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How Baker Mayfield’s Agent Used His Oklahoma Roots To Land The Top QB

This week, NFL agent Jack Mills was a guest of Andrew Brandt on hisĀ Business of Sports podcast. Mills isn’t one of the oft discussed agents on this website, but has been in the business for over 40 years. However, he hasn’t been as active in representing players as of late … until this year. His big get was #1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.

Notes from the podcast:

  • 2 of Mills’ former clients were associated with the Mayfield family. Mills also graduated from Oklahoma. Those connections helped greatly with getting a foot in the door.
  • Based on 1 dinner, Mayfield was ready to sign with Mills. “We were pretty darn lucky,” says Mills. Mayfield saw that most of his friends were signed and he wanted to get it over with.
  • Mills says that Mayfield wasn’t having any meetings with agents during the college football season. He didn’t meet Mayfield until 2 weeks after the Rose Bowl. It is very rare for an agent to meet his client for the first time so long after the player’s final Bowl game.
  • Mills acknowledges that there’s very little to negotiate on a rookie contract and notes that it’s important to be honest with recruits and tell them that up front. He told Mayfield what he could and couldn’t do, and asked whether he’s interested in a big agency. Mayfield, right off the bat, said he didn’t want a big agency and preferred a more personal touch.
  • Mills didn’t won’t get the max of 3% on the Mayfield rookie deal , but did he even ask for it. That said, Mills indicated that he’s not doing the rookie deal for free.
  • Mills refuses to provide marketing guarantees to potential clients. He keeps it simple and admits that he won’t make a big impact in a player’s draft position.
  • At 1 point in his career, Mills had 72 clients all by himself. Back then, they had $25k salaries. He had his law practice at the same time.
  • When Mills got started, there was no players association control over agents and no certification process.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.