In March 2018, Mike Evans, Buccaneers star WR signed a five-year $82.5 million contract extension with $55 million in guaranteed money. At the time, this made Evans the second highest paid WR in the NFL only behind Antonio Brown. The man behind the negotiation of this contract was his agent, Deryk Gilmore.
Deryk Gilmore, former Penn State nose tackle on the 1986 National Championship team, spent over 20 years in college athletics as a player, coach and administrator with the Big 10 and Pac 12 before becoming a sports agent. In 2005, Gilmore was certified as an agent. He spent 12 years as one of the top agents in the industry with Priority Sports & Entertainment.
In 2017, Gilmore left Priority Sports to start his own agency, Day 1 Sports & Entertainment. In an article with Front Office Sports, Gilmore says his inspiration to start his own agency began with his philosophy that “When you’re with a bigger agency, I always tell younger people coming in that, people aren’t going to sign with the agency, they are going to sign with the individual. So my approach hasn’t changed in that I sell myself,” said Gilmore.
Fast forward to September 2018, Gilmore was the most successful of 16 veteran agents that were suspended one year for failing a new testing procedure conducted by the NFLPA. The new NFLPA procedure requires all certified agents to complete and pass an online test every two years. If agents fail the test, they must take the longer test in person with the new, prospective agents. Many agents, including Gilmore, objected this new ruling because they had already taken the longer, in-person test to get certified in the first place. Gilmore was suspended for one year and reinstated on September 13, 2019 after successfully passing the recertification test this past summer. “When I received the news on failing the online agent exam by one question, I was angry at the world”, Gilmore said. “My faith was challenged and my future was in doubt.”
“I’m back in business,” he said in an article by Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal. To say that this past year was one of the toughest in Deryk Gilmore’s life is an understatement. Through the support of his faith, family and friends, Gilmore has not wavered. “When you’re facing obstacles, remember that when God closes a door, he opens another, even if its hell in the hallway.”
Prior to his suspension, Gilmore represented about 22 players in the NFL. After his suspension was announced, the contracts he had with his clients were all voided. This resulted in 5 of his former clients signing with other agents.
Gilmore is currently in the process of resigning his former clients and adding new clients to his Day 1 Sports & Entertainment family. He is confident that he will succeed. “I am hungrier than ever”, Gilmore said.