation of the report we filed in last week’s Friday Wrap; you can read it here. But because there were so many responses with different points, we thought we’d include a selection of them here:

  • “Transferring all the new information from knowledge to experience (will be the biggest obstacle). It’s never as black and white as it is on paper. (Also,) being a woman entering into a male-dominated industry (and) going at it without a big brand name machine to rely on. But I am a former hurdler, and I always ran strong races and pulled off upsets. I’m prepared for this hurdle race, too.”
  • “I appreciate that representing players in the NFL is a complex and nuanced endeavor. It will take time for me to recognize and understand much of the intricacy involved in the business.  There is no substitute for experience, so patience and diligence will be key for me. . . I anticipate that it will be challenging to begin the process of developing a rapport with team representatives, players and other agents that will be essential for me to attract and effectively represent players. In addition to continuing to learn the business, I will immediately begin initiating and fostering relationships.”
  • “From what I understand, (1) a majority of the players are represented by a select few agents or agencies, and (2) many players’ first question when you approach them is, ‘who else do you represent?’ Having said that, I believe the greatest hurdle is going to be procuring my first client. I am likely going to have to find a player who is willing to take chance on a rookie agent, or I will have to find a ‘diamond in the rough’ . . . and find a player who is under the radar and doesn’t have the big agents recruiting him.”
  • “I think the biggest obstacle in Year 1 will be learning the process: getting to different universities, meeting with clients, which events to attend, and putting that all together to maximize your impact and gain new clients.  Presuming I pass the exam, I see the greatest hurdle as a rookie free agent is gaining client #1 (and) building trust and rapport for that initial person to take a chance on a rookie agent.”
  • “I believe that the biggest hurdle I will face is being a first-year agent trying to attract quality clients without representing anyone currently. We are in a time where people are sold on what you have already accomplished, so the ice-breaker is being able to establish that connection and prove my competency.”
  • “The biggest obstacle will be connecting with an agency or getting my first initial client. (The) greatest hurdle will be the cost factor down the line when it comes to the clients training.”
  • “I think the biggest obstacle is going to be breaking into an area that is top-heavy.  In other words, there are a handful of agencies that represent a majority of the available players; at least, that is my perception. While there are still clients to be had, I think it is going to be challenging to establish those connections and relationships in order to position myself to land my first client. Although I have a football background, athlete representation will be new to me, so it will take some work to establish credibility once those connections and relationships are established.”
  • “(The biggest obstacle will be) answering the question from prospective clients, who you got? (Also,) funding.”
  • “I think it would be expected for me to say being a female agent would be an obstacle, but I don’t see that as an obstacle whatsoever (even though the number of female agents have decreased). I personally think my biggest obstacle will be something I can’t pinpoint right now, but probably something that catches me off guard. I’ve been lucky to have some really great NFL agent mentors/friends who’ve given me their ‘rookie’ stories (the good and the bad) so I feel pretty confident. I will say, most likely, spending a lot of time recruiting a player for them to go a different direction probably will be one of those ‘unexpected hurdles’ I encounter that hits me a certain way Year 1.”

We’ll continue to look at the 2019 NFL agent exam from all angles this week, so stay tuned.

Sports Tech with Ric Serritella: The NFL Gets Ready for Augmented Reality

Succeed In Football is dedicated to keeping you informed with the latest gridiron trends and technology. Be sure to check back periodically for new updates and stay ahead of your competition!

The OneTeam Collective is the sports industry’s first athlete-driven business accelerator for innovative companies seeking to incorporate sports strategies to drive growth. Launched in December of 2016, the organization consists of the NFLPA, BlackRock, Harvard Innovation Lab, Intel Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, CSM LeadDog, Madrona Venture Group and Sports Innovation Lab.

Since then, OneTeam Collective has invested in companies featuring blockchain, wearables, voice recognition, digital media, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, health and wellness, active gaming and live video streaming. Many of these industries were highlighted in our column last week, when we discussed some of the hot technology that has NFL players buzzing.

Today, we examine the latest strategic investment by OneTeam Collective, which includes a partnership with ByteCubed Labs, an advanced technology product development startup that combines data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented/mixed reality to change the way fans interact with sports.

Just seven months old, ByteCubed Labs made waves with its initial launch of PRE-GAME PREP, the world’s first holographic training platform for football, attracting clients from both college and NFL teams.

The joint venture between OneTeam Collective and ByteCubed Labs will focus on bridging the gap between players and fans, utilizing content and data-driven products, as they plan to create distribution channels and engagement models for new forms of fan-player interaction, as well as transforming athletic training across all elements of game-day preparation.

One of their featured products under development includes a mixed reality and fan interaction platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI), which they claim will be a first in sports. Fans will get a glimpse of similar technology this weekend in a PPV broadcast dubbed, “40 Yards of Gold,” which plans to crown the NFL’s fastest man. Athletes will appear to run over futuristic platforms thanks to projection-mapping technology.

