The New York Jets have owned the headlines this week and once again it’s for all the wrong reasons. Quarterback Geno Smith was “sucker-punched” by sixth round pick IK Enemkpail in the locker room Tuesday over a financial dispute. The Jets released a statement saying that Smith would be out 6-10 weeks and that they released Enemkpail.
The Jets making headlines is nothing new, but this incident being considered as “breaking news” all over social media and sports talk shows is a bit of a stretch.
First off, Smith isn’t a good quarterback. Last season he had the lowest QBR in the league and won only 4 games. In his first two seasons as the starter for the Jets, he’s thrown for 5,571 yards, 25 TD’s to 34 INTS, and has completed a paltry 57.5% of his passes. Those stats are pathetic and are numbers most would expect to see from a second or third stringer, not a starter.
Secondly, there was no guarantee that Smith was even going to be the starter heading into the season. The fans sure as hell didn’t want him to be; they’ve been booing him since training camp started. Let’s face it, you have to be pretty awful for the fans to boo you in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
If this incident happened at any other team’s training camp, would it really be considered “breaking news”? No, it wouldn’t. It’s making headlines because once again, the Jets are proving to be one of the most dysfunctional franchises in the NFL. While other teams’ front office personnel are looking to make moves and draft players that will help their franchise succeed, the Jets front office are always looking to find ways to make headlines (hence the drafting of Geno Smith). The Jets as a franchise are an abomination and I truly feel bad for their fans; once again their season has ended before it even began.
As dumb as it was for Enemkpail to punch Smith in face, I think this entire incident is more damning to Smith’s reputation then Enemkpail’s. It says a lot about Smith’s leadership and standing in the locker room for a sixth round pick (who was on the verge of not making the roster before the incident) to feel comfortable enough to punch him in the face. It says even more that none of his teammates came to his defense. He shouldn’t be the starting quarterback and sure as hell shouldn’t be considered a franchise quarterback. If he was truly “the franchise” he wouldn’t have put himself in the position to get KO’d by a teammate.
Believe it or not, this episode could end up being a blessing in disguise for the Jets. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I believe that the team would benefit greatly with Fitzpatrick as the starter over Smith. Fitzpatrick’s a veteran with limited success however; he’s always gained the respect of the locker room with every team he’s played for. With Smith behind center the Jets never had a shot to make the playoffs; Fitzpatrick will at least give them a fighting chance.