Mike Tannenbaum has been involved in contract negotiations going back to the start of his NFL career in the mid-1990s.
Now, he'll be switching to the other side of the table.
Tannenbaum has accepted a job heading up a new division of Priority Sports & Entertainment that will represent coaches, team executives and broadcasters. He joked Tuesday that the new division of Priority has "been in business for 32 minutes," and that's part of the job's appeal to the ex-New York Jets general manager.
Working with established player agents, Tannenbaum will be afforded the chance to build something new with meaningful backing. In the three months since his ouster from the Jets, he had been working as an NFL Network analyst.
"The people at NFL Network have been great. I really enjoyed my time there, working with good people," Tannenbaum said. "But this was a very unique opportunity to work with people like Rick Smith, Mark Bartelstein and Mike McCartney, guys with great character and impeccable reputations in the business. The opportunity was so unique, and having been a part of three head-coaching searches, I really felt like it fit."
Tannenbaum's work will begin this weekend at the NCAA men's basketball Final Four in Atlanta, and he'll working to build a stable of coaches and executives in both football and basketball.
Tannenbaum said his ability to relate to the ups-and-downs of coaches and team executives will help him in his new role.
"I think I'm most excited about the fact that I can meaningfully partner with coaches," Tannenbaum said. "As it relates to the coaches, the part that's helpful is that I've been there, I know what going through a losing streak feels like, I know how a long season can go. And I feel like in that way, I can really add value for these guys, beyond just negotiating a contract."
Tannenbaum said the biggest adjustment moving to the agent side will be learning the client services end of the job, something he thinks his new colleagues at Priority will help with.
The plan is for Tannenbaum to open an office in the greater New York area, which will allow his family and him to stay in New Jersey, where they've been since the Jets moved their headquarters from Long Island five years ago. Tannenbaum said it's something he discussed with his family, and staying in New Jersey was the preferred option.
As for whether this spells the end of his days working for NFL clubs, Tannenbaum said: "I think my answer to that would be that my focus will be on being the best agent for coaches and broadcasters I can be, and that I hope to build something we can all be proud of."