The College Football Championship is all that is left to another exciting college football season. Realistically, a majority of players will never play football again, but for those who have their hopes set on the NFL now is the time to find an agent. For many this will make or break their chance at being drafted this April, during the NFL Draft. Players cannot sign the Standard Representation Agreement until after all their games are over, so the many potential NFL players for Alabama and Clemson have to wait, while the rest of the college football players routinely sign within hours of finishing their last game.
Recruitment– The hardest part of being an agent is recruiting clients to sign with them over someone else. Top players (and often families) will expect some sort of guarantee or payout for signing with certain agents, this is where larger capital agencies have an advantage over individual agents.
Training– The first thing (if it was not already prearranged as a perk of signing with an agent) is to put your client into a pre-combine training facility to ensure they perform at an optimal level during the NFL combine. These training centers can cost up to $25,000 per player, paid for by the agent. This is unavoidable for top round prospects, but agents will not see this money back right away. When a player is drafted they get a signing bonus, in the fifth round it ranges around $250,000, an agent can receive a maximum of 3%, or approximately $7,500 for a fifth round draft pick, which means they will not make enough to pay for the full training facility cost until the player receives a few pay checks. The sunk cost of paying for training can be hard for agents to accept, therefore many agents do not recruit mid-round talent that want top training paid for them.
All-Star Games– This year when you watch the College All Star games look at how crowded the sidelines are compared to the regular season. Those are all of the player’s agents and NFL scouts. These games are a time for agents to introduce and promote their clients to NFL teams, this is also a time that agents schedule client interviews with teams. Agents also take the time to talk about anything the NFL decision makers may be worried about with their clients.
Pro Days– After signing a player agents immediately begin to schedule Pro Days to show off their client’s talent. Agents must decide how many Pro Days will be optimal for their client, this depends on many factors such as prior injuries and performance. Agents must also prepare their clients for interview questions, depending on the agent he may pay for someone else to coach the player, another cost that will not be reimbursed for a few months.
Media– Agents are also working behind the scenes with the media to ensure their clients are painted in the best way to the general public and NFL decision makers. This includes watching projections or third-party draft rankings and often calling to plead their case for a better ranking on behalf of their client. This may not go far in the eyes of NFL teams, but it begins to project their client as a future NFL stud to many fans, possibly increasing pressure on a team to draft a fan favorite.
Marketability– The most obvious job of an agent is ensuring their client is being paid to make appearances or sit down and do autograph signings whenever the opportunity presents itself. The agent has to be sure to show how marketable their client is for future sponsorship deals.
Relationship Building– Of course the biggest thing an agent has to do after recruiting a player is maintain a positive relationship with them and their family. Agents continuously must work on their relationship with their clients because they are not just business partners, they must become friends and trust each other. Agents should teach their clients everything they know about the NFL and they people around the league. The clients are entering a new world where there will be many temptations that can throw off an entire career, agents have to be there to help their clients understand everything that they may encounter. By helping their clients the agents build a bond that will help ensure the player does not leave them later on in their career.