I see it time and time again. Player holds out, wants more money, wants a better contract, or does not attend OTA's. A player does something stupid and loses their fan base. Look back a few years to Terrell Owens. Had a GOOD agent sat him down and shut him up, he would have retired an Eagle. A Good agent should know the fan base. Had T.O. been TRAINED, he would not be running around trying to make a buck however he could. A Philly Fan Favorite would have had endorsements, signings, commercials, public appearances for decades. A good agent should see that. A Good agent should train the player to play to the fans, even if the player is a Me Me Me player.
I believe Tony Dungee has said, "Nothing good happens in public after 2:00 am" How many players get into bar fights shootings and the like? Only a tiny percentage actually get away with murder. Most players have a playing expectancy of around 5 years. How hard is it to behave for FIVE years? An Agent needs to hold the hand of the player, as most have been coddled way too long and by too many. The Good Agent almost needs to be a father figure to the player, not their best friend.
I often wonder if a player holding out for a better deal ever actually got a second opinion on their contracts? A player can brag to their friends that they just signed a long term deal worth 100 million. WHO is going to pay that back-loaded contract? Probably nobody.
Charles Barkley was smart enough to cut his old friends loose, after realizing that GROWN MEN were living off HIS accomplishments. A Good agent has to teach a player that it is NOT selling out to leave your old friends behind and make those friends build their own lives. Does a Fortune 500 CEO have a posse of his or her childhood friends hanging around mooching off them? Probably not.
Going back to T.O. again: I wonder what would have happened if instead of holding out, and making a fool of himself, if Drew "Next Question" Rosenhaus had told T.O. to play out his contract, and instead worked out a retirement add-on to the existing contract. Maybe T.O. could have had a deal that no matter if he retired as an Eagle or any other team, that T.O. would have a 100 grand a year retirement package lasting for 20 years after retirement. It would have cost the Eagles pennies on the dollar to set up an annuity for 20 years, and probably not even create a salary cap issue.
Look at Cary Williams: Philly LOVES defense. A GOOD agent would have made Cary go to OTA and a GOOD agent would have told Cary what to say and how to say it. This guy is close to 30 years old and with a GOOD Agent, could be set for life after his playing days are over with Philly Endorsements. The Fan base is already divided on this dude. Pete Rose played 5 years in Philly, and will always be welcomed back, even if he did lie about cheating. Had Barry Bonds not been a jerk, he would STILL be loved by his fan base even though HE probably cheated.
I think an agent needs to do more than cut a great deal that will most likely not be paid in full. An agent needs to train his client to behave and interact, and make a good impression for future needs. It is okay for an agent to tell a player that they do NOT need to be the highest paid at their position, and an agent needs to smack the spit out of any client that says things like "I NEED TO FEED MY FAMILY" or "I HAVE TO DO WHAT IS BEST FOR MY FAMILY". These catch phrases are only going to alienate a fan base that said player may very well need when his playing days are over!