The group of former Jets defecting to the Giants could soon include a quarterback.
Geno Smith visited Big Blue Saturday, according to a source, and they reportedly went to dinner Saturday night.
Smith is a free agent after a rough four-year stint with the Jets that included an infamous punch to the face from IK Enemkpali in 2015 that cost the young starting quarterback his job. Smith is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in October of last year.
Smith would be a solid backup — injury aside — so it’s somewhat surprising to see him considering a team that has such a stable and durable starting quarterback like the Giants have in Eli Manning. Some figured that Smith could even return to the Jets, despite his sticky history there, because he could have the opportunity to start with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg being the only quarterbacks on the roster at the moment. The Giants need a backup quarterback with both Ryan Nassib and Josh Johnson free agents.
Smith, 26, would join Damon Harrison and Brandon Marshall as former members of Gang Green now wearing blue. Marshall, who briefly lived with Smith when the receiver first became a Jet, was a big advocate for the young quarterback prior to Smith losing the starting job. After a high-profile fallout of the first round of the 2013 draft, Smith was selected by former Jets GM John Idzik with the 39th overall selection. Though he ultimately had a rocky tenure with Gang Green, Smith’s career started out well as he became the Week 1 starter when Mark Sanchez was injured in the Jets’ preseason game against the Giants. Smith led the Jets to a come-from-behind victory over the Bucs in his debut, starting an up-and-down first season in which he flashed promise but put up poor numbers. Smith, leading the Jets to an 8-8 record that year, posted a passer rating of just 66.5 his rookie season.
After that rookie campaign, Smith was involved in his first off-field incident when he was thrown off of a Virgin America flight out of LAX for refusing to get off his cell phone. In 2014, Smith improved but the team was a disaster, finishing 4-12. Following a Week 4 loss to the Lions, Smith was caught on camera yelling “F— you” at a fan as he walked off the field. Smith apologized for cursing soon thereafter at his post-game press conference.
Ahead of a game in San Diego the very next week, Smith missed team meetings the night before the game. Smith said he was at the movies and mixed up the time difference in California. The Jets were blown out by the Chargers, 31-0, and Smith was benched at halftime. A few weeks later he was fully benched, as Michael Vick was named the starter, though a couple weeks after that Smith reclaimed the starting job. Smith threw 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions that season.
Though the Jets traded for Ryan Fitzpatrick ahead of the 2015 season, Smith entered camp as the presumptive starter. However, as a result of a disagreement over a $600 debt, then-Jets defensive end Enemkpali decked Smith in the face, breaking the quarterback’s jaw. Though Smith was the one who was punched, teammates and head coach Todd Bowles did not absolve Smith for his role in the incident. Fitzpatrick took over and played well.
Smith was again the theoretical starter during the Gang Green’s prolonged negotiations with Fitzpatrick last offseason, but when the bearded veteran returned he took back his starting job, pushing Smith back into the backup role. When Fitzpatrick faltered, Smith was named the starter in October, but he tore his ACL in his first game back in the role.
Published at Sun, 12 Mar 2017 05:58:55 +0000