Esiason tweeted that the incident had something to do with a disagreement over money.
His tweet turned out to be prophetic. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported via Facebook the fight occurred over $600 that Smith owed Enemkpali after the linebacker granted a plane ticket to his former teammate:
At the heart of the dispute between former Jets LB IK Enemkpali and quarterback Geno Smith is $600 that Enemkpali believed Smith owed him, per league sources. Enemkpali purchased a plane ticket for Smith to attend his July 11 football camp at Pfugerville High School in Pfugerville, Texas. However, days before the camp, a person close to Smith was killed in a motorcycle accident in Miami and Smith did not attend Enemkpali’s camp, per sources. After Smith did not attend, Enemkpali demanded that the Jets’ quarterback refund him the $600 he allegedly used to purchase a plane ticket. Smith told Enemkpali he would reimburse him the money, but he did not. Enkempali confronted Smith today about the money and the confrontation ended in a punch and broken jaw.
A couple of takeaways on this:
- That kind of money isn’t a lot of money to Geno Smith but to a rookie linebacker? That’s a lot of money.
- RULE OF MAN: Don’t leave a guy hanging on debts.
We may never know specifics about what was said but it all comes down to respect. That amount of money isn’t the end of the world. However, it’s clear that Enemkpali felt disrespected and acted accordingly.
A tenor of disrespect has landed Smith on the shelf for 6 to 10 weeks as a result.