Geno Smith signed on to be the backup -- or possibly even the third-stringer -- behind a quarterback who has started every game since Nov. 21, 2004. He likely will never see the field. It's possible he won't even be on the active roster.
Still, the ex-Jets starter said the Giants represented "a perfect scenario for me."
"I think the opportunity to learn from (quarterbacks) coach (Frank) Cignetti, coach (Ben) McAdoo, and to be alongside Eli (Manning) and learn from him, a two-time Super Bowl champion and, in my opinion, a Hall of Fame quarterback, I think it will work out tremendously for me," Smith said in a statement released by the Giants. "And it's also an opportunity to be on a real good team, a winning team, get healthy. It's just a perfect scenario for me. I couldn't have written it up any better myself."
Maybe that's true, or it's just a sign of how far the former second-round pick has fallen since he started for the Jets in 2013-14. A broken jaw from a locker room fight blew his chance to start again in 2015, and tarnished his reputation throughout the league. And then when he finally got his starting job back in the middle of last season, he tore his ACL.
Smith wants to be a starter and hoped to find a place that would give him that opportunity, but despite interest from the Chargers and Browns it appears the opportunity to compete for a job wasn't there.
The Jets had given some thought to bringing the 26-year-old Smith back to their camp, but he did not appear to be interested. And though Smith said his knee is "doing great," no one is sure if his knee will even be ready enough for him to play when training camp begins.
So when the Giants called, Smith jumped at the opportunity. For the Giants it's a low-risk opportunity to work with a talented player. For Smith, it's a chance to study and learn -- since he obviously knows there's almost no chance that he'll actually play.
"I'm not coming aboard expecting anything else," Smith said. "This is definitely an opportunity for me to learn and to get better. I want to carry my notepad around and whatever I see Eli doing, whether it's in the classroom, on the field or off the field, I want to write it down. Because he's a guy you can model yourself after. If you learn from a guy like that, we can all do a lot better."
"Geno has a great, positive attitude," Giants GM Jerry Reese added in the statement. "And he's looking forward to learning and competing in our QB room."
Smith spoke with SNY's Taylor Rooks this past Friday about the Giants and more...