Deryk Gilmore, who negotiated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Evans’ $82.5 million contract, along with 16 other NFL agents were recently suspended by the NFL Players Association.
Currently, there are 849 registered NFL agents and 1,696 active roster NFL players. Of the total number of active roster NFL players, 270 players are represented by three agents. To limit the overpopulation of NFL agents, this year the NFLPA instituted the requirement that all agents pass a test to retain their NFL certification every June. If an agent does not pass the test, he or she are required to travel to Washington, D.C., to take a longer, more in-depth test with the group of aspiring agents looking to earn their initial certification. Those who fail for a second time are stripped of their NFL certification for one year.
Gilmore has been a certified agent since 2006. He began his career with Priority Sports before starting his own agency, Day 1 Sports & Entertainment. Gilmore is well known and highly respected throughout the NFL agent community. In March, he negotiated a $82.5 million contract with $55 million guaranteed for the star Buccaneers wide receiver, making him the second highest paid receiver in the NFL. Additionally, Gilmore negotiated a five-year, $50 million contract with $23.5 million guaranteed for his client, Shaq Mason, a guard for the New England Patriots.
The recent suspension has caused an uproar in the agent community. As one agent anonymously expressed, “It’s a guy’s livelihood,” about Gilmore’s situation. Gilmore’s spokeswoman, Beth Levine, released the following statement:
“We have a leading agent, who negotiated several of the richest contracts in the NFL, caught on the bleeding edge of a controversial new policy that’s raised real due process concerns from all corners of the industry, including players. We are confident the NFLPA will protect its players and their agents against the unintended consequences and confusion of the new policy – all as we work together to restore the collateral damage foisted upon a highly competent, 12-year veteran agent with impeccable integrity.”
Due to the oversaturation in an already-competitive and cut throat industry, one needs to seriously consider the combination of newly-implemented “recertication test” with the number of agents compared to active NFL players before starting your journey towards becoming the next Jerry Maguire.