Geno signs with Jets for 4 yearsSports Headlines Monday, July 22nd, 2013 Would you like to receive e-mail alerts when we have breaking news? Click here!
Geno Smith signed a 4 year 5 million dollar deal with the New York Jets on Monday.
If he had been a top-10 pick, as some speculated, the guarantee alone would’ve been at least $12 million.
Smith, chosen in the second round (39th overall), will battle incumbent Mark Sanchez for the quarterback job. On Saturday, the former West Virginia star told the Charleston Gazette that he has “a great shot” to win the position.
Smith created a mini-controversy recently when he turned down an invitation to participate in Sanchez’s passing camp, fueling the perception that animosity exists between the quarterbacks. Smith insisted they’re “cool.”
Smith has made a lot of headlines in recent months. He was criticized by unnamed scouts before and after the draft, and he fired his agents, hiring rap star Jay-Z and his fledgling agency, Roc Nation Sports. It was a headline-making decision that turned controversial when it was revealed the NFLPA was investigating the agency for a possible violation of the so-called “runner” rule.
Non-certified agents aren’t permitted to recruit players, and Jay-Z isn’t certified by the NFLPA. Smith told reporters recently that he wasn’t recruited by Jay-Z, although he posted a photo of them together on Instagram a few days before announcing his decision to sign with Roc Nation Sports.
Smith’s agent is Kim Miale, a previously little-known agent hired by Roc Nation Sports. She is certified.
The change in agents, coupled with the fallout, probably slowed negotiations, but it hasn’t had any bearing on the quarterback competition.
The company line is that it’s an even race, although Rex Ryan acknowledged at the end of the recent minicamp that Smith wasn’t ready to start. He remained hopeful that Smith would rally in training camp and pose a serious challenge.
Smith struggled during the offseason program with the Jets’ West Coast system, a significant change from the “Air Raid” attack at West Virginia.
“He came from a system that primarily was a shotgun system,” Ryan said. “His steps, drop backs [and] his mechanics that way, footwork-wise, weren’t dialed in the way they’ll have to be at this level. It’s all new to him.
“Sometimes, you really can’t even notice them because when he’s on, the guy is absolutely terrific. We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy process, but I have confidence that, when we get to Cortland [for training camp], I think you’re going to see the guy keep improving and improving.”