Jordan Hagedorn has experienced plenty of firsts since he launched his career as a National Football League agent two years ago. This month brought one of the most rewarding.
The Eau Claire native’s first and currently lone client, Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, signed a five-year, $20 million extension with the club on June 13. It’s the first extension negotiated by Hagedorn, who moved back to the area in December.
“It was a wild process, but very much happy for Harrison and his family,” Hagedorn said. “I think a great outcome for both sides, with Harrison and the Chiefs, I think everyone is very happy.”
Butker’s contract, which was finalized on the last day of the Chiefs’ mandatory minicamp, is the sixth highest annual value for a kicker when it begins following this season. His deal is also the longest currently on the books in the league.
“This is what you tell your clients about,” Hagedorn said. “If you work hard you will be rewarded. He’ll be 24 in July and he’s set for life. That security is something that I’m very proud of for him and his family and generations of Butkers to come.”
Butker signed his extension a year early, meaning he’s under contract with the team for the next six seasons. He’ll play out the last year on his rookie contract this season. While he could have gone into the year unsigned, Hagedorn said the Chiefs were confident in his ability and his client was looking for stability.
“They wanted to meet at the combine,” Hagedorn said. “So in February we met with the Chiefs and they expressed interest in getting to the draft and then after the draft they would get a hold of us to start negotiating an extension.”
Hagedorn and Butker had something in common when they paired up two years ago. Both were rookies, looking to make a name for themselves.
Butker, a seventh round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2017, was waived by the team that drafted him before his rookie season after losing out on the job to Graham Gano. He signed with Kansas City as a practice squad member, working his way onto the active roster as a rookie. On Oct. 7, he hit the game-winning field goal to lift the Chiefs over the Washington Redskins.
“He’s just put his head down and worked,” Hagedorn said. “He’s one of the hardest working dudes I know. It makes it easy to represent him because he’s just a workhorse. He goes in and watches film and works on his craft and he’s a great culture fit with the team.”
He’s hit 62 of his 69 career attempts and went 24 for 27 last season. He earned an all-rookie selection in 2017 and was an alternate for the Pro Bowl last season. He’ll stick with a Chiefs squad that went 12-4 last year, made an appearance in the AFC Championship and looks to be a contender for years to come thanks to quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“Proud to announce that I’ve signed an extension with the @Chiefs,” Butker tweeted with a photo of him signing his new contract. “Thanks to the organization for their belief in me and thanks to all of Chiefs Kingdom for the love! Excited to be a part of this team for the next six years.”
With this signing, both Hagedorn and Butker have solidified themselves further in the league.
“I’m very blessed and very fortunate and grateful,” Hagedorn said. “For him to believe in me as a first-year agent is still unbelievable for me to think about. ... He understands how much love and energy I was going to put into him and his career and his family. He believed in me before anybody. That is humbling.
“A lot of guys’ first clients are a third-string lineman that just never make the league. So to have a guy that came in and is working hard and has risen to be one of the top players at his position, it’s humbling, it’s amazing, it’s really surreal.”
With the heavy lifting of the negotiation completed, Hagedorn said he can focus on more fun endeavours for Butker, like signings and marketing deals. For him personally, Hagedorn said he hopes this also helps him expand his clientele. He’s already spoken to some friends and former high school teammates of Butker.
“I certainly think this will help me get some more credibility but also just help build relationships,” he said. “It certainly is a bridge and a stepping stone in my career to be able to pursue the next level.”