CFL Contract Negotiation

Agents Are Overrated

Right? People always come out and say that having a Sports Agent is an unnecessary extra cost. Players should be able to negotiate their own contracts and handle all of their off-field issues themselves, right?

Wrong. Doug Brown, a defensive lineman in the CFL gives 2 reasons why he has an agent [Player who acts as own agent has fool for client]:

1) So that he and the general manager of his team do not enter a personal arena where playing on the team becomes uncomfortable.

2) He admits that he is “not trained in the language, rules or wording of legal documents.”

Need proof? Take a look at the misery that two CFL players find themselves in after recently believing that they could handle their own negotiations. Stanford Samuels and Rob Murphy each reaffirm the value of paying a small commission based fee to an agent. This statement should hold true no matter what sport is being discussed.

-Darren Heitner

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.

4 replies on “Agents Are Overrated”

Unless you’re Ray Allen and you know you’re getting the max contract I don’t see any point in not having an agent. If you don’t want someone controlling your life, hire Lon Babby (I believe he mostly focuses on contracts only). Pat Garrity made comments about not wanting an agent to control him in the past. If there is no negotiation in your contract, it might not make sense to hire an agent. However, as you pointed out Darren, relationships can be broken due to what’s said in the negotiation room. The team is playing down your clients worth, you’re building it up. If you’re a player hearing these things has to sting and be a hit to ones self confidence. I’m reading Wayne Embry’s book and he mentions a few reasons on why he hired an agent for his last (managerial) contract in Cleveland. Sure the fees are high, but it’s a full-time job. Not to mention all the other aspects behind shopping a player, using other teams to your advantage, etc., etc.. Most players are not experts at CBAs either. Again, Ray Allen’s situation really was the only time I thought it made some sense because there was no negotiation when he was in Milwaukee. However, since then I believe he’s hooked up with Babby.

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