NFL Holdout: Maurice Jones-Drew’s Agent Adisa Bakari Finds Himself In Tough Situation

36 days.  That is the amount of days that Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew has been holding out from participating in team practices and preseason games.  Based on a $30,000 fine for each day missed, Jones-Drew has racked up a bill of over $1 million.  While it is unlikely that the Jaguars ever attempt to collect the full amount owed to the team based on Jones-Drew’s absence, the pressure continues to mount on the running back who is still drafted in the first round of most fantasy leagues.

[Related: Public Discussion Of Maurice Jones-Drew Holdout Will Not Affect His Brand].

Meanwhile, Jones-Drew’s agent, Adisa Bakari is also in the hot seat.  Adam Stites of Big Cat Country thinks that Jones-Drew is “getting bad advice from a bad agent.”  However, I have to agree with D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who wrote that Bakari “is a standup guy and works with the media when teams are making concerted efforts to stop agents from talking to the press.”

Interestingly, the running back that has temporarily taken Jones-Drew’s #1 spot on the Jaguars depth chart (at least for game 1 of the regular season) is Rashad Jennings, who was represented by Bakari until recently.  In fact, head coach Mike Mularkey has stated that even if Jones-Drew comes back to practice prior to the start of the season, Jennings will still be the #1 RB for game 1.  Jennings is now represented by Sunny Shah of 320 Sports, Inc.  He also co-hosts a radio show with Jacksonville, Florida-based attorney John M. Phillips called “Courts & Sports.”  While I am not privy to the circumstances that led Jennings to find new representation, I always wonder why two players at the same position on the same team would want to have the same agent.  It seems like an obvious conflict of interest, especially in the case that one of the players is embroiled in a holdout.  I get the feeling that all parties are fine with Jennings’ switch to Shah.

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.