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NFLPA's Decertification Will Affect Agent Rules

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Jenny Vrentas explains the NFLPA decertifying will have some unintended consequences regarding agents.

The NFLPA announced that it has renounced its union status, as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of NFL players, and will move forward as a "professional trade organization with the mission of supporting the interests and rights of current and former professional football players."

As a result, it is no longer a requirement that contract advisers be certified by the NFLPA to represent players in individual contract negotiations with NFL clubs, per the memo the NFLPA's legal department sent to its contract advisors.

The NFLPA had some strict criteria on agent certification and behavior. To become an agent, people must have a postgraduate degree, pay a fee, and pass an exam. These standards are serious. It is important to have regulations for agents given how closely they handle the finances of athletes.

There are other rules to maintain certification, such as not soliciting existing client while they employ other agents. That could result in disciplinary action. Some agents are suspected of this activity but have not been caught (cough, cough, Rosenhaus). Now that losing certification would no longer be a risk, we could see plenty of agents try and solicit the clients of others.