After 6 very interesting “What Would You Do…?” posts, the column vanished from this site. That is about to change. After receiving quite a few emails from viewers who wished to see the column’s return, we brought on a new contributor, Jim Thompson, to bring it back. Here is Thompson’s first “What Would You Do…?” post. Enjoy.
After a couple of years of answering phones, you finally get the big break and become a certified agent with the NFLPA. Although you understand that it is unrealistic to start repping legitimate players right off the bat, the excitement of finally accomplishing your dream of representing NFL players helps you forget all about the up-hill battle that you will face over the first few years of your career. As a couple years go by, you have a clientele of three players, all of whom are practice squad caliber players.
However, you’ve been scouting a wide receiver with spectacular hands and average speed since his sophomore year in college. He goes to a small Midwest school and hasn’t gotten national exposure until the beginning of his senior season, when his school upset a Top-25 program on national television. You’ve been introduced to this player, lets call him Player X, a couple times now – enough times to make it obvious that when his team’s bowl game is completed and the season is over, you want him to sign with you. Because of his emergence in the national spotlight, a couple high profile agents have shown interest in him as well. Initially, this makes you nervous, because these agents have clearly made a name for themselves in this industry, while you are still considered a “rookie” agent. You shake those insecurities away and remind yourself that YOU discovered him, YOU are the one who has built a rapport with him, and it is YOU that has always believed that Player X would be a breakthrough star.
When you first discovered him, he was projected to go undrafted. Now, Mel Kiper is projecting him to be a late 3rd round pick. Todd McShay has been comparing him to Wayne Chrebet all week long. This is YOUR guy they are talking about! Forget practice squad, you could be representing a legitimate contributor to an NFL team!
You go to visit him in his small house, in his small Midwest town, only to be informed that he has narrowed down his prospective agent list to three. Two big, high profile agents, and you. You think to yourself, there is no way I’m going to be able to sign Player X if I have to compete with these two prolific agents. Player X informs you that he needs to take the next 4 or 5 days to think about his decision, and asks that you do not text, call, visit, or email him—as that would clutter his decision making process too much. He tells you that he asked the same of the other two agents in the mix.
A day goes by, then two days. Then three. Still no call. No text. No communication whatsoever. You know that the two agents you are competing with didn’t get to where they are by being passive. You are almost positive that they have been contacting Player X over the past couple days, and you start to think that maybe you should have done the same. It is not too late to give Player X a buzz, but you gave him your word that you would leave him be until you heard otherwise. The great agents have to be aggressive to lock down clients, but you do not want to cross that line and come off as too pushy. The clock is ticking. Day 4 is almost over.
What would you do…?