June 28, 2018

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.
2018 Case Study: Casey Martin
Neil's brief primer: Casey excelled as a slot receiver and punt returner in high school outside Houston at Huffman-Hargrave High School, followed by his college days first at Houston and then at Southern Mississippi, where he traveled as a grad transfer his final two seasons in college. He left Hattiesburg as the school's all-time leader in receptions, but despite playing in two all-star games (the College Gridiron Showcase and Tropic Bowl) and a much-watched YouTube video, got no NFL calls on Draft Day 2016.He later signed with the Ottawa Redblacks, but left after a short time because the CFL "wasn't for (him)."Casey remains on contract, technically, with the Redblacks ( as this story references).He had obtained his master's in sports management at USM, so he decided to take the agent exam last summer, which he passed.
Active NFL clients: Southern Mississippi OH Ito Smith was selected 4/126 by the Falcons.Casey was one of only two independent rookie agents to have a player drafted last spring.
Why did he become an agent?: "I played at (Houston), and I played at USM, and I just relate with players well. I have a good background in business, and I just feel like I can help players, and I was always a guy that was about my business. This was the best way to be involved in the NFL. And I just love football."
Day job: A serial entrepreneur, Casey owns a training facility, Armed Sports Performance, in Humble, outside Houston, and also co-owns a chiropractic service, Armed Sports Medicine, which is housed inside his facility. He also has a supplement brand and a clothing line.
His take on the NFLPA exam: "It was hard in the sense that - I studied a lot, so I knew everything going in, but it's almost like I was taking the test and I was like, 'I know the answers, but that's a tough question.' Unless you're a genius, you can't show up on test day and do well on it. I don't care if it is open book."
Hardest part of being an agent: "Probably just dealing with the ups and downs of the process. Things go wrong and it's how you react to it. It's fun. It adds a little stress to my life, but I love it."
He felt like he'd had a successful first year as a contract advisor when . . .: "when I signed the best running back to ever come through Southern Miss."
Lesson he learned that he wished he's known before he got certified: "Towards the end, I was contacting a bunch of players just to land some players, and that's not what I want. If I don't have a relationship with the player, I don't want to land them. I don't think it would be any fun for me if I didn't have any relationship with the player. I want to be involved in his life."

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Sincerely, Neil Stratton
Inside the League

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