New York Jets' rookie quarterback Geno Smith turned some heads when he decided to be represented by agent Kim Miale, who boasted a grand total of zero clients on NFL rosters at the time. It was clear that the real attraction to signing on with Kim Miale was her association with Jay-Z and Roc Nation, but that association eventually caught the attention of the NFL when it became clear that Jay-Z had met with Geno Smith during the recruitment process. The rapper-turned-agent doesn't seem fazed by the NFL looking into his dealings, as the track "La Familia" on his new album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail," refers to the situation in a joking manner. While Jay-Z himself may not be feeling the heat from the NFL, is it cause for concern in terms of his influence on Geno Smith?
It's reasonable to be concerned about New York Jets' quarterback Geno Smith and his decision to be represented by Roc Nation, the sports agency started by Jay-Z. It was clearly a splash move, with comments from the Smith camp that confirmed the draw to the agency was Jay-Z, not the quality of representation provided by Kim Miale. Geno Smith joins Victor Cruz as the two biggest NFL names associated with Roc Nation. It's important to note that even though Victor Cruz is only having his marketing endeavors managed by Roc Nation, he is currently embroiled in a back-and-forth with the New York Giants regarding his contract situation and hasn't attended minicamp or OTAs.
In general, the NFL doesn't take kindly to people skirting the rules, especially when it becomes a factor in influencing the decisions of players. The "runner rule" is what has come into play with Geno Smith and Jay-Z, as only agents certified by the NFLPA are allowed to recruit players to a sports agency. Photo evidence, as well as comments from those close to Geno Smith, indicate that Jay-Z played a prominent role in recruiting the rookie quarterback to Roc Nation after firing his agents following the 2013 NFL Draft.
That evidence sparked an NFL investigation into the dealings of Roc Nation with Geno Smith. Jay-Z responds to the investigation on his new album. From "La Familia" a track on "Magna Carta Holy Grail," set to be released on July 4:
"NFL investigations/Oh, don't make me laugh"
Short and sweet, but the NFL typically doesn't take kindly to playing the role of someone else's fool. If the NFLPA can prove wrongdoing in the recruitment of Geno Smith, expect them to take clear action in order to make a statement about respecting the rules. Of course, that won't matter to Jay-Z. He's not an NFLPA-certified agent, so technically he's not under the jurisdiction of the NFLPA.
But Kim Miale, the agent representing Geno Smith, is. Any punishment would be exacted on her standing as an NFLPA-certified agent, likely in the form of a suspension. If Jay-Z grasps that, it's clear that he doesn't really care. The question that follows is whether Roc Nation is a good choice for Geno Smith. It's tough to argue in favor of Geno Smith sticking with the new agency as it has run afoul of NFLPA rules, then publicly called out the league and it's investigation.
Geno Smith is currently one of the four remaining unsigned draft picks from the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.