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Former New York Jets, Giants QB Geno Smith signs one-year deal with Chargers

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The Sports Xchange
Former New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith drops back to pass in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders on November 1, 2015 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
Former New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith drops back to pass in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders on November 1, 2015 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

The Los Angeles Chargers reached an agreement with quarterback Geno Smith on a one-year contract Sunday.

The five-year veteran with 31 career starts for the New York Jets and New York Giants will compete for the backup job behind longtime starter Philip Rivers.

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Last season with the Giants, Smith made one start in a controversial move when Eli Manning was benched. In a 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders, Smith completed 21 of 34 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown but lost two fumbles before the Giants went back to Manning the following week.

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn is familiar with Smith, who was drafted in the second round in 2013 when Lynn was with the Jets.

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In two seasons as the Jets' starter, Smith went just 11-18 while throwing 36 interceptions and 25 touchdown passes before he was benched. Since then, he has started just two games in the past three seasons.

Also noteworthy during Smith's four overall seasons with the Jets was the broken jaw he suffered when teammate IK Enemkpali punched Smith in the locker room.

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With the Chargers, the 27-year-old Smith will be in contention with Cardale Jones to take the place of Kellen Clemens, who spent four years backing up Rivers.

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Rivers has started every game for the Chargers since 2006. Last season, Rivers connected on 62.6 percent of his passes for 4,515 yards with 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Smith's signing is one of the bigger moves for the Chargers so far in the offseason. Earlier, they acquired center Mike Pouncey and kicker Caleb Sturgis.

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