Geno Smith has now entered the well-traveled backup stage of his NFL career.
The Seattle Seahawks are reportedly signing the quarterback, per ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan, to compete for the backup job behind Russell Wilson. Smith will now be on his fourth team in as many seasons after starting his career with the New York Jets.
The contract figures of the one-year deal have yet to be reported.
Smith, 28, appeared in five games for the Los Angeles Chargers last season, completing 1-of-4 passes for 8 yards and rushing eight times for 2 yards. In 40 career games (31 starts) for the Jets, New York Giants and Chargers, Smith has completed 523-of-906 passes (57.7 percent) for 6,182 yards, 29 TDs and 36 INTs.
The majority of the games Smith started were in his first two seasons with the Jets. After earning the Week 1 starting job as a rookie in 2013, Smith had a 25-34 TD-INT ratio over his first two seasons and lost the gig to Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2015.
Smith was the 39th overall selection (second round) in the 2013 NFL draft.
Hard for Geno Smith to get on the field
Smith has started only two games since the 2014 season and has only been able to land work behind some of the NFL’s most dependable starters, and that won’t end with this newest job.
Wilson has started 112 consecutive games — every game of his NFL career — but has taken a lot of hits over the past few seasons. Smith now will battle with former first-round bust Paxton for the job of backing up Wilson. The Seahawks signed Lynch to a one-year, reserves/future deal back in January.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Geno Smith throws pass against the Seattle Seahawks during an NFL preseason game in 2018. (AP Photo)
Smith spent a year backing up Eli Manning with the Giants and actually is the answer to a future great trivia question: Which quarterback ended Manning’s 210-start consecutive streak in 2017? The Giants benched Manning, started Smith for one game against the Oakland Raiders at the end of that season and then went back to Manning the following week.
Smith also had to sit and watch more than anything behind Philip Rivers in 2018. Rivers now has started 209 consecutive games, the longest of any active quarterback.
Seahawks’ revolving backup QB role
The Seahawks have opted to bring in a rotating cast of passers since passing on the chance to sign Colin Kaepernick following his free-agent visit in 2017. After releasing Trevone Boykin and Austin Davis, they traded for Brett Hundley last year. Hundley left for the Arizona Cardinals via free agency this offseason.
Smith was considered an option in Seattle last year before joining the Chargers. His job will be to beat out Lynch for the No. 2 spot and be ready in case Wilson misses his first game since entering the NFL in 2012.
They once met in a college game in 2010, with Wilson’s North Carolina State team getting the better of Smith’s West Virginia club by a score of 23-7 in the Champs Sports Bowl. Wilson was the better passer on that day, and he clearly has been the better NFL player despite Smith being drafted a full round higher the year after Wilson entered the league. Although their styles vary, both are athletic throwers with nice deep touch who can use their scrambling ability to gain advantages.
Wilson has just taken that ability to a new level. And a month ago, he signed a $140 million contract extension that keeps him in Seattle for the long haul. So the only shot Smith has of reviving his career is hoping for a good performance in relief and then parlaying that into a deal elsewhere in 2020.
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