Smith, 26, tore his ACL midway through the season last year after Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched by coach Todd Bowles. Rapoport recently sat down with Smith, who said he's five months into a six-to-eight month recovery process, but is on schedule to be a full participant in training camp. Smith passed a physical before signing with the Giants, Rapoport reported.
This is a regular part of the Giants' modus operandi during the spring, when they often bring in potentially high-upside backup quarterbacks to compete for the coveted No. 2 slot behind the unbreakable Eli Manning. A few years back, the Giants rustled up former Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman to push then-backup Ryan Nassib. Now, it is between Smith and Josh Johnson, who inked a two-year deal with the Giants on Friday.
Smith's road is still a tough one from here. With 30 starts under his belt, a high-profile locker room incident and a series of poor performances behind him, Smith might be considered an underdog to hang on with the Giants. He is coming off a significant knee injury and will have to rely on the knee being at near full strength for summer workouts with limited reps. His name had been bandied about on the quarterback carousel for quite some time this offseason.
So it goes for Smith, who has logged a career's worth of hardships in just a few short seasons. The Giants hope he was just getting it all out of the way first.