The New York Giants have finally signed a free agent wide receiver after days of speculation. However, this signing may not be the big splash that fans were seeking. The Giants are signing former New York Jets WR Jeff Smith, per Tom Pelissero, a 25-year-old wideout that will likely play a role as a depth piece and see playing time on special teams.
Giants sign WR Jeff Smith
The Giants have been searching the market for wide receivers since the start of free agency. Despite pulling off a blockbuster trade for star tight end Darren Waller, New York still needs to get QB Daniel Jones a true receiving threat on the perimeter. However, Jeff Smith is not that guy for the Giants. Instead, Smith will add to New York’s depth in the receiver room, an overlooked need for Big Blue entering this offseason.
Smith will be 26 at the start of the 2023 season. The former Jets player and Boston College product has been in the NFL since 2019, playing in 36 games and making seven starts at wide receiver in his career.
In 2022, Smith was targeted 11 times, hauling in eight receptions for 134 yards. He has yet to score a touchdown in his career. Smith stands in at 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, and ran a blazing fast 4.34s 40-yard dash at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.
Smith’s speed gives him the ability to contribute as a gunner on special teams. He played 86 snaps on special teams last season for the Jets.
New York could lose two starting wide receivers from the 2022 season in free agency soon. Darius Slayton and Richie James are both unrestricted free agents that the Giants may or may not consider bringing back. In the meantime, signing Smith to a low-cost contract will benefit the Giants by replacing their depth that could soon be departing.
Jeff Smith was a special teams standout for the Jets and the Giants likely have a similar role in mind for him as he enters the fifth season of his NFL career. Smith will provide New York with depth on the back-end of their roster and a reliable gunner to contribute in the third phase of the game.