An interesting dynamic is taking place in New York.
No not the whole Tebow thing, we’ll deal with him when he has a team to deal with.
Instead we’re looking at the potential future quarterback, Geno Smith, who reportedly has fired his agent only a few days removed from the 2013 NFL Draft. PFT has a good recap, and similar opinion, of the story right here if you’d rather read their work as opposed to mine, but I thought it would be interesting to compare a couple of situations.
Undoubtedly many of you have seen the ESPN 30 for 30 “From Elway to Marino” concerning one of the greatest quarterback draft classes and the fall Marino took during the draft. I find Marino and Smith’s situations as exquisite parallels to each other.
Both considered top prospects in their class, Marino was actually expected to be the top quarterback going into his final year at Pittsburgh but had a down season despite winning more games. Smith put up particularly gaudy numbers his final year in what is considered a gimmicky offense at West Virginia.
Both players went to New York with the expectation of going high in the draft and found themselves waiting for quite some time. Geno Smith was not drafted until round 2 in fact.
Like Aaron Rodgers, everyone cites this as an opportunity to gain motivation against the league, a trait Marino says he didn’t think about, but it is hard to imagine a personality like his not taking his draft plummet personally.
What I find interesting is how Geno Smith has handled it. Thus far, I have not heard anything particularly negative about his work ethic, attitude, or personality (aside from that one war-monger scout who ripped Cam Newton and Geno Smith in such grotesquely personal ways), and yet his immediate reaction to this plummet gives me pause.
The night of the draft it was reported that Geno Smith had left the green room when Baltimore or Dallas was on the clock. Over the evening it was reported that Smith had decided to leave New York.
Now I understand those moves. He’s a kid in a very, very difficult situation. Obviously he expected to be drafted in the 1st round, likely he thought of himself as the first quarterback to be drafted in this draft. The last thing he wants to do is sit around potentially 25 more picks in the second round with cameras cutting to him before and after every ‘potential landing spot’ selects someone else.
What I don’t get is the agent firing. PFT speculates that he believed in himself so much that he refused to listen to his agent, whose job it is to adequately prepare him for where he will be drafted. The other option they outline, is that the agent did not do that job adequately.
This is a very damning situation to one of these two parties. Perhaps the agent and Smith were elaborately smoke screened through this whole process, in which case Geno Smith is quite right to fire his agent if he had been telling him that Smith was a top 15 pick, but for the agency responsible for determining that position they failed massively.
On the other hand, if they had been telling him that he was more likely to go late in the 1st at best, with the potential to slip into day two while Geno Smith continued to believe pundits, mock drafters (like myself), and friends who must have been telling him much higher, then this firing is very bad for his image.
It’s hard to know the truth, and both sides (so far) are handling it with class, not elaborating on the circumstances or reasons behind it. Only few individuals know the truth in this situation. His agents will know what they were telling him, and Geno will know what he was hearing from them. It is also likely that most teams know whether they were using him as a smokescreen (as likely Buffalo was to protect their interest in EJ Manuel). We likely won’t know for some time what the real situation is, but it is an interesting dynamic to keep an eye on.
Of note, the agency in question is Select Sports Group.