Teaching Note | HBS Case Collection | November 2013

A.J. Washington: Retaining an NFL Star

by Andrew Wasynczuk and Karen Huang


A.J. Washington explores the early phase of a contract negotiation between a professional football team and its star quarterback. This case illustrates the challenges associated with negotiation for human capital. Specifically, it explores the tension between negotiating a favorable deal with an employee, and the ability to enlist and motivate the greatest possible contribution from that employee to the organization. There are a number of pastures to explore in debriefing the case, with potential emphasis being placed on those most correlated to the course being taught. A.J. Washington serves particularly well as an introductory case in a Negotiation course surfacing themes of interest assessment, agency and contingent contracts. The case can also be used to explore topics in courses on compensation design or managing human capital.

Keywords: negotiation; compensation; human capital; Human Capital; Negotiation; Sports; Compensation and Benefits; Sports Industry; United States;


Wasynczuk, Andrew, and Karen Huang. "A.J. Washington: Retaining an NFL Star." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 914-018, November 2013.