Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung is scheduled to become a free agent after this season.
And when he does, he’ll be out there shopping the offers himself.
In a post under his own byline at The Players Tribune, Okung explains why he won’t be using an agent to negotiate his next deal.
“I know my worth. I can look at the market and go directly to a team without an agent and tell that team my worth,” he said. “And I can do so with confidence because I’ve done my research, I’ve educated myself and I’ve questioned the answers I’ve been given. And when it comes to reviewing the details of my next deal, I’ll hire an expert — a lawyer or a sports attorney who understands the dynamic of football contracts — to read the paperwork. I’ll negotiate a one-time flat fee that isn’t dependent on the size of my salary.”
By going without an agent, Okung will save himself the 3 percent standard commission an agent can receive (though many go lower than that in their efforts to recruit clients). And he admits that his decision isn’t for everybody, as young players trying to find their way into the league via undrafted rookie deals or practice squads often need someone in their corner.
But Okung’s a former top-10 pick, who will be 28 later this season and entering what could be the deal that will carry him through his prime years. It will be a big one. And as he says, he’s “betting on himself” that he’ll be able to maximize that opportunity.
Of course, the Seahawks have a year to keep him out of that market, and will have a chance to talk to him and his agent every day this season if they want to.