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Volume 21 No. 18
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The Novo Agency moves to join the team at Rep 1 Sports

The Novo Agency, founded by veteran NFL agent Jeff Sperbeck, is being folded into Rep 1 Sports.

Both Sperbeck and NFL agent Haig Abnous will join Rep 1 Sports, the Irvine, Calif.-based company that has been known the last few years for signing top quarterbacks and is owned by cousins Ryan Tollner and Bruce Tollner.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Titles for Sperbeck and Abnous had not been worked out, but the deal was confirmed by Sperbeck and Ryan Tollner.

“This was a unique opportunity for Rep 1 to add quality people with exceptional experience to our effort, with clients that really fit our approach,” Ryan Tollner said.

Sperbeck has been certified by the NFLPA since 1994 and has worked at Sullivan & Sperbeck, a firm he started with Mike Sullivan, a former agent who is now the Denver Broncos’ director of football operations. Sperbeck also worked at Octagon before starting Novo.

“It makes sense at this juncture of my career,” Sperbeck said of joining Rep 1. “They are a group I’ve respected for a long time. The one comment I’ve heard often throughout my career was how similar my approach and philosophy was to theirs.”

Abnous was certified by the NFLPA in 2015.

Among the clients expected to come with Sperbeck and Abnous to Rep 1 are Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Danny Shelton and Denver Broncos defensive end Billy Winn. The Novo Agency had represented New England Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks, but he left that agency for Rep 1 earlier this year. Such agent changes often result in bad feelings between firms, but in this case it seemed to bring the firms together.

The Tollners founded Rep 1 in 2006 and have had success signing top quarterbacks in the NFL draft in recent years. They represented Mitchell Trubisky, who was taken No. 2 in April’s draft by the Chicago Bears. In 2016, the agency represented Jared Goff, who was taken No. 1 by the Los Angeles Rams, and Carson Wentz, taken No. 2 by the Philadelphia Eagles.

The firm represents more than 50 players in the league, including Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.