Geno Smith is set to become a free agent after four strange years with the Jets.
The West Virginia product was brought in to be the team’s starter, which he was in his rookie season. Things didn’t go well in his first year, however, as Smith threw just 12 touchdowns to 21 interceptions. He improved slightly in his sophomore campaign, but injuries have rocked his last two seasons.
His latest injury shouldn’t worry teams as Smith told NFL Network he’ll be a “full-go” by the time training camp starts. But what kind of quarterback will that team be getting?
“Now, you have teams like Buffalo, who have three African-American quarterbacks on their roster at the same time, and a couple of other teams, but when you’re talking about 32 teams and about the number of starting African-American quarterbacks in this league, and all of the guys who could have developed if given the opportunity, those are the things I think we miss on. It’s not the guys who are starting, because if you can come in here and play, nobody is going to deny you anyway. But you’ve got guys who stay in this league for 90 years and don’t even play.”
Williams’ concerns are similar to what’s happening with assistant coaches. An ESPN study published before the last season found that 80 of the league’s 85 offensive coordinators, quarterbacks coaches and offensive quality control coaches were white, while 23 of 32 defensive coordinators were white.
Many head coaches are discovered this way, which leads to fewer head coaches of color. Or in Williams’ argument, since fewer black quarterbacks are being developed, it leads to fewer black quarterbacks remaining in the league for long periods of time, or at least compared to their white counterparts.