Jan 30, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; A general view of the FOX logo on Ocean drive in South Beach Miami prior to Super Bowl LIV between the San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Announcer Dick Stockton retires after 55 years

Record-setting play-by-play announcer Dick Stockton is retiring after a 55-year career.

He made the announcement Thursday in a news release issued by FOX Sports, where he’s worked the past 27 years.

“I’ve decided to step aside, enjoying the many memorable events I’ve been blessed to cover, and ready to enjoy doing more things away from the broadcast booth,” Stockton, 78, said. “My 27 years at FOX Sports have been the most rewarding … but I feel there is a time to call it a day and allow the many younger broadcasters the chance to develop their careers, just as I had the opportunity years ago. I have nothing but indelible memories of being part of the sports landscape for over seven decades and will now sit back and watch the future of sports broadcasting unfold.”

Stockton has called at least 1,545 games on network television in the four U.S. sports leagues, which FOX said in a news release is the most of any broadcaster.

He also worked college basketball for FOX and other networks.

“Dick’s contributions to FOX Sports began on day one of our existence and will be felt for years to come,” said Eric Shanks, the network’s CEO and executive producer. “He is a cornerstone of this company whose legacy, talent and hard work helped build the NFL on FOX brand. Growing up as a sports fan, I knew his voice signified a big game, but later working with him, I realized just how big and irreplaceable that voice truly is. Dick will be greatly missed, and we at FOX Sports wish him the best in retirement.”

Stockton, whose career began in 1965 in local radio and TV in his hometown of Philadelphia, is a member of the National Sports Media Association’s Hall of Fame.

He also spent 17 years at CBS Sports and nearly two decades with Turner Sports, announcing NBA and MLB games. He’s called everything from the Olympics to boxing, and he also was the play-by-play announcer for the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox.

He was on the call of six Super Bowls for NFL Network’s international broadcast.

–Field Level Media

5 ways the agent business has changed

<p> With the new CBA somewhat simplifying things, it really has taken a lot of the fun out of the business. At one time, negotiating contracts was an abstract business for the agent to be creative in constructing contracts, but much has been streamlined. Sure, the top players in the league have multiple layers in their contracts that require finesse and expertise from a seasoned agent. But after that the negotiation can get pretty vanilla, yet it does still leave enough room to be inventive for those players below the echelon of "top" billing. </p> <p> <strong>1) All 32 teams are reading from the same script: </strong>For years, the NFLPA has accused the NFL for illegally colluding on contracts (terms, signing bonus language, structure). If you talk to the agents, we will tell you, there aren’t 32 different styles of doing business as there once was. If definitely seems that GMs and salary cap mangers have been schooled, and well, at the exact same school using the same philosophy. The result; player contracts are getting shorter, guaranteed language is getting more complicated, and patterns of how and when deals get done are consistent around the league.</p> <p> <strong>2) Draft is more tightly slotted, less tools to work with in constructing contracts: </strong>Under previous CBAs, there were multiple tools agents and teams used to allocate bonuses within a rookie contract and create more money. Now the battle lay within the structure of the money rather than with the amounts themselves (predetermined). In addition, rookie deals cannot be renegotiated until after a players 3rd year (see Russell Wilson). The length/term of deal is now fixed.</p> <p> Under the last CBA, we could negotiate how long the deal would go. The previous CBA language specified maximum term limits rather than set terms. I for one used to do four-year deals for my 2nd rounders and three-year deals for my 3rd rounders and lower. In doing shorter deals, I took a little less of a signing bonus than those who did five year deals but got my clients to free agency sooner. Client Jonathan Babineaux is a good example. He’s a client who landed his 3rd NFL contract this year at age 32.</p> <p> Now every draft pick is given a four year contract. The exception being first round picks with a team option for a fifth year (Fifth Year Option). Undrafted free agents are given three year contracts.</p> <p> <strong>3) More concierge services:</strong> Derivative services outside of contract negotiations and marketing took a huge jump about ten years ago. Agents who may have never negotiated a contract before became really good at teeing up some freebies for players. Free phones, calling plans, hotels, flights, tech products, use of cars, Vegas trips, clothes, sports equipment and/or concert tickets. Many of these are just inducements to sign with said agent but it’s common place for all agencies to offer some level of concierge services.</p> <p> <strong>4) Social media coaching, counsel, management and/or clean up: </strong>The advent of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook put the power of the media in the hands of the players. Many players, with or without a plan, have been using these tools to talk with their fans, start controversy, voice their opinions, start arguments with other players and/or promote their brand or charitable affiliates. Agents quickly had to become proficient and learn how to help players manage their social ambitions.</p> <p> <strong>5) Doing more back end management on medical, lawsuits, etc:</strong> With the new CBA came some additional benefits like the cognitive injury benefit. Agents have more work to do on the back end of a player's career. In addition, with players having more latitude on choosing a second opinion doctor and less pressure on them getting back on the field, agents are even more involved in the setting up, researching and scheduling of medical services for our clients. This is actually a good thing for players with agents who understand the importance of managing the medical component of the business. Knowing when and how to get the most from a player's benefits and firmly exercising their rights can help set a player up for life.</p> <p> <em>Follow me on Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/jackbechta" target="_blank">@Jackbechta</a></em></p>

