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Ravens first-round pick Matt Elam will not hire an agent

Matt Elam AP

Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam was the only player selected in this year’s NFL draft without first hiring an agent. Now he plans to be the only one of those players to sign his contract without first hiring an agent.

Elam, whom the Ravens took with their first-round pick, doesn’t plan to hire an agent and will negotiate his own rookie contract, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Elam is the only one of the Ravens’ draft picks who hasn’t signed yet.

Although it’s rare for a player not to hire an agent, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement makes agents a lot less important than they used to be for rookies. The CBA dictates that Elam will get a four-year, $6.767 million contract with a $3.301 million signing bonus. If Elam were to pay the maximum allowable commission of 3 percent of that to an agent, he’d be giving up $203,010. So he’ll save a nice chunk of change by declining to hire an agent.

That is, he’ll save a nice chunk of change if he doesn’t do anything foolish and sign a contract that has clauses he doesn’t understand, costing him the ability to earn all the money he’s entitled to earn. That’s always a risk, and it’s the reason most players are willing to hand over a significant commission to an agent even if there really isn’t any negotiation to be done at all: Even players who sign the franchise tag or a restricted free agent tender, contracts that don’t leave any room for negotiation, usually prefer to pay an agent look things over before signing.

Still, the players’ union should be able to give Elam basic information about contract terms, and Elam is also getting advice from his older brother, Abram Elam, who has signed contracts with the Dolphins, Cowboys, Jets, Browns and Chiefs during his career as an NFL safety. Elam may some day decide to hire an agent on a future NFL contract, but on his first contract he’ll probably be fine without one.

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29 Responses to “Ravens first-round pick Matt Elam will not hire an agent”
  1. flavadave10 says: Jul 9, 2013 1:24 PM

    He’s already like Ed Reed in this respect! Haha!

  2. realfootballfan says: Jul 9, 2013 1:28 PM

    This guy is going to be really good. Steal of the first round.

  3. vibesid says: Jul 9, 2013 1:30 PM

    Smart guy. Why pay an agent $200,000 when you don’t have to and it won’t benefit you.

  4. touchdownroddywhite says: Jul 9, 2013 1:32 PM

    I mean if he believes in himself, which surely he does, I doubt he sees any possible reason he won’t collect the balance of the deal.

  5. 44 management says: Jul 9, 2013 1:34 PM

    AMEN! It’s about time these guys started figuring it out! That’s a lot of money to give up…for nothing!

  6. dylanssongwriter says: Jul 9, 2013 1:36 PM

    Just find a lawyer and offer him a flat fee to go over the contract with you.

  7. daburgher says: Jul 9, 2013 1:36 PM

    As a Steelers fan, I am kind of bummed the Ravens got this guy.. dudes gonna be good

  8. Patskrieg dot com says: Jul 9, 2013 1:37 PM

    I’m very curious to see how a lot of things work out with Elam. This is one of them.

  9. danielcp0303 says: Jul 9, 2013 1:42 PM

    I know it’s a basketball player, but Ray Allen does the same thing. Before signing the contract, he brings it to a lawyer to look over it and make sure everything is legit. All he has to pay is the hourly rate without giving the 3% to an agent. Smart

  10. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jul 9, 2013 1:42 PM

    These agents are making ridiculous money doing something that they could pay a lawyer about $1,000 to do. It isn’t that difficult to look over a contract and make sure it doesn’t say anything that could hurt you.

  11. flaccodelic says: Jul 9, 2013 1:43 PM

    Ehhhhhxcellent. (tents fingers)

    No seriously, isn’t it kind of pointless the first time around with the new CBA rookie salary scale? He’ll probably hire one in three and half years, as he should.

  12. lightcleric says: Jul 9, 2013 1:44 PM

    Agents are important for negotiating your later contracts, but after the last CBA basically set the contract terms for rookies pretty clearly there’s not exactly a whole lot to negotiate. The union and others around him should be able to help him enough, and I don’t think most, if any, organizations would try to screw a first-rounder like that because of the horrible PR it would bring.

  13. myann25 says: Jul 9, 2013 1:46 PM

    I’m not shill for agents, but it’s not just the value of the contract they negotiate on the client’s behalf, The additional value add they bring in possible endorsement deals, PR, financial management, etc – could be a lot more than the $200K in fees he’s be saving on the contract.

  14. vismajor1966 says: Jul 9, 2013 1:50 PM

    He can pay a lawyer by the hour to review the contract proposals and save money. On the other hand, as a first round pick, an agent would also be busy lining up other sources of income, endorsements, etc… Arguments on both sides.

  15. beavertonsteve says: Jul 9, 2013 2:11 PM

    Probably a better choice than having Jay-Z scrutinize your contract…

  16. godofwine330 says: Jul 9, 2013 2:14 PM

    If he signs the deal without an agent and gets an agent later to do the endorsement deals he will at least save that $200k and the agent will get none of his contract money. It doesn’t sound like a bad idea, especially since what he is going to make in his initial contract is already set in stone and known by your average John & Jane Q. Fan. And, if his major was business in college he has knowledge of the contract language from that as well as his brother’s previous contracts.

  17. popdawg99 says: Jul 9, 2013 2:16 PM

    A financial adviser and an accountant are much more important than agents (especially for rookies).

  18. siggtacular says: Jul 9, 2013 2:17 PM

    Matt Elam future Pro Bowler

  19. jwcarlson says: Jul 9, 2013 2:18 PM

    Hundreds of broke former NFL players can’t be wrong… hire an agent like they did.

  20. dexterismyhero says: Jul 9, 2013 2:19 PM

    Agents suck. Period.

  21. crownofthehelmet says: Jul 9, 2013 2:32 PM

    Dude sounds too smart to play for the Ravens.

    Here’s some financial contract advice Elam: make your incentive clause based on the number of interceptions you get in practice. You might just be the richest person on the planet.

  22. loubearkane says: Jul 9, 2013 2:34 PM

    Smart kid , other first round picks should have figured this out. If you don’t have red flags you should get the slotted contract without clauses. With rookies its not uncommon to have the entire rookie deal guaranteed but agree with about have a lawyer look it over and pocket the cash.

  23. citizenstrange says: Jul 9, 2013 2:56 PM

    But who will say “NEXT QUESTION!”

  24. pooflingingmonkey says: Jul 9, 2013 2:57 PM

    If he simply asks for what the guy in his slot last year got, he’ll come out ahead. It’s like a 3% raise.

  25. Joemontanaflacco says: Jul 9, 2013 3:00 PM

    This is what happens when you play for a top notch organization. For the last few months, we’ve read article after article about how the Ravens let players explore the open market, and if they can’t get a better deal, they can come back. Big difference from having the door slammed in your face when you hesitate about taking a humiliating pay cut. Just ask James Harrison about the Steelers.

  26. crownofthehelmet says: Jul 9, 2013 3:06 PM

    How the heck is he going to get on dwts without an agent?

  27. ravenschick says: Jul 9, 2013 3:31 PM

    daburgher says:
    Jul 9, 2013 1:36 PM
    As a Steelers fan, I am kind of bummed the Ravens got this guy.. dudes gonna be good

    ***************************************

    Shamarko Thomas could wind up being a very good safety for you guys (if he keeps his nose clean).

  28. tremoluxman says: Jul 9, 2013 3:37 PM

    Ask Daunte Culpepper how all that ‘no agent’ action worked out to his advantage.

  29. scoobies05 says: Jul 9, 2013 6:17 PM

    crown…dwts….really….did you forget about ole number 86. and i sure cant wait til big ben throws his first pick 6 to elam…followed by the second…the third…etc

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