DO PRO ATHLETES NEED AGENTS?

In today's world of social media and information sharing dominating virtually every space, people feel empowered to do anything and everything on their own. You can youtube instructions on anything your mind can conjure up. Similarly some pro athletes have chosen to represent themselves in contract negotiations. Are sports agents necessary for pro athletes? Many pro athletes have recently questioned the importance of sports agent representation in contract negotiations. 

This year, NFL first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, Lamar Jackson, decided to represent himself claiming, "I got a lawyer, and my mom is my manager." Two off-seasons ago, Russell Okung, current Los Angeles Chargers Offensive Lineman and former Seattle Seahawk, published an article announcing he would represent himself in free agency. Okung claimed athletes are able to negotiate all of their contracts without an agent and believed that he knew his own worth better than any agent could. This is simply not true. 

Today's athletes have more opportunity than in the past but face more complex types of risks. Before an athlete youtubes how to represent himself, that athlete should consider the fact that representation requires so much more than just knowledge of market value and athlete worth. Let's examine the actual disadvantages and advantages to not hiring an agent.

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ODDS OF MAKING IT IN THE NFL

NCAA senior players drafted by an NFL team: About one in 50, or 2.0%.

High school senior players eventually drafted by an NFL team: About nine in 10,000, or 0.09%.

A boy born to Samoan parents is 56 times more likely to make it in the NFL than any other kid in America, according to Scott Pelley's 60 Minutes report on football in Samoa.

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Aaron Gordon
SPORTS AGENTS: THE STANDARD REPRESENTATION AGREEMENT

The Standard Representation Agreement ("SRA") is the most important contract to a sports agent. The SRA is the contract between the player and the agent. This contract establishes the terms of the agent's representation, including fees, scope of representation, term of representation, payment scheduling, and how disputes between the agent and player are to be handled. 

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Aaron Gordon
HOW TO PICK YOUR AGENT

The primary reason you hire an agent is to guide and facilitate you in your preparation for the NFL draft and negotiate your NFL Player Contract. Your agent should be skilled at negotiating your Signing Bonus, Paragraph 5 or Base Salary, Incentives, and Roster, Report and Workout Bonuses.

Other factors to consider are, you should verify clients represented by each agent, contact the NFLPA and/or use the agent search feature to ensure the agent is active and in good standing, and familiarize yourself with NFLPA Regulations Governing Contract Advisors and understand required and prohibited conduct for agents. 

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