Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half at Highmark Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York.
Bryan M. Bennett | Getty Images
Athletes First is the top sports agency, with roughly $2 billion in contracts for 75 active pro football players, according to a new study of high earning agents among well-known and accredited National Football League player reps.
Athletes First agent Todd France is first on the list, with roughly $1.19 billion in contracts negotiated among active 33 NFL players. David Mulugheta is also on the list with 42 NFL players and $830 million in deals. Combined, the two have slightly over $2 billion in active agreements negotiated for Athletes First.
The earnings data was compiled by sports betting digital platform Pickswise in collaboration with global marketing agency ICS-digital. The companies used active NFL player contract information via Spotrac.com, which collects data around teams and player agreements. The study only collected deals of high-profile reps, and notes NFL agents receive up to 3% commission on NFL deals. Using that percentage, it estimated France has netted more than $35 million from active contracts.
Athletes First has negotiated over $4 billion in sports contracts, making about $85 million in commissions, according to Forbes. But this earnings study didn’t include contracts of players who retired or have been cut, nor deals that have expired.
One of Athletes First’s most prominent active deals is Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who signed a six-year, $258 million deal last month. Allen’s average annual value on the contract is $43 million per season, second behind Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs star signed a 10-year, $450 million deal with an average annual value of $45 million per season.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott also used Athletes First to secure his four-year, $160 million deal. Prescott elected to sign a shorter-term contract, setting him up to benefit from a higher salary cap when he re-signs, as the NFL’s $100-plus billion media rights deal will will increase overall league revenue. The current NFL media deal helped teams bring in about $309 million each.
The NFL is a high-risk injury sport, and most teams don’t guarantee player contracts partly due to the high rate of injuries. Agents push back on this by seeking as much guaranteed money as possible, including signing bonuses.
Factoring only guaranteed money, Allen’s deal is the highest in the NFL at $150 million. Mahomes’ deal includes $141 million guaranteed, and Prescott is third with $126 million guaranteed.
Tom Condon of powerhouse agency Creative Artists Agency shares Allen as a client, alongside France, who departed CAA in 2020. Condon is second on the earnings study, with 24 active NFL players and roughly $954 million in contracts. His commission from the agreements is approximately $28 million, and client list includes Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
Mulugheta is third with $24 million in commissions, including from the deal he negotiated for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, whose contract is four years and valued at $156 million ($110 million guaranteed).
Up and coming agents not in the top ten include Zeke Sandhu of Elite Athlete Management, and Wasserman’s Doug Hendrickson ($10 million in commissions) and Chafie Fields (roughly $5 million in commissions) from $158 million in active deals.
Fields recently added Pittsburgh Steelers star JuJu Smith-Schuster and negotiated a $100 million deal for Cowboys wideout Amari Cooper deal. Cooper’s deal is the highest in the NFL for a wide receiver.