Students had a chance to hear from Nicole Lynn, the NFL agent who negotiated Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts’ record-breaking deal, thanks to Student Government’s “What Matters To U” speaker series.
Nicole Lynn, a prominent figure in the sports world, recounted her journey to becoming the first woman to achieve significant milestones in sports agent history. She shared her experience on Wednesday evening as part of Student Government’s “What Matters To U” speaker series.
Breaking the ceiling in the sports world, Lynn is the first Black woman to secure a top-three pick in the National Football League and the first Black female agent to represent an NFL player—Jalen Hurts. She was instrumental in landing him a $255 million extension with the Philadelphia Eagles, which is the largest deal ever completed by a female agent, according to the NFL.
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law, Lynn balanced being a full-time attorney and sports agent for seven years before taking a leap of faith and direct messaging Hurts to be his agent.
“As an attorney I learned how to redline contracts, how to negotiate—those are skills that I use every day as an agent,” said Lynn. “I always wanted to work with the athlete and connected with the athletes in high school and college. I originally thought that I would be a financial advisor, so that’s why I decided to work on Wall Street. But I realized that wasn’t for me.”
Lynn witnessed poverty firsthand while growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She also observed numerous Black men break into the professional sports industry, achieve success, and ultimately lose all their wealth because of financial illiteracy. Lynn was driven to find a solution to end this cycle.
“As an agent, we don’t ever touch a player’s money and we don’t want to oversee their money, but we’re happy to help them. And since I do have a background in finance, I do say: ‘these are the things you should be looking for in a financial advisor,’ ” said Lynn. “We help them throughout their careers even when it’s over.”
Today, Lynn continues to wear many hats. Not only is she an agent to more than 30 players, but she’s also an author of a new book, “Agent You.” In addition, Lynn holds the position of president of Football Operations at Klutch Sports Group, and she is a new mom.
Lynn’s success has been outstanding; however, she shared how encountering unchartered territory came with a unique set of challenges because there aren’t many women balancing motherhood in her field. She and her husband—Gabriel Lynn, the assistant director of football player personnel at the University of Colorado—who she met in college, decided to keep the pregnancy private.
“I have been a trailblazer in a lot of ways, but I didn’t want to be a trailblazer for this—I just wanted to have something to myself,” said Lynn, whose daughter is now four months old. “I was seven months pregnant when I was negotiating Hurts’ deal, and I had to tell myself to be in the moment and not think about six months from now. I learned that it’s about being where my feet are.”
During the session, Lynn offered valuable advice to students on how to broaden their network, tackle imposter syndrome, form a professional tribe of trusted counterparts, advocate for self, prioritize mental health, and pay attention to the small details.
“Excellence is your greatest currency,” Lynn said. “Being first at something is nothing if you’re not good at what you do.”