“In my 26 years, I’ve never taken a seven-day vacation,” said Parker, 55. “If they don’t play, I’m going to take some vacation.”
They have advised their clients since before the 2010 season to save money, that a lockout was imminent. While both hope the lockout will end in the near future, neither speaks with certainty that it will soon be business as usual.
“Eventually, the players will cave,” Parker said. “There’s a group of owners who thinks a good deal is OK. We don’t have to have a great deal. But I negotiate all the time and I’ll be the first to tell you a deal is never done until it’s done.”
Baker, 40, succinctly sums up the bottom line: “Until a deal is done, the deal is not done.”
Parker has some big-name clients such as Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, St. Louis running back Steven Jackson and Chicago returner/receiver Devin Hester.
“You attempt to prepare them for this,” Parker said, “but it’s kind of like a tornado. You can do all the preparation, but you don’t know until it hits.”
Now that it has, it’s costing the agents, too.
“The players aren’t getting paid; we’re not getting paid,” Baker said.
Baker’s more well-known NFL clients include San Diego linebacker Stephen Cooper, Baltimore safety Chris Carr, San Diego wide receiver Malcom Floyd and New England defensive lineman Mike Wright.
When the lockout ends, the agents’ phones will be busy. The league has to establish signing periods for unrestricted free agents and undrafted rookies.
“We anticipate it’s going to be a frenzy,” Baker said, “but we’ve got to be prepared for it.”