Special season in the books, Heisman Trophy winner and national champion Joe Burrow will now commence preparations for the next level, where he’s currently expected to be the first overall pick in the draft.
The next big step for Burrow will be the selection of an agent.
He’s the only quarterback loosely regarded to be in the top tier who hasn’t made a hire. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa has retained Leigh Steinberg. Justin Herbert of Oregon has hired Athletes First. And Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm retained CAA.
Sometimes, multiple top quarterbacks will hire the same agency. While not technically a conflict of interest that prevents an agency under NFLPA rules from handling two top quarterbacks (but maybe it should be), the reality is that an agent’s job before the draft is to get his or her client drafted as early as possible. Sure, the negotiation of the contract is fairly simple in light of the 2011 CBA; securing the best possible slotted contract (or best possible fit, if maybe drafted a few spots lower by a better team and/or to a bigger market) becomes the hard part.
When it comes to hearing their names called as early as possible, all players are competitors. Players who play the same position definitely are. They need someone who will work diligently to promote their interests, while also being willing to roll in the mud, as needed, to persuade teams to steer clear of others. (Indeed, some believe Lamar Jackson lasted until pick No. 32 in 2018 because he didn’t have an agent to promote his standing, to push back against negativity, and to sow a little negativity about other quarterbacks.)
For Burrow, the presumptive first overall pick, there’s nowhere to go but down. So the job of his agent will be to ensure that he stays put. And the job of the agents representing the other quarterbacks will be to score a coup and to get their guy to leapfrog Burrow.