New New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith had some quiet character concerns going into the 2013 NFL Draft that weren’t publicized as much as the character concerns related to other players, but there is a chance that this recent decision made by Smith will change things. This is likely a non-issue, but I have a feeling that this might be worth filing away somewhere in the near future.
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Geno Smith fired his agents following his slide down to the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Smith viewed himself as a sure-fire first-rounder, and Mehta writes that Smith also viewed himself as the No. 1 pick overall, per information learned by the paper. If this is true, then this is just absolute hubris on Smith’s part, because pretty much nobody thought Smith would be the first selection in the 2013 NFL Draft to the Kansas City Chiefs.
What is absolutely crazy here is the fact that Smith is assigning the blame to his agents for this fall, instead of being self-accountable and assigning the blame to himself. The best thing for Smith to do is to actually blame nobody and just realize that this is what happens during the pre-draft process. The Jets have dealt with enough selfish players (Santonio Holmes comes to mind) and circus-style coverage, and what Smith has done isn’t going to help the cause. This is not the best message to send to an employer.
Although agents often times get fired after a player is drafted, the way Geno Smith has reportedly went about the firing of his agents seems imprudent and could be a warning sign. Do I buy the character concerns in the pre-draft process? Not really. Smith’s actions during his slide were not without merit, because he had every right to be upset with sliding out of the first- that’s only natural and most competitive players would feel like this. But if the New York Daily News is right about Smith’s motives in firing his agents, then this is one thing to take a look at.
Do I think Smith has character issues? No. Is it too early to tell? Yes. Is it worth remembering this story, though, and tucking it away in the back of your mind? I think so. Being a quarterback in New York is never easy, and I’m sure Mark Sanchez will tell you about the frenzy and the idea of being a center of attraction. It is important for Smith to be able to show he can handle that and that stuff won’t get to him as easily.
In the end, I think this will all blow over, but I am hoping that Smith can send us some more straightforward signals. From Mehta, “Four days after Geno Smith slid out of the first round of the draft, the former West Virginia quarterback fired his agents due to his displeasure over his draft position, according to sources. The Daily News has learned that Smith thought that he would and should be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Sources told the News that Smith’s agents from Select Sports Group gave him no assurance of his draft position.”
If you are a Jets fan, then this is not something to forget easily. Again, I think Geno Smith can move on from this, but it is entirely possible that this is a sign of things to come. It is immature, and it is never good to fire those who weren’t responsible. Can anyone make a legitimate case for his agents hurting Smith? I can’t, and I actually think they did a good job representing him all told in the pre-draft process. The first link in this post to Nawrocki’s piece on Pro Football Weekly has some interesting tidbits about Smith’s character, but those are tidbits I have never given much thought to- until now.
There will be no shortage of opinions on this subject, so I would like you guys to leave your thoughts on Geno Smith and this decision in the comments section. To what extent is this indicative of Smith’s behavior? Are you unconcerned or mildly concerned?
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.