June 7, 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: Matt Stankiewicz
Neil's brief primer: After aspiring to workin the sports industry since he was in elementary school, Matt earned a sports management degree from Seton Hall while interning with the Nets.  He then went on to earn his JD from Seton Hall Law School and began volunteering his time to run charity events for NFL players.  He eventually took the 2017 NFLPA exam and got certified that fall.
Active NFL clients:  Stony Brook SS Tyrice Beverette signed with the Bengals after a tryout. 
Why did he become an agent?:  "I started volunteering my time at a non-profit that helped pro athletes with their charity work. I worked directly with several NFL players and loved the experience, developing bonds with those players. Becoming an agent was a natural progression, and I hope to continue helping players achieve their goals and hopefully make a difference along the way."
Day job: "I'm a corporate attorney that specializes in regulatory work, advising corporations on how to legally and ethically conduct business in high-risk markets around the globe." 
His take on the NFLPA exam: "It's not something anyone should take lightly. It digs deep into the nuances of the CBA. Pay attention in the seminar and take good notes. They will often tell you exactly what you need to know. I also took ITL's practice exam beforehand - the questions were almost identical to those on the exam."
Hardest part of being an agent: "The hardest part for me this year was breaking the news to a few of my clients that their dream of playing in the NFL just wasn't going to happen. It was my first year and I took on a few clients that were long shots, and I knew that, but I was also so excited just to represent someone. I grew close to these players, so to have to break the bad news was tough." 
He felt like he'd had a successful first year as a contract advisor when . . .: ". . . I got the call from the Bengals that they wanted to sign Tyrice." 
Lesson he learned that he wished he's known before he got certified: "Start building relationships as early as you can; they're your lifeblood in this industry. This goes further than just those with scouts and team personnel. For example, I have a close relationship with a training center and they were a huge help in recruiting. I've connected with other agents that I can reach out to for advice when obstacles inevitably appear. ITL has also been invaluable: the site, the newsletters, and Neil himself have been great resources.  Neil helped me connect one of my players with the WWE after an NFL or CFL spot didn't materialize. Now the WWE is flying him out to a tryout to potentially bring him on to their roster."  

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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