Ben Dogra

Agent Ben Dogra Reinstated By NFLPA

Agent Ben Dogra is back. After having his license revoked by the NFL Players’ Association last year, he has been reinstated, a source tells Dan Graziano of (on Twitter).

Dogra was originally suspended for three years but later had his ban reduced to six months. He also paid a $25K fine to the Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust for his undisclosed violation, opening the door to his return today.

Dogra represents Adrian Peterson and once had one of the most impressive stable of clients in the NFL. He was formerly the co-CEO of Relatively Football before the company reorganized and relaunched as Independent Sports and Entertainment in June. It’s not immediately clear where Dogra is headquartered at the moment, nor do we know which players still consider Dogra to be their agent. Just prior to the sanctions, Peterson, Gerald McCoy, Robert Griffin III, DeMeco Ryans, Mario Williams, and Sebastian Vollmer were among the players under Dogra’s management.

Extra Points: 49ers, Browns, Saints, Fins, Lions

49ers offensive lineman Anthony Davis wasn’t willing to speak at length Wednesday about last weekend’s retirement rumors, offering that his absence came down to “miscommunication” (via Matt Maiocco of “Just leave it and let it fester,” said Davis, who was a backup for the 49ers’ 28-0 win over the Rams on Monday. That was Davis’ first game since 2014, as the 26-year-old took a hiatus from football last season. It was also the only appearanced he hasn’t started in since the 49ers chose him in the first round of the 2010 draft. Davis had logged 71 consecutive starts entering Week 1.

More from around the NFL as Wednesday wraps up:

  • First-year Browns head coach Hue Jackson is at the helm of of a rebuilding team that many expect to be the NFL’s worst this season. That didn’t stop Jackson from making some bold declarations Wednesday. “The fans might not like me for a while, but they’re going to love me here pretty soon,” said Jackson (per Mary Kay Cabot of “We’re going to win a championship here for the Cleveland Browns,” he added. The Browns, who are 0-1 after a 29-10 loss in Philadelphia, haven’t won a championship since 1964, haven’t made the playoffs since 2003, and haven’t finished with more than seven victories in a season since 2007. If a turnaround comes, it’s going to take time, and Marla Ridnour of wonders if owner Jimmy Haslam is patient enough to stick with Jackson through the club’s growing pains. Although Haslam has fired three general managers, three head coaches, two presidents and a CEO since taking over the Browns in 2012, he offered a glowing assessment of Jackson on Wednesday. “Hue relates well to everybody in the building and keeps everybody in the building fired up, which is important because your head coach is and should be the face of the organization, so he does a great job there. For the first time since we’ve been here, everybody’s on the same page.”
  • The Saints worked out return man Jeff Henderson on Wednesday, according to Howard Balzer (Twitter link). Henderson, who tried to a earn a spot with the Chiefs in May, won a gold medal in the long jump at this year’s Olympics.
  • Wide receiver Justin Hunter has taken a pay cut since the Dolphins claimed him off waivers from the Titans earlier this month, tweets Field Yates of ESPN. Hunter’s new 2016 salary is $675K, down from the $1,114,656 he was supposed to rake in this season. The fourth-year man will have a chance to collect $350K in incentives, though, and he landed a $52,267 bonus.
  • Along with he previously reported Nate Washington, the Lions auditioned a pair of other receivers – Mekale McKay and Levi Norwood – and quarterback Philip Sims on Wednesday, per Balzer (Twitter link).
  • Agent Ben Dogra will serve a six-month suspension and pay $25K to the Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust for an undisclosed violation, reports Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Daily. The NFLPA’s Committee on Agent Regulation & Discipline levied the punishment on Dogra, though it initially voted in January to revoke his certification and give him the right to re-apply after serving a three-year ban and paying a $200K fine. Dogra was formerly the co-CEO of Relatively Football, which relaunched as Independent Sports and Entertainment in June. It’s unclear if Dogra is with Independent, writes Mullen.

NFLPA Revokes Certification Of Agent Ben Dogra

6:51pm: Dogra’s legal reps issued a statement to reporters in which he vowed to appeal the ruling (via Josina Anderson of on Twitter):

Ben Dogra adamantly denies engaging in any conduct that was not in the best interests of his clients or NFL players. Ben has always been a strong advocate for NFL Players and is thankful for the show of support from his clients and others in the industry during this process. Ben will appeal the unprecedented, proposed discipline to neutral arbitration as provided under the NFLPA Regulations and looks forward to finally having an opportunity to examine and challenge the claims against him. The proposed discipline will not occur during the appeal process. It is therefore important that clients, NFL players, NFL teams, and Certified Contract Advisors understand that the discipline does not limit or prohibit Ben from representing his clients during the appeal process.”

6:12pm: On Wednesday, the NFLPA announced that the union’s Committee on Agent Regulations and Discipline (CARD) unanimously voted to impose discipline on agent Ben Dogra for multiple policy violations. Based on verified information included in a thirty-eight (38) count disciplinary complaint, Dogra has had his certification revoked for a minimum of three years and a $200K fine. "<strong

Dogra has the right to appeal before an independent arbitrator, so he has a chance to overturn the union’s ruling and regain his license to represent players. The union’s statement did not get into specifics about Dogra’s alleged wrongdoing but one has to imagine that details will emerge soon.

