For a stretch, Geno Smith was the best quarterback the New York Jets had in 2016. Unfortunately for Smith, that stretch lasted fewer than two games. That small sample size was enough to convince the New York Giants to bring him into their fold. Smith signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Giants, the team announced Monday afternoon.
hink the opportunity to learn from (quarterbacks) coach (Frank) Cignetti, coach (Ben) McAdoo, and to be alongside Eli (Manning) and learn from him, a two-time Super Bowl champion and, in my opinion, a Hall of Fame quarterback,” Smith said. “I think it will work out tremendously for me.”
The Giants have Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP, lining up under center, so Smith will serve as a backup for the 36-year-old. Smith’s NFL career has been a struggle, plagued with injuries, turnovers, and a lack of big plays. But the change of scenery could help Smith, who is still just 26 years old.
The Jets selected Smith in the second round in 2013. He led them to an 8-8 record in his rookie year and threw for 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Smith looked like he was on the path to becoming a great quarterback, but his sophomore season came, and it all went down hill from there.
The Jets benched Smith in the middle of a 4-12 season in 2014. However, the young quarterback started the last game of the season, throwing for 358 yards and three touchdowns. He posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating as well.
In 2015, Smith was involved in a physical altercation with IK Enemkpali and missed the beginning of the season with a broken jaw. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was named the starter and went on to have a great season. Smith was officially the backup and didn't see the field until 2016.
Fitzpatrick was a turnover machine earlier last season. In Week 6 loss against the Arizona Cardinals, the Jets brought Smith off the bench, and he completed four out of six passes and an interception. Jets head coach Todd Bowles named Smith the starter before the team’s Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Smith only played 1.5 quarters before he went down with an ACL tear that ended his season and ultimately his stint with the Jets. The young signal caller finished the last season with 126 passing yards, one touchdown, and an interception.
It was evident that the Jets weren't going to re-sign Smith. They want to bolster that position by drafting a quarterback or signing one through free agency. As for the team on the other side of the Big Apple, the Giants will get a quarterback who can step in and play if Manning goes down with an injury.
Smith has thrown for 5,962 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 36 interceptions in his career. He is still young and can turn his career around, so learning behind one of the best quarterbacks of all time would help Smith out tremendously.