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Geno Smith: I don't care what people say about me

Had Geno Smith been selected in the first round by a team in a different market, things would be different right now.

Of course, that's not how it played out. Smith slipped into the second round and was eventually drafted by the New York Jets, a team that's like a moth to a flame when it comes to attracting controversy.

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Sure enough, Smith was sucked in. He reportedly pondered leaving the 2013 NFL Draft early when he slipped out of the first round. His decision to fire his agents was scrutinized. Reports about immaturity and aloofness followed.

The negativity must feel like a tidal wave for a 22-year-old kid. Smith, however, claims he hasn't been affected.

"I don't worry about what people say -- my skin is pretty thick," Smith told Jim Corbett of USA Today. "I've never been in trouble."

Smith specifically addressed the Yahoo! Sports report that he turned off teams during team visits by paying more attention to his phone than front-office personnel.

"That's not true. I got strong remarks from all the teams I visited with," he said. "I couldn't care less what's coming out in the media because I know what's true."

Other reaction from Smith:

On firing his agents: "Parts of the draft experience were tough, but not all of it. With that entire process, you can see where some things went wrong. ... Choosing to leave those guys was the best decision for me at the time. That's what I went with. I think I'm pretty good with my decision making. So I trust myself."

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On his decision to sit out the Senior Bowl: "It was a decision I ultimately made. My first instinct is always to go out and compete. I'm a competitor. It's one of those things where I trusted those guys. (My agents) advised me that it may have been best for me not to go."

On the report he planned to leave the draft early: "Coming back on Day 2 was never not an option for me. ... My goal was to go up on that stage and shake Mr. (Roger) Goodell's hand. And that's what we did."

On working with Mark Sanchez: "Mark is a great guy. I have the utmost respect for him and I look forward to competing with him."

Smith will get his chance to truly refute critics as time passes and he transitions further into NFL life. Until then, a cloud of suspicion will hang over his head. Fair or not.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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