Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 3 years ago

Ron Butler | Average to Savage EP16

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the sixteenth episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring NFL agent Ron Butler. Paul Guarino talked with Ron Butler discussing his role as an NFL agent, why he became an NFL agent, and some interesting situations he has had to deal with as an NFL agent. Follow Ron Butler www.instagram.com/agentbutler1 www.twitter.com/agentbutler1 Fueled by Lawless Jerky https://www.lawlessjerky.com/

This is the average to savage podcastwith Paul Greno everyone in anyone, athletes sets and much more. What's upeveryone, and back with another awesome episode of the average habits podcast. GotSpecial guests for me, NFL agent Ron Butler. Ron, how's going?Well, appreciate you guys out of me. Yeah, for sure. You're readyfor a fastball right at the eight. Let's go. So what's it like? What's a day in the life like of an NFL agent? Isthis? It's busy, man. Is never done a moment. You knowwhether you're whether you're dealing with client issues, you're dealing with the NFL or NFLPA, you're dealing with teams. So for someone like myself, I dealwith these these different situations on a daily basis, Monday through, I guessyou can say, Sunday to Sunday for sure. Can you give me likeexample or something? Okay, let's say, for example, a guy gets asportsman light penalty during the game. Obviously he's going to get, youknow, he's going to get a fine. It's my job to appeal that finefor that player. You know, when you're working with so many guys, this can happen. You know quite a bit and you know, youknow, as a rules are changed in you know, the leadue is gettingvery strict in terms of, you know, face mask calls. A Guy canget them ten thousand dollar finally for or Tenzero fine for a face maskcall. And it's my job, is an agent, to go in andthe feel that that's the process in itself, you know, in terms of guysgetting released from teams and then having to come back and try to findhim another job. You know, consists of that. It also consists oftraveling from city to city, state state. You know where I'm going, fromEast Coast to west coast. You know, it's just it's a it'sa lot, it's a locker. You will have to love what you do. Yeah, for sure. So that's perfect. From my next question.So how did how and why did you become an unaffiliated honestly, man,you know, I love working with people. I'm a people person. I didn'thave the law background in terms of, you know, going to you know, the practice law. You know, most most agents have their, youknow, their law degrees and they...

...kind of put them to use interms of, you know, being the age, in terms of the youknow the locality part of the business. But for somebody like myself, thenI love sports, I love working with people, I love working with youngmen and their families and you know, I coached high school football for anumber of years and my passion, my passion dealing with the players was tohelp guys get to college. Yeah, and I kind of took that,that same approach in terms of becoming an agent, where it was helping guy'stransition from college to the pros. So I felt like, you know,why not tap into this industry where you know you want to help our guys? It's not all about the money, but it's all about, you know, building relationships and been, you know, building a book of business where you'reworking with guys who actually trust what you do and what you say.So that was really mine, you know, my approach in terms of why Iwanted to become any definitely, definitely. So why did you pick the NFLover other leaks? Honestly, man, the NBA and, you know,the MLB. Obviously their contracts are guaranteed. Yeah, you know,they guitars from I believe it's four percent for the five percent. The issuewith with that is, let's take the end of the MLB, for example. You know you have guys that are coming out of call high school thatyou know could potentially be first round draft picks, the second round draft picks, that that the MLB is dominated by a couple of different agencies. NYou know, with the rosters not being as big as the NFL, thatit was going to be hard to really tap into and not knowing a wholelot about the industry, not knowing a whole lot about baseball, I kindof felt like, Hey, you know, let me, let me look intosomething that I familiar with, which is the the game of football,having played and having coached it. It just made me feel, you know, just just just more in tune to the game itself and being able totalk about football with your clients, with you know, anyone. It kindof gave me a sense of, Hey,...

...this is the direction I needs goingnow. In terms of the end NBA, you know the same thing. You're dealing with guarantee contracts. You know, obviously the money's a lotmore the end of the day. You know those hotspose those guys that areelite level players. You know the Lebron James, the main ways the KevinDurant step curries. Those guys house go through a whole AAU process. Youknow, they're playing AAU ball for years while they're in high school. Mostof the time, those a AU coaches have a fun the link system towhere they do what. They kind of passed their players along to different agentsof different colleges and I just felt like for someone like myself, I reallydidn't want to get involved in that whole arena. I just think from aroster standpoint, you there's only, you know, a few guys that aremaking super maths contracts and back steals and then you have some guys that aremaking average, you know average contracts, which is ten billion dollars a year, which is still a lot, but you know, just the roster itself, when you look at it from basketball and football, they're just so many, so many more players that are playing football and basketball. So that waskind of my reason behind that. There's going to say that too, aboutthe NBA rosters being a lot smaller than NFL. Ross. Absolutely absolutely.So what's up? What was the process like to become an NFL agent,because I know you said you didn't go to law school. So and Iknow it's like kind of like a big myth because people, a lot ofpeople, say you have to go to law school by know that they're agents. That didn't go right. I mean for myself personally. You know,I graduated from for the International University with my BASSL's degree. It was reallyabout having contract experience, not necessarily dealing with NFL players NFL contracts, butwhether you're negotiating a contract, say for a performance or a you know,a business, you know, and you had to be able to prove thatyou had that experience to even be able to allow to take the exam because, I don't know if you guys know in regards an NFL is only givingthe examples only given once per year.

