Neil's brief primer: Matt played college football at Duquesne but knew the NFL wasn't in his future. After college, he went to law school in Buffalo and stayed near the game by coaching a local high school team (Canisius). After completing law school in 2015, he passed the New York state bar later that summer, and after "flirting with the idea" of becoming an agent for a couple years, he decided to take the exam last summer.
Active NFL clients: Mississippi OG
Daronte Bouldin, UDFA, Saints; John Carroll OB
Mason McKendrick, UDFA, Ravens; and Central Arkansas OB
George Odum, UDFA, Colts.
Why did he become an agent?: "I've always been fascinated with the business side and contracts and how they are structured. The players are the lifeblood of the industry and the game, and being around those guys and helping those guys is awesome, but also really just digging through all aspects of the game. The other factors are building relationship with these guys. It's awesome, with all different types of people."
Day job: Matt is a personal injury attorney with Buffalo-based firm William Mattar, P.C.
His take on the NFLPA exam: "I was very nervous and I did not take it lightly in terms of preparation. I did not think, 'hey, there's a review course and it's open book, so it's easy,' so I was pretty jacked up and tuned in. I thought the review course they offered the day before and day of covered the test with broad brush strokes but you definitely need to study and not hope you find it in the books."
Hardest part of being an agent: "Two things. One was being a first-year agent, just building your NFL contacts list. I went in not having a ton of contacts, but my goal was to gain as many contacts as possible, at all-star games introducing myself to everyone with a team logo, and at pro days, wanting to get at least 10 business cards. Forcing yourself to be an extrovert and trying to build relationships. The other thing is the constant rejection. People don't text you back or email you back unless you have a good that they want."
He felt like he'd had a successful first year as a contract advisor when . . .: "Probably ultimately when I faxed in the three contracts to the three teams. But our goal our first year was to learn as much as possible. We knew if we learned as much as possible and took a professional approach, that would be success."
Lesson he learned that he wished he's known before he got certified: "Efficiency. That's what makes a good agent. The biggest thing I wish I'd known, and the thing we're working on every single day, is how to be more efficient. I think a lot of people can be agents if you are (smart) with your money. But efficiency and being tactical about how to best represent kids (are important)."