Geno Smith, the once projected top NFL draft pick who fell to the second round, fired his agent, citing “a number of things.”
The former West Virginia quarterback, who tumbled into the second round (39th overall), confirmed Tuesday in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio that he parted ways with Select Sports Group. He claimed it wasn’t because of his big drop in the draft.
“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 are 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.”
By rule, Smith has to wait five days before he can sign with another agent. Sports Business Journal first reported his decision.
Smith was projected as a possible top-10 pick, although there was a growing belief in the days before the draft that he could slip.
The agonizing wait in the green room at Radio City Music Hall was “hard to stomach,” he said. After Day 1, he announced his plans to leave New York for home, but he changed his mind and returned to the green room.
As it turned out, Smith wasn’t the first quarterback taken. E.J. Manual went to the Buffalo Bills with the 16th pick. The Jets passed twice on Smith in the first round before pulling the trigger.
Because of the rookie wage scale, there isn’t much room for negotiation. Smith will receive a deal similar to that of last year’s 39th pick, St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins–a four-year deal for $4.99 million.
Smith’s former agents, Jeff Nalley and Erik Burkhardt, didn’t return calls for comment.
The firing of his agents, coupled with his threat to leave the draft after the first day, has raised questions about Smith’s maturity.
“One of his perceived weaknesses was working through adversity,” a personnel executive said Tuesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity.