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On To The Next One: Michael Johnson

When news broke in July 2009 that Michael Johnson, the 3rd round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, had signed before the team was about to report to camp, Richard Kopelman‘s name was listed as Johnson’s agent.  He negotiated a $863,000 guaranteed (with a total maximum value of $3.47 million) contract for his client.  Kopelman was also there for Johnson when the Cincinnati Bengal hosted his first “See it First…Vision for Success” youth football camp, which was an effort to give back to his hometown of Selma, Alabama.

Michael Johnson no longer sees Kopelman being a part of the picture, though.  He has dropped Kopelman for Alvin Keels of Corporate Athletic Mgmt.  Was Johnson’s mother, Thomasene, a part of that decision making process?  After all, she is Johnson’s business manager, who also took the lead in organizing and running his football camp.

It is a nice present for Keels, who must be on a high anyway after his client, Leon Washington, broke the San Diego Chargers special teams for two touchdowns in a Seattle Seahawks win this past weekend.

Someone might want to tell Johnson that Kopelman’s firm is still listed as a “Preferred Partner” on Johnson’s official website.

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.