With the results of this summer’s NFLPA contract advisors exam disseminated, dues paid and liability insurance policies purchased, the Players Association is slowly adding the names of newly minted contract advisors to its website. That means about 100 people being added to the NFL agent ranks are asking, what do I do now?

We field a lot of those questions. In fact, we’ve been answering them for our subscribers over the past two weeks with Monday emails. Here’s one from Sept. 30, in which we discuss the benefits and challenges of trying to join a big firm. Last Monday, we discussed how to get started on recruiting, and this Monday, we’ll talk about the practice of representing college and NFL coaches.

Today, we’re answering another one. One question we always get from new agents is how they can find out who to recruit. The bigger question is, how do they approach scouts to locate the sleepers that they have a shot at singing? With that in mind, we decided to pose this question to new agents: How long did it take you to develop relationships with scouts? How long was it before you could ask scouts questions about players and expect a reasonably timely, reasonably candid response?

Here are some of the responses we got back:

  • “Completely random scouts? I’d say my first draft cycle. I had (a big-school client) go to the combine, so some scouts reached out, and then I was able to create a friendship with them. It was really a year-by-year process . . . You can go up to random scouts at all-star games and introduce yourself and push your guy, but the chances of them ever picking up your call or answering your texts in a timely fashion after that on a consistent basis is slim. . . I’d be lying if I said I didn’t make new connections with scouts every single year, and I don’t see that really changing, especially with all the turnover in scouting departments today.”
  • “Like 3-4 years. They don’t tell you (anything) until they know you are legit and get quality clients.”
  • “My feel personally is . . . whatever time it takes to sign a couple guys that the scouting community realizes, ‘OK, you’ve got a little feel for what you’re doing, a little credibility, and it’s worth me having a conversation about who you’re looking at, who you might be recruiting, who you’re close to signing’ . . . you can almost always get a brief conversation rolling with a scout at some point.”
  • “I had one or two my first year that were nice enough to talk to me, but the network of scouts I talk to now has taken me years to develop.”

These aren’t the only responses we got. In fact, one of our friends in the agent community used the question to discuss a significant (and costly) way he’s seen new contract advisors be exploited by opportunistic scouts.

You won’t want to miss their comments, and you don’t have to if you register for our weekly Friday Wrap. You probably already have, but just in case you haven’t, now’s your chance to sign up. You’ll be among 5,000 people across the football industry who receive our review of the week in the game as it pertains to the business. If you haven’t already, please join us.

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