Colleague John Clayton, who keeps extensive databases on just about everything, called this morning with a very good question. He was asking who the agent for Atlanta coach Mike Smith is because there was no name in that spot in his database.
I thought for a few seconds and couldn’t come up with an answer. I told Clayton to sit tight and I’d find out. I picked up the phone and made a couple calls and the answer I got was more than a little surprising.
It also was a little refreshing in an age when agents often rule a disproportionate part of the NFL world. It turns out, Smith doesn’t have an agent. He acts as his own agent.
According to Clayton, that makes Smith the only current NFL head coach who doesn’t have an agent. Heck, just about every coordinator in the league has an agent.
Smith didn’t have an agent when he was an assistant coach in Jacksonville. When he interviewed for the Atlanta job, Smith didn’t see the need to suddenly go out and hire an agent.
When it comes to NFC South head coaches, Smith is absolutely the closest thing to the common man (although I haven’t had a chance to get to know new Carolina coach Ron Rivera yet) and I respect that. When he got the Atlanta job, Smith felt comfortable enough that owner Arthur Blank would treat him fairly.
Smith’s attitude apparently hasn’t changed and that’s a sign of harmony within the organization. Smith’s original contract was a four-year deal worth an average of $2.2 million. He has produced three consecutive winning seasons and that means it’s time to start talking about an extension.
I’m guessing that Blank and Smith will hammer out an extension, with a nice raise, sometime in the coming months. But I don’t know that it will come immediately. Blank may wait to see what happens with the uncertain labor situation with the players. As soon as that’s over, the middle man will be passed over and Blank and Smith will do their second contract.