NFLPA will consider reducing agent fees

For football agents, the Russell Okung contract debacle couldn’t have come at a better time.

As the true Okung details are being disseminated and digested, and as the initial (false) reports of a deal worth $10.6 million per year and “up to” $12 million annually are being disregarded, the NFL Players Association is meeting in Hawaii. Per multiple sources, the agenda includes consideration of agent fees.

Specifically, the NFLPA could be voting on whether to reduce agent fees from a maximum of three percent to a limit of two percent. Some agents are very nervous, and rightfully so, about the possibility of having their revenue slashed by 33 percent. Others are confident that the discussion won’t result in change.

“There are too many smart people in the room for the fee to be reduced,” one agent remarked to PFT on Friday.

Already, NFL agents have the lowest maximum fees in all professional sports. Baseball agents can earn up to five percent. Hockey and basketball agents max out at four percent. For tennis and golf, agents can make over 10 percent. And the industry standard for actors, musicians, and broadcasters is a whopping 10 percent.

For Okung, he paid zero percent to go it alone. It’s hard to imagine based on the quality of the deal that he wouldn’t have fared better with a competent agent having experience negotiating with teams, understanding the market, creating opportunities, and ultimately knowing not to sign a contract that gives the team so much power over a player’s short-term and long-term interests, with little or no financial certainty in return.

Of course, there are plenty of bad agents who would have negotiated a deal equal to or not much better than the one Okung negotiated on his own. The problem for all players is that, by reducing maximum fees to two percent, the good agents eventually will find something else to do with their time — like, for instance, representing baseball players, basketball players, hockey players, tennis players, golfers, actors, musicians, and/or broadcasters.

15 responses to “NFLPA will consider reducing agent fees

  1. It will all be moot under President Sanders anyway, since incomes will be limited to $12,000 a year for everyone out of fairness.

  2. A great NFL player doesnt really need an agent, Tom Brady could snap his fingers for 25m a year.. For a player of his caliber all an agent would really do is negotiate the fine print.. But if Brady really wanted he could probably get his seasons pay in one lump sum year to year, say a 25m check due Jan 1st. Or services dont get rendered for the next year. A player of his caliber could get it like that, from somebody, if he wanted. Without the need of an agent. Mortals need agents tho.

  3. 3% of a 25m a year contract is $750,000. Lawyers typically make $300 an hour.. A full time, 40 hour a week, 52 weeks a year lawyer would make $624,000 a year.. In that case maybe they should be capped at 2% since it doesnt take a full years work to proof read a contract.

  4. So they want to stipulate how much agents are allowed to make to perform their job. Why do they even have a say so? Players aren’t forced to have agents. If one charges too much find another. If players stop hiring agents because they cost too much then maybe they’ll lower their fee. This is supposed to be a free country. Yet another reason I despise unions.

  5. How can the NFLPA regulate the fees of agents? I understand that unions are in large part exempt from the Sherman Antitrust Act, but how does this exemption apply to agents who are not a member of the union.

    I predict no such decrease will occur because it increases the likelihood that an agent asks this same question in a court of law.

  6. Since the rookie picks are slotted, players can do there own contracts. But they should get an agent to do there endorsement deals.

  7. Okung got robbed, Agents are a necessary evil, pay them the 3% and be done with it…..

  8. jvw1982: I beg to differ; Okung wasn’t robbed, he GAVE his money away. An NFL franchise is a curious choice of charity, but there’s no law against stupidity.

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