As detailed by Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal last year, Dogra had an impressive stable of NFL clients while with CAA Football. Dogra was fired by the firm in late 2014 and joined up with Relativity Football, taking a sizable list of high-end players with him. Notable names that stayed with Dogra include Adrian Peterson, Gerald McCoy, Robert Griffin III, DeMeco Ryans, Mario Williams, and Sebastian Vollmer. Now, those players and others will have to find new representation if the sanctions against Dogra stick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Dogra, Solder, Gregory

Agent Ben Dogra had a lengthy meeting with the NFLPA yesterday, multiple sources tell Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Dogra once boasted a star-studded stable of clients, but many of those Pro Bowlers parted ways with him after he was let go by CAA. Dogra, who has probably rubbed the Vikings the wrong way with his bold approach to the Adrian Peterson‘s situation, is being investigated for various potential violations. Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • Left tackle Nate Solder is in the final season of his rookie contract with the Patriots and he hopes to stay beyond that, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald writes. “I would love to stay,” Solder said. “God will provide other than that. Who knows what will happen? My approach with that, too, is just to do the best I can while I’m here.” Solder will earn $7.438MM in 2015, his fifth-year option bonus year. The two sides could work out an extension to lessen that cap hit and keep him from reaching the open market after the season. Howe notes that while the Pats drafted a couple offensive linemen last weekend, none will play tackle.
  • In today’s mailbag, a reader asked Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News if he believes that Randy Gregory will be ready to go from day one with the Cowboys. Despite talk of the Nebraska standout being undersized, Machota feels that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will find a way to get him some snaps and make him effective. He might not be a starting caliber player in his first year, but Machota sees him being a menace as a pass rusher.
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter) expected the Bears to claim right tackle Paul Cornick off waivers based on Adam Gase‘s relationship with him. Gase, the Bears’ offensive coordinator, previously served as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator and got to know Cornick there.

Extra Points: Goodell, Vikings, Harvin, Dogra

In the wake of the Adrian Peterson decision, tensions between the NFL and the player’s union are high once again, writes Mark Maske of the Washington Post. Commissioner Roger Goodell exerted significant power in suspending Peterson for the season, singular power the the union was under the impression he would no longer be wielding on his own. According to Maske’s source, the two sides have no good will between them.

“I think it reflects a fundamental disagreement about the role of the commissioner’s office in the disciplinary process,” said Gabriel Feldman of the sports law program at Tulane University. “I think it’s a reflection of the tension that has existed. It’s not surprising. It would have been surprising if the Players Association had not sought so vigorously to have Peterson reinstated. To some extent, it is each side playing the role it’s supposed to play.”

Here are some other notes from around the NFL this Saturday evening:

  • In Peterson’s absence, the Vikings will be forced to continue the season using a running back-by-committe approach, and that may be the plan going forward, writes Matt Vensel of the Minnesota Star-Tribune. He writes that the player taking carries for the Vikings next season could be any one of the players on the active roster, Peterson, or someone they take in the 2015 NFL Draft.
  • The Jets‘ have seen a lot of improvement with their midseason acquisition of Percy Harvin, and are happy with how he has fit in so far, writes Brian Costello of the New York Post. They will have a tough decision to make at the end of the season on whether to keep him at his hefty price tag of $10MM, but Harvin hopes to remain with the team.
  • Since Ben Dogra has been fired, CAA Sports has also terminated the contracts of a number of employees who worked closely with the embattled NFL agent, writes Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal. On behalf of Dogra, his attorney, Rusty Hardin, stated that he was unsure of any “supposed cause” for his firing and ensured that none of the agent’s clients had left (via Twitter). He also commented on Dogra’s future, saying he “hasn’t decided where he is going to land or whether he is going to start his own firm.” (via Twitter).
  • Three of the top four quarterbacks selected in this past NFL Draft have seen significant game action this season, and Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post has compared their play to see who has played best and who has shown the most promise for the future. The answer to both questions so far point to Derek Carr, who has impressed with his decision-making and his quick release, according to Gabriel. Blake Bortles has struggled and Teddy Bridgewater has yet to be unleashed, while Johnny Manziel is the only one of the four to not receive any significant playing time this season.

CAA Fires Ben Dogra

SATURDAY, 10:35am: The circumstances surrounding Dogra’s termination from CAA are still uncertain, but a future legal battle now seems inevitable. Liz Mullen of SportBusiness Journal (via Mike Florio of reports that Dogra has hired lawyer Rusty Hardin to handle the brewing legal battle. Hardin told Mullen that the agent is still owed “millions” for his final two years under contract…

“They are basically trying to figure out what the cause is now, because they didn’t have any. They were afraid he was going to leave. They tried to pick the exit strategy that would allow them not to pay him.”

THURSDAY, 9:19pm: Creative Artists Agency has fired agent Ben Dogra for cause, a league source tells ESPN (via Twitter). Dogra is one of the NFL’s most prominent agents and represents the likes of Adrian Peterson, Richard Sherman and J.J. Watt. The reason for his dismissal is unknown at this time. Peterson, for his part, will stay on with CAA, as Ben Goessling of tweets.

Dogra released a statement regarding the termination (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter):

“I want to thank CAA for the great time we have had together. There are absolutely no hard feelings about my moving on, and I am excited to be writing a new chapter in my sports agency career. I am really looking forward to bigger and better things in the NFL agency business, and I will continue to always be devoted to the best interest of my clients.”

Dogra has a number of impressive accolades on his resume, including ranking number seven on Forbes list of the most powerful sports agents. As ESPN’s Darren Rovell (and the website’s news service) points out, any client who wishes to continue with Dogra will need to submit a filing with the Players Association. The player will be free to switch agencies following a five-day waiting period.

Zach Links contributed to this post.