The New York Giants announced they had signed quarterback Rusty Smith on Monday. The signing made quarterback No. 5 on the Giants’ roster, alongside incumbent starter Eli Manning, Curtis Painter, Ryan Nassib and Josh Freeman.
Smith spent the first four seasons of his NFL career as a backup for the Tennessee Titans. He played sparingly, appearing in three games and starting one.
His signing was a bit befuddling, as the Giants rarely carry more than four quarterbacks into training camp. Soon after, however, it became clear as it was later announced Painter had undergone arthroscopic knee surgery last Friday and recovery would take approximately four weeks.
With only two active quarterbacks heading into minicamp in June, the Giants had no choice but to add Smith just for the sake of having another body at practice.
Smith’s signing should make for an exciting competition in training camp if he is still on the roster. Manning is the obvious starter—assuming he’s healthy and ready to go for the regular season—but the Giants usually only have one backup quarterback on the active roster. Smith, Painter, Nassib and Freeman will all be vying for that opportunity this summer.