The sports agent business is a hyper-competitive industry and very challenging to achieve consistent success. To put it in perspective, there are 10 agents that represent about 500 NFL players. It is an extremely cutthroat business and it is rare to stay at the top.
Joel Segal is a unique exception. As the head of Lagardere Sports’ NFL practice, Segal continued his streak of representing multiple NFL draft picks for 14 straight years. The 2019 NFL Draft was one of Segal’s best drafts yet representing four of the first 32 players selected.
Among his first round clients include the 4th overall pick by the Raiders DE Clelin Ferrell, the Jaguars’ 7th overall pick DE Josh Allen, Bills’ 9th overall pick DT Ed Oliver and Giants’ 17thoverall pick DT Dexter Lawrence.
This year’s draft was loaded with defensive talent and Segal took advantage of this opportunity. In an article by Liz Mullen in Sports Business Journal, Segal said, “This was advertised as the year for the D-lineman, so obviously we prepared in recruiting. We focused on the D-Line and got a bit lucky.”
Segal credits his recruiting success to the $141 million ($90 million guaranteed) contract extension that he negotiated for his client and defensive end Khalil Mack, making him the highest-paid defensive player in the league.
Segal’s tremendous success over the years has led to the cultivation of relationships with numerous GM’s and Head Coaches around the league, specifically Raiders HC Jon Gruden. Segal and Gruden have had a good relationship for 20 years. “I have a lot of respect for Jon”, Segal says. After the Raiders traded Mack to the Bears, Gruden and GM Mike Mayock chose to trade away another one of Segal’s clients, WR Amari Cooper to the Cowboys. Cooper has one year left remaining on his rookie contract.
It is the first time that Segal has represented three players in the top 10 of the NFL Draft. Despite having 4 draft picks in the first round this year, Segal had five draft picks selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Additionally, he represented the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, representing OT Eric Fisher, who was selected by the Chiefs.
Obviously, his record streak of representing first rounders has helped in recruiting, but Segal is not concerned about whether or when his streak will come to an end. “It’s not about the streak,” Segal said. “it’s about being consistent and serving our clients well and to keep going strong.”
Segal represents the third most NFL players, representing 63 clients, only behind Drew Rosenhaus and Todd France representing 91 and 72 clients respectively. Greg Barnett, ChafieFields and Geoff Garmhausen are among the other NFL agents apart of Lagardere Sports’ NFL practice as well.