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Ranking the 10 Most Powerful NFL Player Agents in the League Today

Matt MillerNFL Draft Lead WriterJuly 14, 2011

Ranking the 10 Most Powerful NFL Player Agents in the League Today

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    From the outside looking in, the NFL is all about the players and the coaches—but what about the men working behind the scenes to broker deals?

    Yes, agents, the scum of the Earth in some minds.

    Not all agents are created equal, with a handful of men controlling most of the major contracts in the NFL today.

    Who are the best of the best? We rank the top 10 most powerful agents.

10. Jimmy Sexton

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    If you are hoping to hire an established coach or former coach in the NFL, chances are you will call Jimmy Sexton.

    Sexton represents Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier and Bill Parcells, as well as 45 current NFL players—including Tim Tebow, DeAngelo Williams and Philip Rivers.

    Sexton has been a quiet giant in the NFL sports agent market, acquiring three to five solid players each year.

9. Leigh Steinberg

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    Leigh Steinberg is known more for what he did in the 1980s and 1990s, and for being Mr. Jerry Maguire, than for his contracts in today's NFL.

    That will soon change, as Steinberg is free to recruit clients after a lawsuit with David Dunn was settled.

    In his time, Steinberg has represented Myron Rolle, Matt Leinart, Ben Roethlisberger, Mark Brunell, Ricky Williams, Howie Long, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Kordell Stewart, Jeff George and Warren Moon.

8. Jason Fletcher

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    A former college and Arena League football player—and brother of former first-round pick Jamar Fletcher—Jason Fletcher brings an expertise to the industry that sets him apart.

    Having played the game, and managed those close to him through the draft process, Jason is able to connect with players on a real level.

    Note: A former version of this article incorrectly attributed agent status to Jason Fletcher for Donovan McNabb and Lofa Tatupu. Both players are represented by Fletcher's partner Fletcher Smith.

    We apologize for the error and confusion.

7. David Dunn, Athletes First

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    A one-time powerhouse in the sports agent industry, David Dunn is rebounding well after a hiatus due to a bankruptcy and law suit with former partner Leigh Steinberg that cost Dunn $44.6 million.

    During the 2011 NFL draft, Dunn and his Athletes First agency netted four of the top 17 draft picks—including two of the top eight picks (Von Miller and Jake Locker).

    That will equal big, big money for Dunn and co. and a healthy foundation to rebuild on.

6. Joel Segal, BEST Football

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    Joel Segal has cleaned house on offense, wracking up big names like Michael Vick, Reggie Bush, Santonio Holmes, and Chris Johnson.

    Segal will be busy in the 2011 offseason, negotiating a new contract for Santonio Holmes and potentially brokering a huge second contract for Chris Johnson in Tennessee.

    Segal is an old-pro, and one of the best in the business. He has negotiated numerous record-setting contracts, is one of only two NFL agents to represent multiple first round draft picks each year for the past six years (2006-2011) and has represented 22 first round draft picks since 2001.

5. Eugene Parker

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    It is alleged that Eugene Parker was the inspiration behind Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s character Rod Tidwell in the movie Jerry Maguire. We believe it.

    Parker is a shark, but a damn smooth one. He has negotiated the highest signing bonuses in NFL history for Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders, giving him credibility with players, owners and fellow agents.

    Some of Parker's current clients include Hines Ward, Larry Fitzgerald, Steven Jackson and Ndamukong Suh.

    Parker was also ranked 45 in the Sports Illustrated list of the top 101 most influential minorities in sports.

4. Todd France, France All Pro Athlete Management

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    An excellent recruiter in the south, Todd France has built up an empire from nothing since he emerged on the scene during the 2005 NFL Draft.

    France's impressive client list includes Ronnie Brown, Takeo Spikes, Ray Rice, Vernon Davis and Karlos Dansby.

    After signing his first ever first-round pick in '05, France has hit the big-time with top 10 picks and Pro Bowlers.

    Each year France targets two first-rounders. In 2011 he hit on Prince Amukamra (No. 19 overall) and Marcell Dareus (No. 3 overall).

3. Drew Rosenhaus, Rosenhaus Sports

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    Drew Rosenhaus may be the most well-known of any player agent in the world today—which may not be a good thing.

    Rosenhaus is known for his aggressive behavior and for fighting to get amazing deals for his clients. He's also been known to stir up controversy.

    Loved in the Miami community, Rosenhaus benefited more than any other agent during the Miami Hurricanes run of first round draft picks.

2. Ben Dogra, Creative Artists Agency

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    As one of the major players at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Ben Dogra is becoming well-known for his ability to identify and recruit high profile draft choices.

    Dogra was named the 6th Most Powerful Sports Agent in 2008 by Sports Business Journal. He has also represented more first round draft choices than any other NFL agent since 2004.

    Dogra represents superstars like Patrick Willis, Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans and Braylon Edwards.

    CAA was responsible for signing five first-round picks and seven total players in the 2011 NFL Draft.

1. Tom Condon, Creative Artists Agency

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    And the best of the best goes to fellow CAA super-agent Tom Condon.

    As head of the football division at CAA, after a stint at IMG, Condon is in charge of contracts for players like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Tony Romo, LaDainian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson.

    In 2006, The Sporting News named Condon the “most powerful agent in any sport” and second only to Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in the NFL.

    CAA was responsible for signing five first-round picks and seven total players in the 2011 NFL Draft.

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