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Number of NFLPA-certified agents rises slightly, to 830

Number of NFLPA-certified agents rises slightly, to 830

By Liz Mullen, Staff Writer

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he number of agents certified by the NFL Players Association to negotiate contracts on behalf of players with clubs has risen 4 percent, from 795 to 830.

Agents had until Oct. 1 to turn in their yearly dues and insurance. The 830 number includes 119 new agents who became certified this summer after passing the union’s exam, which includes questions on contracts and the collective-bargaining agreement.

Eighty-four agents, meanwhile, either lost or dropped their certification for one reason or another. Reasons can include not negotiating an NFL contract within a three-year period, not going to the required union seminar once a year or not paying dues or insurance.

Justin Leonard (right) talks with Ryan Burr on the Golf Channel set.
GETTY IMAGES
Yearly dues are $1,500 for agents with nine or fewer clients and $2,000 for agents with more. Agents also are required to buy liability insurance, which can range from $3,500 to $10,000.

Agents can also voluntarily leave the business. It was not clear which agents had lost or dropped their certification last week.

> WASSERMAN SIGNS JUSTIN LEONARD: Wasserman has signed former PGA Tour pro and British Open winner Justin Leonard, now an NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst, for representation in broadcasting and marketing.

Wasserman agents Debbie Spander and Barry Hyde are representing him. He had been represented by CSE, which negotiated his broadcast deal.

He also had been represented by golf agencies Hambric Sports and Pros Inc. Leonard last played at the Valero Texas Open in April, where he finished tied for 58th.

> CAA ADDS UFC FIGHTER: CAA Sports has signed Arjan Bhullar, a heavyweight fighter and the first athlete of Indian descent to compete in the UFC.

CAA Sports agents Nez Balelo and Marquel Martin will represent Bhullar. He was represented by First Round Management.

Bhullar is undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts career and most recently defeated Luis Henrique in a unanimous decision at UFC 215.

CAA Sports will look to create opportunities for him inside and outside the octagon.

Bhullar, a native of British Columbia, has represented Canada as a freestyle wrestler, including at the 2012 Olympics.
  
The signing of Bhullar adds to a growing roster of MMA fighters at CAA Sports, which includes Georges St-Pierre, Cain Velasquez, Tom Duquesnoy and Rory MacDonald.

Martin joined CAA Sports earlier this year after working at his own firm and in the marketing department at the UFC.

> VAYNERSPORTS SIGNS TWO: VaynerSports, the NFL firm owned by entrepreneur and VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk, has signed Arizona Cardinals defensive end Robert Nkemdiche.

Agents Brian McLaughlin, Tommy Sims and Mook Williams are representing Nkemdiche, a first-round pick in the 2016 draft. He was represented by Impact Sports.

McLaughlin, Sims and Williams also signed Isaac Whitney, a wide receiver on the Oakland Raiders practice squad.

Sims joined VaynerSports in July from Allegiant Athletic Agency.

> SELECT GETS GAINES: Select Sports Group has signed Buffalo Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines for representation.

SSG’s Andy Ross will represent Gaines, who was a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft and will be a free agent after this season. He was represented by Synergy Sports International.

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.


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