Geno Smith will be the latest former Jet hoping the grass is greener on the other side of town.
Smith will leave the New York Jets to sign with the crosstown rival New York Giants, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jordan Raanan.
Oddly enough, Smith’s disappointing career started abruptly in part because of the Giants. The 2013 second-round pick was thrown into action — probably prematurely — during his rookie season after Rex Ryan’s infamous decision to keep starter Mark Sanchez in the game in the fourth quarter of the annual Snoopy Bowl showdown with the Giants. Sanchez was crushed by Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin and was lost for the season with a shoulder injury.
Smith went 8-8 as the starter, throwing for 3,046 yards, 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions that season. All hope the following season fizzled out quickly, as he went 3-10 and threw 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
The 2015 season was supposed to be Smith’s final chance to prove whether he was a respectable starting quarterback. But that ended even more suddenly than his rookie season began. Smith was sucker-punched by IK Enemkpali, broke his jaw and lost his job to Ryan Fitzpatrick, who led the Jets to a 10-6 season.
Smith got another chance to redeem himself last season, but that didn’t last very long either. The West Virginia product tore his ACL in his one and only start in relief of the lousy Fitzpatrick. That would be the last game he ever played in a Jets uniform.
Smith finished his Jets career with 5,962 yards, 28 touchdowns and 36 interceptions and a 12-18 record in 30 starts. He never lived up to his second-round billing and rarely showed signs of being a competent starter.
Smith will join Damon Harrison and Brandon Marshall as former Jets who have joined the Giants the past two offseasons. Smith won’t have nearly as prominent a role as his latter two teammates, as he will serve as Eli Manning’s backup.
This marks the end of the Geno Smith era with the New York Jets, but not in New York.