Why Parents Shouldn’t ‘Play Agent’

(Listen to this blog here.)

Hello there. It’s Neil and this is the Two Minute Drill.

Maybe you don’t buy all this stuff about talking to agents, and maybe you’re even wondering how much an agent can really help your son. Fair enough. But despite all this, I want to encourage you to avoid one thing: trying to act as your son’s agent.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen parents wade into the process, feel like they can figure it all out, and ultimately hurt their sons’ chances of playing in the league. Time after time, I’ve spoken to parents who have one of two experiences. Either they feel like the business is simple, and everything they need to know is on the Internet, or they start out looking for an agent, find out it’s fun to play fantasy football for real, and decide they’re going to handle things for their sons.

Very often, they do this for honest reasons, but ultimately don’t realize they’re being selfish. It’s fun to ‘play agent,’ and rub elbows with NFL types, but it’s not particularly smart. You might think you know as much as agents do, but that’s not true.

Other times, parents think they’re saving their sons money by keeping the three percent normally paid to an agent. For these people, I say, half a loaf is better than none. Unless every mock draft you see has your son in the top three rounds, his selection in the draft is not a given. It’s important not to be penny-wise and pound-foolish in life, and nowhere is that more important than in the NFL draft.

Here’s one more point. You might have helped your son sift through his college choices and decide which scholarship offer was best, and you might feel this is just more of the same. I strongly urge you not to fall into that trap. The number of college football-playing schools is almost endless, but the number of NFL teams is 32, and the number of players on rosters at draft time is 90. That may sound like a lot of players, but it’s not. I’ve done breakdowns by position on ITL, and the number of players that make it is pretty finite every year. For example, if you’re a center or a free safety, you better be one of the 25 best in your class to make it, even as an undrafted free agent. If you’re a QB, you better be in the top 50. If you’re a wide receiver, you better be in the top 100. I know that sounds like a lot of players, but it’s not. The odds are not in your favor. I guess the thing to remember is that the football business is a lot more complex than it looks.

Thanks for listening. We’ll be back tomorrow with more tips on how to get your son to the NFL. Have a great day.

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