Maybe there is a future in the NFL for the former second-round pick, believed by some to be worthy of the No. 1 selection in the 2013 NFL Draft at the time (he wasn't). Maybe there is an offense out there that suits his skill set and maybe there are some teammates who can lift him above this smog he's currently settled in.
On Sunday, Jets coach Todd Bowles wouldn't say if Smith was still his backup quarterback after a strong push from 2015 fourth-round pick Bryce Petty in last week's preseason game against the Redskins. Petty completed 16 of 26 passes for 242 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while Smith went 6 of 13 for 47 yards and a pick.
"Right now, they're all playing and we're trying to see who sorts out what," Bowles said, via NJ.com.
"To be clear, we have a plan on who we're going to play that we're not going to reveal," Bowles said.
Poor Smith. At this point, if the coaches are still making him "earn it" after he carried everyone through minicamp while they openly pined for Fitzpatrick during the holdout, he might be better off pulling a successful version of Sam Bradford's Philadelphia escape plan. For what it's worth, reporters on the scene Sunday had him taking more reps than Petty, and perhaps this is just an overreaction to a vague comment from a busy coach. Wherever Smith goes, he probably won't be guaranteed a backup job. He's a quarterback with a lifetime completion percentage below 60 and a negative touchdown-to-interception ratio (27-35). But maybe he goes to a place where someone has his back.
We're not blaming Bowles or the Jets for this. Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan did not draft Smith and loaded the depth chart with drafted quarterbacks they believe adequately fit the system. But in the NFL, we hear coaches and GMs talk about doing things in the best interest of the team and the player. If Smith isn't going to back up Fitzpatrick, keeping him on the roster is in neither party's interest.