Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is a glossy 35-year-old sports agent working for Sports Management International (SMI). After having a life-altering epiphany about his role as a sports agent, he writes a mission statement about perceived dishonesty in the sports management business and his desire to work with fewer clients so as to produce better quality. In turn, SMI management decides to send Bob Sugar (Jay Mohr), Jerry's protégé, to fire him. Consequently, Jerry and Sugar each call all of Jerry's clients to try and convince them not to hire the services of the other. Jerry speaks to Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr. ), one of his clients who is disgruntled with his contract. He needs a $10 million contract for his family to live on. Jerry informed him if he gets injured for the season, he will get no money from the Cardinals. Rod tests Jerry's resolve through a very long telephone conversation while Sugar is able to convince the rest of Jerry's clients to stick with SMI instead. Leaving the office, Jerry announces that he will start his own agency and asks if anyone is willing to join him, to which only 26-year-old single mother Dorothy Boyd (Renée Zellweger) agrees. Meanwhile, Frank "Cush" Cushman (Jerry O'Connell), a superstar quarterback prospect who expects to be the number one pick in the NFL Draft, initially also stays with Jerry after he makes a visit to the Cushman home. However, Sugar is able to convince Cushman and his father to sign with SMI over Jerry the night before the draft. Cushman's father implies they decided to sign with Sugar over Jerry when they saw Jerry attending to Tidwell; an African-American player, versus his son (a white player).
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