The time could be running out for Geno Smith’s tenure with the New York Jets.
For past two weeks, we’ve heard reports of Geno Smith’s struggles in Jets training camp. The flaws that have marred his first three seasons in the NFL continue to plague him. Through two weeks of the NFL Preseason, Smith hasn’t lit up the stat sheet or the scoreboard. In two games, he is 14 of 27 passing for 138 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
In Friday night’s game against Washington, he stared down a receiver and telegraphed a pass that was intercepted. He had another mental error with an intentional grounding penalty.
Since Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return to the Jets roster, head coach Todd Bowles has said “Geno Smith is No. 2.”
After last night’s game, Bowles reiterated, “Geno Smith is No. 2.”
However, his statement after Friday’s game came with a slightly different tone. Why?
Former Baylor QB Bryce Petty, now in his second season, lit up Washington’s defensive backups in the second half to the tune of 242 yards passing and two touchdowns. He’s look sharp and inspired. And has been a leader.
He has been everything that Geno Smith should be. Honestly, Petty should have a chance to pass Smith on the depth chart. The Baylor product is earning his keep while Smith has struggled.
Now to the question posed at the top of this article: Is Geno Smith in danger of getting cut?
Through two weeks of the preseason, the answer is: it’s entirely possible.
You ask: if Petty does pass Smith on the depth chart, that would put Smith at No. 3, right?
The answer: not necessarily. The reason: 2016 second round pick Christian Hackenberg.
In back-to-back years, the Jets have invested high round draft picks on quarterbacks (Petty and Hackenberg). 34-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the long-term answer. It wasn’t the current Jets coaching and front-office regime who drafted Geno Smith. Former head coach Rex Ryan and former GM John Idzik are long gone.
Through two preseason games, the rookie Hackenberg has yet to step on the field. While the team is high on his future, we have yet to see him play. The team has hinted that they may keep four quarterbacks going into the Regular Season.
But what if they get down to the final cuts, there’s no room on the roster, and have to make a decision on keeping just three quarterbacks?
As NCAA basketball analyst Seth Davis would say, “You can go Sharpie” on Ryan Fitzpatrick. Barring injury, he’ll be the starter in Week 1. They’re not going to cut a second-round draft pick (Hackenberg) from this year. They’re just not.
Then it comes down to Petty and Smith, who is in the last year of his rookie contract.
Be honest: after the first two weeks of the preseason, and with what we know of Smith’s tenure with New York, who would you keep?