NFL: The 3 Agents Behind Some of Your Favorite Players
The agents who represent players in the National Football League have one of the most wrongly glorified jobs in the country. Most people don’t truly understand the grind that is required of the individuals who make a decent living as an NFL agent, and on top of that, few people realize how cutthroat and competitive the industry can be. Cracking into the business is an extremely difficult battle in itself; having a lasting career in the industry is another story and is something very few people accomplish.
Movies like Jerry Maguire and Draft Day make being an agent seem like the dream job for anyone who loves the game of football. What football fan wouldn’t want to recruit and sign college football’s best players, then accompany them to the NFL Draft, and then finally collect massive commission checks after negotiating multi-million dollar contracts with NFL franchises?
In reality, NFL agents spend the vast majority of their waking hours – which for most of them is no less than 18 hours per day – on their phones either talking with players, checking in with teams, reading and writing emails, recruiting new clients, negotiating deals, or a wide variety of other tasks that the job requires. What’s even more eye opening about the agent world in the NFL is how top-heavy the industry is. Heading into the 2014 season, roughly 13 percent of the league’s certified agents represented half of the league’s players, and 25 percent of the league’s certified agents represented 78 percent of the players in the NFL. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 42 percent of the league’s certified agents had zero active clients playing in the league.
We could go on for a while about the difficulties of being an NFL agent, but we’ll save that for another day. In this article, we are going to introduce the three agents who currently represent the most active clients in the NFL. All three of them represent several big-name players, and chances are if you happen to be an avid sports fan, you’ve likely heard of at least one of them. Without further ado, here is a look at the three agents who represent the most players in the NFL.
3. Bus Cook – 51 clients
- Notable Clients:
- Jadeveon Clowney, outside linebacker, Houston Texans
- Jay Cutler, quarterback, Chicago Bears
- Calvin Johnson, wide receiver, Detroit Lions
- Mike Wallace, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings
- Cam Newton, quarterback, Carolina Panthers
- Jamie Collins, linebacker, New England Patriots
Cook is the founder and president of Bus Cook Sports and has a client list that includes some of the best players in the NFL. He may be best known for representing future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, and negotiating the league’s first $100 million contract on his behalf, but there is no denying that Cook is one of the best agents in the business. Three of his current clients – Jay Cutler, Cam Newton, and Calvin Johnson – currently are playing on $100 million contracts, and he has several more players who are closing in on massive paydays as well.
2. Joel Segal – 57 clients
- Notable Clients:
- Justin Houston, outside linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs
- Khalil Mack, outside linebacker, Oakland Raiders
- DeSean Jackson, wide receiver, Washington Redskins
- Patrick Peterson, cornerback, Arizona Cardinals
- Terrell Suggs, outside linebacker, Baltimore Ravens
- Maurkice Pouncey, center, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Mike Pouncey, guard, Miami Dolphins
Segal is one of the most powerful agents in the business. His client list is littered with Pro Bowlers, and over the course of his career, he has negotiated over $2 billion in player contracts. Segal has represented over 30 first round draft picks since 2001 including Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper this year, and was inducted into the George Washington University Sports Executives Hall of Fame in 2011, which can be seen in the above video clip.
1. Drew Rosenhaus – 96 clients
- Notable Clients:
- Rob Gronkowski, tight end, New England Patriots
- Antonio Brown, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers
- LeSean McCoy, running back, Buffalo Bills
- Frank Gore, running back, Indianapolis Colts
- Greg Hardy, defensive end, Dallas Cowboys
- Josh Gordon, wide receiver, Cleveland Browns
He may be despised by his peers in the agent world, but there is no arguing that Rosenhaus is ridiculously good at his job. On top of being one of the best in the business when it comes to bringing in massive paydays for his clients, the 48-year-old Florida native is also one of the best recruiters out there. As the most recognizable name and face in the industry, it should come as no surprise that Rosenhaus has far more active clients than any other agent in the business. Part of that is due to his track record, which leads to veteran players seeking him out, and the other part is due to him being a marketing genius. In closing, we’ll leave you with this snippet of Rosenhaus, courtesy of ESPN, for your viewing pleasure.