Today, any agent with 10 clients or more (I estimate less than 40) is on the road at a game somewhere watching their clients work on the NFL stage. However, I’m at home today watching several games at once, with two others’ Tivo’d up.
Next week, I will be in Tampa watching two of my starting D-lineman, Jon Babineaux with the Falcons and Greg White with the Bucs, square off at Raymond James stadium. As do my peers, I make it a habit to see each of my clients play live at least once or twice a season. However, if I have a client who is vying for a new contract, you may see me around more often getting some face time with the front office money men.
What do I watch for this weekend?
First and foremost, I hope and pray my clients stay healthy throughout the day and season. Secondly, I try to see just about every play of each client so I have intimate knowledge of their health and production level.
The line –up:
Greg White, DE, Bucs – Second-year player with 8.5 sacks last year and 7 forced fumbles. Greg gets a bonus for every sack he gets this season. Tampa rotates their defensive lineman, so I will keep track that he gets at least 50% playtime throughout the game and season. If he’s at the 40% mark or less in playtime by season’s end, I’m seeking a trade to a team that will use him more on every down. However, I believe he’ll be a 50% or more contributor.
Jon Babineaux, DT, Falcons- Jon’s going into his free-agent year so I really have to be tuned in to his abilities and production versus the run and pass. I also have to play close attention to how he is being used by the new Falcons' staff so I can appropriately set his value during and after the season.
Mat McBriar, Pro-Bowl Punter- He’s got one job and a monster leg. Jerry Jones actually called him this spring and asked him “how high he can punt” because he needed to know how high he needed to hang his scoreboard in the new stadium.
Chester Pitts, G, Texans – Chester is playing in his 97th consecutive game. He doesn’t get as much recognition as other linemen around the league because his team has been pretty bad since he’s been there. I have a mission to see that he gets the recognition he deserves and gets a serious consideration for the Pro Bowl.
Eric Steinbach, G, Browns – Last spring I helped make Eric the highest paid guard in the history of the NFL. He’s tied up for several years and he too is on the door step of making the Pro-Bowl. I just have to enjoy his work.
Tyrone Carter, S, Steelers – Tyrone came to the Steelers in a role situation but he always ends up starting at some point in the season. This is a frustrating situation for Tyrone and me as we know he can start on several other teams, but is getting paid as a backup. Unfortunately, he has two years left on his deal, but I will be banging down the money man’s door at the end of the season if he ends up as the starter again.
Al Harris, CB, Packers – We all know Al! I love watching this man work his trade against the best receivers in the league each year. He has played in 173 straight games and wants to have a 20 year career, a la Darrell Green.
Tyrell Johnson, S, Vikes – Ty was the Vikes second-round pick this year and will probably get the start on Monday Night Football against the Pack. This is a high pressure situation for a young guy from Arkansas State, but I’m confident he’ll do very well.
Scott Mruczkowski, OL, Chargers – Scott is a backup, but he’s on the heels of the starters vying to take their job. He’s an injury or a bad block away from being a starter.
Monte Beisel, LB, Cards- Monte has been working through a lower back problem so I’m curious and concerned about his health. When he’s healthy he is a playmaker.
I have several other clients sitting out due to injury and a few more looking for jobs. I will also be looking for opportunities to place my “street free agents” like WRs Tim Dwight or Mike Gaspersen as injuries may occur at that position. If I see one I’m on the phone tonight lining up a workout for Tuesday.
When I visit Tampa next weekend I will have dinner with Jon Babineaux the night before the game to get his take on how things are going in ATL. I will also visit with Thomas Dimitroff, the Falcons GM to discuss Jon’s situation. Then, I will be at the game Sunday, working the sidelines before the game and schmoozing with owners, GMs, media types, and front-office execs. Afterward, it's dinner with Greg White and over to the Bucs' office Monday morning to chat with GM Bruce Allen.
I will probably be on the road three out of every four weekends this year attending games, visiting clients, and recruiting some new ones.
Hope you enjoy a peek in the day of the life of an NFL agent! More to come….