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Elam does good deal without agent


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.

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40 Responses to “Elam does good deal without agent”
  1. ravioles says: Jul 23, 2013 7:16 AM

    Martin O’Malley can’t wait to get his hands on that money.

  2. mustbechris says: Jul 23, 2013 7:20 AM

    I wish my state had no income taxes.

    Oh wait, women still have rights in my state. Sounds like a better deal to me.

  3. braven4evr says: Jul 23, 2013 7:21 AM

    If he can play safety as well, we’ll be okay!

  4. therealtrenches says: Jul 23, 2013 7:21 AM

    You mean players don’t need Jay-Z to negotiate their contracts for them?

  5. patriots420 says: Jul 23, 2013 7:26 AM

    Very smart, I highly respect Elam for having the Savvy and confidence in himself to do his own deal. Not to mention giving himself a good viewing by fans for not associating himself with sniveling weasel agents, who are essentially fancy specialized versions of the worst people in society and actually not people at all but more resembling fecal matter than a human being… Of course I’m talking about lawyers!

  6. followme2boston says: Jul 23, 2013 7:27 AM

    More than anything else, this is why the agents complain about De Smith. He should have received a higher signing bonus, but got himself an extra 200k, by not using an agent. Sounds like a fair deal. It also sounds like who the league really went after in the last CBA.

  7. pencilmonkeymagic says: Jul 23, 2013 7:29 AM

    Nice precedent.

  8. jimr10 says: Jul 23, 2013 7:33 AM

    I have a new favorite player..

  9. sportsnut101 says: Jul 23, 2013 7:37 AM

    Or u can have the team send u offer and then take it to a lawyer for 250 dollars have them look it over make sure it’s good

    I don’t know know why people use agents any more if there is a salary cap for rookies why pay 3pct of contract

    When u can pay 500 max for a lawyer for two hrs or use your own education from school

    Why doesn’t nfl talk about that with nfl draft rookies. That u don’t need an agent that would save money right there

  10. urfinished says: Jul 23, 2013 7:39 AM

    I guess the university of Florida can provide a good education if you aren’t out doing other things.
    Or at least if Urban Meyer isn’t running a circus while you’re trying to go to class and play football.
    Good for Elam.

  11. firestarter0728 says: Jul 23, 2013 7:43 AM

    I admire him for this. Agents suck.

  12. bat42boy says: Jul 23, 2013 7:47 AM

    Great for him. Glad to see someone who is thinking in the right direction.

  13. reed20fence says: Jul 23, 2013 7:59 AM

    Smart guy.

  14. iamthefootballjerk says: Jul 23, 2013 8:16 AM

    Where are all the people that were calling Elam names when he signed last week? He read other contracts and made a solid deal based on his slot. It also shows the Ravens are a class organization that knows saving a few dollars is not good for the long term relationship that needs to be created. Just ask Sergio Kindle what kind of men Newsome and Bisciotti are. The Steelers are basically the same way, which is respectful.

  15. pr0phat69 says: Jul 23, 2013 8:21 AM

    I have wondered why more rookies don’t do this more, since the new CBA they don’t have much wiggle room. Smart man if you ask me!

  16. betterandbetterthan says: Jul 23, 2013 8:24 AM

    No player outside the top 10 needs an agent. The contracts are set, the NFLPA will provide guidance. Not exactly rocket science.

  17. dspyank2k11 says: Jul 23, 2013 8:30 AM

    Smart kid. Wish there were more like him out there, and less agents.

  18. sportsguy88 says: Jul 23, 2013 8:32 AM

    He won’t be paying state income taxes because he’ll play in Texas? He’s on the Baltimore Ravens..

  19. trifectajjc says: Jul 23, 2013 8:41 AM

    Good for him.

  20. bigbluefanatic says: Jul 23, 2013 8:42 AM

    Master P is going to have to find a new line of work???

  21. suhisbetterthanu says: Jul 23, 2013 8:44 AM

    Nice work.

