If you’re like many people, most of your knowledge about sports agents begins and ends with Jerry Maguire.
Well, it’s time to change that.
Beginning Aug. 11 at 10 p.m. ET, the Esquire Network will air a 10-part documentary series, The Agent, which chronicles the lives of four super agents: Peter Schaffer, Jeff Guerriero, Sunny Shah and Ed Wasielewski.
Schaffer, who has negotiated more than a billion dollars in NFL deals, was approached about the series last year.
“At first, I was a little reluctant because I didn’t want to sort of make it a Ballers or an Entourage,” Schaffer said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show, “and they convinced me they were going to do a real documentary series on the nuts and bolts of our lives – 24/7, 365 days a year. That’s what this is all about. These guys followed me for eight months.”
The series shows the ups and downs of agent life, from recruiting clients to negotiating contracts to dealing with off-the-field issues. There’s also a rather humorous scene in which NFL prospects score higher – and in some cases, much higher – on the Wonderlic test than many of Schaffer’s Ivy League friends.
“The results are quite surprising,” Schaffer said. “The interesting part was all these Ivy Leaguers thought this was so easy. I think it gave them a true appreciation for what these young men have to go through. We sit there and mock someone just because they got a 10 on the Wonderlic, and I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ll send you the Wonderlic. Let’s see what you get in 12 minutes and try to replicate the pressure.’ It’s an interesting social scientific experiment. I thought that was pretty interesting.”
So, too, is players’ use – or lack thereof – or social media. Schaffer has a Twitter account, but luckily for him, many of his players do not.
“I’m not the greatest social media guy, so I’m the wrong person to ask (about that),” Schaffer said. “I think a lot of the younger agents (use Twitter). My wife does a lot better job of following the guys on social media and doing that and my 15-year-old daughter, but a lot of my guys do not use Twitter. We do talk about being smart. People don’t need to know what you had for lunch. Let’s keep it smart with what we’re doing.”
Schaffer represents numerous NFL clients, including Brandon Browner, Mario Edwards and Joe Thomas, and has helped many players achieve their goals – financially and otherwise.
“That’s the greatest reward,” Schaffer said. “One of the things that this show shows is everybody sees the last five percent: the press conference or the negotiation. But they don’t see the nuts and the bolts and what we do 95 percent of the time. People say they work 9-5. Well, we work 5-9. And we work seven days a week, 365 days a year. Sometimes 9 o’clock at night is just when you’re grabbing lunch because the phone rings or a player has an issue or you’re on the road. We get very familiar with Courtyard Marriotts, I can assure you.”