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Why Are NFL Agents Not Switching To Team Jobs?

The New York Post has a new article titled, “Inside NFL’s reluctance to hire ex-agents to run teams,” and even gave us at Sports Agent Blog a shout out. The lengthy (for New York Post standards) article references a trend in professional sports organizations to hire sports agents to work in-house, but notes that such trend has not made its way to National Football League franchises.

Leigh Steinberg is quoted stating that an agent’s skill set is perfect to move into front offices in a variety of capacities and that he has always been mystified by why there wasn’t more of it.

“I think there is a more of a traditional yet-to-be-broken mold in the NFL, where your general manager is by and large from a scouting background rather than a negotiating background,” said Andrew Brandt, who is currently an agent for Vayner Sports but previously served as vice president of player finance for the Green Bay Packers.

Drew Rosenhaus said that he likes having control of his success whereas “there are a lot of honest, hard-working general managers who don’t succeed because they weren’t necessarily in the right place at the right time.”

The article also featured comments from me after the author said that respect can be earned.

“That’s where it really requires a good negotiator who will drive home a deal for his or her client as an agent but not burn any bridges in the process,” I said. “As long as you don’t make it personal, bring emotions into the equation or publicly smear the other side … it’s almost like the best job interview you could have.”

I added, “At this time, there are enough data points through different sports to show an agent could have more success than others who made a career out of being in a particular organization. I would hope selecting an agent is not an option of last resort. It shouldn’t be.”

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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.