In the wake of an investigation by the player’s association, Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith said Thursday he wasn’t influenced by rap mogul Jay-Z to join upstart agency Roc Nation Sports. Smith announced last week he had become a client of the upstart firm, headed by Jay-Z.
The NFLPA is looking into what Jay-Z’s influence on Smith might have been, especially since Roc Nation did not have any certified negotiators on staff at the time. Smith fired his original representation shortly after the NFL Draft, when he plummeted from a projected Top-10 pick to the Jets at No. 39.
He denied the NFLPA has reached out to him on the matter.
“I don’t have any concerns. Jay-Z didn’t recruit me,” Smith said. “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 that.
“I’m here to talk about football and that’s life outside of football. And what I do in this locker room and on that field is what matters.”
It has been a struggle on the field for Smith as well, who did well in rookie minicamp but has had more downs than ups since then.
Smith frequently underthrew his wide receivers on Thursday during organized team activities (OTAs) and his timing was frequently off on his routes. On one play, second-year safety Antonio Allen sat underneath the coverage and perfectly broke on the ball to break up the pass. The recognition of coverages has been slow and his decision making has been suspect.
Smith has yet to sign a contract with the Jets.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.