“Developing cutting-edge, player-driven fan experiences is what really excites us about this collaboration,” NFLPA President Eric Winston was quoted in the press release. “ByteCubed Lab’s approach to content through the use of mixed reality and artificial intelligence could be a game changer as it relates to fan engagement.”

As social media continues to evolve, the way we watch sporting events continues to change, and the way we view an NFL game could look completely different from today’s viewing experience, thanks to technology.

This could mean a viewing experience would include:

  • An arena filled with cheering Disney characters rather than fans
  • The end zone catching fire as a rusher crosses the goal line
  • A receiver’s uniform to change color, along with the cornerback defending him, to spotlight the pending catch
  • A Steelers home game against the Bengals that looks like it’s being played in Paul Brown Stadium
  • The odds of converting on a third-down play printed on the field depending on where it’s thrown, or the direction of the rush
  • A quarterback that appears to throw a Big Mac to a hungry tight end, rather than a football

The possibilities are endless, and not always pretty.

For those interested in learning more about how augmented and virtual realities work, the history of the technology behind it and what lies ahead in the future, here is a recommended article.

In order to Succeed In Football, you need to have a competitive edge. Visit our premium website, InsideTheLeague.com, for insider information in the football community and more ways to get ahead! You can also register for our weekly look at the pro and college football business community, the Friday Wrap, here.


Sports Tech With Ric Serritella: Not A Businessman but A Business, Man

Stay on top of hot topics and latest trends in Sports Tech with Ric Serritella of the NFL Draft Bible…

We’ve all heard the term “locker room talk,” but what exactly do players discuss amongst themselves when hanging in the locker room? One topic that has become prominent amongst players is entrepreneurship.

When a player is chosen in the NFL Draft, not only is he rewarded with a lucrative professional contract, but he’s also suddenly inundated with an abundance of business opportunities; the same is true when he signs a mega-dollars deal in free agency. A smart investment can reap a handsome return on investment (ROI), but a poor business decision could be costly and, as we’ve seen far too often, can even bankrupt athletes.

Several weeks ago, we highlighted some of the premier sports tech events occurring this summer, including the 49ers/SportTechie NEXT at Levi’s Stadium earlier this month. The event highlighted several interesting topics, including the attitude a player has towards his involvement with a product. Athletes no longer just want to slap their names on items. Instead, they want to be influencers, want to be part of the ‘creative’ process, want to have a say in how the message is delivered, and/or want to be rewarded with a piece of ownership.

Much of the locker room chatter these days revolves around what to invest in, how the process of investing works, and who to trust. So what are some of the hot topic industries that have players’ buzzing? One popular topic is CBD products such as water and supplements. Others are curious to see how the legalized sports gambling landscape shakes out, while some have invested in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Having stock in some of these businesses could be risky and deemed controversial by ‘The Shield.’ Hence, players must be well-informed and educated in order to make the right decisions. With so much new technology emerging, it can be difficult to decipher the difference between the next big, lucrative opportunity or an overhyped, new technology that fails to deliver.

Casey Schwab knows a little about that topic. The 49ers/SportTechie NEXT event featured Schwab, who serves as Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at NFL Players Inc., among its panelists. Schwab told a story of the time when the licensing arm of the NFLPA was offered a business proposition: forego its traditional player licensing fees in exchange for capital in Bitstrips, the parent company of the Bitmoji app. The NFLPA declined and, two years later, in March of 2016, Bitstrips was acquired by Snap for $115 million.

Some of the most successful athletes (Derek Jeter, LeBron James, etc.) made or make more money from their business ventures than from the teams that employ them. They have provided a model for what every pro player should aspire to be.

*Want to Succeed In Football? Looking for an edge to get ahead? Check out our premium service at www.InsideTheLeague.com, which is geared toward guiding agents, trainers and football industry professionals in achieving their business goals. 


Ask the Scouts: Are TV Draft Gurus Legitimate GM/Front Office Candidates?

If you follow the NFL scouting profession — and maybe even if you don’t — you’ve noticed that more and more often, NFL teams are looking to the broadcast booth to find their GM and executive candidates. As you might expect, this has not gone unnoticed in scouting circles.

We thought we’d ask some of our friends in the scouting community what they thought about this. We posed this question: What are your thoughts on McShay, Jeremiah, Mayock, getting NFL jobs or consideration for them? Net positive (brings attention to scouting, which might improve pay/conditions) or net negative (people w/yrs of scouting/dues-paying getting overlooked)?

