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King of the NFL Jungle

It’s not every week that the Sports Business Journal has blog worthy information for us agents and agents-to-be but a particular article in this week’s issue is certainly worth mentioning. With the start of the 2007 NFL being this week (and Thursday night’s opening day blowout is an entirely separate issue) the editors over at SBJ released a football focused issue which happened to include a list of “The 20 Most Influential People in the NFL”. At this point it must be clear where I’m headed with this for you other loyal SBJ readers. The lone cowboy on that aforementioned list and thus apparently king of the NFL jungle (when speaking strictly of agents of course) happens to be Tom Condon, on whom an Agent Spotlight posting was done in Spring 2006.

Now, I believe just as much as the next person, that there’s no single agent out there who is the most powerful…but let it be known that Tom Condon has to come remarkably close to claiming that title and crown. Nevermind the 130+ client firm that he and Ben Dogra now head over at Creative Artists Agency, though that alone may be enough in your mind to put him head and shoulders above the rest.  As the only agent on a list of the most influential people in and around our nation’s most popular and successful (in a business sense) sport he’s got to be at or near the top in a comparative ‘clout analysis’ (if one were to be done; which could in fact be a fun/interesting survey). Also worth noting is that on the list in question, Condon is the one of two people not directly linked to the NFL as an executive of a media organization or owner or league employee (Tony Ponturo, VP of global media and sports marketing at Anheuser-Busch being the other). It certainly does seem like Tom Condon is the man when it comes to NFL agents and perhaps all agents.

Go ahead and share your thoughts on Condon, the list, or who else might be the top agent out there…of this day and age of course . Enjoy tomorrow’s football!

Samyr Laine

4 replies on “King of the NFL Jungle”

Yea, I’ve definitely heard of him and much to my surprise, he wasn’t on the list in question. Let’s not forget that Rosenhaus’ client list isn’t approaching 130 clients. He’s about somewhere around 40 to 50 clients behind Condon. That’s not to say that Rosenhaus isn’t huge deals with some big time players but Condon certainly is as well with Peyton and Eli Manning, LT, Drew Brees, Marvin Harrison, Marc Bulger, Alex Smith and Tony Gonzalez (to name a few) on that long client list.

That client list is very impressive for Mr. Condon. I noticed most of those players are the franchise players on their respective teams and have huge deals which will keep them on that team for years to come. Condon might have the most stars and highest total income. When it comes to naming the “king of the jungle”, I believe no other agent is feared by GM’s for his ability to get what he wants ( money, or a trade) than Drew Rosenhaus. Consider this, Larry Johnson had three dominant seasons where he was the workhorse back for the Chiefs. LJ has never had major injury concerns. He had to holdout all summer to get his rookie contract renegotiated up to par. Frank Gore of the 49ers had injury problems throughout college, and after only one season of leading the NFC in rushing, Drew got his rookie deal renegotiated without a holdout ( Defense is considerably worse in the NFC West – arizona, st louis, seattle than the AFC West- denver, san diego, oakland). Another example is how Drew got his boy Willis McGahee traded to a contender in Baltimore when he no longer wanted to play in Buffalo. I know Drew has a bad rep, but he does right by his players.

All very valid points though I’m sure several similar stories can be made for some of Condon’s clients. The other question then becomes ‘what makes one the king of their jungle or domain’? Haha.

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