Roc Nation, the new sports representation agency owned by Jay-Z, was among a handful of agencies that made pitches this week to represent New York Jets second-round quarterback Geno Smith, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports.
Smith was represented by Select Sports Group, but terminated that agreement after the 2013 NFL draft. Smith reportedly expected to be selected in the first-round of the draft and, after not hearing his name called among the first 32 picks, briefly considered not returning to the green room at Radio City Music Hall for Round 2. Smith did return and was selected by the Jets with the No. 39 overall pick in the draft.
Jay-Z is not a certified NFLPA agent, therefore, under NFLPA rules, he is not allowed to recruit, or serve as a "runner" for, the unidentified NFLPA certified agent that the Jay-Z-owned agency currently employs. Roc Nation has teamed with powerhouse agency CAA Football, but according to PFT's report, CAA was not involved in the recruiting process of Smith, either.
The 2011 collective bargaining agreement has removed most of the negotiable items from the rookie signing process. Based on documents distributed to certified agents that have been obtained by "Shutdown Corner", Smith will receive a maximum signing bonus of $2,030,620 and a base salary of $405,000 in 2013. With very little of the rookie contract to be negotiated, Smith is likely looking for an agency that can increase his earnings outside of football and who is willing to take far less than three percent (the maximum percentage allowed by the NFLPA) on Smith's football earnings.
According to PFT, the other agencies that made pitches to Smith were Joel Segal of Lagardere Football, Rick Smith of Priority Sports, Eugene Parker of Relativity Sports, and Fletcher Smith of Blueprint Sports Group. Athletes First, whose group of agents represent 20 percent (25 of 125) of the active quarterbacks in the NFL, did not make a pitch for Smith. That should not come as a surprise as one of the 125 quarterbacks that Athlete's First represents is current Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.