Usually, the agents of professional football players are nameless, faceless entities until a contract negotiation, holdout, or negative event happens for an NFL player. Or they’re Drew Rosenhaus, who has his name and face all over sports media whenever he wants to give his take on something happening with one of his clients.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans experienced the struggles of an agent first hand with the comments from Erik Burkhardt about his client and former starting quarterback Josh Freeman.
But what is the life of an agent really like? What do they do, how do they think, and what are their goals and recommendations for their players?
I was given the time to ask a few questions of former college football player and current agent Brandon Taylor, who had some interesting responses into his thoughts on being an agent, player priorities, and the Josh Freeman situation.
- Leo Howell - Tell us a bit about yourself, how you came to be an agent, and about some of the players you currently represent.
Brandon Taylor - To tell you a bit about myself, I am a graduate of the University of South Carolina where I walked-on during Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier years. I was fortunate enough to play with current Bucs left guard Jamon Meredith and play for former Bucs defensive backs coach Ron Cooper when I was there. After graduating from USC in 2007, I attended the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law where I worked for a sports agency, Metis Sports Management, LLC starting in 2008. Working for Metis is how I first got my start in the industry; first as a researcher, then as Video Coordinator and now as a football agent and baseball recruiter. I started my own company, Red Seven Sports, LLC, earlier this year after moving to Charlotte, NC.
I have helped represent a few undrafted free agents including guys from Penn State, Tennessee, Troy, Boise State, Boston College, Georgia Tech, South Carolina and a a few of the Florida schools. The last Buccaneer player I helped represent was Marshall McDuffie back in 2009. We were one of the first undrafted free agents of the Raheem Morris-Mark Dominik era. The highlight of my day was when Raheem called us personally to get Marshall pumped up about the opportunity to come to Tampa. I am currently representing two CFL players, one who I think can be the next Brandon Browner.
- Leo - Because I am sure there are a lot of misconceptions about what agents do for players, and they only appear in the news when something negative is happening, tell us a bit about what you do on a daily basis for your players.
Brandon - My job is to make sure my players off-the-field lives are taken care of. Much like the board of directors in a corporation, my team and I work to execute my client’s vision for his career. Mostly, my day-to-day job is to look for new revenue streams outside of football (endorsements, charities, and other business partnerships the athlete can pursue in retirement) while assisting him to maintain calm in his personal life (contract negotiations, taxes, insurance, bills, legal, media relations, etc.). These guys work 12-14 hour days just like anybody else while also having to deal with media, fan, family and other responsibilities, so it can be difficult to manage without some help.