Okay, I'm not going to sayit's a hard exam, but it's a very you know, having if youhave experience dealing with the industry, then it will be a much easier andexam for you to take. For somebody that's kind of like just happen intothe arena. Hey, I've always wanted to be an agent. Don't reallyhave a lot of experience, but you know, I'm I'm tapping into thisthing and I'm studying. I'm you know, I'm I'm grinding, trying to learnas much as possible in the short period of time. That's where,you know a lot of people try to do and you find that a lotof people who take the test don't pass it because they don't really have theexperience. Even with having a law degree, it still doesn't matter that that testis its designed for you to I'm not going to say for you tofail, but it's designed for you to just just have experience and have knowledgeof what it's you know what it's like dealing with the player on the daytodaybasis, and you know. So not to be long winded, but youknow, that's really what it's about. It's about hey going in take thisexam. Most of the most of the agents they go in to take ithave to have a mass degree. They don't have to have a law degreeand in at the end of the day, you know, I got said youget one shot to take it each year. If you fail it twice, you can't take it again. I believe it. Yet the number isfive years before you can take it again, and so it's a very, verylong process if you're if you're not sure. Is that a yearly thingthat you'd takes? Hessers is a one time I think was the one timething, but they do. They just started doing discontinue education exam that ageshave to take. This is the first time they've done it, which wastwo thousand and eighteen. You know, it's not a very difficult test,but you, Stumman, still had about fifty people that did pass exam.I do think it's designed for you to, you know, have an understand ofyou know, the rule changes and this kind of brush upon your skills, because it may have been three or four or five years as you takingthat in. You know that that initial exam and a lot of times peopledon't really use you know, because of...

...knowledge they learn in terms of preparingfor the actual test. They don't usually use it on the day to daybasis, but they want to make sure that you have the knowledge necessarily representthese players. Yeah, definitely. Obviously it's definitely a key who are somewho are summary Your current clients? It's the name a few. I representLavante David from the tape of Bay buccketeers present, Denzel Carey, men fromthe Los Angeles chargers, Travis Benjamin from Los Angeles chargers, Philip Or saidfrom the New England patriots, Dream Jackson from the Houston Texas and pator Robinsonfrom the new Orlean Saints, just the name a few. Got Your Dorsetmight be Tom Brasy guy this year. Huh? You know, he's puttingthe work. He worked his excuse my lady, worked his ass off thisoffseason. You know, obviously going into you know last year where you knowhe got traded the week of the first game and it's not a situation whereguys can just walk in the door, learn that system and then be onthe field immediately. So He's you know, he's put the work in. TomHas embraced him, he knows that he's put to work in and Ithink he's he's in Tom Circle of trust. So you know, if you ifyou plan with the goat, you know you got to be you gotto be prepared. Man. If for sure, absolutely so. Going afterclients, what's that process like? I know obviously it's different process getting eitherveterans or than getting rookies that are coming in from college. Right, Imean recruiting guys that are coming there from college. Obviously there are a lotof good players out here. There are a lot of big programs. Youknow, my job is an age and is to obviously find the right guysand that fit what I do. Obviously, at the end of the day,I'm representing you, so I work for you, but I like tomake sure that I'm signing the right players. I'm sure I'm signing the guys thatget it, that understand that this, this game, can end at anypoint in time. You know also that in order for you to havea successful career, you have to buy by the rules and you know,you just you just, you know, just from a business standpoint, youhave to understand it. This is a business as well, not just thethey know, for the lovely game.

