Apparently, there’s no such thing as bad publicity for Jay-Z’s latest venture.
With his new firm creating headlines (and controversy) via the addition of Giants receiver Victor Cruz and Jets quarterback Geno Smith, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports could be sliding down I-95 and adding Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson.
According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jackson has terminated his relationship with agent Drew Rosenhaus and could sign with Jay-Z’s firm.
Mike Garafolo of USA Today takes it a step farther, turning “could” into “would like to.”
Jackson’s desire to launch a music career has attracted him to Jay-Z. “That culture for hip-hop was huge, and I had a passion for it at an early age,” Jackson told Yahoo! Sports last year. “I have a slim chance of making it in the music industry. It’s a risk, [and there are] no guarantees. But I’m a firm believer in having one life, and living that one life up.”
Per NFLPA rules, a five-day waiting period must expire before Jackson signs with a new agent. In the interim, Rosenhaus could try to persuade Jackson to change his mind.
If the termination sticks, the biggest question becomes whether Jackson would hire Roc Nation Sports for marketing and football representation (like Smith did) or whether Jay-Z will handle off-field interests and Jackson will hire CAA to deal with his NFL contract (like Cruz did). With the NFLPA currently investigating whether and to what extent Jay-Z helped persuade Smith to sign with Jay-Z’s in-house NFLPA-certified agent, Kim Miale, in violation of NFLPA rules, Jay-Z needs to tread lightly.
Or maybe he doesn’t. Maybe Jackson already has been recruited via the media’s coverage of the Smith recruitment. Maybe Jackson needs only to call Miale and say, “I want to hire you to handle my football contract.” If so, there will be no way to prove that Jay-Z recruited Jackson to sign with Miale.
If that’s what happen, the NFLPA will have no choice but to take a step back from its current rule and ask itself why that rule is in place, and whether and to what extent the rule should be changed to address situations like this. Jay-Z isn’t a runner in the classic sense; he owns an agency. CAA is owned by non-certified NFLPA agents, too. So are other firms.
In the end, perhaps the NFLPA should broaden the lens and consider clarifying or revising its rules when the recruiter isn’t working for the certified agent, but the certified agent is working for the recruiter.