The contract recently signed by quarterback Geno Smith with the New York Jets was unconventional, in one significant respect. Nearly $700,000 in 2015 and 2016 compensation has been tied to Smith’s participation in offseason workouts.
Agents likely will use that point against Smith’s agent, Kim Miale, and her boss, Jay-Z. It forces Smith to do something more than be available for a mandatory minicamp, training camp, the preseason, and 16 regular-season games to get his money, and it puts him in position to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars if, for whatever reason, he can’t attend the offseason program.
But at least one high-level team executive had the opposite reaction.
“I have wondered for years why more agents don’t do what Smith just did,” the source said. “Great for cash flow if you were going to workouts anyway, and every quarterback does. Also, if you are getting cut you have a bunch of money in your pocket before you go to camp. It would be great for established agents to explain why they aren’t using this structure.”
It’s a good point. If the player plans to participate in the offseason workouts anyway, it’s a way to earn money in advance of the season. Then, if Smith is cut between offseason workouts and training camp in 2015 or 2016, he’ll essentially get to double dip, since he will have received a big chunk of his compensation by showing up for offseason workouts.
Still, agents competing with Jay-Z won’t see it that way. It’s a nasty, cutthroat business, and plenty of agents tend to do whatever they can to fend off actual or perceived threats.