NFL Players Sports Agents

NFL: Free Agency Deadlines

As an NFL Agent (or any agent for that matter), it is always important to stay on top of any type of deadline that may affect any one of your clients. Every year, the National Football League sets a deadline for the latest date that an agent can submit the proper paperwork declaring his/her client as a free agent for the upcoming year.

What happens when an agent misses the deadline? In some cases, it may cost the agent his job with that particular client and may mark that agent as one to stay away from for many potential future clients. In this business, one has to be flawless, because there are so many other options for players to choose from.

Take for instance, David Joseph, former agent of superstar and current Dallas Cowboy, Terrell Owens. In 2004, Joseph did not file with the NFL by the free agent declaration deadline, which meant that Terrell Owens, by rule, would not be allowed to be a free agent in the ensuing year and would still belong to the San Fransisco 49ers (even though T.O. did not wish for such a situation). The problem eventually was solved, with the Baltimore Ravens losing out on obtaining T.O., but Terrell Owens finding a new home in Philadelphia. David Joseph, on the other hand, was left without his superstar athlete as T.O. turned to Mr. Ruthless (Drew Rosenhaus).

Poor David Joseph. Not everyone gets to be named “Tool of the Week.”

But miraculously, T.O.’s case is not isolated, as the agent for Dennis Northcutt made the same error in the same year! Still wondering why there are more registered agents than there are football players and why many of them represent 0 clients? Take advantage of the fact that many people become registered agents and poorly represent their clients. Do not be one of those people to forget an important deadline that greatly influences one of your clients.

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.