Not every player is interested in going with a mega-agency like CAA or IMG (depending on the sport). Some are just fine with going for a smaller firm that has a proven track record. That’s what Joe Thomas was looking for going into the 2007 NFL Draft.
“One of the big things I really liked,” Thomas said, “he [Peter Schaffer] respected everyone, no matter how important or unimportant they were in the process. He never wanted anyone to feel like they were being taken advantage of. I think a lot of big-time agents go on power trips after they have big-time clients, but he has never done that. My goal was to find a firm that had top prospects, but yet hasn’t turned into a super megafirm where you don’t get the personalized service that you’re looking for.” – Joe Thomas
Thomas, along with other NFL players like Jamar Adams and Mike Hart chose Schaffer and All Pro Sports & Entertainment over rival agents. Their list of clients is nothing to scoff at, but in comparison to Rosenhaus and Condon, it does not compare. In fact, Lito Sheppard recently dropped All Pro for Rosenhaus. Think Schaffer is holding a grudge? From Saturday’s Denver Post,
“I don’t think Scott Boras is bad for business; he takes a very intellectual approach and he drives a hard bargain, but he represents his client.
“But Drew Rosenhaus and people like him stretch the level of credibility. That’s bad, because you’re in a business where you want to portray a sense of ethics, morality and honesty and he’s admitting that he’s lying and cheating and stealing to get contracts and players. That’s not good for any business.
“The morals and ethics of our society have to be driven by the professionals of our society. It’s always easy to lie and cheat to get to where you want to go, but it should be about doing it the right way. I don’t think the way he does things can be defined as successful — in any business. He makes it harder for us, but people like that will never affect how we do business.”
Zing! I felt the crack of that whip all the way in Florida…many miles away from Colorado, which is where Schaffer calls home. Here are some snippets that are actually informative,
“We tell [players] what an agent legitimately can and can’t do and what they should expect. The biggest misconceptions about the business are created by other agents telling clients what can happen. Like in marketing, you can take an offensive lineman and tell him he’s going to get TV commercials and roles in Hollywood movies, but the reality is that’s probably not gonna happen. Yet someone will tell them that with a straight face and it gets hard to convince them otherwise.”
“Every contract has its own unique issues and challenges, whether it’s a seventh-round pick or a top-10 player. You have to treat everyone like it’s Barry Sanders because it’s their career, and you have to put their own individual stamp on their deal to put them in the best situation.
“It’s interesting on an intellectual level because there are so many moving parts: Is it a three-, four- or five-year deal? . . . What about incentives? . . . Can a player reach them? Do you want the player to stay with a team? If he’s a nickel back on a team, do you do a shorter deal so he can go to another team and be a starter? You want to look at a contract, not only as it being good today, but also it being good tomorrow or the next year, too.”
But I really like Schaffer’s parting words…
My dad always told me, “Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut.”
Yeah, I bet Rosenhaus is thinking that Schaffer should have heeded his dad’s advice right about now.