Chasing the Unicorn


I don’t have to quote all the statistics to let you know that less than 1% of kids playing High School Football are taking that dream all the way to an NFL Roster Spot. In reality the odds of winning lotto are about the same, so just stop and think about that for a minute, most of you guys are never going to get a shot, its tantamount too chasing a Unicorn.

No, there are no comparables or viable alternatives to the NFL, The CFL is a completely different game and league with a different set of rules and an entirely different pay scale. After that the AFL is a wannabe league with financial challenges and a playing surface that bears no comparison to an NFL football field. There are so many talented athletes in an already over crowded space, who have been told they are the greatest thing to hit a playing field, with resumes to prove and hearts of a whole pride of lions to go with it. Unfortunately, there are only a few spots to be had every year. Moreover, scouting departments have become so sophisticated and comprehensive that you can almost predict now who is going to be drafted and where, which UDFA’s are getting signed and who is not. Yes, there is the rare exception, the Unicorn that breaks through all the odds and lands a roster spot, but those will continue to be rare and few and far between.

So, what do you tell those gifted young men chasing Unicorns. We wrestle with this everyday. The reality is , if you don’t have scouts talking to you after your college games, if you don’t have teams calling you bringing you in for a work out, if you are not blowing up those work outs when you get the chance, well then it makes sense that you ¬†are not on anyone’s short list, or their radar. I am not trying to discourage anyone or discredit the system, I am just trying to identify the animal you are chasing and telling you, you are doing so with your eyes wide open. If your phone isn’t ringing. and it’s just you calling your agent, asking him what’s up and where are my work outs, then it’s already become a dog chasing his tail scenario. Teams do their scouting year round, and they compile film and they have you ranked. We call all the time and they say yeah, he is 2 inches short of a job, can you make him taller? or, yeah, we are looking for speed and he is too slow, can you make him faster ?, he is 25 pounds too light, can you make him bigger and stronger ? And then there are the guys who are on the short list for who the phone is about to ring. The rest of the guys are already in Camp or on a Roster or a Practice Squad

There is no magic in the agent player relationship. Agents do not hold any secret work -out cards and NFL teams are not telegraphing what they are going to do to agents. In most cases the NFL team and even the CFL team are going to deal with the player directly until its time to negotiate a contract, that is there perogative.. Agents are there to guide you through the process and to negotiate deals where and when they are to be had., they cannot create a deal for you. It’s completely on the player to perform and to get noticed and if that hasn’t happened. by now, well you might just be chasing a Unicorn.

Not that chasing Unicorns is a bad thing, somebody is definitely going to get one, some guys are going to break through, just recognize that is what you are doing and enjoy the chase without getting bitter or unrealistic about your chances. After all football is a privilege not a right .

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