Rapper-turned-mogul Jay-Z may be adding another New York athlete to his budding Roc Nation sports and marketing agency.
Roc Nation, which already represents Yankees’ second baseman Robinson Cano and Giants’ wide receiver Victor Cruz, was one of five agencies to pitch Geno Smith on Thursday about replacing his old agency, Pro Football Talk reports.
Smith, 22, fired Select Sports Group within days of his free fall at the 2013 NFL Draft. A projected first rounder, the West Virginia quarterback instead was selected by the New York Jets in the draft’s second round.
Jay-Z isn't himself a licensed sports agent, so the presentation was made by a licensed NFLPA agent who works for Roc Nation, Pro Football Talk reports. NFL rules prevent a non-licensed agent from attempting to persuade athletes to choose a specific agency.
Jay-Z, however, does have the ability to contact Smith regarding representation for his non-football interests. This existence of this potential loophole may fuel speculation that the former Brooklyn Nets owner is using covert means to influence Smith’s decision, Pro Football Talk reports.
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Although Jay-Z has relied on partner CAA Football to facilitate Roc Nation’s transition into the sports agency fold, Pro Football Talk reports that the juggernaut agency wasn't involved in the pitch to Smith.
The rookie quarterback isn't expected to make a decision before this weekend, when he'll attend the Jets’ annual rookie minicamp. Smith is slated to compete against fellow quarterbacks Mark Sanchez, David Garrard, and Greg McElroy for New York’s starting job.
Regardless of which agency Smith selects to represent him, he's locked in to accepting a four-year contract with a signing bonus of $2.030 million, as per the terms of NFL rules for rookie contracts.