The New York Giants signed Geno Smith to a one-year deal this offseason to serve as one of Eli Manning's backups. But the team also may have long-term plans for Smith, as head coach Bob McAdoo said Tuesday that he could be Manning's eventual successor, per Jordan Raanan and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com:
Speaking at the NFL owners meetings Tuesday, Giants coach Ben McAdoo said he still believes something substantial can come from the recent marriage.
"I can't see why not," McAdoo said when asked about Smith being the Giants' long-term replacement for Manning, before conceding they're a long way from that happening.
"I find it very exciting. A guy that has his skill set is hard to find," McAdoo added. "You can't find guys out there that have that type of arm strength, talent, throwing motion and feet to go with it. And he's a competitor. It's exciting to bring a guy and work with a guy like that. And you see where you can take him."
Smith, 26, must first win the backup job over veteran Josh Johnson. He'll have to shake off some rust, too, as he appeared in just three games over the past two seasons, throwing for 391 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He lost the New York Jets' starting job to Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2015, and a torn ACL last season ended his year in October after he was reinstated as the starter.
Ideally for the Giants, Smith won't see the field behind a healthy Manning. But Smith appears excited by the opportunity to learn from the veteran quarterback.
"This is definitely an opportunity for me to learn and to get better," he said upon signing with the team, per Giants.com. I want to carry my notepad around and whatever I see Eli doing, whether it's in the classroom, on the field or off the field, I want to write it down. Because he's a guy you can model yourself after. If you learn from a guy like that, we can all do a lot better."
With two Super Bowl rings and a number of playoff appearances under his belt, Manning should be an excellent mentor. And after a disappointing tenure with the Jets, Smith may not find many better opportunities than his current role with the Giants.
Should he take advantage of it, the Giants appear willing to give him a chance to be their next franchise quarterback.