If you’re an agent, you’ve probably been fielding quite a few calls the last few days. You’ve probably heard a lot of stories, too, tales of woe designed to get you fired up about the chances of a player who could be the Kurt Warner of the FXFL.
This is part of the business. Typically, phones light up with cold-calling players in December and January, but there’s a new wave this year due to the upstart FXFL, which aims to be a developmental league for the NFL. That means every kid who got cut last weekend, along with virtually every other young man who aspired to be in the league the last 2-3 years, is running down the list of certified agents on the NFLPA website and making calls.
When most agents enter the business, they have very little understanding of what it means to have your name associated with arguably the hottest brand in professional sports. Agents are seen by players as the gatekeepers to the NFL, as well as the guys who are willing to drop lots of money to get a player into the league. These are both misconceptions, but try telling that to players who are looking for any kind of edge.
They also might not realize that their phone numbers are listed and easily accessible by anyone willing to register on the NFLPA website. It’s a free registration, and anyone with an email address can have at it. At least it’s not the CFL; up north, the CFLPA lists agents’ phone numbers AND email addresses. It just makes the flood of players seeking help even worse.
If they aren’t careful, many contract advisors fall for the stories players tell them, and might even go to bat with the FXFL trying to get a spot on a roster. In truly desperate times, that agent might even buy the kid a plane ticket to get him to the team. The smart ones, however, recognize that players ‘on the street’ right now are there for a reason (see Thursday’s post), and remain very circumspect about how they spend not just their money, but their time.