It’s perhaps unsurprising that no other NFL club decided to take a chance on Smith, as he’s suffered two torn ACLs since entering the league as a second-round pick in 2015. He first injured his ligament during his rookie campaign, and then tore his ACL again during New York’s first team workout in 2017.
Any team that had acquired Smith via a waiver claim would’ve been responsible for his $1.236MM base salary for 2018. None of that figure is guaranteed, and the Jets still have Smith’s signing bonus proration on their books, but it probably wasn’t viewed as worthwhile for many teams to take on his salary, even if on a tryout-type basis.
Because he was not claimed, Smith is now a free agent and allowed to sign with any club. It’s unclear if any team will now be willing to give Smith an opportunity, but as of May, he still wasn’t practicing, a poor indication of his recovery (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com). Any new deal that Smith lands will surely be of the non-guaranteed variety.
Viewed as a deep threat coming out of Ohio State, Smith has only managed to appear in 14 games (three starts), and hasn’t played since 2016. In those 14 games, Smith posted 10 receptions for 135 yards and one touchdown.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.