clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Geno Smith will become the Giants’ first black starting quarterback in franchise history

New, comments

All 32 teams will have started a black quarterback in at least one game.

NFL: New York Giants at New England Patriots Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants announced Tuesday that Eli Manning would not be starting for the team in Week 13, instead turning the reigns over the Geno Smith. With Smith starting under center, the Giants are starting the franchise’s first black quarterback and becoming the final team in the NFL to do so.

Smith getting the nod now means that all 32 teams in the NFL will have started a black quarterback in at least one game. The Giants were the last remaining team after the Patriots started Jacoby Brissett in 2016.

Manning was initially offered to get a ceremonial start in Week 13 before being pulled for Smith but declined the offer — feeling it would tarnish his streak with the team by artificially lengthening it, rather than letting it end.

“My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them,” Manning said. “Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won’t finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak.

Smith has not started a game since 2016 with the Jets, where he was the team’s second-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft. He had a series of ups and downs, languishing in largely mediocre Jets’ offenses before being benched and leaving at the end of his rookie deal.

Starting Smith is a significant step for both the Giants and the NFL. Here’s the complete list of the first black starting quarterback for each team in the league.

First black starting QB for every NFL team

Year Name Team
Year Name Team
1968 Marlin Briscoe Broncos
1969 James Harris Bills
1973 Joe Gillam Steelers
1974 James Harris Rams
1975 J.J. Jones Jets
1976 Parnell Dickinson Buccaneers
1977 Dave Mays Browns
1977 James Harris Chargers
1979 Vince Evans Bears
1984 Warren Moon Oilers
1985 Randall Cunningham Eagles
1986 Reggie Collier Cowboys
1987 Vince Evans Raiders
1987 Doug Williams Washington
1989 Rodney Peete Lions
1994 Jeff Blake Bengals
1994 Warren Moon Vikings
1997 Warren Moon Seahawks
1999 Tony Banks Ravens
2000 Warren Moon Chiefs
2000 Jeff Blake Saints
2001 Michael Vick Falcons
2002 Rodney Peete Panthers
2002 Ray Lucas Dolphins
2002 David Garrard Jaguars
2003 Tony Banks Texans
2004 Shaun King Cardinals
2010 Troy Smith 49ers
2013 Seneca Wallace Packers
2015 Josh Freeman Colts
2016 Jacoby Brissett Patriots
2017 Geno Smith Giants