Saying Geno Smith, the New York Jets quarterback (not for long, probably) is the unluckiest person alive would be a stretch: He was a college football star and landed an NFL contract. But in the last two seasons, things just can’t seem to go his way.
The most recent turn for the worse has been Smith tearing his ACL just as he made his first start for the Jets since 2014. The 4th-year quarterback, a first round pick out of West Virginia, won the starting QB job back from Ryan Fitzpatrick due to the Jets and Fitzpatrick’s poor start, but Smith taking a hit and falling badly resulted in a knee injury that put Fitzpatrick back in the game. This time, he didn’t throw any interceptions, played angry (according to him) and the Jets won for the first time since week 2.
Smith actually played well during his short time on the field, throwing a touchdown pass. Smith was headed into his third year as a starter for the Jets (29 starts and 30 games in his first two seasons in the NFL), hoping to finally show some progress. But an argument about money with former teammate IK Enemkpali led to Enemkpali punching Smith in the face, which fractured his jaw and took him out for the first two months of the season.
Fitzpatrick, brought in to be Smith’s backup, took over the job, and produced his best season in the NFL. It didn’t lead the Jets into the playoffs (blew it on the final day of the season), but it seemed to set them up nicely for Todd Bowles second season (turned out it didn’t). Smith, all of a sudden, had to fight with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg for the backup role, and never hid his frustration with being relegated to the backup quarterback role.
At this point, it doesn’t matter. Smith won’t play again this season, and he’s a free agent at the end of this season, putting him in a difficult spot. The Jets are unlikely to keep him, and then it’s off to try and impress the rest of the teams in the NFL coming from an underdog, borderline backup position, not to mention the injury he needs to get over. Who knows, maybe he won’t play another NFL game again. Overall, Smith has 30 starts out of 33 appearances, completing 57.9% of his passes, throwing 28 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.