New York Jets second-round quarterback Geno Smith has decided on a new agent, telling reporters that on Wednesday that he will sign with "Roc Nation", the sports representation agency owned by rapper Jay-Z.
Smith parted ways with his original agents, Jeff Nalley and Erik Burkhardt of the Houston-based Select Sports Group, after falling out of the first-round of the 2013 NFL draft.
"When you talk about being in New York, from the standpoint of what they can do in the city, I think it's a good move," Smith said, via Connor Orr of The Star-Ledger.
According to the NFLPA agent database, the only certified contract advisor employed by Roc Nation is Kimberly Miale, a associate and civil litigator at the Boston-based law firm of Tucker, Heifetz & Saltzman. Miale has not negotiated an active NFL contract, but the 2011 collective bargaining agreement has removed much of the negotiations from the rookie signing process.
As the No. 39 overall pick in the draft, Smith will sign a four-year contract worth around $5 million with nearly $3 million guaranteed. Smith will earn $405,000 in base salary this season, will receive a signing bonus of $2,030,620 and will earn $600,000 in fully guaranteed base salary in 2014.
Smith parting ways with a highly-experienced NFL agency for an upstart group owned by one of the most successful hip-hop artists of all-time has led some to question whether or not the rookie was choosing style over substance when it comes to his representation. Smith disagrees with that assessment.
"That's perception, I don't worry about the outside world's perception when it comes to that kind of stuff," said Smith. "I'm strong in my faith, I know this isn't because of an image thing or marketing myself. It's more about being comfortable with the people representing me."