October 11, 2016
Every year an NFL player will emerge via free agency and make an immediate impact on a team and play a vital role in a playoff run.
In some cases those players were sitting on the couch in mid-season when they got a call from their agent to get to a tryout. One of those guys was Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell, who exactly a year ago made his debut with the Steelers. Boswell had been in camp with the Giants and Texas in 2014 and 2015 but never made the 53-man roster. The Steelers were hit with injuries and poor production through the first five games of the 2015 season, going through three kickers, before calling Boswell. He went on to have a great season, won multiple awards, and set a Steelers record with seven playoff field goals.
The morale to his story – and many like them – be prepared for your opportunity.
A Boswell-type story happens more often than you think. The NFL is a serious and violent game. Production issues and injuries happen quickly and teams must be prepared to respond just as quickly. Boswell hadn’t been in Pittsburgh’s camp, so he was a bit of an unknown to them. He got a call for a tryout, won it, and has been making the most of his opportunity ever sense. These circumstances are unpredictable.
In-season free agency is an interesting process. I have clients with NFL experience not currently on roster, some with excellent proven experience, looking for their next opportunity. They all know they are one-play away from getting that call. They are working out and together we monitor the very fluid dynamic of an NFL roster.
I work my network of NFL front office, personnel staff and coaches to help evaluate situations with all 32 teams to be on the ready when one of my players is needed.
My advice is to be ready and make sure you have an agent who is working hard and smart as your advocate when these situations arise.
My professional core principles are: Protection, Advocacy and Trust. If you or someone you know needs representation, please call me.
Jill McBride Baxter