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Geno Smith To Switch Agents…Let The Speculation Begin

QB Geno Smith, represented by Select Sports Group, is projected to be a first round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets QB Geno Smith was represented by Select Sports Group. He will soon be signing with a new agent. Photo Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NFL Draft ended only four days ago, yet one player drafted has already decided to part ways with his agent.  Yesterday, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported that former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, selected by the New York Jets at the beginning of the second round, has officially terminated his Standard Representation Agreement with his agents at Select Sports Group.  Smith must now wait five days (from the date that he terminated the SRA) before he can sign with a new agent.  The five day waiting period is a rule instituted by the NFL Players Association.

Smith went on SiriusXM NFL Radio yesterday and claimed that the firing of his agents had nothing to do with his NFL Draft experience; however, based on the timing of his decision, many find his statement hard to believe.  His agents had set him up at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, a training facility that is highly respected in the industry.  Further, Select Sports Group is no boutique agency.  Other than Smith, Select Sports Group represented a total of seven clients picked in the Draft.  Smith likely believed he deserved to be a first round pick and the first quarterback off the board.  He may be blaming his agents for “only” being a high second round pick.

Let the speculation begin.  Which agent/agency will earn the opportunity to represent Smith, a player with the opportunity to quickly become the starting quarterback in the United States’ darling media market?  Some suggest that Smith will sign with Melvin Bratton.  Bratton, an agent at Vantage Management Group, also represents tight end Travis Kelce from Cincinnati, who was the first pick of the third round, selected by the Kansas City Chiefs.  The agent also happens to be Smith’s cousin.

There is also the possibility that Smith signs with Creative Artists Agency.  The football agency led by agents Tom Condon, Ben Dogra and Jimmy Sexton not only represent a plethora of NFL players, but also college and professional coaches, including Rex Ryan (Smith’s head coach with the Jets).  Further, CAA recently partnered with Jay-Z’s new Roc Nation Sports, which already has ties to the New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.  That Geno Smith is a hot new quarterback in New York may be appealing to Jay-Z and the Roc Nation brand may concurrently be enticing to Smith.

Then again, maybe David Canter has put himself in the best position to become Geno’s second agent.

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By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.