The 15 Most Influential Sports Agents

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Text: Michael McCann
Photo: David Walberg/SI


Eugene Parker

Relativity Sports Contract Advisor/Partner
57 years old

When an agent threatens that his player will hold out, the team usually thinks the agent is bluffing. Not when that agent is Eugene Parker, whose uncommon use of the holdout -- where a player forgoes his pay by not reporting to a team -- has drawn equal praise and scorn. Sometimes it has worked brilliantly. When Parker advised Ndamukong Suh, the second overall pick of the 2010 draft, to hold out from the Lions, it led to a five-year, $68 million deal, with $40 million in guaranteed money. Not too shabby. But Parker also allegedly advised Michael Crabtree, the 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft, to hold out the entire 2009 season and re-enter the draft unless the 49ers paid Crabtree like a top 5 pick. After missing a third of the season without pay, Crabtree signed a contract for about what the 10th pick could have expected. Not too great. Still, Parker is among the best agents around, with a client list led by Larry Fitzgerald and Devin Hester.

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