8 new books for the 2015 NFL season

Some authors are already setting their sights on the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl.

5. ‘NFL Brawler,’ by Ralph Cindrich

In the world of big-time college and pro football, Ralph Cindrich might be described as a guy who’s seen it all. He once was a coveted recruit who spurned the overtures of Penn State to play at rival Pitt. As a pro he played for three NFL teams before becoming a player agent who has gone toe-to-toe in negotiations with hard-bargaining general managers. For more than 30 years he’s been in the professional sports business and has a storehouse of anecdotal material about what happens in all those closed-door contract session as well as many stories about the people involved in them. 

Here’s an excerpt from NFL Brawler:

“Unlike baseball, where agents will often earn 5 percent of a client’s guaranteed contract in a career that lasts 5 to 6 years; NFL players only average a 3- to 4-year career, and football agents can only earn a maximum of 3 percent per deal with some big-time players expecting you to take even less. Worse yet, most of the deals aren’t guaranteed, so everything can evaporate in seconds. You can’t make it without a number of clients and good ones too, guys who can earn second and third contracts over the course of their careers. And finding those players takes time – trips, travel, and long hours away from home. I knew those days might arrive for me someday; I just wasn’t in a rush. 

“Once I waded in, I knew I’d have obvious advantages over my opponents. I was a former player and knew the game better than most of the general managers. I had a law degree and had argued several cases in the courtroom from tax court to divorces, a resumé of legal experiences that no other agent could match. In addition, I was ethical to boot, a byproduct of an old-fashioned upbringing in Avella [Pa.] and the famously feared backhand of my father. I knew my career would take off once I gave it some ballast.”

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