Jay-Z's firm will represent Jets rookie QB Geno Smith
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The Roc is in the building.
After weeks of speculation, Jets quarterback Geno Smith finally put his agent issue to rest Wednesday with the announcement that he will be represented by Jay-Z's sports management firm, Roc Nation. Because Jay-Z is not NFLPA certified, NFL agent Kimberly Miale, who recently was hired by Roc Nation, will handle Smith's rookie contract.
"We talked about being in New York, from a standpoint of what they can do in this city, the connections they have,'' said Smith, who recently posted a photo on Instagram of himself and the hip- hop mogul together.
"I think it's a good move. My family was comfortable with it, I was comfortable with it. So we're just going to move on from there, it's not going to be a big deal.''
Smith joins fellow Roc Nation clients Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and WNBA rookie Skylar Diggins. But Smith downplayed the importance of playing in a big market, saying football is still his No. 1 focus.
"I don't worry about the outside world's perception when it comes to stuff like that,'' said the second-round pick, who received pitches from five agencies after he fired Select Sports following the April draft.
"I'm comfortable with who I am, I'm strong in my faith. I know that this isn't because of an image thing or because I'm trying to market myself. It's just about being comfortable with the guys who are going to represent me, and that's ultimately why I made that decision.''
Neither Smith nor Mark Sanchez looked all that sharp on the practice field Wednesday. Though the quarterbacks still are getting acclimated to new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's system, Rex Ryan said he was disappointed in the four turnovers -- three of them interceptions of Sanchez.
"A couple of those throws I want back,'' said Sanchez, who was even picked off by 350-pound nose tackle Damon "Snacks'' Harrison. "Of all people, freaking 'Snacks'. That's like your worst nightmare.''
Despite his NFL-leading 52 turnovers the past two seasons, Sanchez said he expects big things in 2013. "I just feel like this coaching staff is really going to get the best out of me,'' the fifth-year pro said.
But if Sanchez expects to get on the field, he has to stop giving away the ball.
"Obviously, at that position, you have to protect the football,'' Ryan said. "Absolutely, that will be weighted into the decision for who will play quarterback.''
Goodson: Not-guilty plea.Running back Mike Goodson reportedly pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, N.J., stemming from his arrest Friday on charges of drugs and weapons possession. He is scheduled to be back in court June 12, which will be during the Jets' minicamp.