Say what you will about Heisman Trophy-winner Lamar Jackson, but the kid has a point when it comes to his approach to the NFL.
No, this isn’t about him not testing as a wide receiver at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Not about his accuracy throwing deep-out passes.
Not even about his tendency to want to tuck the football and run when things break down.
This is all about how he’s approaching the financial aspect of the upcoming NFL Draft, and his representation.
News broke recently that Jackson was reportedly going to have his mother represent him as his agent while the quarterback prepared to throw at the combine. This produced a very interesting reaction from major media outlets.
Just look at this for example:
Come to find out, Jackson’s mother isn’t planning to be his agent, but merely his ‘manager’. So, if his mother isn’t going to be his agent, who will be the one talking to NFL teams, scouts and general managers?
Jackson himself — and, at least to me, this makes perfect sense.
Some teams have wanted Jackson to try to become a wide receiver, taking the Kordell Stewart path to the NFL, but Jackson is insistent on being an NFL quarterback. With that said, the team who selects him will be getting someone who is adamant he won’t be lining up on the outside to catch passes.
When this thought crossed my mind, I saw this flash on my Twitter feed and realized this kid has a pretty good plan.
Lamar Jackson told me that his mom is not his agent, “she is my manager” and he added “I represent myself.” Jackson told me he does not think an agent is necessary with the current rookie scale for initial #NFL contracts. pic.twitter.com/CfhvyCWGQ1— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 2, 2018
While Jason Whitlock spoke in the above video about how an agent can vouch for his player to be drafted, whenever Jackson’s name is called during the draft, and it will be at some point — his pay will almost already be dictated.
Under thew new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL and the NFLPA, there are no more Sam Bradford breaking-the-bank deals to rookies. Instead, if you are a first-round draft pick, you can receive X-number of dollars. Second-round pick, X-number of dollars...and so on, and so forth. Signing bonuses can be negotiated, but they’re pretty much slotted, based on the previously mentioned criteria.
The NFL and NFLPA have made rookie contracts elementary. So basic they hardly make headlines anymore.
So why would Jackson representing himself during this part of the process be a bad thing? He wouldn’t have to give a percentage of his money to an agent, and he didn’t say he would never get an agent — just not now.
When I analyze this, I think it’s genius — provided you’re confident in your abilities, get drafted based on your success at a high level, and trust in the tape you’ve put out there during your college years. When you get drafted and then reach the point where you need a second contract, then you pick some representation...especially if you’ve been successful in the NFL.
I’m surprised more players haven’t tried this approach, but it seems Jackson might be blazing a new trail for a lot of young prospects. With the media putting some pressure on Jackson, he might find himself conforming to the norm and getting some representation, but if he doesn’t, it’ll be interesting to see if it has any impact on his draft stock.
Only time will tell...