Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Geno Smith Fires Agent

Geno Smith Fires Agent, Geno Smith thought he would be a top-10 draft pick, maybe even first overall. Instead, he went in the second round.

And now apparently, his agents have paid the price.

Smith has fired his representatives and will now hire a new agent, according to a person informed of Smith's move. The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because neither Smith nor his former agents have commented publicly on the matter, said a big part of the reason for Smith's decision was his going 39th overall to the New York Jets.

Smith declined to discuss the move in an interview on NFL Sirius radio.

"I don't want to shed too much light on it," he said. "The thing that I can tell you is that it's not because of the whole draft experience. It's not because of one particular incident. There's a number of things. And that story, you know, that battle will be fought on a different day. As of right now, I don't feel too comfortable talking about all the details of it.

"First and foremost, I want to make it known that I was never bitter about where I was selected because it's a great selection. Whether it was number one or the last pick, I was coming in with the right mentality, and that's to get better and compete daily. I'm extremely ecstatic to be a part of the Jets organization."

"I'm not bitter about where I was selected, because I'm on a great team and I'm in a great position," he said.

But the move, so soon after the draft, raises questions about whether Smith will be able to deal with the New York media and the adversity that comes with playing under the scrutiny of the largest sports media market in the world.

Calls and texts to Smith by USA TODAY Sports were not immediately returned.

The person, who confirmed the initial report by Sports Business Journal that Smith had fired Select Sports Group, said Smith's former agents informed him throughout the process there was a chance he would drop.

Smith, in attendance at the draft, sat through the first round as he went undrafted. He said he wouldn't return Friday for the second round, but did, and, in a surprise pick, was selected by the Jets, who already were choking on quarterbacks.

The only quarterback taken in the first round was E.J. Manuel, who went to the Buffalo Bills at No. 16 overall. Rumblings ahead of the draft had the Bills as a potential landing spot for Smith with the eighth pick, which they wound up trading to the Rams. However, Buffalo's interest in Manuel was a well-kept secret.

Under the new CBA, there isn't much wiggle room for rookies to negotiate their deals, so the change in agents won't have much effect on talks between him and the Jets. Last year, the 39th overall pick (Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins) signed a four-year, $4.99 million deal.

If Smith had been selected in Round 1, his contract would be worth, at minimum, $6.7 million with roughly $5.4 million guaranteed.

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