Neil's brief primer: Tyler was recruited out of Pittsburgh to play at WVU, and he played four years for the Mountaineers before signing as an undrafted free agent with two teams (Tampa Bay and New England). After a workout with the Steelers didn't net a contract due to lingering medical issues. He decided to pursue coaching as a grad assistant at his alma mater, and while there, he worked on his sport management degree and learned more about the business of the game. He took the exam last summer and got certified last fall. Today, he serves with Casey Muir, Jeremy Newberry and former ITL associate Murphy McGuireat Octagon.
Active NFL clients: Octagon had four drafted and five signed post-draft, and Tyler is on SRA with five: Fordham OH
Chase Edmonds (4/134, Cardinals), Texas DT
Poona Ford (UDFA, Seahawks), Penn St. DC
Grant Haley (UDFA, Giants), Old Dominion DE
Bunmi Rotini (UDFA, Bears) and Penn St. DT
Tyrell Chavis (UDFA, Giants).
Why did he become an agent?: "After playing as a collegiate athlete and moving on to the NFL, and then just coaching for a year and a half in college, it was interesting to see the full spectrum of how the agency business works and football in general, and what made it unique. I wanted to dip my hand into it and see what I could make out of it, and hopefully learn from my hands-on experience."
Day job: Full-time contract advisor at Octagon Football, based in Pittsburgh.
His take on the NFLPA exam:
"It was definitely tough. I kind of, with the new changeup on the exam in 2015, I believe, I heard some horror stories. It was tough, and I'll say
your practice exam
helped the process out extremely. The questions that are asked, there is always one best answer and a couple that sound similar."
Hardest part of being an agent: "The hardest part is managing your client expectations but also finding the right guys you want to work with and work for. Relationships is the name of this business, so make sure your relationships with your clients are great and you'll go a long way with that."
He felt like he'd had a successful first year as a contract advisor when . . .: "when I was able to walk away from a bad deal. Measuring the relationship involved in it versus what it was going to take to sign that player. Basically, having the business sense to walk away from something."
Lesson he learned that he wished he'd known before he got certified: "Recruiting alone is the toughest thing. But I knew it was going to be tough. I guess . . . chase everything until the very end. The biggest lesson is to make sure you follow every prospect and every kind of situation to the very end instead of trying to think you know something better than someone else."