A Shark Never Sleeps: Wheeling and Dealing with the NFL’s Most Ruthless Agent

Aug 1, 2008

A Shark Never Sleeps: Wheeling and Dealing with the NFL’s Most Ruthless Agent
By Drew Rosenhaus and Don Yeager
Book Review
By Zak Kurtz
“I am a ruthless warrior. I am a hit man. I will move in for the kill and use everything within my power to succeed for my clients.” This quote is plastered on the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine in July of 1996. The face and name attached to that quote was that of “the most hated man in pro football,” agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Rosenhaus attracts many of the NFL’s premiere clients, such as Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, Edgerrin James, Thomas Jones, Lance Briggs, Zach Thomas, Will Allen and former players like Warren Sapp, Dan Cody, Tommie Harris, Brian Blades, and the late Sean Taylor. His merciless negotiating tactics have typically worked for his clients as Rosenhaus held players out of practices and training camps on the way to negotiating some of the biggest contracts the NFL has seen.
A Shark Never Sleeps: Wheeling and Dealing with the NFL’s Most Ruthless Agent is written in first person and reveals the true ups and downs in the life of a sports agent. Rosenhaus is a unique test study as he is one of the top agents in the league and has a fierce reputation with team managers and players.
If you ever watched Jerry Maguire and wanted to inquire more about becoming a sports agent, then this book is for you. In fact, the character of Bob Sugar, Jerry’s hated rival agent, was apparently based upon Drew Rosenhaus and his real life attributes. According to the book, Rosenhaus even helped Tom Cruise craft his agent persona while on set.
Rosenhaus is dubbed “the shark” for his ferocious tactics while negotiating what is best for his clients. Team managers look at agents as aggressive, lying and selfish individuals who only look out for their own good (or that of their clients). Teams do not trust some managers, and this book shows you why.
The book starts out discussing Rosenhaus’ life and what led him to South Florida to become a sports agent. He starts out discussing his first contract that he negotiated and why he wanted to be an agent. Readers are then guided through his undergraduate experiences at Miami and his relationship with athletes at that time in his life. The reader gets to see how those relationships later develop for Rosenhaus and how his attitude and charisma forges bonds with his clients.
Midway through the book readers get to witness him graduate from Duke Law School and become one of the youngest sports agents in the NFL. He shows a youthful ambition and desire to succeed from the start and constantly carries that around with him. Rosenhaus’ cocky attitude is shown in this book as he tells his story without powder puffing anything. His opinions and brash decisions are never questioned and he really believes in himself and his abilities. After reading A Shark Never Sleeps and witnessing the experiences Rosenhaus went through you really cannot blame him for his attitude. He really is one of the great negotiators and can make any client feel like they have power over their decisions (like Terrell Owens as a Philadelphia Eagle).
Toward the end of the book Rosenhaus begins to show “the ropes” of the business, as readers are taken on a fun and entertaining ride through his life. From the exciting and unbelievable NFL Draft day moments, to partying with celebrities like Cameron Diaz and others, readers get to experience first hand his run to becoming the ruthless, feared, NFL super agent that he is today.
A Shark Never Sleeps: Wheeling And Dealing With The NFL’s Most Ruthless Agent is an inside look at the lifestyle and rise of one of the NFL’s most cutthroat agents. This book describes what really goes on behind the scenes of the NFL. Rosenhaus does not sugar coat anything, as readers truly get to see a side of Rosenhaus and NFL athletes that you only hear about on ESPN.
Although Rosenhaus is the one in charge of telling this story, and clearly shows his self conceited, cocky interpretations, he really tells you how it is. This book gives anyone a real insider’s view at the dirty dealings that go on behind NFL doors. Drew Rosenhaus is a determined, brash, and bold agent who gets what he wants for his clients and himself. He has worked hard for that and deserves the success and fame he has achieved. Drew is viewed as the top dog in the industry and reading A Shark Never Sleeps helps to illustrate why.


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