We need to talk about that Jalen Hurts contract.
$179.3 million guaranteed. Highest annual salary in NFL history. And a no-trade clause.
More specifically, we need to talk about his agent, Nicole Lynn.
One of the things I enjoy most about Nicole is that in her book, she talks about her path from poverty to Wall Street, and the sacrifices she made to realize her dreams to become a high-level NFL agent, and the honesty she expresses about feeling called into this field, being blessed with opportunity after opportunity along the way, but still having regrets about some of the sacrifices it took to get where she is today.
To have someone that has faced adversity, persevered, but is still grounded enough to understand that the way in which they persevered carries as many lessons as the adversity they faced- it makes you wonder if I’m talking about Nicole Lynn or Jalen Hurts.
Both are young, talented, black pioneers. Both tuned out the doubters to realize their dreams. And based on the conversation I had with Jalen Hurts’ father, Averion, leading up to last year’s Super Bowl, both are fully aware that they are still a work in progress.
I’ve talked about Jalen Hurts before, but the fact that he left Alabama with the reputation of “game manager,” then left Oklahoma as a Heisman finalist is wild enough. But when people projected him as NFL receiver, and he fell to the 53rd pick in the draft and a third stringer behind Carson Wentz and Nate Sudfeld, who would have guessed that he’d be in this position today?
Nicole Lynn, that’s who.
I’ve said it before, but truth bears repeating- success isn’t always a straight line, but Nicole Lynn and Jalen Hurts prove that if your internal compass is pointed in the right direction, whether there are oceans, mountains or deep valleys in your way, you’ll find your way there.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been happier for an agent/player combination. This is like the real life version of Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire.
I talked with Nicole two years ago about one of her dreams- to be a contributing expert on television when it comes to major athletes signing big contracts.
I hope she’s enjoying the irony of people all over the sports media landscape discussing the record-setting contract she helped negotiate. The first of many, I’m sure.
Let that sink in.