Here are five reasons why this is the time of year to get excited about the business of football if you’re in the biz already, or aspire to be someday.
1. College recruiting is heating up: Many of the bigger agencies don’t get started talking to players in earnest until October, and sometimes even November and December. I know that goes against the grain of common belief, but it’s true. I’ve had representatives of several bigger firms asking pointed questions about players in the ’15 draft in the past week-and-a-half. It’s pretty clear they’re just getting started.
2. Trade deadline is this week: Football is way less exciting than baseball when it comes to the trade deadline, but every once in a while a legitimate player gets swapped. Will this be the year? We’ll know by close of business Tuesday.
3. New agent class is being published: As we’ve detailed in this space as well as our Twitter page, the contract advisors who passed the CBA exam this summer are being rolled out on the NFLPA’s website. At the same time, agents who’ve decided enough is enough are being pulled from the site. The entire new class has not been posted yet, and I know of several agents whose names are still posted though they didn’t pay their dues. But changes are coming.
4. NFL dreams get real: As I’ve chronicled in this space, over the last week I’ve begun to speak to several parents about how their sons can improve their NFL chances. In fact, I’m supposed to get a call from a parent in just a few minutes. That’s really common this time of year. I rarely, if ever, get these calls before October 1, and the lion’s share come in after Halloween.
5. Speculation about the No. 1 pick ramps up: As someone who tries to watch NFL draft buzz objectively, it’s always fascinating to see what player (usually a quarterback) the media appoints as the no-doubt top pick next spring. In the late fall of 2011 it was Matt Barkley (presuming he left after his junior year). In 2005, it was Matt Leinart of USC. Go back to 2008 and it was Brian Brohm of Louisville, and a year before, most tabbed Notre Dame’s Brady Quinn. Just last year, the lock was Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater. As we know now, none of them was No. 1 overall, and most went toward the end of Round 1. Some (Barkley and Brohm) didn’t even go in the first round. Talk is cheap, especially talk about the NFL draft.