And you know, if you can, if you can do that, and those are the guys that I'm lookingfor. You know, going through each year, you know, you tryingto identify who those guys are. So that can be a process. Youknow, I try to do my best us in terms of research and talkingto different people, you know, using my relationships that I've gained over theyears to just really find the right players. So it's a lot of traveling,it's a lot of phone calls. It's a lot of getting to knowpeople. It's a lot of getting in other families in terms of the rookieprocess, in terms of, say, veterans. You know, you're dealingwith guys who've already been through the Asian process. They probably corded twenty,five, thirty different agents during that process of being a rookie. You know, a lot of times those vettery guys already know what they're looking for.So it's you know, everybody's build can kind of sound the same. Itry to different, different as myself from, you know, just being different fromevery other agent, you know, and not going in and try to, you know, be a used car sales more our car salesman, andI just kind of, you know, give them my spill. Hey,this is what I've done. You know, this is my book of business,it is my track record. You know, I'm a by the I'ma relationship guy. I know a lot of veteran players are looking for that. They're not just looking for somebody to come in and do a contract.You know, at the end of the day, if the if it,you know, if it fits, then so be it. Sometimes it doesn'tfit, but for the most part, you know, dealing with veteran players. That's just, you know, that's kind of how the recruiting process goes. Yeah, for sure. Now when they're in college, like what isthe stipulation like? When could you like actually like sign them, like rightafter the build game or well, yeah, it's after the season thing after there, you know, if it's a senior, after his eligibilities up,which is that ass game. If he's an underclassman and obviously he has adeclare for the draft, he can't hire agent until he declares. And talkin terms of recruiting and going after certain players, each state has different rules, each school has different rules, especially when you're dealing with the bigger programs. Yeah, certain guidelines that you have...

...to follow as an agent. Youknow, in terms of different states that I've experienced, I want to sayTexas. States like Texas and North Carolina have very, very strict rules andpolicies and if you don't follow those rules, then you know you could be subjectto, you know, felowy if you don't do it, if youknow, if you don't do it their way, if you try to dothe different way, then you know there's there's a some issues that you canface some consequences of repercussions. Yet got you got your so besides, Iknow you we touch on before, but besides getting the player of the contractand now you said like going over like finds, I get, like youdo, marketing stuff too. Well, what I try to do is froma marketing standpoint. You know, obviously different companies, different brands, reachout to me. You know, shoe a pair of companies, you know, car companies, jewelry companies, and I'm going to be honest with you, if I'm another set of eyes when it comes to the marketing side ofit. Marketing is not my expertise. So I won't go into a meeting, you know, trying to convince the player. Hey, this is whatI do from a marketing standpoint. This is how strong I am. That'sthat's not really my strength. My strength is, you know, obviously havea relationships within the NFL, using my relationships to, you know, shiftdifferent situations, obviously to get you your money, but when things come up, when you get fined or where you get suspensions or you get you know, you get released or anything like that, those are my expertise, so tosay, Hey, I have a marketing background, of marketing history.Yes, I've done some deals, but I wouldn't, you know, Iwouldn't be as a potential client and say, Hey, this is my expertsise.I would potentially bring in somebody that I was comfortable with under my umbrellawho has a background and marketing and who can provide a player with those opportunitiesthat he's looking for in terms of off the field brand. For sure.For sure. And how long have you been in Ajing for be as itfor six years, actually five years. I've been in the business for tenyears. I started off as an intern,...

...you know, just really trying toget my feet with understanding the business. I kind of got grandfathered in thisindustry and, you know, I learned a lot. I found alot of players over short period of time and, you know, it's reallybeen about growth and have an understanding to represent my players to the you know, to the math. So that's that's that's kind of my background. Sofrom the beginning to like now, what would you say was like the biggestchange? Like but's like social media and stuff like that. Coming in aman, it's been a huge it's been a huge change. You know,in regards to how much social media has really changed. You know the sportand say it's changed. You know. You know the amount of marketing inthe amount of content and the amount of you know just how fast the wordspreads. I mean it's, you know, from ten years ago to now,it's just it's like night and day. It's been like a complete three hundredand sixty and I think it's it has its benefits, I think atthe same time it has some negative as well. It's downside. You know, sometimes information is put out there too quick it may not be the rightinformation, but I think the guys and you know the with the amount offollowers and you know, in terms of brands, in terms of branding ofa potential player, is it can really benefit benefit a player to to makea lot of money off the field as well. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. What would you what advice would you give somebody that wants to become anaffolding or an Agin the down beginning? You know, this is not abusiness, business where you're going to make a lot of money. Don't goin it specifically for the money. Going it because you want to help guys, you know, become, you know, good players. You want to helpthem with their transition, but you want to also help them with theircareer post football. So you really want to find out, you know,as much as you can in terms of how the business works. You wantto do, you know, develop relationships with different people, different companies,different teams, different scalps, and then,...

