Sources: NFLPA looking into agent’s gift scheme

  • Brooke Pryor, ESPN Staff WriterMay 12, 2023, 07:54 PM ET


    • Previously covered the Kansas City Chiefs for the Kansas City Star and Oklahoma University for the Oklahoman.

The NFL Players Association is investigating agent David Canter for allegedly trying to entice teams to select players he represents during the NFL draft last month, sources told ESPN on Friday.

Canter, a longtime agent and the president of football at GSE Worldwide, allegedly contacted several teams throughout the NFL draft weekend offering the use of vacation properties belonging to him and his wife if the team drafted one of his clients, sources told ESPN. Sources described Canter’s actions as a “form of bribery.”

Canter’s attorney, Adam Kenner, released a statement to ESPN later Friday on behalf of his client that read: “We are aware that the NFLPA is looking into communications between my client and various management personnel of certain NFL teams. Mr. Canter did not engage in any wrongdoing and he is fully cooperating with the NFLPA. We expect the situation to be resolved shortly.”

Though trying to incentivize a team to draft a player is not explicitly prohibited by the NFLPA, the players’ union investigation will determine whether Canter’s conduct is in violation of at least three different articles in its Regulations for Contract Advisors, including one that prohibits “engaging in unlawful conduct and/or conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or other activity which reflects adversely on his/her fitness as a Contract Advisor or jeopardizes his/her effective representation of NFL players.”

Pending the results of the investigation, Canter’s discipline could include fines, suspension or the revocation of his agent’s certification.

The Committee on Agent Relations and Discipline (CARD), a small group composed of active and former players chosen by NFLPA president JC Tretter and guided by the NFLPA’s legal department, would determine any discipline for Canter. Such investigations can sometimes be lengthy, but the committee has the ability to immediately revoke or suspend an agent’s certification in “extraordinary circumstances.”

Canter and GSE Worldwide represented 21 athletes in the 2023 draft class, including wide receiver Jayden Reed, selected by the Green Bay Packers in the second round, and Mr. Irrelevant, defensive tackle Desjuan Johnson, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams. Canter also has a deep roster of veteran NFL clients that includes Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr.

Canter has a prior disciplinary record with the NFLPA, sources told ESPN, and that history is expected to factor into the committee’s decision.

Though Canter’s alleged actions are unprecedented, sources told ESPN, the NFLPA has previously levied discipline on other agents. In 2016, CARD unanimously voted to revoke the certification of agent Ben Dogra for at least three years after a 38-count disciplinary complaint; the nature of the complaints was not made public. Dogra, who previously represented players including Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III, was allowed to continue representing his clients during the appeals process, and he was reinstated in February 2017.