West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith's fall out of the first-round of the 2013 NFL draft has claimed its first casualty as Liz Mullen of the SportsBusiness Journal reports that the rookie quarterback is parting ways with his agents, Jeff Nalley of the Houston-based Select Sports Group.
Smith accepted an invitation to attend the draft and was in the green room at Radio City Music Hall for most of the first-round. However, when the first-round reached the final few picks, and those picks were held by teams that have no need for a quarterback, Smith left the building as it was evident he would not be selected until Day 2.
ESPN's Suzy Kolber reported that Smith was not going to attend Day 2 of the draft, but Smith changed his mind and returned to Radio City Music Hall on Friday. Smith was selected by the New York Jets with the eighth pick in Round 2, the 39th overall pick in the draft, which is expected come with a contract worth just under $5 million with over $3.1 million in guaranteed money. Had Smith been selected in Round 1, his contract would be worth, at minimum, $6.7 million with around $5.4 million in guaranteed money.
The financial difference, as well as having to return to a green room for a second day, appear to be the reason why Smith is changing agents.
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Smith was under the impression that he should be and would be the No. 1 overall pick of the draft. It is understandable for Smith to be disappointed about not being a first-round pick, but unless he was specifically being told by his agents that he would go No. 1, we're not sure how they are at fault for his tumble out of Round 1.
Smith was clearly aware of what "so-called experts" were saying about him, and if he were paying attention to mock drafts in the days leading up to the draft, he should have known that the Kansas City Chiefs' pick at No. 1 overall was going to be a left tackle, either Central Michigan's Eric Fisher (who was the pick) or Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M (who went No. 2 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars). While Smith was a highly-regarded prospect during the lead-up to the draft — "Shutdown Corner" editor Doug Farrar had Smith as the No. 10 prospect in the "Shutdown 50" — where he was predicted to be picked was all over the map. Farrar had Smith going as high as seventh overall in his mock draft, while Greg Cosell did not have Smith being selected in Round 1 in his mock draft for "Shutdown Corner".
Per the NFLPA rules, Smith must wait five days before officially hiring a new agent.