Lighter in the pockets

<p> The NFL announced on Wednesday that Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson has been <a href="http://footballpost.wpengine.com/Eagles-announce-Lane-Johnsons-fourgame-PED-suspension.html" target="_self">suspended for the first four games</a> of the regular season for violating its performance enhancing drugs policy.</p> <p> Johnson received a fully guaranteed four-year, $19,853,104 contract, which included a $12,818,620 signing bonus, as the fourth overall pick of the 2013 NFL draft. His 2014 salary consists of a $495,000 base salary and an $812,414 fifth day of training camp roster bonus.</p> <p class="co_image co_image_right inline_right"> <img alt="Lane Johnson" src="http://cdn.cloudfiles.mosso.com/c1910342/media_center/images/rendered/blog/wysiwyg/lj11.jpg" />Johnson will miss the first four games of the 2014 regular season.</p> <p> Johnson’s suspension will cost him $934,224. He will lose $116,470 (4/17ths) of his base salary. The Eagles will recoup the same proportion (4/17ths) of the prorated amount of his signing bonus ($3,204,655) as he’s losing in base salary. This amounts to $754,036. Under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, the standard of recoupment is different for roster, reporting and option bonuses than with signing bonuses, but Johnson will also forfeit $63,718 of his roster bonus. Johnson will be playing the 2014 season for $373,190 instead of the $1,307,414 he was originally scheduled to make.</p> <p> Johnson’s contract contains language that voids the remaining salary guarantees with a suspension. Most NFL contracts have these types of clauses. Johnson’s suspension wipes out the $6,629,484 of salary guarantees he had in his 2014 through 2016 contract years.</p> <p> The voiding of Johnson’s guarantees gives the Eagles leverage to ask Johnson for a pay cut in the future and lowers the salary cap charges if they release him. For instance, Johnson’s entire $6,316,897 2016 cap number would have counted against the Eagles’ cap upon release in 2016 without the suspension. Since Johnson’s $3,112,242 2016 salary ($675,000 base salary and $2,437,242 fifth day of training camp roster bonus) is no longer guaranteed, the only cap charge for the Eagles will be $3,204,665 of signing bonus proration if he is cut in 2016.</p> <p> The ramifications for Dion Jordan, the third overall pick of the 2013 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins, with his <a href="http://footballpost.wpengine.com/Dolphins-Dion-Jordan-suspended-for-four-games-for-PED-violation.html" target="_self">four-game performance enhancing drugs suspension</a> are like Johnson’s, but a little steeper since he got $719,194 more for being selected one pick higher.</p> <p> <strong>Follow me on Twitter:</strong> @<a href="http://www.twitter.com/corryjoel" target="_blank">corryjoel</a></p> <p> <em><strong>Joel Corry is a former sports agent who helped found Premier Sports & Entertainment, a sports management firm that represents professional athletes and coaches. Prior to his tenure at Premier, Joel worked for Management Plus Enterprises, which represented Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon and Ronnie Lott. You can email Joel at jccorry@gmail.com. </strong></em></p>