Per a post to his Facebook account, Seattle Seahawks left tackle and impending free agent, Russell Okung, further explained and defended his decision to represent himself in his upcoming contract negotiations. Once the new NFL league year begins on March 9, Okung will become an unrestricted free agent.
Okung first announced his decision to represent himself in an article for the Players’ Tribune last summer, so he could avoid paying an agent’s fee. He also believes that incoming rookies do not necessarily need to have an agent because the NFL has slotted contracts for draft picks which do not require much negotiation.
Although Okung will be representing himself, he has retained his former agent, J.I. Halsell, to counsel him through the process. This is something that he has planned to do all along, saying in his Players’ Tribune post that “I’ll hire an expert – a lawyer or a sports attorney who understands the dynamic of football contracts – to read the paperwork. I’ll negotiate a one-time flat fee that isn’t dependent on the size of my salary.”
With this seemingly surprising decision, Okung hopes to pave a path for future free agents to feel comfortable representing himself. “These moments are the beginning of disruption. This year will be a demonstration of discipline and fortitude.”
Read all of Russell Okung’s post on his Facebook account here.