Today, former NFL scout Ken Moll gives his thoughts on the do’s and don’ts of selecting a contract advisor.
The sports agent industry is like any other in that you’ll have a wide range of really good and really poor characters that could be representing an athlete. I know agents can be, at times, a pain in the butt to scouts, but a lot of players and their parents will be facing agent decisions in the coming weeks.
It has always been my belief that a player should be very clear-headed when choosing someone to be his agent. First and foremost, consult with people (parents, coaches, friends, etc.) you trust. Lean on people that love you and have your best interest at heart. Block out the noise and research a particular sports agency and a specific agent you might be considering. Some players have more resources (contacts within the industry) but others may be starting from scratch.
I would not necessarily say the highest-profile firm (or agent) is the best choice for every player. The highest-graded players will likely be “slotted” by position within the draft process, but it’s those players that aren’t as highly graded that could benefit most from good representation. If it were my own son, I would want to look for certain qualities when securing an agent’s services. First and foremost, can I trust him (or her) to have my best interest in mind? Can I trust them to represent me with the integrity and professionalism that I expect?
They also must be good with lines of communication. When I need something (information, clarification or just want to get feedback) will they make me a priority? Can I trust them to tell me the good and the bad and be honest about where I fit in regards to possible draft status?
I would also want a person that makes my son feel comfortable. Can my son or I voice concerns with this person? It’s nice to have a good relationship with your agent but it doesn’t necessarily need to be buddy-buddy.
Obviously being able to negotiate contracts effectively is also important. And finally, having contacts within the industry is important if a player isn’t drafted and wants to be considered as a free agent or the possibility of hooking on with a CFL team.
At the end of the day, finding a good agent is almost like finding a good mechanic. You have to start with trust and competency and go from there.