The public relations/marketing management firm that represents Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson says that he is not entertaining any new agencies or agents at the present time. CEO Denise White specifically indicated that her statement included Jay-Z’s new Roc Nation Sports agency, which has been very busy since its formation in early April. The agency has already been retained by New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and 2013 WNBA Draft pick Skylar Diggins strictly for marketing work, and represents New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith in the negotiation of his rookie contract as well.
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White likely felt the need to address her client’s agent decision making process due to a flurry of reports that Jackson has eyed Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports. For instance, Mike Garafolo of USA TODAY Sports wrote that Jackson has informed his teammates that he is interested in signing with Roc Nation Sports. A factor cited as potentially influencing Jackson to sign with Roc Nation is his love for the music industry, which includes his ownership of a record label named Jaccpot Records.
Jackson may want to hold off just a bit if he is in fact genuinely interested in signing with Jay-Z’s company. The NFLPA recently launched an investigation concerning Roc Nation Sports, specifically focusing on Jay-Z’s involvement in the recruitment of Geno Smith to his company. Roc Nation Sports has been scrutinized based on its hiring of NFLPA Contract Advisor Kim Miale, who signed Smith as her first NFL client after Smith publicly posted a photo with Jay-Z. At least one source also indicated that the quarterback did not seek out Miale as his agent and was instead focusing on an affiliation with Jay-Z.
The NFLPA could choose to take action against Roc Nation Sports based on a violation of the NFLPA’s “runner” regulations, which state that Contract Advisors will be subject to sanctions by the NFLPA if they (1) use, (2) associate with, (3) employ or (4) enter into a business relationship with any non-NFLPA certified individual in the recruitment of prospective player-clients. In this case, it would be Kim Miale, as the listed Contract Advisor for Geno Smith who would be sanctioned. Miale would likely be DeSean Jackson’s agent should the wide receiver choose to sign with Roc Nation Sports. Thus, it may be wise for Jackson to wait for the NFLPA to make a determination as to punishment (if any) before making his representation decision.
On March 14, 2012, Jackson signed a 5-year, $47 million contract with the Eagles. Thus, he should be in no rush to hire a new agent, anyway. The agent fees arising from the 2012 contract will be paid to his former agent, who negotiated the terms of the deal.
Darren Heitner is a Partner at Wolfe Law Miami, P.A. in Miami, Florida, Founder of Sports Agent Blog, and Professor of Sport Agency Management at Indiana University. Learn more about him at http://www.darrenheitner.com.