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NFL Workout Agreements

NFL injuryEach team’s first NFL minicamp is required for all players, rookies and veterans. An NFL player’s uniform contract includes a clause for medical care and continued salary payments in case of an injury. The problem is that many drafted players and undrafted players trying to make a team will perform in minicamp without any signed deal. Without a uniform contract signed between player and team, the player could be SOL if he suffers an unfortunate injury. But there is a preventative measure: a workout agreement.

The workout agreement, which is individually negotiated with the NFL club, provides that if the player sustains an injury in the minicamp he will be covered as if he was injured while performing under an NFL player contract, including the right to medical care and a salary guarantee for injury.

This makes common sense to me if you are a player who got selected in the first or second round and the team is committed to making you a part of its future. But what about an undrafted free agent who is just trying to get a look? In that case, he does not have any bargaining power and demanding a workout agreement may make a team hesitate in giving him a legitimate shot. Obviously, if you can get your rookie client into a minicamp with a workout agreement, you and your boy are better off. Always think about the worst possible scenario playing out and protect your client accordingly.

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.

One reply on “NFL Workout Agreements”

I don’t think undrafted free agents have enough leverage to ask for any kinds of guarantees. There may be a handful each year, but most are just happy to be in a camp, since I think statistically only about 8 percent of them make rosters.

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