Today, if last year is any comparison, the people who took the NFL agent exam in July will find out if they passed or failed. While almost half of those who took the exam will get good news, many others won’t. Still, given the odds of achieving real success in the business, maybe those who don’t make the cut are the real winners.

Consider the following grid. We went back to the first contract advisor class certified by the NFLPA under the new CBA, negotiated in 2011. What we found is that those who aspire to be the next Rosenhaus, Segal or Condon have a pretty tall mountain to climb.

’12 ’13 ’14 ’15 ’16 ’17 ’18
Original total certified 133 182 176 75 99 109 91
Still certified (Aug. ’19) 50 68 73 32 64 91 86
Percent still certified (Aug. ’19) 37.5 37.4 41.5 42.7 64.6 83.5 94.5
Min. 10 active clients (Aug. ’19) 4 13 10 5 1 0 1
Percent w/10 active (Aug. ’19) 3 7.1 5.7 6.7 1 0 1.1

It should be noted that the agent exam became sharply harder in 2015, which explains how the number of contract advisors certified dropped from 176 in 2014 to just 75, at least by our totals, in 2015. It’s also worth noting that the three-year rule (which is explained in the body of this article) apparently cuts class size by about 20 percent if the 22-point drop between 2016 (which has not yet faced the three-year cutdown) and 2015 (which has) is any indication.

This grid caps a week of surveying the industry, looking at who’s having success and who isn’t, and considering the challenges that face the business. In the last seven days, on our flagship site, we posted a list of every contract advisor with at least 10 active clients as of this month (and included each agent’s firm and certification year, for the first time); took a look at all 12 players who made agent changes in the June-to-July time frame (including one player who’s been represented by three firms though he’s only played 28 games since being drafted in 2015); and also listed the 21 who made changes during the July-to-August term. Apparently, they were the procrastinators who wanted to put off hard business until immediately before camps started.

We’ll be making observations and digging into these numbers (and much more) in today’s Friday Wrap. As you know, it’s a weekly overview of the football business that goes out to about 5,000 people across the industry every week, and of course, it’s free. Here’s a look at last week’s edition.

If you’d like to register for the Wrap, do it here.