As of last week, it appeared that Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks would have the same arrangement as Giants receiver Victor Cruz for representation. For off-field work, it would be Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports. For on-field representation, the agency would be CAA.
That’s still the case, with a twist.
NFLPA records show that one of Nicks’ agents is Tom Condon of CAA. The other is Kim Miale, the in-house agent who works for Jay Z’s firm.
(We first noticed that news of Miale’s involvement on the Twitter page of Adam Caplan of ESPN. We’ve confirmed that, indeed, Miale is one of the new agents for Nicks.)
This development a potentially important question: How involved was Jay Z in the recruitment of Nicks to sign with Miale? Because Jay Z isn’t certified by the NFLPA to represent players, he can have only minimal involvement in the efforts of another NFLPA-certified agent to recruit players. The NFLPA cleared Miale in connection with the possibility that the “runner rule” was violated by the recruitment of Jets quarterback Geno Smith. In so doing, the NFLPA also clarified the rule to significantly limit a non-certified agent’s role in meeting with, talking to, and persuading a potential client to sign with a given NFLPA-certified agent.
It’s possible that Condon suggested that Miale’s name also appear on the “Standard Representation Agreement,” given that she works for the firm that will be handling Nicks’ off-field interests. Regardless, it’s highly likely that Condon will be taking the lead on the negotiation of the contract.
Miale negotiated the Geno Smith contract, a cookie-cutter, slotted, second-round deal that entailed few terms for negotiation. The Nicks contract will be more complicated, requiring a thorough understanding of the current market for receivers, a sense as to where the market is heading, and a plan for addressing any concerns arising from Nicks’ subpar 2013 season with the Giants.
Miale, a fairly new agent with no other active clients than Smith, will learn a lot from the process. Which will make her better equipped to recruit future clients to Roc Nation Sports without needing Jay Z to do something NFLPA rules still prevent him from doing — serving as a closer.
Then again, if a player really wants to be represented by Jay Z and his firm, a closer may not be needed.