Former Green Bay Packers executive and current ESPN NFL Business Analyst, Andrew Brandt, recently discussed agents’ roles in the run-up to the NFL Draft for Sports Illustrated’s ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’.
Considering Brandt’s experience on the team side along with being a former agent and now in sports media, he clearly has 360-degree football business perspective.
According to Brandt, “The agent is the gateway between the player and the various rungs of NFL decision-makers who will determine the player’s future.”
In the article, Brandt also laid out the pre-draft process, training costs, and dealing with players’ families. Arguably the most important part of the entire process, though, is the player’s expectation level. That can definitely vary across the board, as Brandt outlined, depending on the agent’s level of truthfulness with his/her client.
Below are some more key points, information, and quotes from the ex-agent. Here is the article in full if you’d like to read it.
On agents being an advocate for their clients…“The best agents advocate for players while earning the respect and trust of teams. Agents must know going in that teams always believe they have all the information they need about players, but they must also tactfully update their front office contacts with even slightly new information throughout the protract draft process.”
On the trust factor between agents and front office executives… “The business of football is about much more than numbers. It is about relationships. Honesty creates trust, and team-agent relationships are paramount.”
On having multiple contract negotiations with the same agent… “Teams hope for long and productive careers with the players they draft, meaning multiple contract negotiations. If the team feels very comfortable with a certain agent or, uncomfortable with one, who the agent is can make a difference. I have seen it happen and still hear of it happening every year.”
On what an agent means to his clients…“(The agent) is the nexus between the 32 NFL teams and the player, his family, and other interested parties. So when we see the player hug the agent when his name is called sometime between May 8-10, know that the agent has earned that embrace.”