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As rookie money dries up, agents continue to cut great deals for players

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The windfalls for incoming rookies have disappeared, via the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.  But that hasn’t stopped agents from continuing to make it rain on the rookies in the hopes of getting them to sign on the dotted line.

Per a source with knowledge of the ongoing recruiting dynamics, agents continue to provide big-money marketing guarantees, reduced fees, and the newest free-money craze:  the training stipend.

The marketing guarantee essentially represents an advance on off-field earnings.  And if those off-field earnings are never earned, the player doesn’t have to pay any of the money back.  The problem, as the source explained it, is that some agents will harangue the players to sign dollar autographs until they have carpal tunnel syndrome in all five four appendages in order to make the money back, and the player essentially will be working . . . and working . . . and working for free.

The training stipend comes closest to being money for nothing.  The agent gives the player money for “living expenses” while working out for a living.  Per the source, figures as high as $80,000 have been offered to incoming draft picks to cover their room and board and whatever else they want to buy between now and late April.

Apparently, it’s not prohibited by the NFLPA or the NFLPA isn’t enforcing the rules.  Either way, it gives certain agents a way to buy their way into larger client bases — even if the disappearance of gigantic rookie contracts makes it more of a long-term investment.

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10 Responses to “As rookie money dries up, agents continue to cut great deals for players”
  1. fatdaddy73 says: Jan 11, 2012 1:49 PM

    Gotta love agents, always looking for a different angle. I see nothing wrong with this “service” as long as the details of the contract are explained very clearly, let the players make their own decisions.

  2. pooflingingmonkey says: Jan 11, 2012 1:52 PM

    Don’t count on the NFLPA to do anything that stands in the way of their clients making money.

  3. voiceofrealism says: Jan 11, 2012 1:58 PM

    That’s the problem. Most of the rookie players aren’t smart enough to understand the contracts and make their own decisions. No one is stopping the agents from taking advantage of the players. There is a players union to keep things fair in the NFL. But nothing to keep an agent from lying all they want.

  4. Derty Ernie says: Jan 11, 2012 1:59 PM

    Its ridicoulous for these teams to give the farm away to an unproven entity. Glad they have a cap on income for these guys.

  5. hrmlss says: Jan 11, 2012 2:47 PM

    If you’re an incoming rookie, why even get an agent now, your 1st contract is slotted, why give 3-10% to an agent? Hire an established, bonded, accountant, get a financial planner that advises but has no hands on their $, and for the “stars” (Luck for example) contract with a entertainment agent why gets paid based on the deals they bring in. Get a sports agent for your 2nd contract.

  6. bigjdve says: Jan 11, 2012 2:56 PM

    There is nothing wrong with this, this is Capitalism at it’s finest. This is just like every creditor out there. Here we give you money now, you just have to pay it back later.

    It should be explained in detail in every contract, and probably is, in the fine print of course.

    The athletes should be paying attention in college instead of just playing sports and partying. That way they would be able to be prepared like every other person that hits the real world.

    All of that being said, if people are really that concerned, this should be the responsibility of the NFLPA to protect the players as they are their bread and butter.

  7. yamchargers says: Jan 11, 2012 4:23 PM

    Players need a personal agent to protect them from their pro agent.

  8. EJ says: Jan 11, 2012 5:01 PM

    The problem, as the source explained it, is that some agents will harangue the players to sign dollar autographs until they have carpal tunnel syndrome in all five four appendages in order to make the money back, and the player essentially will be working . . . and working . . . and working for free.

    Its funny, if you look at any NFL player reguardless of who they are, they have their own website. On almost every one of those player sites you will find a section where they sell their own autograph for peanuts.

  9. uberniner says: Jan 11, 2012 5:10 PM

    You hire lawyers (or agents) for two reasons:
    1. they tell you the rules
    2. they figure out how to get around the rules

  10. rodgers419 says: Jan 12, 2012 6:25 AM

    I thought all the ‘free market conservatives’ would have had a big problem with the rookie wage scale.

    Capping NFL players salaries (primarily minorities from lower class upbringings)? Ok!

    Capping CEO salaries (old white guys)? Wahhhhh get big government out of our lives, wahhhhh

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