Packers 2017 Draft: One-on-one with sports agent Leigh Steinberg
Though sports agents have developed a reputation for being markedly driven individuals that will stop at nothing in negotiating the most lucrative deals possible for their athlete clients, Leigh Steinberg is similarly laser focused on securing life-changing contracts for his players, but that only scratches the surface of his all-encompassing mission.
Known by many as the man who served as the real-life inspiration for Tom Cruise’s character in Jerry Maguire, Steinberg has authored a storied career that’s seen him represent an unprecedented eight top overall draft picks since earning his law degree from the University of California-Berkley in 1974.
The Los Angeles native’s name and persona is synonymous with the NFL – and with good reason.
During the span of his career, Steinberg has reportedly negotiated over $2 billion in contracts for more than 60 prospects that have gone on to become first-round picks.
The list of Hall-of-Famers he’s worked alongside ranks as a veritable who’s who of legendary greats, including Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Warren Moon, Thurman Thomas and Howie Long.
By the 1990s, the renowned negotiator, who would eventually spread his wings by managing baseball and basketball players, as well as boxers and Olympic competitors, became a household name to the average sports fan.
But what allowed Steinberg to annually secure the representation of scores of highly-ranked NFL hopefuls entering the draft wasn’t his visibility, his public speaking or his well-chronicled behind-the-scenes consulting work for network stations and movie studios.
Instead, what kept the next round of prospects looking for Steinberg, were his long-term plans for each one of the athletes he counseled.
The Southern California-based father of three wasn’t in it for selfish reasons or just to provide athletes with a few years of enormous pay days. His objective was to see things through by steering young jocks into spearheading charitable endeavors that would only improve their odds of continued success after they hang up their cleats and walk away from the game.
To date, Steinberg’s clientele has donated over $600 million to charities around the world.
So, while the silver-tongued mentor and legal expert exudes an aura of California cool, his unmatched attention to detail in formulating a well-structured plan for young men entering the professional ranks of football allows his clients to reap the rewards of their fame and popularity well into their golden years.
Earlier this week, Steinberg graciously answered specific questions about athlete representation and touched on his many success stories in an interview with Lombardi Ave.
The veteran agent is actively advising seven prospects in this year’s draft from a list that includes, Patrick Mahomes, Jamaal Williams, Chad Wheeler, Aaron Jones, Cooper Rush, Jayon Brown and Dane Evans.
Turn the page to read about the CEO of Steinberg Sports and Entertainment in his own words …