The New York Giants are expected to sign former New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith on Monday pending a physical, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rappaport. The former second-round pick tore his ACL midway through the 2016 season after Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched, and he is expected to be ready to go for the start of training camp.
Smith will compete for the backup role with Josh Johnson, who signed a two-year deal with the Giants this offseason, since Eli Manning has yet to miss a start in his career. Smith is most likely not the quarterback of the future for the Giants, but his signing does make some sense. He does bring experience to the table, unlike Johnson, and could be a serviceable replacement for Manning if he goes down with an injury this season. Smith obviously struggled mightily during his time with the Jets, but with better weapons on the outside and an overall better atmosphere and coaching staff to play with and under, it’s not unreasonable to believe that Smith could perform well Manning.
Overall, this deal makes sense; if Manning stays healthy and doesn’t miss a start, Smith gets paid for sitting on the bench. If he gets hurt, then Smith provides a better option than Josh Johnson or Ryan Nassib.
The market for a decent backup quarterback this offseason has been thin, and besides Jimmy Garoppolo, none have the makings to be a quality replacement for Manning.
Again, Smith is not the quarterback of the future, and the Giants are likely waiting to get that guy in next year’s quarterback-loaded draft class. However, he’s about as good as the Giants could afford to do this offseason, and with a solid system in place to succeed, Smith has hopefully put the worst of his career behind him and can stay healthy. Regardless, Giant fans sincerely hope that a situation will never come up where they have to see him play.