Neil's brief primer:
An attorney for 16 years, Eric originally went to law school to become a sports agent. He initially got a taste of the business by landing an internship with an agency in South Florida out of law school, but he "talked himself out of" the business to pursue more traditional law. "I never could shake it off that I turned down the opportunity, because sports -- especially college football -- had always been my passion," he said. "So, I decided to sit for the exam, and here I am." He got certified last summer.
Active NFL clients:
Boston College DC Taj-Amir Torres signed as an undrafted free agent with the Titans immediately after the draft, though he was later released.
Why did he become an agent?: "
I have always wanted to mesh my passion for sports and the practical aspect of being an attorney."
His take on the NFLPA exam:
"The NFLPA exam was a lot more difficult than I gave it credit for. The CBA is negotiated by smart individuals on both ends and is a challenging part of the test. I knew it was an open book exam and I might have relied upon that too much. Thankfully I passed the first time, but if I had to do it again I would have studied more. I did feel unprepared."
Hardest part of being an agent:
"The hardest part of being an agent is breaking in. Not having contacts and not knowing where to begin is difficult. When I came up with something I wondered to myself, 'is this standard?' It is hard not having anyone to bounce ideas off of. You don't want to rely on other agents too much, because they could eventually use that against you. Neil has been a great help and is extremely knowledgeable."
He felt like he'd had a successful first year as a contract advisor when:
"This is a multi-level answer. I have had several highs throughout this process. First, was when I received initial responses from potential clients. Then, getting my first client signed was a huge milestone. Selling my pitches to potential clients, who then picked me over other agents, was another huge milestone. I felt I became successful when the plan that I put in place resonated with the athletes. The draft approaching was another huge milestone for me as teams began calling regarding my clients."
Lesson he learned that he wished he'd known last summer:
"Utilize Neil. He is very knowledgeable. I have been an attorney for 16 years, so I am a bit old-school. But for new agents, do not hesitate to get on the phone. It is hard to get to know people through texting and email. Secondly, everyone is not always straightforward to you. Teams will tell 1,000 people the same exact thing they told you about your clients. Your highs are never as high as you think and your lows are never as low as you think."