According to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, Giants’ wide receiver Victor Cruz has signed with Jay-Z’s sports agency Roc Nation Sports.
Cruz, who had cryptically added Jay-Z’s diamond-shaped “Roc” hand signal to his famous end-zone salsa dances last year, is the second local sports star to hook up with Roc Nation Sports after Robinson Cano signed this week.
Jay-Z’s new sports agency is affiliated with the powerful and much more established Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which already represents Cruz in football matters through super agent Tom Condon.
That is expected to continue, in part because Jay-Z is not yet a licensed agent with the NFL Players Association while Condon is one of the most powerful — and feared — representatives in the sport.
Cruz’s deal with Jay-Z is more likely to be a way to boost his endorsements (he already has agreements with Nike, Campbell’s Chunky Soup and Time Warner Cable) and help grow Cruz’s nascent Young Whales clothing line.
Hubbuch believes that Cruz signing Jay-Z will help the Giants sign him to a long-term deal.
Cruz’s decision to sign with Jay-Z has to be considered good news for the Giants, because it makes it much less likely he will want to leave this market next year as an unrestricted free agent if, as expected, he doesn’t receive any outside offers as a restricted free agent this spring.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Jay-Z acted as a “runner” to lure Cruz to CAA. A “runner” is someone who’s not an agent, but they recruit athletes to a specific sports agency. If this is the case, Jay-Z and CAA would be in violation of the “runner rule,” which isn’t enforced the way most agents would like it to be.