When I was a kid, one of the games our teachers would have us play was musical chairs. I don’t know if kids still play it or not, but if you’re a good bit younger than I, it involved children marching around a group of chairs that was one fewer than the number of children participating. When the music stopped, the one left without a chair had to depart from the group. Chairs would be successively taken away as the game proceeded until there was just one child seated.
In a way, we’re in a ‘musical chairs’ situation if you’re an NFLPA-certified contract advisor in mid-January. At this point. the number of legitimate unsigned NFL prospects is dwindling. Hey, the number of unsigned players of almost any skill level is dwindling.
There are a lot of reasons why you might have reached Jan. 15 without a client. Maybe you chose to take the year ‘off’ because the NFLPA gives new agents their exam results so late in the year. Maybe you trusted schools’ compliance departments when they told you players couldn’t speak to agents until their seasons had concluded (then you were thoroughly confused when all the top players signed immediately following their bowl games). Maybe you gave recruiting a real shot, but whiffed on all your clients, or found out that they all had exorbitant training demands. Maybe the kid you coached in Pop Warner was the only reason you got certified, and he decided to go with a veteran agent despite your relationship with him.
As you may know if you follow this blog — and most certainly know if you are an ITL client — I see the agent business as one of the strongest learn-by-doing experiences anywhere. No matter who you sign or how good their chances of making an NFL camp are, I think you’re making a big mistake if you don’t at least sign one player in your ‘rookie’ year as a contract advisor.
If you have a senior agent you’re buddies with, or some other person you trust who knows the ropes, reach out to him and find out where to go to find players with possibilities. Believe it or not, there are a few still out there. And if you need ideas on strategies for finding these players, I’d love if if you’d consider us. We’d love to help.