Big Blue United

Richard Sherman is his own agent. Will that matter in free agency?

This post was originally published on this site

Richard Sherman’s days with the Seattle Seahawks are likely over. The four-time Pro Bowl cornerback was due to count $13.2 million against the team’s salary cap in 2018 and was jettisoned to the free agent market when he reportedly refused a pay cut.

There’s the possibility that Sherman could re-sign with the Seahawks, but he’ll hit the open market first.

And unlike every other player likely to hit free agency in March, Sherman will do so while acting as his own agent.

Sherman was previously represented by high-profile agent Ben Dogra of Relativity Sports and CAA. But Dogra had his agent license revoked by the NFL Players Association in January 2016 for undisclosed reasons before he was reinstated in February 2017. Sherman didn’t retain his services after Dogra was reinstated.

Since then, Sherman has been acting as his own agent. But that hasn’t mattered until the 2018 offseason, and his decision to represent himself will now be put to the test.

Is it rare to be your own agent?

Yes, but it’s not unprecedented. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is currently serving as his own agent leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft, and New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers did the same prior to the 2015 NFL Draft.

A comparable situation for Sherman was when former Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung represented himself during free agency in 2016 and 2017. About a decade before that, quarterback Daunte Culpepper served as his own agent for the final years of his NFL career.

What’s the point of hiring an agent in the first place?

An NFL agent can play a few roles, helping with public relations and marketing. But the most important job for an agent is negotiating a contract for their client. There’s a lot of minutiae that goes into an NFL contract, including a signing bonus, a base salary, roster and workout bonuses, and incentives.

For draft picks — like Flowers in 2015 — much of that is predetermined by the rookie wage scale set in the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA. But for free agents, it helps to have someone with legal expertise to hammer out a deal.

Okung negotiated a five-year, $53 million deal for himself with the Denver Broncos in 2016. But the contract was essentially a one-year, $5 million deal with no guaranteed money and a four-year, $48 million team option. The Broncos declined that option and Okung was a free agent again in 2017.

A year later, Okung’s second shot at negotiating a deal for himself worked out better when he signed a four-year, $53 million deal with the Chargers with $25 million guaranteed.

Why doesn’t Sherman want an agent?

Sherman, a Stanford graduate, has always been one of the most outspoken players in the NFL. He hasn’t shied away from any subject, and has often compared his skills to other cornerbacks in the league.

If any player understands their own value, can navigate free agency, negotiate a deal, and save some

Read the rest of the article on SB Nation NFL Draft