What’s It REALLY Like To Be An NFL Agent? Esquire’s New Reality Show Pulls Back The Curtain

Managing Editor, Sports + DIME
08.11.15

Just a couple minutes into a conversation with Ed Wasielewski, and he’s apologizing because one of his clients is texting him from NFL training camp. The player is injured, and he’s updating Wasielewski on his status. After a brief pause, Ed picks right back where he left off, discussing how his show The Agent, which premieres Aug. 11 at 10 p.m. ET on the Esquire Network, came together.

“This is how this world works,” Wasielewski says. “I have three players dealing with injuries right now, so it’s a little bit of a nightmare.”

Wasielewski represents 24 active players at EMG Sports, a company he founded himself after he started to build his roster. And he maintains a very similar approach to each and every client. Ed self-proclaims his company to be a boutique sports agency. Maintaining that demands a personal touch that ranges from helping players with their trusts and wills or putting together a prenuptial agreement to assisting them with cover letters and résumés once their playing days are over.

From his first client in 2005, Virginia product Jermaine Hardy, up through higher profile draft picks like Denver Broncos 2014 second-round pick Cody Latimer and Ibraheim Campbell, a fourth-round selection out of Northwestern by the Cleveland Browns in this year’s draft, Wasielewski focuses on the little things. Obviously money dominates the sports agency scene, and negotiating a contract is a big part of that, but a relationship between a player and an agent is just that – a relationship. Especially with guys coming out of college, this is their first experience in the real world, and there’s a lot of money at stake in a profession filled with risk.

These are 20-somethings who can easily be steered the wrong way, so it’s important to establish a connection and a level of trust with an agent, the same way people build a rapport with their doctors or their vets or the person who cuts their hair on a regular basis.

“I feel like Ed is real,” Atlanta Falcons linebacker Nate Stupar says. “There’s no bull crap. He doesn’t beat around the bush and isn’t afraid to get things done. He’s strong willed and I think some agents don’t really care about their players. They are just meat to them. They don’t get to know them and see them as salary and not as a person.”

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