NFL agent Leigh Steinberg: No games will be missed

Apr 26, 2011, 4:43 PM | Updated: 6:01 pm

By Jessamyn McIntyre

The NFL lockout of the players was lifted Monday in a ruling by Judge Susan Nelson. And while sorting through the legal jargon that ensued, Kevin Calabro and Jim Moore decided to get in touch with someone who could break it down in terms more befitting your average fan.

On Tuesday, that man was NFL superagent Leigh Steinberg. Steinberg was firm on one point: the 2011 season will happen.

“I guarantee you that the league will get this solved with the players and there won’t be a game missed. At the end of the day, football is way too smart to have the same problems that we saw in basketball, hockey and baseball and really damage itself,” he said. “So, even with all of this, it’s a relatively well-regulated, low-key environment. Both sides are still aware that, at the end of the day the season will be played — and you don’t want to push the fans away.”

Warren Leigh

Though Steinberg admits the NFL is a league that “waits until the last minute” to get deals done, he thinks we’ll see one in play sooner than later this time around.

“Whatever the new rules are, or would be…I think you’ll see things move rather quickly after (those are set),” he said.

While the guys had the ear of one of the best agents in the business, they inquired about Matt Hasselbeck’s future and what advice he’d give.

“In free agency, to me, it’s not just an economic question,” he said. “What I tell a player is, ‘Put down on a piece of paper and do an introspection of your life. Figure out how important short-term economic gain is, or long-term economic security, the geographic location you’re in, the presence or absence of endorsements, proximity to where you’re living now. Look at the football considerations: being on a winning team, the quality of coaching, the system that a team employs, the type of playing surface. Make a list and evaluate all those things.’

“Now you prioritize. It gives you a set of guidelines, so you’re already looking as an agent during the season for those teams that are most likely.”

So how does waiting until the draft affect him?

“It now has to be reevaluated because the deck reshuffles with the draft and teams that appeared to be the biggest suitors,” he said. “… a variety of teams are in the quarterback market, then it reshuffles the deck. What you’re looking to get is the right fit, and it’s not just economic.”

The newest and potential returners to the Seahawks have yet to be determined, but according to Steinberg, one thing is certain in 2011: “The NFL will be there.”

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