New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith said he wasn’t recruited by Jay-Z and isn’t concerned about the NFL Players Association investigating his decision to change agents after the April draft.
“I don’t have any concerns, Smith said Thursday following the Jets’ OTA session.
“Jay-Z didn’t recruit me. I chose Roc Nation Sports for management because it was something that myself and my family came to a conclusion and we felt comfortable with. And I’m happy to be a part of it. Here, I’m here to talk about football. That’s life outside of football, and what I do in this locker room and on that field is what matters now.
Smith interviewed several agents in favor of Roc Nation Sports, for which Jay-Z handles marketing interests. The NFLPA notes Smith and Jay-Z posed for pictures together and has opened an inquiry into contract agent Kim Miale, who was recently hired by Jay-Z.
Miale represented two other football players before Smith signed last week; Arena Football League kicker Carlos Martinez and linebacker Brandon Hicks, a training camp participant with the Steelers last year.
The NFLPA investigation centers around possible violations of the established “runner rule,” which mandates only licensed agents registered with the Players Association can actively recruit players. A violation could impact Miale’s license with the league.
Smith’s adviser, former NFL defensive tackle John Thornton, told CBS last week that Jay-Z connected with Smith “on many levels” during face-to-face meetings, but claimed days later he was misquoted.
Roc Nation has aligned with CAA for marketing of other NFL players, including New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz. Cruz is represented by Tom Condon, one of the most prominent agents in football. New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano also signed with Roc Nation.