Laremy Tunsil signed a $50 million guaranteed contract as his free agent
Lamar Jackson isn’t the only pro athlete without an agent. They were last season 17 NFL players who represented themselves. The list includes Bobby Wagner, DeAndre Hopkins and the NFL’s highest-paid left tackle, Laremy Tunsil.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Tunsil signed a new three-year deal with the Houston Texans worth $75 million, with $50 million fully guaranteed. Representing himself, this is the second time Tunsil has made huge money without the services of a full-time agent.
This is certainly great news for the quarterback Houston Texans the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft. The organization may be a dumpster fire, but at least one rookie quarterback will have some reliable blindside coverage. Tunsil seems to have made a mark on his notoriety gas mask bong hit video behind him.
THE Arizona Cardinals They are currently looking to replace DeAndre Hopkins as they try to rebuild a season that saw the team flounder through the first six weeks. Hopkins was suspended during that time for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The suspension was without pay, so of course it stung. But the pain was certainly minimized when he reminded himself of the massive comprehensive extension he had signed. In 2020, Hopkins signed a two-year contract extension with the Cardinals worth $54.5 million, with $42.75 million guaranteed.
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Having an agent can make life easier for an athlete. This prevents them from having unpleasant conversations with their bosses. Also, bosses will have tense conversations with a familiar person. A business suit and briefcase, as necessary equipment for sports agents, results in much less wear and tear and a much longer career than a professional football player.
Despite all this, the familiarity between the two parties makes the athletes question whether the agents really operate with their clients’ interests in mind. Because agents have long-standing relationships with front-office staff, they may not push for a fully guaranteed contract as much as Jackson might want to.
Obviously, most players are perfectly comfortable letting someone else negotiate for them. Agents offer an ideal contract offer much more often. Agents who do this work allow players to be the best athletes they can be and then spend the rest of their time doing whatever they want.
However, this life is not for everyone. Some players prefer to keep the money for themselves rather than pay an agent, and others have a strong desire to negotiate on their own. They don’t mind fighting their team’s front office. Some players take a hands-on approach to their careers and want to make every decision, every step of the way.
It’s the road less traveled, but people should always be given the opportunity to choose how to navigate their own path. As long as they are not harming others, they should not be judged for the way they choose to live their lives.
If Jackson, Hopkins, Tunsil and a few other players want to be represented in contract negotiations, that’s fine. It clearly worked for Hopkins and Tunsil, so it’s not impossible for Jackson to get a deal that suits him.
There are many reasons why Jackson still hasn’t gotten the money he wants Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback, and we NFL watchers probably don’t know most of them. However, Tunsil’s new contract should prove that self-representing athletes, by their very nature, don’t reduce teams’ willingness to negotiate.