Kristen Kuliga calls herself the Josephine Maguire of National Football League agents.
Similar to the movie character Jerry Maguire, Kuliga began in the high-profile world of representing NFL and CFL players with only one client, eventually landing multiple clients.
Kuliga, who is based out of Boston, launched her career as one of the few women representing NFL players through Doug Flutie in 2001.
She negotiated the $33-million contract he signed with San Diego, and later did his deal in New England and then in broadcasting following his retirement. “It’s very competitive,” she said. “There are about 800 or so certified agents and I think it’s something like 20 per cent of the agents represent 80 per cent of the players. I see it not so much that it’s more difficult as a female. I see it’s more difficult as a small boutique firm out there when you’re competing against the big firms.
“As a woman, I can honestly say I’ve never been treated with disrespect from general managers or scouts.”
She began her career providing marketing support for players in 1994, starting with Flutie while he was with the Calgary Stampeders, before branching out on her own and forming K Sports & Entertainment.
“I always say it’s the Josephine Maguire (story),” she said. “In the back of my mind, I always wanted to be an agent.”
NFL draft weekend
• The Atlanta Falcons acquired tight end Tony Gonzalez from the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday for a second-round pick in 2010.
• Notable NCAA draft-eligible Canadians include ‘08 Lions pick OL Justin Sorensen (Parksville) of South Carolina and DE Jamaal Westerman (Brampton, Ont.) of Rutgers.
• Western Ontario DL Vaughn Martin has worked out for several NFL teams and has the distinction of being the first CIS underclassman to declare for the NFL draft.
• The NFL draft kicks off Saturday at 1 p.m. (TSN/NFL Network).