Lamar Jackson chooses to represent himself

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Baker Mayfield considered representing himself. He decided not to. Lamar Jackson did.

Jackson told Josina Anderson of ESPN that he will represent himself, with his mother serving not as an agent but as a manager.

The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner explained that he doesn’t believe an agent is necessary, due to the current wage scale for rookie contracts. As noted when Mayfield was contemplating going without an agent, that’s indeed the best argument for the self-representation approach. However, as also noted when Mayfield was contemplating going without an agent, that approach is a potential mistake.

First, despite the relative simplicity of the rookie wage scale, players selected in the first round need to be able to navigate certain nuances and hot spots in the draft order relevant to offset language, guaranteed pay, cash flow, and other structural devices.

Second, a good agent will get the rookie the best possible pre-draft training, ensuring that the player is ready for the various aspects of the pre-draft workouts that follow, and a good agent will cover those expenses.

Third, a good agent will advise the player on whether and to what extent to engage in Scouting Combine activities, and whether and to what extent to engage in pre-draft team visits and private workouts. A good agent will prepare the player regarding what to say and how to say it when meeting with teams. A good agent will serve as the buffer between the player and teams that may not be happy to hear that, for example, the player won’t be visiting the facility or throwing privately for its coaching staff.

Fourth, a good agent will study rosters and depth charts and coaching staffs and schemes, identifying the best destination for the player’s short-term and long-term interests and embark on a plan to get him there.

Fifth, a good agent will sell his client relentlessly, working scouts, coaches, owners, and media to make the players as desirable as possible. As part of this effort, a good agent will push back against harmful media narratives, like Bill Polian’s goofy notion that Jackson should play receiver.

Sixth, a good agent will try to thread the needle, getting the player in the best spot to thrive. As UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen put it, it’s better to go lower to a better team than higher to a bad one. More specifically, it’s better to go to the team that suits best overall short-term and long-term fit, regardless of draft position.

Having no agent continues to be better than having a bad agent. Every high-profile rookie, however, benefits from having a good agent, ultimately getting much more in return for the relatively small percentage that goes to the person who knows how to handle the various aspects of the player’s NFL experience that easily can become unwanted sources of stress, uncertainty, and frustration.

22 responses to “Lamar Jackson chooses to represent himself

  1. Yea, lets see, demands to only be a Qb and now claims to be his own agent. Someone needs to get this kids head together, imo. You just dropped from possible 1st/2nd round.

  2. Retired players who want to see the game change in fair pay with guaranteed money and better health insurance… Should Step Up and help these kids

  3. I don’t fully disagree, but I don’t agree either. Josh Rosen’s comment just tells me he isn’t a competitor, and a good agent gets you top dollars and a stage upon which you can shine. Turning a team around sure does that. Josh Rosen is not my favorite player in the draft.

    I don’t know that the rest is necessarily value add either. I mean it can be, but it’s like saying I can’t represent myself in court or make my own will because I am not a lawyer, and people do these things successfully every day. Sure makes it easier, no doubt. But if the kid wants to try to navigate this on his own, more power to him. Some of these agents (like lawyers)….I am not sure these kids are getting the full benefit of their dollar anyway.

  4. Qb or Recvr, son, you get drafted first and get that g’td contract before you say you wont consider wr……

  5. I’ve read so many times where a player had a decent career and made millions of dollars, yet ended up broke. These guys all had agents. So obviously, there are plenty of bad agents. I’m not saying Jackson will be able to figure it all out on his own, but having an agent doesn’t guarantee anything either. I wish he’d get an agent, but only if the agent is actually going to help him.

  6. A good agent will get Willis McGahee drafted in the first round despite the fact that he is going to miss his entire rookie season.

  7. Mature guys with brains can live without agents if they want to. Agents simply do your job for you for pay…like landscapers.

  8. Maybe he’s playing it smart. By saying he’ll go it alone might possibly get a good agent to cut their % because they think he doesn’t need them.

    No matter what though, please don’t have mom involved.

  9. Smart guy. There’s no reason to hire an agent to take a commission on your rookie contract. He can do that later. First, he can easily compare his own contract to others in his slot, where ever that is, as this information is readily available. In other words, he needs to read about 2 hours worth of material to save himself thousands in agent commissions. Second, he doesn’t need any “pre-draft training”, he’s the Heisman Trophy winner. Third, he’s a smart athletic guy who knows in what to participate. If not, he can ask any agent and they’ll tell him in an effort to sign him. Pretending this info is classified is ridiculous. Fourth, it’s a draft. No one determines where he goes; this isn’t free agency. Fifth, he’s Lamar Jackson, Heisman Trophy winner, he’s not on a sales pitch, nor does he need to be on said sales pitch. Sixth, seriously, wtf? As usual, a bunch of fluff garbage. I wish more players would study and learn the agent certification rules. It’s highly educational. Basically, the agent perspective is, “we’re indespensible”. The reality is that you can become an NFL agent by passing a multiple choice test.

  10. If a player took nothing but basket weaving classes through college the yes he should get an agent.

    If he’s actually a smart person, then no he doesn’t need one.

  11. “a good agent will cover those expenses.”

    You mean he will loan the money for those expenses, right? Then if the guy falls in the draft out of big guaranteed money he’s still on the hook for all the premium priced pre-draft coaching and stuff.

  12. charliecharger says:
    March 2, 2018 at 8:22 pm
    I’ve read so many times where a player had a decent career and made millions of dollars, yet ended up broke. These guys all had agents.
    Yep, and a lot of the times they had inept money managers or shady financial advisors recommended by the agents AND endorsed by the NFL.

  13. There is nothing wrong with doing this all himself if he can handle it, its what made America great, Not being afraid to do something on your own instead of somebody holding your hand,

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