That same uncle seems to have authority of advisor in Andre Johnson’s most recent contract negotiations. The problem is that uncle Johnson is not certified by the NFLPA and thus does not have authority to directly negotiate with any NFL organization. If the rules are adhered to, that means that Andre Johnson must do all the talking himself. That’s a tough thing to do when you have five years remaining on your current contract and you are (at least should be) spending most of your time every day building strength, practicing, and watching film, along with doing good for your community through philanthropic events/causes. Not to mention, I think Johnson also wants to use some of his free time to enjoy the money he is working so hard to earn.
If you are a four time Pro Bowler who has led the NFL in receiving yards for the past two seasons, do you really want to skip on the 3% (maximum) agent fee? Johnson is about to enter year four of an eight-year deal that was an extension of his rookie contract. I don’t care how good Johnson is, he could use the help of an experienced negotiator in trying to work out a new deal under his current constraints.
This post is not about whether or not Johnson deserves more money than what he is due to earn on his current contract. It is about aligning yourself with the proper advisors when entering such important discussions. You would think that Johnson learned the first time around.
Do not confuse Johnson’s situation with that of Mark Sanchez, who hired his brother, a business litigator with a firm who was certified by the NFLPA and also involved Athletes First in negotiations. I was even a little skeptical of that decision at first, but it in no way compares to Johnson’s decision to have his non-licensed uncle serve as his advisor.
[This article originally appeared on the Sports Agent Blog]