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Local agent tackles lockout's end

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Albany/HV: Local agent tackles lockout's end
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Now that the lockout is over, player agents all over the country are opening up their playbooks to try get the best possible deal for their clients under the new agreement. And that includes one agent right here in the Capital Region. Our Solomon Syed takes us into war room with "JR" Rickert.

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- John "JR" Rickert has been keeping his phone closer than a running back sprinting for the goal line.

"Well, you know, for me, the work was put in last night," said Rickert.

He spent the better part of last night getting in touch with the 50 NFL players he represents, letting them know the league's labor negotiations were about to hit "paydirt."

"Football is back and that's the great news for everybody," announced NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, after NFL players and owners came to a new 10 year labor deal.

After the commissioner unofficially kicked off the new season, "JR" huddled with his team of agents at Schenectady-based National Sports Management, discussing how the deal could benefit their clients.

Things are looking good, especially for their five free agents...

"I think the guy who benefits the most is the restricted free agent," said Rickert. "I think those guys are in a really nice situation right now. Before, they had to wait a month to see if their original teams would match the offer from other clubs."

Instead, teams have a much smaller window, possibly as short as a few days, with training camps starting this week.

With the four-and-a-half-month-long lockout now over, the challenge becomes developing a game plan to get his players to catch on with new contracts. Or, if they have to, with new teams.

"Yeah, it's almost like you fell asleep for 17 weeks and now they're waking you up and saying 'Ok, go get it all done,'" said Rickert. "Teams have done their homework, I know we've done our homework and we're ready for free agency."

And they're looking to score big, with the NFL open for business.

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