The New York Jets have solidified depth at the wide receiver position by bringing back veteran Jeff Smith.
In the end, the team chose to tender him, which usually comes with a minimum salary based on NFL experience. ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported the news Wednesday morning.
The #Jets are bringing back WR Jeff Smith (exclusive rights free agent), per source.
Fun fact on Smith: He was the fastest player on the team last season. Hit a max speed of 21.93 mph, per @NextGenStats
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 17, 2021
Smith, 23, has spent the first two seasons of his career with the Jets after going undrafted out of Boston College.
In 2020, Smith caught 17 balls for 167 yards. The team had a plethora of injuries at the position, forcing Smith to start four contests. At the very least, the former quarterback showed there’s at least some potential there.
His 2020 debut against the Denver Broncos was also his best game of the season. Many will remember that game for Sam Darnold‘s huge touchdown run, but Smith played very well also. He turned nine targets into seven catches for 81 yards.
He wouldn’t surpass those numbers for the remainder of the season (though he had 11 targets the very next game against Arizona), but that was enough to show the New York Jets front office that there was enough potential to bring the kid back in 2021.
Jeff Smith is a good depth signing. His presence will make for good competition at the position during training camp this year.
The wide receiver position itself has been bereft of talent for years, so the hope is that he can find his way onto the 53-man roster to start the 2021 season.