As you know, NFL Draft Diamonds was created to help football players. We have focused mainly over the years on helping small schoolers, but that is not always the case. We try to help everyone. It is our mission to watch kids fulfill their dreams, but this year is like no other. I receive about 20 direct messages a day regarding COVID-19 and what I think. I feel bad, because I do not know how to respond to them.
So I started talking to people all around and I wanted to put my response to players, agents and schools on paper. This is likely going to be a lengthy message because I have to cover a lot. So let’s get started before I lose my train of thought.
What is going to happen with the season?
We have already watched football change because of this sickness. It pisses me off, but we need to address this question, because no one really knows what happens. The problem is colleges have a right to protect players, and it sounds like many are making the decision to lose a dollar on football sales to protect the players. That is good, but on the backend it is also hurting many of the players. Let me explain further.
College football players whose season is getting moved to the spring hurts their chances quite a bit. Many will say it won’t but they are lying. With football games being moved to the spring, the players will miss out on playing in All-Star Games, They will miss out on training at a facility, they will miss out on the ability to prepare for the combine. This is really going to choke out some small school players. While the college loses too, this is a trickle down effect. Everyone is affected. We all want to watch football, but some of these kids have dreams of playing at the next level. Those dreams could be put on hold. The player has options, he can return the next year, he can also opt-out, I mean the kid can do many things, he can transfer to, but he will have to answer for anything he does. I could keep talking about this topic, but the rest of the article will have this general question covered, by the time you finish the article. So keep reading, and I will answer the next questions and in the end you will see why I feel the way I do.
What should players do, should they opt-out, should they transfer? What can they do?
This is the hardest question to do because I would never want to give a kid bad advice. I do not believe in that, but this is my opinion. I am not saying to follow it. I am not saying to listen, I am saying what I feel. The only people that should be thinking about something dramatic are players who are considered draft picks. I will give you an example, Trey Lance is the best small schooler in the NFL Draft. I personally feel he should opt-out of the season. If I was him, and the FCS is going to cancel the Championship or move their season to the spring, I would not play. I would make the NFL evaluate me from my last year’s film. What does he have to prove? Think about it. He was undefeated, won the Walter Payton Award, and did not throw a pick. The NFL teams have the film. Let them decide if you can compete with Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields.
I personally think there are some good players out there who will transfer and opt-out but it may not be in the best interest of the player to do so.
When it comes to others like D’Angelo Amos, Changa Hodge and Paul Gratton, they decided to enter the transfer portal. I think that was smart for all players. All players will look to transfer up to a Power 5 more than likely because at the end of the day, many think the Power 5 teams will play. They will also get a shot to show NFL teams that they can compete with tougher talent while making a move. Not every small schooler should make this decision, but if you are on the Senior Bowl’s Watch List, that means NFL teams are looking at you. That is a pretty good sign, Now just because you are on the list does not mean you should leave, but you get the point of this.
If you are a stud at the D2 level or the D3 level, why should you wait until the spring? I say this because it is hard to say, but there are certain players at the D2 and D3 level who are on NFL teams radars. With them not playing in the fall, and not having a championship, I would not be surprised if they opt-out. This is a hard decision, because now it brings me to my next question.
What happens if I opt-out early or sit out for the season?
I am glad you asked, because this is going to be a huge problem for Agents. You noticed who the problem falls on? It is not players at this time, it will be a problem for the agents. NO ONE in this pandemic is going to benefit, but TRAINING FACILITIES. Yes, you read that right, do you know how much a training facility charges for 8 weeks of Combine training?
I have to break this down because there are some greedy people. If you are a player and you decide to train, an 8 week training program ranges from 4,000 dollars upwards to 35,000 dollars to train. Now, imagine training a player for 8 months. Not eight weeks. 8 Weeks is only 2 months y’all. Guess who pays for that? AGENTS….
So if you are an Agent and you have to pay let’s say 10,000 for 8 weeks, and now bump that up to 8 months, that is at least 80k plus to train a player. I am sorry if you are not a top 100 pick you are not worth me spending 80k on. REMEMBER THIS, I went to college to be a sports agent, and I would not invest that in a player that is a late round pick. What will this do? This is going to number one give the player great training, but it will also be very strenuous on a players body. If you train going all in for 8 months you will likely suffer an injury. I don’t care what training facilities will say, remember they charge you 4k to 35k to train you of course if you hit their pocket books they are going to get upset and try to deny it. So what advice would I have, I am going to sound like your Mom.
