According to SBJ, the number of NFLPA-certified agents has risen to 830, a four percent rise from 795 for those who don’t want to do the math.
Each summer the NFLPA holds a seminar and exam for those interested in becoming a certified agent. While this comes at a steep price of $2,500 just to apply, hundreds of potential agents sit for the exam each year. This year, 119 individuals become certified.
This summer’s class of newly-minted agents is included in the 830 certified agents, who had until October 1 to turn in their yearly dues and insurance.
Additionally, 84 agents either lost or dropped their certification for a variety of reasons. If a certified agent does not negotiate a contract within three years of becoming certified, he or she must become recertified. This means paying the application fee and sitting for the exam once again. Other reasons for loss of certification include not going to the mandatory annual union seminar or not paying dues/insurance.
With approximately 1,696 active NFL players, the ratio of players to agent stands around 2.04:1. However, that is certainly not the case. A large percentage of certified agents might not even have a client in the NFL, but rather in the CFL/AFL or free agent. While there are agents (see Drew Rosenhaus) who represent around 100 clients, most are looking at potential recertification in the next couple of years.
Annual fees for agents are currently $1,500 if you represent less than 10 active players and $2,000 if you represent 10 or more active players, with both numbers subject to change according to the NFLPA’s website. Since NFLPA Certified Agents can make up to three percent commission on contracts they negotiate, the business is costly, especially since the default agent fee has been lowered to 1.5 percent.
Each July, around the time when the next batch of agent-hopefuls sit for the exam, ITL’s Neil Stratton provides an inside look at the exam and its success rate. Keep an eye out next offseason.