Athletes First reps lead agency list with $2 billion in NFL contracts
Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half at Highmark Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York.
Getty Images Athletes First has approximately $2 billion worth of contracts for 75 pro-football players according to a study that looked at high-earning agents from well-respected and accredited National Football League reps.| Getty Images
Athletes First is the top sports agency, with roughly $2 billion in contracts for 75 active pro football players, according to a new study of high earning agents among well-known and accredited National Football League player reps.
With $1.19 Billion in deals negotiated between active NFL players, Todd France of AthletesFirst is the first to be on this list. David Mulugheta, a 42-year-old NFL player with $830 million worth of deals is also included on the list. Together, they have nearly $2 billion of active agreements that AthletesFirst has negotiated.
Pickswise, a sports betting digital platform, compiled the earnings data in partnership with ICS-digital, a global marketing agency. Spotrac.com provides information on active NFL players contracts. This data is used to determine which companies were using the player agreement and team details. It was only possible to collect deals from high-profile representatives. However, NFL agents may receive up to 33% commission for deals with the NFL. This percentage is enough to estimate that France has earned over $35 million through active contracts.
Athletes First has negotiated over $4 billion in sports contracts, making about $85 million in commissions, according to Forbes. The earnings report did not take into account contracts that were terminated or retired players.
AthletesFirst’s top-selling active deal is the one signed by Josh Allen of Buffalo Bills, a 6-year, $258M contract. Allen is second in the league behind Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes with an average contract value of $43 million each season. The Chiefs star signed a 10-year, $450 million deal with an average annual value of $45 million per season.
Athletes first was used by Dak Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback. His four-year deal worth $160 million is also secured. Prescott chose to sign a shorter contract. This will allow Prescott to receive a better salary when he signs a new contract. Each team earned $309 million from the current NFL media agreement.
Because the NFL has a high risk of injury, most teams won’t offer player contracts due to this high level. The agents counter this with signing bonuses and as much guaranteed cash as possible.
Allen’s contract is worth $150 million, even though it only includes guaranteed money. Mahomes is guaranteed $141million, Prescott has $126million guaranteed.
Tom Condon of powerhouse agency Creative Artists Agency shares Allen as a client, alongside France, who departed CAA in 2020. Condon ranks second in the earnings survey, having 24 NFL players and approximately $954 million worth of contracts. His commission from the agreements is approximately $28 million, and client list includes Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
Mulugheta is third with $24 million in commissions, including from the deal he negotiated for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, whose contract is four years and valued at $156 million ($110 million guaranteed).
Zeke Sandhu from Elite Athlete Management is the next agent to be considered. Wasserman’s Doug Hendrickson (roughly $10 million in commissions), and Chafie Felds (roughly $5,000 in commissions) are also in this top 10.
Fields recently added Pittsburgh Steelers star JuJu Smith-Schuster and negotiated a $100 million deal for Cowboys wideout Amari Cooper deal. Cooper’s contract is one of the most lucrative in the NFL as a wide receiver.