Seahawks OT Russell Okung wrote an interesting article for the Players Tribune in which he announced that he plans to negotiate his next contract on his own and without the help of an agent.
“[B]ecause I know I’m more than adequate without representation, I’m betting on myself,” writes Okung. “…I know my worth. I can look at the market and go directly to a team without an agent and tell that team my worth. And I can do so with confidence because I’ve done my research, I’ve educated myself and I’ve questioned the answers I’ve been given. And when it comes to reviewing the details of my next deal, I’ll hire an expert — a lawyer or a sports attorney who understands the dynamic of football contracts — to read the paperwork. I’ll negotiate a one-time flat fee that isn’t dependent on the size of my salary.”
Giants LB Jon Beason actually negotiated his own contract a few years ago and there have been some rookies who have also elected to not hire an agent until after they’ve signed their rookie agreements, so it appears as though this could an increasingly popular strategy from NFL players moving forward.
While there has been so much attention about Russell Wilson‘s next contract, it appears as though many have forgotten that Okung is in line to be one of the most sought after free agents in next year’s market.
Seattle is reportedly approaching contract negotiations with Wilson cautiously so that they have the money to address other free agents such as Okung and MLB Bobby Wagner. However, it will likely take massive extensions to keep them in Seattle long-term.
Okung, 27, has one year remaining on his six-year, $48.5 million contract that included $30 million guaranteed. He stands to make a base salary of $4.8 million for the 2015 season, so you can see that he’s due for a huge salary increase.
In 2014, Okung appeared in 14 games for the Seahawks and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 36 offensive tackle out of 84 qualifying players.