New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith chose Jay-Z's newly launched Roc Nation Sports agency on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. As ESPN's Darren Rovell tweeted shortly after the news, the representation is for matters concerning Smith's NFL contract and not for marketing purposes.
Smith announced his decision on Wednesday to sign with Roc Nation Sports, a partner of Creative Artists Agency, after meeting with a handful of agents but admitted that the fact that hip hop mogul Jay Z owns the agency to which he is now signed didn't play "that big of a role" in his decision:
''I think it's just his agency. When you talk about being in New York from a standpoint of what they can do in the city, the connections that they have, I think it's a good move. My mother and my family were comfortable with it, and I'm comfortable with it. I'm just going to move on from there. It's not going to be a big deal."
Smith, who is competing with Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback role with the Jets, also clarified that his decision to sign with an agency launched by Jay-Z should not lead people to think he is focused on his image off the field:
"It's not that important to me, honestly. The only thing that's important to me is the image that's perceived around this locker room, the guy I am to my teammates, to my coaches and the work I put in on the football field. I'm all about football...I'm all about getting better."
Since its launch earlier this year, Roc Nation Sports agency has signed a number of professional athletes including Victor Cruz of the New York Giants, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees and former Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins, who was drafted No. 3 overall by the WNBA's Tulsa Shock.