July 5, 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.
Take a Breath
We're a couple weeks from the exam now, and a lot of people who'll be taking the exam are just now getting authorization to come to D.C. from the NFLPA. That means we're picking up new people to the newsletter. At the same time, we're getting a few panicked responses from others. Let's take a minute to reset things.

First of all, relax: We've had one agent ask several times if we've literally talked to NFLPA officials to verify that our test is accurate (we haven't). We had one agent - whom I know is taking this process seriously and has been preparing for over a year - say he was "humbled" by the difficulty of our second exam, which was launched Tuesday. We've gotten other semi-panicked responses from agent hopefuls over the last week or so. I attribute all of this to natural concerns about the exam and the imminence of July 20. Hey, nobody wants to do this twice, and I get it. I also understand that it's a tough test. But if you've been preparing for months, and you've used our study guide and at least our first exam, the facts are that you are about 25 percentage points more likely to pass than the general population. That's what we've learned after reviewing the results of our clients over the past five years.

There's still time: At this point, it's not early to start studying. At the same time, you're going to meet several people in D.C. who will have not cracked the CBA until landing at Reagan, and maybe even checking into the Ritz. Usually, they're attorneys who've already passed the bar, spent years looking at contracts, and expect a fairly straightforward test. Those people will be in trouble, but you're not those people. What's more, even some of them pass, and you're way ahead of them.

Late to the party: If you just started receiving this email over the last week or so, you've missed several editions of our newsletter. This means you've missed plenty of takes on the exam and the encouragement, I think, that comes with hearing from rookie agents who have players in the league already. Matawan, NJ-based Matt Stankiewicz recommended that you "pay attention in the seminar and take good notes." Florham Park, NJ-based Bryan Gavin said that "reading (ITL's) materials leading up to it was a tremendous help for sure." Buffalo, NY-based Matt Glose said you "definitely need to study and not hope you find it in the books."

The next two weeks: Next week, you'll hear from one more agent who took the exam last year, Bertram Bell, and already has a player in the league. You'll also hear from three other agents - Tory Dandy (CAA), John Thornton (Roc Nation) and Malki Kawa (First-Round Management) - who were in your shoes in the last 3-4 years, but have already had first-rounders in their short careers as contract advisors. The following week, we'll focus more on the last preparation for getting there and any final tips. Just keep on trucking, spending lots of time in the study guide and/or the CBA and taking and re-taking the practice exams, and I like your chances.

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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