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Volume 22 No. 14
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Management One’s Gould signs first-round draft prospect

Veteran agent Jimmy Gould has not represented a projected first-round NFL draft prospect for 15 years, but he has one now in Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker.

Gould’s firm, Management One, is representing Parker both on and off the field for this year’s draft.

The last time Gould represented a first-round pick going into the draft was 2000, when he co-represented wide receiver Peter Warrick with Norm Nixon. Warrick was taken No. 4 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Gould, who has been certified to represent NFL players since 1995, also co-represented offensive tackle Andre Smith, who was taken with the No. 6 overall pick, also by the Bengals, in 2009. But he began co-representing Smith with Alvin Keels after Smith was drafted. Gould helped negotiate Smith’s rookie contract with the Bengals after a 30-day holdout.

Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker is
a projected top-20 pick in the NFL draft.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Gould, who is based out of Cincinnati, is representing Parker, who was ranked as the overall No. 16 prospect by CBS Sports last week. At the NFL combine earlier this month, Parker, who is 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds, ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash, which is “very good” for his size, CBS Sports senior NFL draft analyst Rob Rang said.

Rang said last week that Parker is a top-20 prospect.

“He should be a top-15 pick, without doubt,” Gould said of Parker, who is the only player Gould is representing in this year’s draft.

Gould has negotiated a shoe deal for Parker with Adidas, as well as card and memorabilia deals for him with Upper Deck, Panini America and Leaf. Gould would not disclose the financial details of the deals. After Parker is drafted, Gould said he would work to develop national and local marketing deals for Parker, depending on which club drafts him.

Parker and his family interviewed other agents, including some prominent agents from major agencies, but clicked with Gould and wanted an agent who could provide more time and a personal touch. Gould spoke last week after spending three days with Parker at the combine. In addition to being an NFL agent, Gould is a private equity investor and holds positions with several companies, including being founder and general partner of private equity firm The Walnut Group and serving on the boards of directors of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Wild Things Gear and Adspace Networks.

Gould said he has represented about 90 players during his 20-year career as an NFL agent, and has been to the combine 18 out of the last 20 years representing players. Many of his players have a connection to the Ohio-Kentucky area, and Gould said he does not spend much time recruiting these days. He represents six current NFL players, including Arizona Cardinals defensive end Frostee Rucker and New Orleans Saints running back and return specialist Travaris Cadet.

Gould said he has been approached over the years about selling his agency, but he enjoys representing a small group of players, as well as running his other business interests. He said Parker’s selection of his agency over other bigger firms proves “there are some players who are really special and don’t have to go with the idea that bigger is better.”

The first player Gould ever signed was the late offensive tackle Korey Stringer, who died in Minnesota Vikings training camp in 2001. Gould negotiated a settlement over his death that included the foundation of the Korey Stringer Institute. Gould serves as an adviser to the institute, which researches the prevention of heat stroke. Stringer’s death “is really the reason I stopped recruiting,” Gould said. “I couldn’t watch football for a while, to be honest with you.”

> TLA SIGNS EMMANUEL SANDERS FOR OFF-THE-FIELD WORK: The Legacy Agency has signed Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for marketing and all off-the-field endeavors.

At TLA, Sanders, a first-time Pro Bowler this year, will be represented by Dave Maryles, vice president of talent marketing. He is represented on the field by Steve Weinberg but did not previously have a marketing agent.

Maryles reached out to Sanders because he was impressed after watching him interviewed on national television during the NFL season. “I saw a great interview he did with Bob Costas on ‘Sunday Night Football’ and I said, ‘That is the kind of guy we want to represent.’”

Sanders’ only endorsement deal is with Nike.

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