Hey Lamar, Let Us Help A Mother Out…

Citing the current rookie wage scale, Lamar Jackson has opted to go without an agent for his first NFL contract (his mother will serve as his manager).  An article published by Mike Florio cited several aspects of the pre and post-draft process where an agent could be helpful.[1] Florio specifically mentions offset language, guaranteed pay, cash flow, contract structure, and others sections of his first NFL contract that are important and where the value of an agent truly shines.

Article 7 of the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement governs the rookie pay scale for both drafted and undrafted players.[2] Article 7 provides that each team gets a set amount in draft capital which they can use to sign their rookie players. The entire value of each rookie contract must stay within the allotted cap, and the amount each team has to spend is dependent on when in the draft a team is picking.

Article 7 does not only cover the permissible value and length of a rookie contract, but those terms that are required, prohibited, and permissible in rookie contracts. The complicated process was seen first-hand by Joey Bosa when he sat out of camp due to issues over specific contract language. There is no reason to doubt Lamar Jackson and his mother can handle the draft on their own. Jackson is not the first, nor will he be the last, rookie to handle his own contract negotiation. We can only hope Jackson and his mother will take the time to go through the collective bargaining agreement and consult a professional if the time comes.

If needed, the Sports and Entertainment Law Society at the University at Buffalo School of Law would be happy to provide any assistance. Obviously free of charge.

[1] http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/03/02/lamar-jackson-chooses-to-represent-himself/

[2] NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement

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