Mar 152023
Jeff Smith, New York Jets (September 18, 2022)

Jeff Smith – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have reportedly signed wide receiver Jeff Smith (New York Jets). Smith was not tendered as a potential restricted free agent by the Jets, thus making him an unrestricted free agent. As expected, the Giants also released wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who was not designated a post-June 1 cut, which would have created more immediate cap space but pushed dead money into 2024. His release did “save” $6.7 million against the 2023 salary cap, but also now counts $14.7 million in dead money against the cap.

The 25-year old, 6’1”, 195-pound Smith was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jets after the 2019 NFL Draft. In his four seasons with the Jets, Smith played in 36 regular-season games with seven starts, catching 34 passes for 426 yards an no touchdowns. Smith has served as a gunner on special teams.

Golladay will go down as one of the worst free agent signings in NFL history. The Giants signed Golladay as an unrestricted free agent from the Detroit Lions in March 2021 to a 4-year, $72 million contract. In his two seasons with New York, Golladay has played in 26 regular-season games with 18 starts, catching just 43 passes for 602 yards and one touchdown. He had only six catches for 81 yards in 2022, as mediocre receivers easily passed him on the depth chart. He also dropped four targets on the limited chances he did get.

The 6’4”, 214-pound Golladay was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Lions. Golladay broke out in 2018 and 2019, catching 135 passes for 2,253 yards and 16 touchdowns. Golladay missed 11 games in 2020 with hamstring and hip injuries. He finished with just 20 catches for 338 yards and two touchdowns in five games.