Last night, we had our second Zoom session aimed directly at those new contract advisors who passed this summer’s exam. Representing players is an incredibly tough job, and there are a lot of twists and turns involved with building a true NFL agent practice. We used to have a newsletter series that addressed these topics, but we’ve found that actually gathering with our clients on Zoom is much more effective.

It’s our second session for the 2022 NFL agent class. Earlier this month, Octagon Football’s Murphy McGuire joined us to discuss his rookie struggles that have led to big success in a short time. We don’t tape these sessions, but we did tape his “origin story.” Check it out here.

Last night, we discussed five weighty topics: taking unsolicited phone calls (which is a common occurrence when your cell phone is posted on the NFLPA website); who to sign (and who not to sign); the XFL and the USFL; how to handle the NIL era; and how to gather information on prospects you may sign. Here’s a quick overview on information-gathering, which is one of the toughest areas to tackle for new player reps.


  • You probably have your favorite draft pundits; forget about them. You’ll be recruiting from a specific subset of the draft class, at least to start. Todd McShay, Dane Brugler, Matt Miller, et al, will not be focused on the players you will potentially sign in your first year (and maybe not your first five years). This is why you probably won’t have a lot of luck if you rely on the Internet to figure out who you’re going to sign. 
  • You will need to develop your eye for talent. Gathering insights from NFL scouts is very helpful, but scouts can only offer their opinions, and they aren’t always right, anyway. At some point, you will have to trust your own instincts, and getting that right (or wrong) will do more to sharpen your skills than anything else. For me, it took about three years of intense film-watching to really get a feel for what NFL teams seek in draft prospects.
  • You won’t have a decent scouting network until . . . . you have a client that NFL teams want to draft or sign. It’s simple. No amount of networking, connecting on LinkedIn, emailing or anything else will build scouting friendships that bear fruit. Scouts will not have much time for you until you have shown you represent legitimate prospects.
  • Your “eye” will matter more than scouts anyway. The firms that regularly sign Day 3/UDFA players who make rosters are, more often than not, dependent on their own evaluation than scouts’ evaluations. It’s probably smarter to use NFL scouts to supplement your own opinion rather than expecting them to generate a list of players you should recruit. 
  • Make sure to take advantage of our services. The ITL Profile Reports give you a brief look at the top 10 NFL prospects on every FBS team. Before you sign a player, make sure he’s a guy we see as draftable (or at least signable) player first. All ITL clients have full access to our Profile Reports. To get an even better look, order one of our ITL Scouting Reports. For $100 plus tax, we can get a report done in 24-48 hours. We’ve got the tape; all we need is a name, position and school. 
  • The bottom line is that you have to spend a little to make a little. Be smart about the money you spend (I realize you just spent $5,000 to pass the exam and get registered), but be willing to spend money.

For more details on the business of the game and how to succeed in it, make sure you’re reading our newsletter, the Friday Wrap. You can register for it here.