Agent Peter Schaffer of Authentic Athletics has represented some pretty reputable running backs in his career. Barry Sanders and Jerome Bettis, both former clients, are now in the Hall of Fame. Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, he represents another RB who’s name is garnering a lot of attention, though not all of it positive.
Joe Mixon, formerly of the Oklahoma Sooners, is a back with immense talent. He is also a back with a questionable past, which includes a video of him striking a woman prior to the start of his freshman year. For some, that is enough to condemn the young man.
“I totally understand why someone would be upset about it; we appreciate their right to voice their opinion,” Schaffer told Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro during Afternoon Drive on Mile High Sports Radio. “Adverse opinions usually wind up creating better people, and bringing issues to the forefront and making things better.”
In fact, Schaffer himself had reservations before bringing Mixon on as a client; but the 20-year-old was able to win over the Denver-based agent.
“I did [have reservations] at first,” Schaffer explained. “Then, I had multiple conversations with the young man, and I was very impressed with his character, his humility, his intelligence and his desire to be a good person; and I’m like ‘well, shoot, this guy deserves a chance.’ So, I figured I’d try to help him out a little.”
Thus far, Mixon has been a model client for Schaffer. As the pair make the NFL rounds (Mixon visited the Denver Broncos on Thursday), they are apparently winning over teams as well.
“There are a lot of teams that have come to know this young man,” Schaffer said of Mixon. “The more they spend time with him, the more they like him and they want him [to be] a part of their program.”
With Mixon, the talent is unquestionable. Imagine, if there was no video, if the incident never happened. Schaffer opined as to where Mixon might have gone if that was the case.
“I don’t like to sound like your typical agent, like ‘wow! This guy is the top pick in the draft,’” he said. “But, in talking to a number of teams and looking at a number of teams’ draft boards, without the unfortunate incident that he’s obviously making amends for, he’s where Ezekiel Elliott was last year [fourth overall]. He’s got that kind of talent, if not more.”
Unfortunately for Mixon and Schaffer, the situation is more complicated than the norm. If a team does select him, they can expect an uproar of criticism. To that, Schaffer offers:
“Everybody’s made mistakes in this world…So, you just ask people to have an open mind and allow them to judge him for what he is and what he’s doing. There’s very little you can do about the past. There’s a great deal you can do about controlling your future.
“If he can be a great player on the field, a good person in the locker room, great person in the community, be a role model and that type of deal and admit his mistakes and not make excuses for them, hopefully, as more people get to know him, they’ll say ‘yeah, this guy is worthy of a second chance.’”
Listen to the full interview with Peter Schaffer, including the player he would most compare Mixon to, in the podcast below.
Catch Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Shapiro every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.