We got 12 responses, and some of them were pretty positive. Here’s a sampling:

  • “The scouting community has changed over the past five years. New/younger owners and new/younger GM’s have depleted front offices of experienced scouts and hired brand-new-out-of-college ‘information-gatherers.’ This has dropped salaries of scouts tremendously. Assistant coaches in the NFL have seen a 400% salary increase in the past 20 years, whereas scouting salaries have stayed the same with experienced scouts but dropped overall because of the high amount of young inexperienced personnel. Adding GMs with zero NFL front office experience but just TV doesn’t help this new model, but only hurts the overall product. Daniel Jeremiah and Louis Riddick are different because each have a lot of experience in NFL front offices.” 
  • “I really don’t see any big problem with it, if they convince an owner they are qualified. I think (the) biggest concern would be “boots on the ground” time at schools — all the contacts and little day-to-day items that scouts do. But then again, for the roles they are up for (director level), that’s not as important. Hell, some of the names who are scouts that get interviewed aren’t qualified, and we’ve seen some colossal flame-outs as well.”
  • “I see it like Hollywood going to war. No more rubber bullets (fans and viewers). Now the bullets are real (owners). (Former Lions GM) Matt Millen might could answer the question from similar experience!”
  • “In the end, I would like to think that there are worthy candidates already in the profession, but that being said, being a scout doesn’t necessarily prepare you for leading people or an organization.  Oftentimes the clubs want a smooth, media-friendly guy to be the face and those guys have that.  I would think the hard thing is the learning curve…you only have 2 or at most 3 years to get it right so learning on the job is a hard ask.”
  • “There are others that have been promoted to GM positions that have been shockers, either because their agent has strong influence, or the media has them as the next up-and-coming person because that individual has struck up a personal relationship with the media and being pushed. I question the owners’ ability to make consistent informed decisions, but that is just me. What would be interesting is to see how much the turnover has been in GM positions in the last 20 years.  The age of GMs getting the position and age they are getting fired. The owners have put in their rule that you must have permission to interview to move up except for the GM position which keeps very capable individuals stuck without the ability to better their lives just so they can save money yet from what I see lately are guys unqualified getting the jobs and fired early, which costs the owners more in the long run. More, as in the millions.”

Naturally, not everyone saw the bright side of the broadcasters-to-scouts trend. Some were outraged, while some were more nuanced. You can read their responses in today’s Friday Wrap, which comes out in less than three hours. The Wrap is our weekly review of the pro and college business, and it comes out at 7:30 p.m. ET every Friday. You can check out last week’s edition here, and you can register for it here.

We hope you can join us. You won’t regret it.


Do Head Coaches Have All The Power in Today’s NFL?

The Texans’ dismissal of Brian Gaine as GM last week was part of a trend, but probably not a trend anyone is discussing much these days. I think Gaine’s exit is the latest confirmation that the center of power has changed from the general manager to the head coach, especially in the last 2-3 years. Consider:

  • The Bills gave first-time head coach Sean McDermott almost complete control of decision-making after the team cleaned house in the scouting department in April 2017, just four months after hiring him.
  • Similarly, just a few months after hiring Adam Gase as head coach, the Jets allowed Gase to force out GM Mike Maccagnan and bring in a GM with which he is far more comfortable, Joe Douglas.
  • The Panthers and the Chiefs — two teams with tenured, established head coaches — each fired respected GMs in the summer of 2017, a previously unheard-of move with training camp just weeks away.
  • The Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury, who had been fired at Texas Tech, as their new head coach though he had no previous NFL experience. Then they spent the No. 1 pick on his guy, a player that the team will have to completely reshape their offense to fit and dumped last year’s first-round QB.
  • In New Orleans, GM Mickey Loomis doesn’t even spend all his time on the Saints, as he also has a leadership role with the NBA Pelicans. Most of his duties are business- and cap-related, anyway.
  • Though Falcons Assistant GM Scott Pioli left on his own terms after the draft, his departure gives head coach Dan Quinn a much stronger hand in the organization’s direction.

That’s eight teams (Bills, Cardinals, Chiefs, Falcons, Jets, Panthers, Saints and Texans) that have acted decisively to hand the iron in the organization to the head coach, or that have a structure that doesn’t put the locus of strength in the front office. You can expect other teams to copy them, given that five of those eight teams have been in the playoffs at least once since 2017.

Reasons for this are multiple.

  • The real innovation in football is taking place at the college level offensively. NFL teams are doing what they have to do to find college coaches that can bring in new ideas.
  • Today’s NFL rules strongly favor the offense, so you better have a head coach that can take advantage of that. If that means increasing his authority, you have to do it.
  • NFL coaches pay is skyrocketing. It’s not nearly as easy to just dump a coach and eat his salary as it used to be.

So what does this mean for scouts? It’s probably not good news. The GM is to scouts as the head coach is to assistant coaches, which means evaluators are probably not gaining in influence. It also means teams are likely to lean more on their coaches for draft decisions. This doesn’t say good things for where scout pay is headed.

Does this topic interest you? Would you like to read more about how NFL front offices are structured, where teams are looking for new coaches and GMs, what kinds of ideas are taking hold in NFL war rooms, and other such subjects, make sure to register for our free newsletter, the Friday Wrap. It’s a weekly recap of the business of football. If you enjoyed this post, I think you’ll like the Friday Wrap even more. Register here.