Former Jets quarterback Geno Smith may not have to travel far to find his next NFL job. Smith reportedly visited with the New York Giants on Saturday to be brought in as a backup to Eli Manning, according to the New York Post.
The 26-year-old has spent the past four seasons with the Jets, who selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Smith has a 57.9 percent completion percentage, as well as 28 touchdowns and 36 interceptions during his career.
Smith started 30 games for New York during that span, but lost his starting role to Ryan Fitzpatrick after suffering a broken jaw during a fight over an unpaid debt with former teammate Ik Enemkpali in August 2015.
Smith reclaimed the starting role for one game in 2016, however, tore the ACL in his right knee during the second quarter of New York’s win over the Baltimore Ravens in October. He has since focused on recovering from the injury, which has been a crucial factor in whether teams have interest during his free agency.
In February, Smith told NFL Network that he expected to be fully recovered by training camp.
“I’m about five months in heading into month six,” Smith said.
“I should be on schedule to be a full-go during camp when that comes around. And I’m good with that. Maybe not do as much in organized team activities as far as on-field stuff, but we’ll see how it goes.”
The Giants have been exploring options for Manning’s backup since Ryan Nassib became a free agent. With a lack of options, an injured Smith could be the best option, especially with Manning potentially facing free agency within the next two seasons.
Smith told NFL Network that although he hopes to be a starter, he would consider taking a backup role as well.
“I’m open to [being a backup],” Smith said.
“That’s not my goal. … I was brought into this league, I was brought to the Jets, to be a certain caliber of player, and being injured for two years has kind of taken that away from me. My mistakes were shown on the field my first two years, then me getting better has kind of been behind the scenes.”
“The next time I step on the field it will be what people expect. People want to see you get better. They want to see you move past your mistakes. I’ve done that. I’ve just done it behind the scenes.”
Smith would be the second former Jet to sign with the fellow Metlife Stadium tenant Giants if a deal takes place. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall joined the team earlier this week after two seasons with the Jets.
— Brandon Marshall (@BMarshall) March 8, 2017
Marshall, who appears as a weekly analyst on Inside the NFL, which films in New York, told the Rich Eisen Show the Giants’ stability at quarterback was far more enticing than the Jets’ uncertainty. He also sounded off on the Jets’ rumored interest in former Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears teammate Jay Cutler.
The receiver said reuniting with Cutler “wouldn’t have been comfortable” given their strained relationship stemming from his departure from Chicago. However, Marshall said the quarterback would be the perfect fit for the New York market if the Jets did decide to bring him in.
“He has the perfect personality for it,” Marshall said.
“He couldn’t care less what anybody says. He’s going to do things the way he wants to do things. He knows who he is and he’s comfortable with that. I think it’s the guys who struggle with their personality and their identity who can really lose themselves in that New York market, so I really think he has the perfect personality.”
He didn’t, however, mention whether he’d be interested in reuniting with Smith.
[Featured Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images]