Laremy Tunsil scores $50M guaranteed contract as own agent
Lamar Jackson is not the only professional athlete with no agent. Last season there were 17 NFL players who represented themselves. The list includes Bobby Wagner, DeAndre Hopkins, and the highest-paid left tackle in the NFL, Laremy Tunsil.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday that Tunsil signed a new three-year deal with the Houston Texans for $75 million, $50 million of which is fully guaranteed. In representing himself, this is the second time that Tunsil has secured huge money without the services of a full-time agent.
That is certainly great news for whichever quarterback the Houston Texans select as the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft. The organization may be a dumpster fire but at least a rookie quarterback will have some dependable blindside protection. Tunsil certainly seems to have put the stigma of his infamous gas-mask bong hit video behind him.
The Arizona Cardinals are currently looking to trade DeAndre Hopkins as they try to rebuild following a season in which the team toppled over during the first six weeks. Hopkins was suspended during that time for a violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. The suspension was without pay, so of course, it stung. However, the pain was certainly minimized when he reminded himself of the massive overall extension that he signed. In 2020, Hopkins signed a two-year contract extension with the Cardinals worth $54.5 million, of which $42.75 million was guaranteed.
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Having an agent can make an athlete’s life easier. It keeps them from having uncomfortable conversations with their bosses. Also, those bosses will be having those tense conversations with a familiar person. A business suit and briefcase being the necessary equipment for a sports agent results in far less wear and tear on the body, and a much longer career than a professional football player.
All of that being said, the familiarity between those two parties can make athletes question whether or not agents are truly operating with their clients’ best interests at heart. Being that agents have long-standing relationships with front-office personnel, maybe they don’t push as hard for a fully guaranteed contract as Jackson might want.
Clearly, most players are perfectly fine letting someone else do the negotiating for them. Far more times than not, the agents come away with an ideal contract offer. The agents doing all of that work then allows players to focus on being the best athlete that they can possibly be, and then spend the rest of their time on whatever they feel like doing.
That life isn’t for everyone though. Some players would rather keep the money for themselves than pay an agent, others have a strong desire to do their own negotiating. They don’t mind battling against their team’s front office. Certain players have a hands-on approach to their careers and want to make every decision, every step of the way.
It’s the road less traveled, but people should always have the option to choose how they navigate their own journey. As long as they aren’t harming others, they shouldn’t be judged for how they choose to live their lives.
If Jackson, Hopkins, Tunsil, and a handful of other players want to represent themselves in contract negotiations that’s fine. It has clearly worked for Hopkins and Tunsil, so Jackson getting a deal that suits him is certainly not impossible.
There are many reasons why Jackson still has not received the money that he would like as the Baltimore Ravens’ starting quarterback, and we NFL observers probably do not know most of them. But what Tunsil’s new contract should prove is that athletes representing themselves does not inherently make teams less willing to budge in negotiations.
Miami, SDSU knock off remaining No. 1 seeds before Elite 8
You know that feeling you get when a new team is going to win the title? You look at the finals matchup and say, “Suns-Bucks? Cool.” Occasionally, that feeling can happen in the semis, but it’s rare. Usually, there’s a blueblood like the Patriots, Duke, Alabama, Golden State, the Astros, or some team that you’re dreading because we’ve seen it and want a different fan base to experience euphoria — or just not the same fan base.
Well, we’ve reached the Elite 8 of the men’s NCAA tourney, and there are only two “powerhouses” left in the field, they play each other next round, and one of them (Gonzaga) doesn’t have a title. The other program is UConn, and even though the Zags or the Huskies will be in the Final Four, this tourney has that new champion smell.
I could be wrong, and UConn will continue beating opponents by 20 en route to a fifth title since 1999, which would be the most titles in the time period by two titles. Yeah, wild stat, right? If it feels like there are two, three, maybe even four schools that have had a larger impact on college basketball over the past 24 years, it’s because you’re right. Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, and Villanova come to mind, but what’s really on my mind is that we’re getting a non-traditional Final Four.
This doesn’t feel like an outlier
Here’s an even crazier stat (that you’ve likely already heard which is why I didn’t lead with it): This is the first year since seeding began in 1979 that no No. 1 seed has made it to the Elite 8. That could be why 2023 feels so strange. I mean, Alabama and Houston both lost, and neither game was a fluke.
San Diego State led at the break, and although Bama had a nine-point lead midway through the second half, the Aztecs needed a timeout and all of a minute and a half to erase the deficit. Then it was SDSU’s turn to build a lead, one they wouldn’t surrender, bringing the Brandon Miller era/saga to a merciful end with a 71-64 loss in the Sweet 16.
Houston… well, Houston had an even tougher go of it, getting drubbed by a Miami backcourt that did whatever they wanted. Isaiah Wong and Nijel Pack combined for 46 points, and forced the Cougars to play catch-up most of the game. The U went on a 16-4 run to push their cushion to 17 at the 10:06 mark of the second half, and cruised the rest of the way to an 89-75 W and their second-straight Elite 8.
The four teams joining UConn, Gonzaga, San Diego State, and Miami are FAU, Kansas State, Texas, and Creighton. As far as seedings go, we have a 2, two 3’s, a 4, two 5’s, a 6, and a 9 remaining. It’s not quite Reservoir Dogs level “Really, that’s who’s left alive?” vibes, but it’s close.
It’s up to you, UConn and Gonzaga, to maintain order
If you’ve been following the tourney closely — and who knows if you are because brackets started spontaneously combusting on opening day and haven’t stopped — UConn is the only squad in the Elite 8 that’s been comfortable in all three wins. Everybody else has had a game decided by single digits, and I don’t need to be the 16 millionth writer to tell you the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is about to change.