  22. cloudnine9999 says: Jul 23, 2013 8:46 AM

    I think more athletes should do this .. These guys for the most part are college educated. With the new rules governing salaries it’s already a ballpark figure how much $$$ u gonna make , once u play out that 1st contract u might wanna hire a lawyer for the 2nd one but it’ll beat paying someone 3% of millions !!! I’d rather donate the money to a charity then to fatten some agents already fat pockets …

  23. recyclecode6 says: Jul 23, 2013 8:51 AM

    Must have gotten some advice from Cromartie…

  24. jiggy3198 says: Jul 23, 2013 9:16 AM

    Owe-Malley will take his share that’s for sure

  25. patriots420 says: Jul 23, 2013 9:20 AM

    It’s funny the last safety the ravens had did not use the services of an agent (until this years free agency) and he turned out pretty well.

    Fun fact for the day

  26. itsfootballbaby says: Jul 23, 2013 9:23 AM

    If he buys a house in Maryland he’ll have to pay the rain tax too.

  27. tc55479 says: Jul 23, 2013 9:33 AM

    Very smart on his part to save the 200k but there are benefits to having a good agent, they have connections, but also provide the athlete with all training expenses while preparing for the combine /pro day. Some facilities can cost around the 8-10k mark for the full 8-10weeks of training, housing and meals

  28. ravenscaps48 says: Jul 23, 2013 9:38 AM

    Yes football fans. Us Marylanders are getting taxed on rainfall. “Maryland. What’s in your wallet?”

  29. dbo2020 says: Jul 23, 2013 9:39 AM

    I’m sure there are other things agents do. Endorsement deals, image management, scheduling etc. But I definitely agree with the point that a lawyer can review the contract for a much smaller, flat fee.

  30. raiderlyfe510 says: Jul 23, 2013 9:40 AM

    I think it’s ill advised. Nothing beats experience. No telling what kind of clause they slipped past Elam.

  31. bucnasty says: Jul 23, 2013 9:48 AM

    I wish more rookie players could work their owe deals . that way it would keep agents out of college

  32. touchdownamericasteam says: Jul 23, 2013 10:04 AM

    I hope this guy becomes an all pro and never hires an agent for his entire career. Agents are parasites anyway, so 202,000 that none of them will ever see is a good start.

  33. thingamajig says: Jul 23, 2013 10:46 AM

    Good move but who’s going to write his apology the first time he screws up on twitter?

  34. ravc82 says: Jul 23, 2013 10:47 AM

    His added signing bonus is not having to listen to guys like Joe Linta run their fat mouths on a consistent basis….well done sir.

  35. 6thsense79 says: Jul 23, 2013 12:19 PM

    I hope it is a decent contract but everyone bashing agents need to know that not everyone can or should negotiate contracts. You going against front offices with the experience of negotiating hundreds of NFL contracts (which are some of the most technical in sports). Just because a player may have a degree in marketing doesn’t mean he can negotiate a multi million dollar contract.

  36. crownofthehelmet says: Jul 23, 2013 12:28 PM

    Since he’s such a smart guy, it must be killing him to have to play for a team on a steep decline, in rebuilding mode.

  37. CKL says: Jul 23, 2013 12:34 PM

    dbo2020 says:
    Jul 23, 2013 9:39 AM
    I’m sure there are other things agents do. Endorsement deals, image management, scheduling etc.
    I could be wrong but I think players have separate people who handle that. PR agents.

    As ot the person who said players should always do this because they are college educated. Child, please. I defy you to interview 10 regular people and tell me which ones have a degree and which ones didn’t as far as smarts they exhibit. Smarts and common sense have less than zero to do with having a degeree these days especially, regardless of profession.

  38. scoobies05 says: Jul 23, 2013 12:45 PM

    crown…i think you are confused. elam play for the world champion baltimore ravens, not the declining 8 and 8 pittsburgh steelers. wake up buddy…its not 1977 anymore

  39. crownofthehelmet says: Jul 23, 2013 1:00 PM

    In football years, it’s as much 1977 as it is 2012.

  40. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 23, 2013 2:46 PM

    Not only did he do a good deal, but he prevented some agent from making an easy $200k. Good for him and good for the game.

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