This is Kevin Gold and I am an attorney and Certified Contract Advisor with the NFLPA. Although I have been an agent for almost 15 years, it was only in 2000 that I truly found success in the agent business when I began to specialize in the representation of special teams players and long snappers in particular. In conjunction with my first client to make an NFL roster, Rob Davis, I established a website, http://www.longsnap.com, to recognize the unique contributions of long snappers in pro and college football. With the aid of the website, I was able to establish a niche practice of long snapping clients.
As hard as it was for me to get started in the sports agent business, it is becoming increasingly difficult for specialists to get a chance in the NFL this year. NFL training camp rosters have always been limited to 80 players. However, in prior years, teams received roster exemptions for players sent overseas to NFL Europe. Thus, most teams rosters had 86 or more players heading into training camp.
This year, rosters are frozen at 80 and efforts to expand them to 86 failed. Thus, at least 192 rosters spots are gone and specialists, like kickers, punters and snappers have found it almost impossible to get a chance to demonstrate their skills. Although a handful of specialists were drafted, many others relied on free agent invitations right after the Draft. With roster limits, the number of specialists signed dwindled and even those snappers who got signed after the Draft have been let go. As of today, only the Seahawks have an extra snapper in camp.
Making the 53 man roster has always been a difficult task for any player. This task has now been made much more difficult for specialists to get a chance to impress either the team that signed them, or the rest of the League, due to the lack of roster spots.