As you may have read yesterday, the NFLPA-certified contract advisors we spoke to are not excited that standard representation agreements (SRAs) will now default to 1.5 percent, requiring agents to persuade their clients to pay 3 percent.
ITL’s Mark Skol got plenty more opinions from a wide range of agents, big and small, so we thought we’d pass along a few more.
- “Obviously, we now have to have more conversation with players. The bigger issue is that the culture, from both veteran players and the union, is against agents. So, beyond the initial fees, young players are coming into the league and getting poisoned by just a few people about the agent industry overall. It will drive out small agents as well as seasoned agents who are going to quickly tire of the attitude against them. Most people in life appreciate when someone works hard for them. Unfortunately, more and more players are displaying a total lack of appreciation, not only for the hard work, but for the expertise of seasoned agents. It takes many years to build up the relationships needed to affect a player’s career, and more than ever, this has been totally devalued. Additionally, baseball agents have their fees capped at 5 percent and basketball agents have their fees capped at 4 percent. There is no way a good football agent is worth less than a third of a baseball agent and less than half of a basketball agent. We are working through (how we’ll deal with the new SRA) at our firm and not 100 percent sure how we will handle it at this time. Most likely, we will have to sign more players, thus providing less time for the current ones. We would rather not do that, but are being forced to by ignorance and ungrateful people. As a side note, sadly, the vast majority of players are thankful and see the value, but are being drowned out by a few loud ones.”
- “The real issue isn’t the new SRA. We all know the lowering of agencies is coming with the NFLPA trying to get rid of all agents in general. That’s the main issue. The SRA, and I hate to be frank, but most football players and parents are (greedy). It’s the most money to pay the least money. The NFLPA says we have to convince the player why we need 3 percent, which really shouldn’t be that difficult for agents who do more than just negotiate contracts. The effect it will have is it will allow the larger agencies who only charge 1 and 2 percent anyway to convince players to not even consider small agents who need the three percent to function. Another issue would be it will take other agents out because they can’t afford to pay for training if a player is on the 1.5 percent. That makes it so certain agents can only sign certain players. That’s the way the NFLPA wants it, anyway. The NFLPA has been trying to run agents out of the business for the last couple of years and I think that is there goal. They want to do it but the players aren’t smart enough to realize it will hurt them. I will continue to do what I do anyway. I don’t buy players, so I will continue to lay out everything that I do for players, and that is worth 3 percent. Most other agents make you sign with them, sign with a business manager, sign with a travel guy, sign with a marketer, and you’ll end up paying 6-8 percent total because they want to charge more than 2 percent, but they’ll make their money back on the back end anyway. My approach is simple: you sign with me or you don’t.”
- “It’s a hard question because at this point you don’t know what the SRA looks like. . . . If you read the quote from (NFLPA President) Eric Winston yesterday he said the SRA is being reviewed by labor lawyers, so to say whether or not its been approved and when it’s coming out, I don’t think it would be fair for me to answer the question because I haven’t read anything on the SRA. (News reports have) said the default is 1.5 percent, and if I’m correct on the old SRA, it was 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3 percent. I think it’s the same thing, only thing is you have to state your case as to why you are charging 3 percent. They are not saying you have to charge a specific rate; you just have to state your case. You aren’t seeing too many people talk about this because it’s not set in stone that you have to charge 1.5 percent. It’s just explaining your position as to why you are charging three percent. I (will) have an addendum listing of everything that I do as an agent. I talked to my partner who is a lawyer and we both feel the same way. If you list the things you do as an agent, no player should have a question on what you do for them.”