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Lamar Jackson chooses to represent himself

Baker Mayfield considered representing himself. He decided not to. Lamar Jackson did.

Jackson told Josina Anderson of ESPN that he will represent himself, with his mother serving not as an agent but as a manager.

The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner explained that he doesn’t believe an agent is necessary, due to the current wage scale for rookie contracts. As noted when Mayfield was contemplating going without an agent, that’s indeed the best argument for the self-representation approach. However, as also noted when Mayfield was contemplating going without an agent, that approach is a potential mistake.

Fifth, a good agent will sell his client relentlessly, working scouts, coaches, owners, and media to make the players as desirable as possible. As part of this effort, a good agent will push back against harmful media narratives, like Bill Polian’s goofy notion that Jackson should play receiver.

Sixth, a good agent will try to thread the needle, getting the player in the best spot to thrive. As UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen put it, it’s better to go lower to a better team than higher to a bad one. More specifically, it’s better to go to the team that suits best overall short-term and long-term fit, regardless of draft position.

Having no agent continues to be better than having a bad agent. Every high-profile rookie, however, benefits from having a good agent, ultimately getting much more in return for the relatively small percentage that goes to the person who knows how to handle the various aspects of the player’s NFL experience that easily can become unwanted sources of stress, uncertainty, and frustration.

Goodell should. Even if Goodell can claim (perhaps with a straight face) that he holds no ill will toward Jones for what was, at its core, an effort to overthrow the Commissioner, the appearance of a conflict of interest compels Goodell to step aside.

Jones has strong arguments against the effort supposedly instigated not by Goodell but by other owners to make Jones pay for his disruptive behavior in 2017. The resolution that permits fee-shifting does not expressly apply to threats of litigation, which allows Jones and the Cowboys to claim that the team stopped short of triggering the obligation to compensate the NFL and its other member clubs for the letter-writing campaign that culminated in Jones not following through on a possible plan to sue.

Jones will have a harder time proving that, as to the Ezekiel Elliott suspension, the team did not provide substantial assistance to Elliott, given the submission of at least one sworn declaration by Cowboys general counsel Jason Cohen.

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