You might have already participated in the poll we posted on Twitter Wednesday comparing the jobs of NFL agent and NFL scout, and asking which one is tougher. You might even feel convicted on your choice. However — and especially if you chose the scout as having it tougher — you might consider what actual NFL evaluators say.
Here’s the question I posed several NFL scouts: All things considered, based on your experience, do you think scouts or agents have it better? Which job is harder and offers more uncertainty, in your opinion?
Here are their responses.
- “Agents do. They lack the ground work intel and the experience to appraise the value of the player, unless it is a big firm with large resources.”
- “Agents have it better these days. Scouts make less and have less input than they have had on who gets selected. More information-gatherers now. Scouts also have to deal with job security issues more then they did in the past because teams overpay directors and want cheap road scouts, and with the league rules of hiring minorities and getting draft pick compensation, this will further decrease veteran scouts. Independent agents will struggle to compete against bigger agencies, but have a chance if they can identify players and build relationships and create their own niche.”
- “I would say agents have it harder. Kids now want everything given to them and expect to have training, housing, etc., and then, in the middle of the process, can fire the agent if they aren’t happy.”
- “Good question. I think the agent business is more uncertain. Harder to get established in it. Have to get so much money up front to even get started. Once you’re established and get some players in the league, then I think scouting is probably harder. If that makes sense. Feel like there’s a lot of entry level scouting jobs. But to get started as an agent, you need to have a family connection or some sort of backing. I feel for those young agents that are constantly trying to recruit players then get beat out late by the big firms.”
- “I would say scouts have it better. The recruiting agents have to do would be terrible I think. If you’re an agent that has some just average guys who knows if they even make rosters. At least scouts get guaranteed wages from salary.”
- “There is at least a path for new/young scouts to grow in the business. Getting into the agent game without being attached to a big firm is darn near impossible. Even long shot prospects are so entitled and so unrealistic about their ability that agents have to invest resources that will take until the player almost hits their 2nd contract for them to really turn a profit. That’s before you start talking about babysitting and dealing with the personalities.”
- “I would say maybe agents now because as the game has evolved, it’s almost like, with everything slotted, is there really a necessity for agents the first go-round? . . . Then the nature of the game with agents, I could say, ‘I represent Neil Stratton,’ but you get one of these other agents, and they could steal you from me, you know what I mean? So from that standpoint, even when your work is done and you think you have your guys, you constantly have to be on top of that relationship to prevent another agent from stealing him.”
Of course, it wasn’t all one-sided. Some scouts felt their job is more challenging:
“Agents have it better. There’re both hard to get started. Agents have to shell out money to get started (but) scouts don’t make much and the opportunity for advancement has a lot to do with things out of your control. Agents control their own destiny based on how hard they hustle to get clients.”
What do you think? Make sure to make your voice heard on our Twitter feed and by participating in our poll. Coming Friday, agents tell us whose job they think is tougher. Don’t miss it; you can register for it here.