Monday, we published the Year 1 fears of several people who’ll be taking the NFLPA exam later this month (July 18, to be exact). It sparked a reaction on Twitter from a veteran contract advisor, with a handful of other agents “liking” his tweet. Members of the NFL business community are passionate about the business; they have to be if they want to succeed in such a competitive environment.
So what were the lessons learned by first-year agents over the past 12 months? We asked several of the clients we worked with this year. Here were some of the lessons they said they learned.
Don’t go in expecting a daily party: “Being an agent is not all glitz and glamour. . . This is not a job where you are hanging out with players all day, every day,” said Peter Ariz of First-Round Management. Peter was the only rookie agent from 2018 who co-repped a first-rounder, Texans OT Tytus Howard of Alabama State.
Scouts are not your friends: “The difficulty of making connections on the scouting side” is one of the hardest parts of the business according to Austin Pfenninger of Pfenninger Management Group, who had two players sign UDFA deals.
Save money for combine prep: “Have more information on the training process for clients,” cautioned Sean Russi, whose first-year success landed him a role as director of AG Sports. “Training fees can cost around $20,000 for pre-draft training at high-end training facilities.”
Don’t count your chickens . . . . : “Just because you have multiple conversations with potential clients doesn’t guarantee anything,” said Anthony LaRubbio of JL Sports, who had a draftee and two UDFAs in his first year in the biz. “These athletes are 21, 22, 23 years old, and have a lot of people in their ears. Things can change in an instant.”
Film counts, not numbers: “(Don’t) get too bogged down on stats,” said Chad Berger of Enter-Sports. “A player’s film speaks more to NFL decision-makers than what the stats say on paper.”
For more reactions from first-year agents, check out our full spate of interviews here. We wrote extensively about expectations and lessons in last week’s Friday Wrap. You can register for the Friday Wrap — it’s free, and everyone in the football business reads it — here.
Of course, you can’t learn the lessons of being an agent until you are one. The exam is just about two weeks away. If you’re one of those people who’s getting set to take the exam, make sure you check out our study guide and two practice exams, the leading aids on the market. You can read more about them here.