If you opt-out, stay in school and work out with your trainers at the school. Do your own training. Stay in good shape, workout with your college teammates, and wait towards January before you plan to go to a training facility. If you extend it to 12 weeks of training rather than 8 that is good. That give you another month to prepare and it you will have more qualified agents looking at you this way. Yes, there are 950 plus agents in the NFLPA, and almost half of them do not have a client. So if you are looking for an agent to just pay for things do not get mad when you do not get a workout. Many agents have email addresses only. Many cannot text a GM, or a director of college/pro personnel. So with that being said, if you want to be pampered, you may have a hard time finding a stud agent.
I have to say this because there are many players who think they are draft picks. That is to my next question.
JUST BECAUSE A WEBSITE SAYS YOU ARE A DRAFT PICK, THAT DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING.
How do I know if I am a draft pick?
No one knows this answer, so please stop listen to your first cousin or your uncle telling you that you are a first round pick and you have never won a damn All-Conference award. It pisses me off when people lie to kids. Listen you maybe talented, but not everyone is a draft pick. Did you know that only 14-25 prospects from small schools are drafted every year? That means you have to be a top 25 prospect. If you are not seeing your name on Senior Bowl watch list, or All-Star Game watch lists, you are more than likely not a 2nd rounder. This hurts me to say because it is like bringing players back down to earth but it has to be said. Not everyone is a draft pick. With all these draft sites out there including mine, we talk about players, but that does not mean you are getting drafted. We interview players we watched on film that had talent, but the NFL may not be your calling, maybe it is the XFL, CFL or even IFL. We give you a platform that does not mean you are a draft pick. So please read this interview as I go in deeper.
Who do you think should opt-out? Do you recommend anyone opting-out?
First off, this is a very personal question. Not everyone feels the way I do about COVID-19. I know that, so I cannot get upset if you want to protect yourself and your family. But if you are a prospect and you feel you need to opt-out then opt-out. All I am saying is if you plan on opting out do not get mad if you cannot find a person that will pay for training for months. Do not regret the decision years later. You have to make that decision. If you are a top 100 prospect, and you have scouts blowing you up from last year, if agents are all over you, and they are telling you that your name is on the Blesto and National reports, and NFL scouts came to your games and practices. Your coach is telling you that they are interested and you can see the actual level of love for you, and you feel it is in the best interest for you then do it. It is simple, but don’t blame anyone for the decision that you will have to make.
What if agents are offering money (Stipend) and training for the entire time I opt out?
I left this as a huge header because I need you to read this. If agents are willing to pay you a stipend and they want to pay for months of training, do me one favor. HAVE AN ATTORNEY READ THE CONTRACT!!!! Make sure you do not have to pay back anything. Some of these agents are SNAKES, they will throw it in there that if you do not make it you have to pay it back. There will be an addendum page. Make sure you take every page you have to sign to an attorney. It is worth every dollar to do so. PLEASE DO THIS, I AM GOING TO BOLD THIS ENTIRE DAMN PARAGRAPH.
Do not fall in the trap please. Many players have fallen into this trap. Remember Agents know they are going to lose their ass this year. They will do anything to protect themselves in 2020. So they may throw a special clause in a contract. Make sure it says you are responsible to pay nothing back. I need you to share this article online with your teammates. With the best players on your team. With your families. With the parents, please do not fall victim to laziness. It takes a second.
Wait, How do I know who is an agent? I get contacted all the time, but I do not know if they are real or not?
If you talk to them and they are not on that list they are runners. That is against the NFLPA rules, and they cannot help you. If they are using a runner to contact you, that is how much they like you. The Agent himself didn’t even contact you. That brings me to my last question.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you made it through the article, you maybe asking the question What Should I Do? That is where I am going to end my discussion, because if you do not know the answer by now, you need to go to GOD, and ask for guidance. I have never known him to make a mistake. So lean on him in this tough time, and thank him you still have an opportunity/OPPORTUNITIES. God Bless
DO ME A FAVOR, SHARE THIS WITH SOMEONE, ESPECIALLY A FOOTBALL PLAYER AND THEIR FAMILIES, DO NOT LET THEM FALL VICTIM!
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