Segal, regarded as being among the top agents on the American pro football scene proved it once again by pulling off one of the major coups of the close season by signing up Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Desean Jackson for his Lagardère Unlimited stable, after Jackson had made it in more or less public knowledge that he was only interested in signing for rapper and recently turned sports agent Jay Z of Roc Nation Sports.
Desean Jackson Joel Segal
The world of American pro football was placed in a state of shock with the news that Desean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles has placed his signature on a contract with Joel Segal’s Lagardère Unlimited. With Jackson making no secret for a while that he was on a market for a new agent after parting company with Drew Rosenhaus. Names of a number of natural candidates for the job were being touted around, with Roc Nation Sports headed up by Jay Z being top of the list. Probably much near the bottom was Joel Segal with the majority of followers of the American Football Scene would never have considered the possibility that Segal would succeed in convincing Jackson to sign up with him.
Segal is undoubtedly a qualified and prominent football agent, representing such NFL superstars as Michael Vick , Randy Moss, Chris Johnson, Percy Harvin, Brandon Graham, Riley Cooper, Terrell Suggs and Reggie Bush.
However many involved in the game are questioning 26-year-old Jackson’s logic of signing up with Philadelphia Eagles for a contract worth a total of $47 million. Speculation is now that Jackson may have something up his sleeve for the future and has opted for the rich experience and no nonsense approach of Segal to help him improve the terms of the contract particularly relating to salary caps of just over $12 million that are due to kick in next season.
What may have tipped the scales against Jay Z is that the National Football League Players Association, (NFLPA) have recently instigated an investigation relating to Roc Nation Sports’ role in the recruitment of New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who switched his agent allegiances from the Select Sports Group to Roc Nation immediately after the 2013 NFL Draft. Rumor has it that the number of NFL players including Jackson are concerned about negative ramifications that may come to light from the investigation.
Another factor that may have drawn Jackson closer to Lagardère Unlimited was his strong almost mentor like with Michael Vick. Vick and Segal are renowned within the NFL for the remarkably close relationship, in particular when Vick was convicted for his part in illegal interstate dog fighting ring. Segal was reportedly by his side when in August 2007, Vick pleaded guilty to federal felony charges and served 21 months in prison, followed by two months in home confinement. After his release Vick was also released from his contract with the Atlanta Falcons, although it was not too long before Segal had helped to set Vick up with a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he remains to this day. Vick recently signed up a $100-million deal with the Eagles, negotiated by Segal.
According to information released by a spokesperson for Jackson “Desean chose an agent he felt was best for him and his career moving forward.”
Joel Segal is known to have made maximum use of his law degree and business background to build Lagardère Unlimited into among the most powerful sports agenties in the world.
Segal was recognized in 2010, as being among the top ten most powerful sports agents in America by Business Insider Law Review, and the following year was inducted into the George Washington University Sports Executives Hall of Fame.
Segal is recognized for having negotiated numerous record-setting contracts, being one of only two NFL agents chosen to represent multiple first round draft picks for the past seven years (2006 to 2012) as well as having represented 24 first round draft picks since 2001.