The Jets announced on Saturday that they had re-signed the speedy wideout after an injury-riddled 2020 campaign. Smith was scheduled to be a restricted free agent this offseason, but the Jets opted to re-sign him instead.
According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the contract is a one-year deal that is heavy on incentives, although the exact specifics are unclear at this time.
The Jets apparently didn’t want to give Smith the lowest RFA tender of $2.1 million, so the two sides agreed to a lower figure to keep him in New York.
What role could Vyncint Smith play with the NY Jets in 2021?
Smith was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and became the first product of Division-II Limestone College to play in an NFL game that same year.
The German-born Smith played in seven games in his rookie season hauling in five catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown came at a crucial time too, coming on a 35-yard bomb to give the Texans the lead with two minutes to play in their Week 16 meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Texans would lose that game and Smith would be waived the following summer, but it was a glorious moment and likely the highlight of his NFL career.
The Jets would sign Smith off the Texans’ practice squad in September of 2019 and he would go on to play in 13 games that year, making four starts. The 24-year-old hauled in 17 receptions for 225 yards filling in for various injuries at the position.
Many saw Smith as a potential breakout candidate going into the 2020 season, especially given the team’s lack of depth at the wide receiver position. Unfortunately, he suffered a core muscle injury toward the end of training camp that kept him sidelined.
The injury required surgery and he was subsequently placed on injured reserve prior to the start of the season. Smith would play in just seven games last season, only hauling in one catch for 13 yards.
It was a disappointing campaign from a player who many hoped would be a valuable depth receiver. Clearly, the Jets still have hopes that he could fill that role in 2021.
With 4.36 speed and at just 24-years-old, perhaps Vyncint Smith could finally break out in new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur’s system.
Fortunately, it seems as though he’s going to get the opportunity to do so.