On a day that the Washington Football Team hired a new President of the organization, the man that was thought to be a perfect fit for that role when Bruce Allen was removed, has a new executive leadership position.
Eric Schaffer served the Washington organization for 17 years in a variety of roles but most recently as the Senior Vice President of Football Operations and General Counsel.
Athletes First, a top sports representation firm, officially announced Monday the hiring of Schaffer as a member of its senior leadership team.
His role with Athletes First will focus on the coaching/front office division, along with additional responsibilities.
Co-Founder and CEO of Athletes First, Brian Murphy said, “Athletes First’s certified agents have tremendous respect and admiration for Eric after negotiating countless deals with him over the last 17 years. He is the consummate professional and a person of great integrity who will immediately make us a better company across the board. We could not be more excited to welcome him to the family.”
Two-time Super Bowl winning Head Coach Mike Shanahan, who worked with Schaffer for four seasons in Washington said via a press release: “I found Eric to be one of the most knowledgeable and trustworthy people I have worked with throughout my coaching career.
"What separates Eric, in my opinion, is his depth of knowledge in so many different areas within football operations and the business side of football. His intelligence and work ethic are off the charts. Eric served as a valuable resource for me and somebody that I could always rely upon and I’m confident he will do the same for his clients in this new role with Athletes First.”
Schaffer joins Athletes First after a mutual parting with the Washington organization in January.
Athletes First represents Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and Michael Thomas among the NFL elite with eight first round draft picks in 2020.
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Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers and Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys are also represented by the company, which features former NFL defensive lineman, Trace Armstrong, who is the President of their coaching division.
“We are thrilled to add someone with Eric’s integrity and expertise to our team. His insider’s perspective on the world of sports as well as his extensive legal background will be invaluable to our clients," Armstrong said.
It's hard for me to argue with anything that was said by Shanahan, Armstrong and Murphy in the press release.
I will just add this: I worked with Schaffer for six years on a fairly regular basis and I have the utmost respect and admiration for Schaffer's skills and most importantly, his integrity as an individual.
Countless agents, coaches and players know exactly how talented Schaffer is and this is a huge win for Athletes First.
I always said this whenever anyone asked - Schaffer was the smartest human being I've ever been around and was the best individual that the organization employed.
Hopefully - Washington will be fine and Schaffer will excel in his new role.
Schaffer is a slam dunk hire in the NFL business world and Athletes First took another huge step towards dominance on Monday.
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Chris Russell is the Publisher of this site, a part of SI.com. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Washington Football Team" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621