...once you're capable of doing that,you know, obviously you know the guys were like, Hey, youknow what, this is a guy that understands a business, this is aguy that potentially can help out my career. And the more that you know,the more that you can educate them, the more they come they're comfortable withyou. So it's not something that's a you know, you're going tohave overnight success. It's a very donkey dog business and you have to beprepared for that as well. But you know, it can also be funat the same time. It could be fun, it could be exciting.You know you're working in the sport of football and you know you have toprepare yourself for, you know, some a lot of roadblocks as well,but I mean, for the most part that's the best of my advice thatI can give a young person in terms of this industry and don't know yourcraft. This is what you really want to do. Know your craft.I think that was a some perfect advice right there. Are you ready forsome fun questions? Let's do it. All right. So, I pere, if you weren't an NFL agent, what do you think you'd be doing? I would definitely coaching football. All right, that was easy, Iam or it was either. You know, I guess you can say they callit going to the dark side, which is what they you know,they consider the Asian business as the dark side. So they the one ofthe one of the other. Yeah, have you ever thought about crossing intoany other sports? Like to be an agent? I thought about going intobasketball only because it was brought to me by a fellow agent that that isa very successful baseball agent. I S's my basketball agent and just the youknow, hey, you know a guy, you got four guys us in theNBA. Those guys, on the average, if your average player,you can make ten million dollars a year. You can you charging four to fivepercent. You don't have to go around tacing. You know guys thatare, you know, late round draft picks. You're not really making awhole lot of money. So it was very enticing to hear him say that. But you know, that would probably be, you know, not notto contradict myself, it'll probably be the second sport that I would consider goinginto. Yeah, definitely. So,...

...you know the show ballers on HBO. Right, right, right. So do you think that show gives arealistic perspective of a needed? I do, I think the role that the rockplays, which is more of a retired player who's in the you know, more of a financial advisories working for a financial advising company, but thenhe's also dealing with, you know, the agents, so he's dealing withthe players, not necessarily dealing with teams from the financial advisor side. Idon't really see that happened a lot where he's dealing with GM's or contract people. So I think that can kind of be you know, different, extraadded stuff that's going in there. But in terms of the overall concept ofthe show, I believe it. There's there's a lot of similarities. Youcould tell there's there're there people that are writers that probably former players or,you know, tapped into the NFL to some capacity. You can definitely tellthat that that you know, they have a their on the right track interms of, you know, how they come across and comes of the show. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, any any crazy stories you could sharewith us with your clients you have? You have to say any names?Okay, I mean I've had a couple and I'm trying to I don't wantto put too much out there. Yeah, but I did. I want tosay when I first started off, before I was a certified agent,there's a situation where guy who was with the company, who's that was aplayer who was with the company that I was, you know, formerly with. He had a night out on the town. He ended up going toone of the Strip clubs and I guess he was he got to intoxicated andhe peep one of the dancers on the ASS. Okay, and it wassomething that was it was crazy to me because I had never like like likewhat would give you, what will put the thought process in your mind,or what could be the thought process going on in your mind and say,Hey, I'm going to bite this girl...

...on the ass and then she's youknow, she's you know, she's bleeding. You know. So I have tocome in. They called me to say wrong, we need you tocome up here such and such as going to get arrested if we're doing X, Y Z. So it's me coming in kind of trying to, youknow, just just step in and make sure that this kid doesn't go tojail. And you know, it was a long night to say the least. And for sure that's that sounds like it should be on the ballers episode. You know, they had asked me an idea for that, so Idefinitely be one out, I think. I think everything else is kind ofkind of toned down a little bit. I haven't really had to deal withthe whole lot. You don't have a former player that passed away on abike accident. That was a little you know, you have to deal withthat, that stuff as well, especially when you when you're coach the peopleand certain things happen and there's certain statements that you have to give and youknow going through that process, you know it wasn't such a good process tohave to go through, but things happen. Situations like that happen. So asan age that you have the people that as well. Yeah, forsure. I mean I don't think sometimes people realize that, like athletes arelike human beings also, right, right, absolutely so. I appreciate your timecoming on and could you tell the listeners where to find you on socialmedia or if they want to contact you about anything your questions? Definitely,definitely you can. You can find me on instagram at agent Butler one.That's agent age and team Butler beauty are one on twitter's the same thing.And email, I know there's always you know people you know that are,you know, trying to get into the industry and you know guys that wantto enter, women that want to Aser. You can email me at run orin at epic Agentscom. All right, appreciate you having you on there.Hey, I appreciate you. No, thank you. Take care.

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