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On Tuesday, we dug in a bit on an overview of the job of NFL contract advisor. Today, we’ll talk a bit more about the finances of things, since they often come up when I talk to someone considering the business.

As we’ve already covered, your start-up costs, just for the purposes of registering with the NFLPA so you can take the exam, are about $5000, presuming you pass. Still, in a way, that’s just the start of expenses. Of course, there are a lot of variables that determine what your budget should be. The two biggest are recruiting and training.

Within recruiting, there are a couple of questions an agent has to ask himself. First, where will I recruit? If an agent seeks to recruit nationally — and I always encourage new contract advisors not to do this — he’s got lots of costs ahead. For example, to register in Texas, my home state, you’re looking at a $500 registration fee plus a $50,000 surety bond, which costs $1,000 and doesn’t translate to other states. More and more states are requiring such bonds on top of their registration fees. Texas is on the high end when it comes to costs, but still, there are plenty of states that have talented athletes (especially in the Southeast). If you want to do this legally and ethically, it will cost you. Let’s say you register in the 3-4 states closest to you. You’re probably looking at a couple thousand dollars, just to be safe.

Then there’s travel. If you participate in agent days at NCAA schools, you’ll spend a fair amount of time traveling to schools in the summer, and depending on where you live, each trip might represent a plane ride and a hotel stay (and maybe a rental car). As you move into the season, you may or may not have a lot of travel (depending on whether or not you want to attend games regularly), but as you move into November and December, you will most certainly be required to sit down at a kitchen table with parents and players to state your case. Depending on how many players you’re courting, that adds up, too. Let’s say you make it to the finals with five kids, and spend $500 per player, on average, on lodging and travel. That’s another $2500.

At this point, an agent is near spending $10,000, and he doesn’t even have a client on SRA yet. We’ll roll out the expenses of combine prep as we continue the discussion this week.