On Tuesday, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith was sucker-punched by (now former teammate) linebacker IK Enemkpali. The punch broke Smith’s jaw and he will be sidelined for 6-10 weeks due to the injury.
So, what caused the punch heard around the NFL? Turns out, it was money. Boomer Esiason implied as much earlier today on Twitter.
Bottom line if you owe somebody money pay your debt. Don't be surprised if you get punched in the face if you don't.
— Boomer Esiason (@7BOOMERESIASON) August 11, 2015
Adam Schefter provided a much clearer account of what happened to cause the Jets’ latest misfortune later in the day. Apparently, IK Enemkpali purchased a $600 plane ticket so that Geno Smith could attend his youth football camp over the summer. He even publicized that Geno would show up (as evidenced by the flyer above). However, a “person close to Smith” died in a motorcycle accident in the days leading up to Enemkpali’s camp, so Smith never made it out to Enemkpali’s event. Smith reportedly told IK that he would pay him back for the ticket but he never got around to it. So, Enemkpali confronted Geno on Tuesday and the rest is shattered jaw history.
It would have been dumb enough if Enemkpali had thrown away his Jets career over $600. However, what needs to be highlighted is that Smith HAD planned on paying Enemkpali back. He just didn’t have the money on him at the time that IK approached him.
Again, per Schefter:
It’s not that Geno Smith didn’t pay back IK Enemkpali. He just didn’t do it yet. He intended to pay him back, per sources. Just not in time.
After he was released by the Jets, Enemkpali released the following statement:
“I apologize to the Jets organization, coaches, teammates and fans. Geno and I let our frustration get the best of us, but I should have just walked away from the situation. I deeply regret and apologize for my actions. It was never my intention to harm anyone. I appreciate the opportunity I had with the Jets.”