This week is a big one for about 250 people aspiring to enter the football business. The NFLPA holds its annual exam for prospective contract advisors in Washington, D.C. on Friday after a seminar that runs all day Thursday and Friday morning (the test is Friday afternoon). It’s the only time all year that the players association administers the test, so it’s now-or-never time for all the would-be agents looking to get a piece of the NFL action.
Friday’s exam will be open-book, made up of 60 questions with a three-hour time limit. The test gets curved, and though it’s all multiple choice and true-false, it takes almost two months for the NFLPA to get results of the test to participants. Attorneys seem to do well on it; it’s written by lawyers, and tends to favor legal-speak, making it a little easier for those who’ve taken the bar. That’s one reason why there’s a reasonably high pass rate. The lion’s share of test-takers are attorneys or people with legal backgrounds.
What kinds of attorneys tend to register for the test? They come from a wide spectrum. Every year, I talk to a young person who took the bar a month before taking the NFLPA exam. Sometimes, they’re taking it just days after taking the agent test; lots of young people go to law school expressly to become agents, so the bar exam almost becomes secondary. Often, it’s an attorney who gets interested in the profession after doing work with a company that is peripherally involved with the NFL. Maybe it’s a legal professional who has a family friend who’s a hot prospect for the next NFL draft. Very often, it’s an established attorney with a thriving practice who’s just bored.
Probably 10 percent of the people taking the test will be from established agencies; Relativity Sports, CAA, Rosenhaus Sports, Impact Sports and Roc Nation are big-name firms that will be sending representatives to sit for the exam this week. There will also be a generous number of recruiters — also known as runners — who have worked with such firms but who are now going it on their own. Often, when this latter group mixes with a green, unknowing (and well-funded) attorney, partnerships develop. We’ll address this later in the week.
We touch down in D.C. Wednesday. It should be a fun and interesting week with plenty of good stuff to talk about. Stay tuned.