Contract Negotiation NFL Players Sports Agents

To Leave or Not to Leave: Inside an NFL Player’s Difficult Decision

As powerhouse sports agents leave their respective agencies, they often times leave athletes with a choice: to leave and join their agent’s new organization, or to stay and find new representation. A decision that can single-handedly change a player’s future. Of course, on-field performance for NFL players is the number one contributor to their future contracts, but the right agent can make a significant difference in annual pay, incentives, bonuses and even off-field contributions. Each agent or agency has their own contacts that benefit their clients and their own method of achieving their clients’ desired situation.

Several big name NFL players have recently gone through this phenomenon. Josh Allen has chosen to stay at Creative Artists Agency, while Nick Bosa has elected to move to WME Sports with his agent. In an article by Liz Mullen, “when agents, especially powerful agents like France [Todd France, Athletes First], Ayrault [Brian Ayrault, WME Sports], and Renzin [Ben Renzin, WME Sports], leave agencies the clients may or may not follow and it often depends on the agent with whom the player has the closest relationship.”  

Of course, each decision is pivotal to an agent’s career. For example, Brian Ayrault recently negotiated a five-year, $135 million extension for Joey Bosa of the Los Angeles Chargers. If Ayrault had left prior to this deal and Bosa chose to stay at his current agency, that is a huge sum of money Ayrault loses out on, allowing another agent and company to capitalize.

In an industry that has enormous focus on on-field competition and results, these decisions by NFL players regularly go unrecognized. However, the selections NFL players make and the connections agents have can have serious impacts on on-field competition and results. So the next time you see an NFL player in the news regarding agent discussion, take a moment to think about the potential impact their decision may have.