Geno Smith said over the weekend that he has a "great shot" to win the New York Jets' starting quarterback job. His rookie contract won't get in the way.
The Jets announced Monday that Smith, the No. 39 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, signed on the dotted line. The Associated Press reported Smith's four-year contract is worth about $5 million. The contract might get closer scrutiny than most because Smith is represented by Jay Z's new agency, Roc Nation, but ultimately these rookie deals are cookie-cutter contracts with little meaningful variation.
Getting taken in the second round hasn't diminished the attention on Smith this offseason. His words and actions have been tracked daily in the tabloids. His practice performances roundly were criticized in New York, with conventional wisdom now pegging Mark Sanchez as the favorite to start Week 1.
We caution everyone to remember that it's mid-July. Smith hasn't started writing his rookie story, and he deserves some patience. The Jets drafted him because Sanchez hasn't gotten the job done as a starter, and that fact is unlikely to change.