New agent Hendrickson helps Wasserman become force in NFL
Veteran NFL agent Doug Hendrickson has signed 11 new clients and negotiated more than $150 million in contracts since joining Wasserman in March.
Wasserman signed Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith, Raiders running back Jalen Richard and two players expected to be unrestricted free agents next year, Raiders defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and Cowboys linebacker Justin March-Lillard.
The group also signed Cowboys wide receiver Brice Butler, Giants cornerback Curtis Riley, Seahawks running back J.D. McKissic, Redskins defensive back Kenny Ladler, Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins, Rams wide receiver Mike Thomas and Raiders wide receiver Marcell Ateman. Hendrickson, his longtime partner C.J. LaBoy and up-and-coming agent Mike Swenson are representing the players.
Additionally, Wasserman negotiated eight contracts worth a combined $150 million, highlighted by Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks’ five-year, $50 million extension.
Wasserman has had a football practice, led by Will Wilson for years, but expanded it by adding Hendrickson’s practice in March. Hendrickson represents a lot of stars in the NFL, including Rams cornerback Marcus Peters and Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson, who, along with Smith, are up for extensions after this season.
“We expected them to build an industry leading practice with world-class clients — and that is exactly what they are doing,” Casey Wasserman, the agency’s founder, said last week.
Hendrickson worked at Octagon for 14 years and then at Independent Sports & Entertainment for four years before joining Wasserman. Wasserman said hiring him was more of a talent-driven decision than about building in a particular sport.
“We are always less about the sport and more about the people — bringing in high-quality, high-character talent and giving them the platform to succeed — that’s the model,” Wasserman said. “That being said, Doug has done an awesome job and their success is directly attributed to their leadership.”
Hendrickson said he works closely with Wilson, as well as the other agents and executives across team sports and in marketing, social media and technology departments. “It’s taking off,” he said of the NFL practice, which now totals 59 players in the league, including Colts quarterback Andrew Luck — a Wilson client — and Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, who Hendrickson has represented since he was drafted in 2007.
Hendrickson has represented 17 first-round picks in his career, but he and LaBoy did not recruit last year, primarily because their future was uncertain as their deals with ISE were running out. That will be different this year, Hendrickson said.
“Our goal is not to have 30 rookies,” Hendrickson said. “Our goal is to have eight to 10 elite players.”
■ REVOLUTION CALLING: Revolution Sports has signed Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard and Cowboys safety Xavier Woods for representation.
Revolution founder and NFL agent Damarius Bilbo will represent the players. Bilbo, a former baseball and football player who was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers out of high school and went on to play wide receiver and quarterback at Georgia Tech, played for the Cardinals and Cowboys before becoming an agent. His agency currently represents several NFL stars, including Saints running back Alvin Kamara and Chargers running back Melvin Gordon.
■ TOP DAWG SIGNS THURMAN: Dennis Thurman, a former NFL defensive coordinator who is now defensive coordinator of the Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express, has signed with Top Dawg Entertainment for representation in all areas, including coaching. Fadde Mikhail, who joined Top Dawg to head up its new sports division, is representing Thurman, who also played cornerback for the Cowboys and Cardinals.
Top Dawg specializes in representing music artists, like Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q and SZA.