By Reid McEvoy
New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith has torn his ACL and will miss the entire 2017 NFL season. This is more unfortunate news for Smith, who was entering a season where he needed to prove his worth to the team.
It’s also tough news for the recovering Jets. Recovering as opposed to rebuilding due to the fact they went 10-6 in 2015, and then 5-11 this most recent season, which shocked all Jets fans, coaches and players, especially quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who thought he was a star and held-out in hopes of a nice pay day last offseason. Thankfully for the Jets, they only gave him a one-year deal and have since moved on.
For Smith, he was someone the Jets thought they could develop, and this upcoming season would have definitely been a telling year for his future with New York. Though Smith hasn’t been anywhere near a star player, he had potential to become one, as he was a former second-round draft pick.
But Smith has just 10 catches and one touchdown over two seasons. With the departure of receiver Brandon Marshall, Smith likely would have received plenty of opportunities to show his talent in training camp and into the season. But now with this latest injury, his future is cloudy. Meanwhile the Jets will have to rely more on receivers like Jalin Marshall and newly drafted wide-out ArDarius Stewart out of Alabama to fill the fourth receiver role.
Smith is currently in the third year of his rookie contract, meaning he will likely be healthy for his make-or-break contract year, and he will only have one touchdown to his credit when he does so. If he hopes to earn a deal to stay, he will definitely have to impress. But it’s fair to assume Smith’s future with the Jets is up in the air.