There are a number of good reasons why 98-99% of NFL players are represented by professional agents when negotiating their contracts. There’s really only one good reason not to.
Representation fees can be ubiquitous depending on the caliber of agent you hire and the variety of services they provide, but you’ll find a large plurality, if not a solid majority, in the ballpark of 5%.
A million dollar deal might cost $50,000, a $50 million deal… $2.5 million or more, and I don’t care how much money you make – that’s a hell of a lot of money. ‘silver.
A handful of recent stars have made their own deals and saved their lives, so to speak, including Bobby Wagner, DeAndre Hopkins and Laremy Tunsil – who have received very strong reviews for the contracts they negotiated – and Richard Sherman and Russell Okung – who most experts believe may have left a lot of money on the table.
Note, however, that only Tunsil was making the all-important second contract first-round pick.
So why shouldn’t a player do it themselves?
Would you hire a landscaper to sell your house, a lawyer to paint it, or a painter to represent you in a lawsuit?
The current NFL collective agreement is 456 pages long, and no one without a thorough knowledge of it should enter into a contract with the NFL.
The NFL’s salary cap has so many wrinkles that each of the 32 teams has a chief capologist whose job it is to know it back and forth, and how to best structure and tailor each contract under it.
It’s who you’re trading against.
To what extent can we assume that Roquan Smith is an expert in these two areas?
His decision to go public on Tuesday may have been strategic, but the words he chose were offensive and insulting to his negotiating partners, and would have said because they hurt him and insulted him with their offer.
One thing is absolute in high-stakes financial negotiations: nothing is ever personal, and when you let it get personal, you are no longer in control.
It’s the job of Bears GM Ryan Poles to get the best possible players at the lowest possible prices, period. In doing so, he must detail why a player is not worth as much as he thinks.
It’s the agent’s job to protect their player from this knowing it’s not personal.
But Smith, by sacrificing those guardrails, injured himself, and now he may have to pay the price.
The Poles said something that fascinated me on Tuesday: “I thought there was a lot of respect where we are at the moment. But obviously it’s not good enough for him and his party.
Who or what is the Roquan party? Is it possible he was advised or pushed into some of his unfortunate word choices on Tuesday?
On Wednesday, the Bears hit back, announcing that Smith had been removed from the list of players physically unable to perform.
Before being on PUP, he could not be fined or punished for not practicing.
Starting Thursday, the Bears now have the option to fine him up to $40,000 a day for not practicing and pay him 1/18th of his 2022 base salary for any game. missed exhibition.
And a new wrinkle in the current ABC: Teams could waive those fines if a deal was reached, but no more – if fines are issued, they must be paid.
Did Smith know and understand all of this before all of his “Monopoly Money” turned into real greenbacks?
What do you think?
Without seeing the deals actually on the table, I’m not sure if there’s clearly good or bad here, but ultimately, money talks, so this suddenly very messy split can still be salvaged.
But what looked like an obvious fait accompli a month ago now looks 50-50 or worse to end in divorce.
I’m not a fan of professional sports agents in general. But why anyone would try and risk a $60m, $80m, or $100m deal within reach, with little or no experience to get the best deal is a mystery to me.