June 11, 2019

This email is directed at any NFLPA-certified contract advisor interested in how the NFL draft works as well as the months leading up to the draft. Note: We are not endorsed, sponsored, or otherwise affiliated with the NFLPA.
2019 Case Study: Jumaane Ford
Neil's brief primer:  Jumaane played collegiately at Stony Brook, and always had a love for the game. Some years later, he began coaching his son in youth league football, and that sparked an interest in the business side of the game after being around his son and his son's teammates. "It was a no-brainer" decision, Jumaane said, to become a contract advisor as he was a lawyer with experience in the music and entertainment business. He registered with the NFLPA to take the exam last summer and passed it. 
Active NFL clients:  Fort Hays State DC Doyin Jibowu signed with the Bears as a UDFA after the draft this spring.Also, Jumaane reps Falcons DT Ra'shede Hageman, a former second-round pick by Atlanta out of Minnesota (2014, 2/37). Hageman was out of football for two years before Jumaane was able to help him resign with his former team.
Why did he become an agent?  "Because of my love for football and interests in building men. Building men comes first for me personally. There are too many unethical guys running around in this profession. I like to believe that I have authentic care for my clients during and after their careers."
Day job:  Ford owns a transportation company in New York City. 
His take on the NFLPA exam:  "ITL is an invaluablesource for anyone that wants to take the exam. The study guide materials really help. Once I learned the CBA, there were really no tricks. I approached the NFLPA exam like the bar exam. I was a second-time taker of the NFLPA exam. I failed two questions short the first time without the services of ITL. ITL and Neil was a large reason why I passed the second time around."
Hardest part of being an agent:  "I don't think there is a hard part. I am living my dream and it is a blessing to get in contact with these young men. I see myself as a mentor for young men that I didn't sign, and I'm always there for athletes who need advice. If there was a hard part, it would be in the initial contact process." 
He felt like he'd had a successful first year as a contract advisor when:  " . . . I got my first client, Ra'shede Hageman. I had two players get signed after the draft, and helped (linebackers) Chase Middletonof Georgia State and Shayne Lawlessof Stony Brook, my alma mater, receive opportunities. I backed all of this with my own money." 
Lesson he learned that he wished he'd known last summer:  "Limit your long shots. I would rather have three really strong clients compared to seven 'what if' clients."

Inside The League is the consulting service for the football industry. We work with the contract advisors for about two-thirds of active NFL players as well as the combine trainers, financial planners, scouts, coaches and other pro league organizers that make up the game. Cost is $29.95/month, and you can cancel at any time. To register, click here. Also check out our new free blog, Succeed in Football. Copyright Neil Stratton and ITL.

Sincerely, Neil Stratton
Inside the League

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