Perhaps a far bigger threat to the agent industry than hiring Jay-Z is hiring no one at all.
Ravens safety Matt Elam, the last pick in the first round, negotiated his own contract. Per a source with knowledge of the details of the deals signed by Elam and the players taken one spot before him (Cowboys center Travis Frederick) and one spot behind him (Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien) and the player taken in the same slot last year (Giants running back David Wilson), Elam got a fair and appropriate deal.
Elam’s contract has a signing bonus of $3.30 million and a total value of $6.76 million, which fits in the slot between Frederick ($3.37 million and $6.87 million) and Cyprien ($2.35 million and $5.46 million). The signing bonus matches Wilson’s to the dollar (technically, $3,301,456), whose total payout was $6.684 million.
The only potential criticism of Elam’s deal is that his signing bonus should have been a little higher; then again, Frederick’s signing bonus also matches the signing bonus paid to last year’s No. 31 pick, Buccaneers running back Doug Martin.
The first three years of Elam’s deal is fully guaranteed, something Wilson got in the same slot last year.
By doing his own contract, Elam saved $202,800 in agent fees. If Frederick paid the maximum of three percent, Elam actually got a better deal. (Of course, Frederick won’t pay state income taxes, because he’ll be playing in Texas.)
While Elam may need an agent when the time comes to negotiate his second contract, most draft picks can now do their own deals, if they can get their hands on the information regarding the value of deals given to other players drafted in the same vicinity, and in the same slot last year.
If we can get our hands on that information, they can, too.