Take it from San Francisco 49ers’ defensive back Tarell Brown; read the entirety of a contract. Unfortunately for Brown, he lost out on a $2 million bonus because he did not participate in the offseason workouts with the team, a detail of the contract that he was unaware of.
Losing $2 million is enough to cost anyone their job and NFL agents aren’t excluded. Brown gave Brian Overstreet, his ex-agent, the boot and has now signed on with Joel Segal as reported on Wednesday.
While Brown’s case has been publicized in recent days, this is a topic that probably happens more than people realize.
There are many different clauses and stipulations within an NFL contract, many of which are performance-based. Take for example Tampa Bay’s Darelle Revis. He signed a $96 million contract, of which there is zero guaranteed. That means that there are clauses and incentives galore in that contract, for which Revis and his agent better be very familiar with!
While Brown was right in firing his agent, not all of the responsibility falls on his representation. Players are ultimately responsible for the contracts they sign and should be aware of the responsibilities that need to be met in order ensure similar calamities don’t happen to them.
As for the 49ers’ defensive back, San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh said that even officials of the team were unaware of the voluntary workout requirement.
This is an unusual circumstance, but should be taken as a learning experience for players and contracts.