New York Jets: It’s time to embrace Geno Smith

Nov 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to throw a pass against the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to throw a pass against the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

The New York Jets made a very wise decision in drafting quarterback Christian Hackenberg for the future but at this point in time, will have to once again embrace Geno Smith.

As the Jets made a bold decision in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft in drafting quarterback Christian Hackenberg, it puts a major spotlight on their entire quarterback situation. At this point in time, the Jets have Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Hackenberg on the depth chart at the most important position on the team.

Related Story: Geno Smith vs Christian Hackenberg

Make no mistake about it, if quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick does not return to the Jets next season, Smith would give the Jets the best shot to win plenty of football games next season. Truth of the matter is that the Jets are investing in their future by continuing to draft quarterbacks until they find one worthy of taking this franchise to new heights.

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Nov 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) warms up prior to a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Petty still is another year away and Hackenberg right off the bat is a developmental player that won’t be ready either for at least a few more years. Fitzpatrick has publicly stated that he would rather not play in 2016 than accept the Jets “low offer” when it comes to their contract negotiations.

Fitzpatrick might have broken records for the Jets last season but at the end of the day, it wasn’t him more so than the system built around him. With the kind of offensive weapons and defense the Jets launched last season, any quarterback in that situation would have thrived.

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If Smith never had that incident this past summer where he got his jaw broken at the hands of a teammate over a financial dispute, there is no telling if he would have had similar or even exceeded everything Fitzpatrick did last season.

Smith is younger, has a better arm and excels in a spread offensive.

It’s a mystery that the football world would never know but should be something to embrace this time around.

Perhaps Smith’s incident was a blessing in disguise. It’s no secret that his first few years with the Jets were terrible but perhaps it was due to a lack of supporting cast around him and bad coaching.

Under this new leadership regime of the Jets, they’ve turned a 4-12 team of 2014 into a 10-5 contending team that almost made it to the NFL Playoffs. The Jets have a very tight situation when it comes to their salary cap as it’s expected they will stick with Smith under center and give him one final chance to deliver. This time around, with much better talent around him.

The quarterback position is very important but the Jets are built to win now. Their strengths next season won’t be coming from their quarterback play but from their potent rushing attack and stout defense. They just need someone who can manage the clock and execute plays consistently, both of which Smith should be able to do.

It’s been well-documented on The Jet Press and even in my own writing that many have been critical when it comes to Smith and whether or not he possesses the maturity to handle being “the guy” yet again in his short NFL career so far. For the overall benefit of the team, Smith should be embraced and supported as he continues to work hard in hopes of erasing the past and focusing on a new chapter of his career.

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Perhaps the year away from the spotlight helped him see things in a different perspective. If he can deliver at a time when the Jets desperately need consistency and execution from the quarterback position, he can very well be the franchise quarterback they envisioned him to be just a few years ago. Personally, I’m giving him a clean slate and willing to embrace him with a positive outlook if he’s deemed the next starting quarterback of the Jets for 2016.

Here’s to proving all the doubters of the past, myself included, wrong once and for all.