After wrapping up a whirlwind trip through four towns and four bowls in four weeks, it’s good to be home, sleeping in my bed for a while before heading to Indy for the combine.
It’s always great to get out on the road and see ‘my peeps,’ but this year I used the time to pose a question to all my experienced agent clients, the ones that are consistently signing draftable players and have an active player list of 10-20. I felt this question would be perfect for this space as well as an interesting marker to review in the future.
The question: You’re signing a player who will be drafted, you’re certain, most likely in the seventh round. What do you offer him? What’s it gonna take?
The thought process behind this question was that most players who go into December looking like seventh-rounders wind up — after juniors declare/combine/pro day/etc. — as good, solid camp guys after the draft. So what I was really asking was, what does it cost just to get a guy into camp on the 90-man roster? What’s the financial ‘floor’ if you want to get a player signed and into camp?
The answer I got was full combine training for eight weeks plus a weekly stipend starting the day the player signs the SRA (standard representation agreement). A training package includes residence, of course, along with food (not McDonald’s — usually meals prepared specifically for the player by someone at his training facility or a third-party provider hired by the trainer) and usually a rental car. Training alone, provided the young man isn’t living at home and isn’t providing his own means and supplements, is probably $6,000-$7,000 if you use our turn-key training offer, maybe more depending on the location of the training and if it’s a big-name trainer. There are a number of variables here. All trainers offer a number of a la carte features (NFL interview training, deep tissue massage and position-specific training are all good examples) that can bump that number up considerably. Also keep in mind that training at a top-level, brand name facility is at least double this total.
The weekly stipend/per diem you’re looking at is anywhere from $200-$250 per week. The variable there is, when does it end? Some agents said the deal they work is that they pay the player through his pro day. Some go all the way to the draft. Some pay only through March.
So let’s do the math. If we take the midpoint on a comprehensive training package at a solid-but-not-big-name training facility, let’s say the total is $7,000. Then let’s say the player signs on Jan. 1, which isn’t unreasonable. We’ll take the high side on weekly stipend, just to make the math easy, and we’ll pay the player through the end of March. That means you’re looking at $10,000 for every player you sign, and again, that’s the floor.
Most mid-size agencies sign 3-5 players for the draft, hoping half of them stick or get drafted late. Let’s go high side on this. That means you’re probably spending in the neighborhood of $50,000 to get 1-3 players into camp with no guarantees.
The deadline for registering to be part of the 2015 NFLPA contract advisor class is about a week away. If you’re considering taking the CBA exam, consider these numbers this weekend.