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SBD/February 28, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
DeMaurice Smith Tells NFL Player Agents To Prepare For Lockout
Published February 28, 2011
OUT OF THE LOOP? YAHOO SPORTS' Jason Cole reported a "number of player reps now fear that the weakest link to how the union handles the labor battle with owners is the agent community itself." A "half-dozen" agents estimated that "perhaps as few as 5 percent of the almost 1,000 agents in attendance Friday appeared capable of explaining the complex issues to the players they represent." One agent: "It was scary how little some of the agents knew about what's going on and what's about to happen." Cole wrote if the NFL as expected votes Thursday "to lock out the players and the union decertifies when the sides fail to reach a new CBA extension, the failure of agents to adequately understand the issues at hand could play a role in the leverage game between the league and the union." One agent said, "The problem you're going to have is that instead of calming the players down, you're going to have a lot of agents panicking" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/27).
PLAYING NEW ROLES: The AP's Michael Marot reported agents are "now playing a new role for their clients" due to the potential lockout. Dogra said, "We're advising players on COBRA insurance to anything that involves finances to the football side of it." Most agents are "now talking frequently about COBRA coverage, which one agent estimates will cost players $800 to $900 per month to cover their families," and some are "advising clients to take out additional medical policies or disability insurance." Agent Brian Mackler said that "most of his clients now have policies with Lloyds of London, and he's reminding those who are 26 years old or younger that the new federal health care law allows them to sign up on their parents' medical plans, too" (AP, 2/26).