Rumors are in the air that teams around the NFL are inquiring about the availability of Geno Smith in a trade. No firm offers have been reported, just rumors of due diligence type phone calls. It is difficult to imagine any other team offering much more than a 7th round draft pick. Still, it is possible the Jets could trade Smith if any other team is interested.
If a trade is an option, that might impact Geno's availability for the final preseason game. At this point the coaches presumably already have a very good idea what Geno is and is not capable of. With Bryce Petty failing to take advantage of his opportunity in the Snoopy Bowl, it is likely Geno has already locked up the second quarterback spot. If the coaches feel differently and Petty is still in the running to be the backup quarterback, perhaps the final preseason game becomes a battle for the spot between Smith and Petty. However, if Smith has already won the backup position, is there any reason to play him in the final game?
Assuming Smith will be the backup, there is little to gain in playing him in the Scrub Bowl and plenty to lose. A major injury to Smith would not only put the backup position in the hands of Petty, whom the Jets under this scenario would not consider ready for NFL action, it would also destroy any trade value for Smith, in the event the Jets think Petty is ready and wish to move on from Smith.
If the Jets have already decided Smith is the backup, or if the Jets have already decided to move on from Smith, sitting Smith and letting Petty and Hackenberg play in the Scrub Bowl would seem the most prudent option. The only scenario in which playing Smith would seem to make sense would be if the backup role is still up for grabs.
Smith's playing time in the Scrub Bowl may tip the Jets' hand as to Smith's immediate future. A token appearance or no playing time at all might mean anything from Smith has already won the backup job to the Jets are looking to trade Smith to Smith has already lost the backup job and will soon be cut. On the other hand, if Smith sees extended action the backup job may well still be in play and Smith may be playing for the right to continue as a New York Jet. Or he might be playing as a final audition for his future NFL team, if any other team is interested.
What would you do? Would you play Geno Smith in the Scrub Bowl?