While not every cent on an NFL player’s contract is guaranteed, players can secure a certain amount of bonus money and increase the guaranteed money they will receive by meeting certain benchmarks. One of the ways to go about it is by attending and working out at the team facilities during offseason organized team activities (OTAs).
In the case of San Francisco 49ers cornerback Tarrell Brown, he will be missing out on an additional $2 million because of his failure to workout with the team at its facilities during OTAs. As a result of his no show, Brown will only earn around $925,000 for the 2013 season instead of $2.925 million that he would have earned had he shown up during OTAs.
Now, Brown did not skip the OTAs because he was looking for a long-term or better deal from the 49ers, something many players do in such a situation. Instead, Brown was training and working out back in Texas looking to improve his speed and better himself as a cornerback. So if Brown did not miss OTAs because of a contractual dispute with the 49ers, then why did he not show up to ensure he collected on the $2 million by doing so?
Simple, the fault falls on Brown’s now former agent Brian Overstreet who failed to notify Brown that he needed to show up to OTAs in order to collect on the $2 million. Overstreet failed to do his job as an agent and notify his client that he needed to show up to OTAs.
Many have and will place blame on Brown for not knowing he needed to show up to OTAs and for not being aware what was stated in his contract, but placing blame on Brown is short sighted and out of line. In this case, the agent must be the one to tell the player of this since that is what he is paid for. Overstreet failed at his job and as a result, made his client lose out on money he could have collected had he performed his job.
People must remember, these NFL contracts, like many contracts, are filled with language and legalese which the normal person, much less a player, will be unable to understand or understand fully. Therefore, agents, as part of his job, must make his player aware of such caveats and notify his client.
I mean, as an agent, if you can’t do something simple as check in with your client to make sure he doesn’t miss OTAs so he can collect $2 million and subsequently you miss out on a three percent commission, what does that say about you as a professional? Clearly it tells me that you don’t care enough or are dedicated enough to your job to have prevented this gaffe.
The worst part is that Brown found out about this through Twitter and immediately fired Overstreet, who is probably done as an agent given this embarrassing display of his work. Because of this, Brown was right in firing Overstreet. While it might be his contract, in the end, the responsibility falls on Overstreet to do his job for his client and make him aware of such a clause.