Money management is a thing that we all deal with. But when it comes to athletes, the stakes are even higher as their salaries are just as accessible as their stats. And with Lamar Jackson closing in on a contract extension that will pay him hundreds of millions of dollars, many are curious how this is going to work for Jackson sans agent.
Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, and Dak Prescott have all signed extensions that pay them somewhere between $35 to $45 million per year. And with Jackson being the next young franchise quarterback up for a big payday, it’s expected that his deal will be in the same ballpark.
However, Jackson is going to save himself millions by not having to give an agent a cut of his money? Or will it wind up costing him more cash down the line because he might mess something up?
Nobody really knows.
The move isn’t a strange one for Jackson, given that the 24-year-old didn’t have an agent when he signed his rookie deal in 2018, as his mother stood in as his pseudo-agent.
“I know coming in as a rookie, agents don’t negotiate anything really,” Jackson said at the NFL combine. “You know you’re gonna get the salary you’re gonna get, and I decided I don’t need him. He’s going to be taking a big cut of my paycheck anyway, and I feel I deserve it right now.”
Back in 2007, Alex Rodriguez went to the Yankees and finalized his 10-year, $275 million deal without his agent, Scott Boras. A few years later, A-Rod and Boras parted ways. And in 2005, LeBron James fired the Goodwin brothers, letting Maverick Carter and Randy Mims handle things before Rich Paul officially took over.
“It used to be, you had to be a lawyer, or have a lawyer. You don’t have to be a lawyer to do anything,” Paul told the New Yorker in a recent interview.
“Well, let me tell you something. I learned nothing at CAA,” Paul said of the Creative Artists Agency, where he worked before starting his own agency, Klutch Sports Group, in 2012. “Nothing. I learned nothing. Because there was no investment in me for me to learn anything. There was no plan. I used my personal skill set that I grew up with for these opportunities.”
In 2019, Klutch created an NFL division. By the 2020 NFL Draft, the agency had seven players drafted, including the second and third overall picks. And earlier this year, Klutch named Nicole Lynn its president of football operations. In 2019, Lynn became the first Black female agent to represent a first-round pick in the NFL Draft.
In 1996, Rod Tidwell showed us the importance of not only having an agent, but having one that believes in you.
In 2021, that’s still the case. However, this time around some athletes are taking it upon themselves to be their own representatives if they don’t want to pay a Jerry Maguire or a Bob Sugar for their services.