Sometime in the summer of 2013, when my wife was working for our church, she mentioned that she had met a kid who wanted to meet me. He found out what I did and wanted to learn more. She said she thought he was interested in being an agent. I think I rolled my eyes. A lot of people think I have a really cool job until they find out how mundane most of my work is. Murphy stuck around, however, and worked as an intern at ITL for 2-3 years until he graduated from law school.
Most of my interns get the passion for working in football burned out of them, so when Murphy told me he was gonna take the NFL agent exam in the summer of 2015, I was surprised, and a little pissed. Have you not been paying attention, I thought? Do you not understand the futility of working as a small, independent NFL agent? The costs involved? The years of frustration? The potential for wasted money and time? Still, despite my urgings, he took and passed the NFLPA exam on the first try. It’s worth noting that 2015 was the year the NFLPA sharply increased the difficulty of the test, but Murphy still passed on his first try.
He has surprised me several times since. He was the only independent rookie agent to have a player drafted in his first year (Texas Tech’s Jakeem Grant, who went 6/186 to the Dolphins in 2016 and remains active with the Bears today). He even starred in a reality TV series on the NFL Network that year (Murphy is in the first frame, wearing a ball cap, in this video). He also made the leap to a major agency (Octagon Football) just 2-3 years after getting certified, and today, less than 10 years after getting certified, he’s tied for No. 59 among all active NFL agents with 16 clients in the league. That may not sound like much, but it’s pretty impressive for someone who was told he “looks like some young kid” when he solicited a major agent at a top firm about a job at his first Senior Bowl in 2014, I think.
Anyway, I say all this because Murphy will be my guest Thursday, Oct. 6, at 8 p.m. ET, as we host our first monthly Zoom sessions for members of the 2022 NFL agent class. It’s something we started last year, and I found that getting rookie contract advisors on Zoom to ask questions of someone who was once in their shoes is a great way to learn. I’ll make a few brief points, then we’ll get on with the interview. Here are a few things I’ll ask him about:
- How long did it take him to build a network of scouts willing to talk to him?
- How did he build that network?
- How did he choose Jakeem as his first client? What did he tell him so Jakeem would take a chance on a rookie agent?
- How did he handle training costs, etc., in his early, independent days?
- How did he latch on with an established agency so quickly?
- How has the industry changed, and what’s the biggest challenge he faces now?
- How have the players changed?
- What would be his advice for agents getting started today?
Bottom line, this is your chance to get the keys to the kingdom from a real NFL agent success story, straight from the horse’s mouth.
If you’re interested in joining us, you’re welcome to, even if you’re just curious and not even a contract advisor. However, there’s one catch: you have to be an ITL client. You can register here. It’s $29.95/mo, and you can cancel at any time.
I hope to see you in a week. In the meantime, get more scoop about the football business by registering for our weekly newsletter, the Friday Wrap. Do that here.