SBJ/February 11-17, 2013/Labor and Agents

Seattle’s Wagner draws agent interest during Super Bowl week

Liz Mullen
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, who finished second in the voting for 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, was a popular figure among agents in New Orleans during Super Bowl week after news broke he had left his agent and was without representation.

“Everybody came up and started talking to us,” said Mark Doman, Wagner’s financial adviser and CEO of the New York-based The Doman Group, a wealth management advisory firm.

Bobby Wagner recently dropped his agent, Kenny Zuckerman of Priority Sports.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Wagner, who was selected in the second round with the 47th overall pick in last year’s draft, had been represented by Kenny Zuckerman of Priority Sports & Entertainment. Doman would not comment on why Wagner left Priority but said he is in no rush to sign with a new agent. Zuckerman had no comment regarding Wagner’s departure.

Wagner has not decided whether he will hire a marketing firm in addition to a contract agent, but he will consult with the NFL Players Association regarding the agents he is considering, Doman said. Wagner is not able to negotiate an extension with the Seahawks until after the 2014 season and would not become a free agent until after the 2015 season.

“He is well aware of the agents that he plans on speaking with,” Doman said.

> THE TRUFANT TRIO: When Octagon agent Doug Hendrickson signed University of Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant in December, Trufant was viewed by most analysts as a second- or third-round pick in April’s NFL draft. But after a strong performance during Senior Bowl week, Trufant’s stock appears to be rising, and he is now seen as a possible first-round pick.

That makes Hendrickson think Trufant is taking the same route that his older brother, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant, took before he was picked No. 11 in the 2003 draft. Hendrickson represents both Marcus and Desmond, as well as Isaiah Trufant, who is the middle brother of the three.

Agents and talent evaluators believe Desmond Trufant is one of the risers in what is an up-in-the-air draft, talent-wise. Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, had him ranked No. 24 in his mock draft last week after first pegging him as a second-round talent.

“[Trufant] has a chance to be a first-round pick,” said Gil Brandt, former player personnel executive for the Dallas Cowboys and NFL.com columnist who now decides whom the NFL invites to New York for the draft.

If Trufant is selected and plays in the NFL as expected, it could be the first time three brothers played in the league at the same time at the same position, Hendrickson said. Isaiah Trufant, also a defensive back, is with the New York Jets.

Marcus Trufant, meanwhile, is happy for his brother Desmond, whom he advised to make the most of Senior Bowl week. “He might have been a second- or third-round pick coming out, but now … I think it is absolutely outstanding what he is doing,” Marcus said.

> TWO MORE SIGNINGS: CAA Sports has signed Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter for representation. Jimmy Sexton and Ben Dogra will represent him. He was formerly represented by Atlas Sports Agency and Blueprint Management Group. … Enter-Sports Management will represent Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, with agent Hadley Engelhard handling him. Hopkins is projected as a first- or second-round pick by NFLDraftScout.com.

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.

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