Agents Jeff Nalley and Erik Burkhardt of Select Sports Group have broken their silence in response to quarterback Geno Smith’s decision to fire them, only days after Smith became the 39th pick in the draft.
“We worked tirelessly for Geno Smith and all of our draft prospects,” the firm said in a statement released to PFT. “The NFL Draft is unpredictable, and we prepared Geno and all of our draft prospects, as we do every year, about what can happen during the draft. Not only did we tell him that what transpired on the first day of the draft was possible, the question of whether Geno would be a first- or second-round pick was arguably the most talked about subject in the three months leading up to the draft. We wish Geno the best.”
The statement comes in response to a report from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that Smith believed he “would be and should be” not a first-round pick but the No. 1 overall selection. In an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Smith opted not to delve into the details.
“I don’t want to shed too much light on it,” Smith said, via a partial transcript provided by SiriusXM NFL Radio. “The thing that I can tell you is that it’s not because of the whole draft experience. It’s not because of one particular incident. There’s a number of things. And that story, you know, that battle will be fought on a different day. As of right now I don’t feel too comfortable talking about all the details of it.”
Regardless, the timeline gives rise to a reasonable inference that the decision relates to Smith’s “whole draft experience.” And it comes off as a blame-shifting reaction from Smith for not being drafted higher.
Based on the statement from Select Sports Group, if Smith thought he’d go higher, it wasn’t based on anything his agents were telling him.