Wait, that’s The Rock’s line.
The hierarchy of power in college basketball has changed, and it’s up to you to decide how to feel about it.
My feeling is this: I’m always going to enjoy that new champion smell. It’s certainly better than the monotony of college football.
Sure, if the Huskies win, it’ll be just another weird UConn year where they caught fire at the perfect time. However, if it’s one of the other seven schools, even Gonzaga (but not Creighton; Cornhusker basketball until I die), I’ll be satisfied.
March Madness finally, truly fits the bill, and I’m happy lighting a couple of entry fees on fire to watch everything else burn.
Duncan Ferguson: I wouldn’t leave Forest Green for Everton or Real Madrid | Football News
Duncan Ferguson spent years as part of the backroom staff under several managers at Everton.
On two occasions he also took charge of the club on a caretaker basis, but was overlooked for the job permanently last season in favour of Frank Lampard.
Now, at 51, he has struck out on his own, and in January he took on his first permanent managerial role in charge of Forest Green in League One.
It has not been an easy start. There have been just two points collected from his first nine games in charge. Rovers lie bottom of the third tier, and are heading back towards League Two at the first time of asking after winning promotion last season.
But Ferguson was handed a five-and-a-half year contract by owner Dale Vince, and he is committed to building the club in the long-term.
Here, he spoke to Sky Sports pundit and former Everton team-mate Andy Hinchcliffe about not getting the Toffees job, his aims for Forest Green and more…
On his disappointment at not getting the Everton job
“I was considered for it. I went for an interview but I was unsuccessful, unfortunately. That was disappointing because you obviously want to be the manager of the club that you love and I felt like I deserved a chance at that and to take the team through to the end of the season.
“But the club brought in Frank Lampard, a man I have a lot of respect for. And to be fair he steadied the ship and helped the club avoid relegation.
“I was disappointed I wasn’t given that chance, but it is what it is. The club made a decision and it was the right one.”
On his long-term plans for Forest Green, and trying to attract Messi!
“I’m not sure I needed convincing but [me and the owner] definitely needed to have a chat about where the club was going, and what he saw as the vision of the club. Obviously it’s come a long way in the last four or five years.
“When I spoke to him I liked him right away. My first impressions were good and he told me where he wants the club to go. He offered me a long contract, and that showed his confidence in me.
“Obviously things aren’t going too well for us right now, and we might have to take a step back, but hopefully we’ll come forward again. We want to be in the Championship. That’s the aim. It’s where we want to be, and where I want to be as coach.
“If you’ve got strong views on the environment you might want to come here. I wonder if Messi has strong views on the environment! He could come here, couldn’t he.”
On his commitment to the club
“I love Everton, but I’m at Forest Green. The owner knows I’m a man of my word, and I’ve told him I won’t be going anywhere unless he tells me. And that’s it.
“It doesn’t matter if Everton come in for me tomorrow, or Real Madrid come in for me next week. I will not be leaving this club. That’s an absolute fact.
“He showed faith in bringing me to the club and he gave me a big contract. He showed that loyalty to me, and I’ll show that loyalty back to him.”
On Everton’s relegation battle and Dyche
“I thought Frank was one of the best I’ve ever worked with. He was absolutely fantastic, and his presentations and the way he spoke to players was the best I’ve ever seen.
“Obviously I keep an eye on the results and it looks like Sean is pulling it around. I can see why Everton went for him. He’s been there and done it.
“He’s got that experience. He’ll set them up how he thinks is right. He’s got a few good results recently and I’m sure Everton will be safe this season.”
Jim Crawford: Republic of Ireland U21s boss angered after ‘uneducated’ trolls racially abuse U15 players | Football News
Republic of Ireland U21s boss Jim Crawford has hit out at the “uneducated” trolls who sent “unacceptable” online abuse to members of the country’s U15s squad.
The Football Association of Ireland has condemned the attacks on multiple platforms, which came after the U15s boys’ team’s back-to-back 6-0 victories over Latvia earlier this week, as “vile and horrific” and is working with police and social media companies to identify and deal with those responsible.
Crawford, who was preparing his team for Sunday’s friendly against Iceland in Cork when the news broke, could not contain his anger.
He said: “I just want to get it out there that there’s certainly no place for racism in sport, in society.
“It comes from a minority, it comes from uneducated people and it comes from social media platforms where people can disguise their names, their identity. The unfortunate thing is that they have a platform.
“To hear that this morning, it just makes you angry. I just think it’s time that we all just work together on this and stamp it out because it’s unacceptable.”
The incident comes at a time when Stephen Kenny’s Ireland squad, which will face France in a Euro 2024 qualifier on Monday evening, mirrors the country’s diversity, with striker Chiedozie Ogbene, the first African-born player to represent the nation at senior level, Andrew Omobamidele and Adam Idah all of Nigerian heritage.
Crawford added: “These same people will be cheering goals if Chieo scores, Adam Idah scores, do you know what I mean?
“I just don’t know. Well, I do know. They’re ignorant, they’re uneducated, but they have to hide behind these fake accounts.
“It goes for racism, bullying and I do think social media companies have got to do something about this. They’ve got to do it because certain people think it’s a laugh and a joke, but it’s not, it’s a lot deeper than that.”
An emotional Crawford continued: “I’ve worked in the FAI now a long time and I know the work that development officers do on the ground, getting into schools, putting on Show Racism the Red Card programmes, and I’ve been involved in that myself.
“It’s something that I’m very strong about and every school I’ve been to, I’ve got the buy-in. But it’s just the minority, you know? It’s just a minority.
“I’ve run so many programmes with black kids loving football, and then I hear this goes on, you know?”
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