Sports Business

NFL Agent Todd France And CAA Mutually Part Ways

NFL agent Todd France and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) have mutually agreed to part ways. What is next for France is not yet known, but he is sure to try to keep the many talented NFL players who have signed Standard Representation Agreements (SRAs) with him.

As of the latest count of NFL Players Association rolls, France is ranked number three out of all NFL Contract Advisors when it comes to number of active players signed to SRAs. The only agents ahead of France (with sixty active players as clients) are Drew Rosenhaus (ninety-one) and CAA’s Jimmy Sexton (sixty-nine). Behind France is Joel Segal at fifty-three and Jared Fox at forty-four active players represented. That said, CAA commonly requires multiple agents to be listed on every player SRA, which is why Sexton (who also represents many prominent coaches) ranks so high on the list, as he is understood to be a favorite for the company when it comes to adding Contract Advisors to SRAs for security purposes (See: Ben Dogra).

France represents the likes of Dak Prescott, Kenny Golladay, Brian Burns, Javon Kinlaw and Justin Jefferson. Many of the players who France has signed to SRAs also list agents Brian Ayrault and Ben Renzin. There is currently nothing conclusive concerning whether any NFL agents will be departing after the parting of ways between France and CAA, which I understand to be completely separate from any potentially forthcoming agent moves.

This is not the first major business move for France. Early in his career, he owned a company called France Athlete Management Enterprises Inc. (FAME). Even prior to that, he got his start at Career Sports Entertainment, which was known as Career Sports Management when he was first hired by the firm in 1994. He worked his way up to senior vice president of the company prior to creating FAME in 2003.

France started his own agency in Atlanta, Georgia at 31-years-old and never looked back. He is known as being somewhat behind-the-scenes and has never taken an active role on social media. Meanwhile, he has represented numerous prominent players throughout his career such as Priest Holmes, Takeo Spikes, Nate Clements, Ronnie Brown, Carlos Rogers, Thomas Davis, Ernie Simms and is even named on the Joe Burrows SRA; however, the lead agent for Burrows is Brian Ayrault who currently remains at CAA.

It will be interesting to see what if anything changes for Ayrault, who moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to Atlanta in 2012 to work with France. In 2011, France’s company was called AllPro Athlete Management when Ayrault came knocking with an offer France could not refuse. Ayrault’s friend, billionaire businessman Terry Pegula, wanted to fuze Ayrault Sports with France’s company and provide significant capital backing. Five Star Athlete Management was born with France and Ayrault leading the company through a few years of strong success. But Pegula would be required to remove himself from the agency when he purchased the Buffalo Bills in 2014. One year later, France, Ayrault and five other employees of Five Star Athlete Management left to join CAA.

When France shifted his business to CAA, Ayrault came right along with him. Along with Burrows, the duo co-represent Joey and Nick Bosa among other NFL players. However, for now, France is leaving CAA on his own accord and without Ayrault in tow.

Sports Agent Blog will report on any further updates as they come in.

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.