The Steelers signed Troy Smith back in January on a Futures contract. And if you are surprised at his early departure… well so am I quite frankly. But then again, the QB position has never really been a problem for the Steelers.
Smith was drafted back in 2007 by the Baltimore Ratbirds. A bad run of luck for Smith – Lemierrie’s Syndrome that sidelined him for a few weeks, the subsequent emergence of Joe Flacco, and then a head coach who couldn’t decide which Smith he wanted to lead his offense – signed his fate in the NFL as a rejected backup. Smith only spent three seasons with the Ravens and became part of a failed experiment of a two quarterback system that had him sharing snaps with Flacco. Flacco out shined Smith and took over as the starter. Smith was given a 5th round tender during his restricted free agency and was picked up nobody during that period. Two days after his release from Baltimore, he was picked up by the 49′ers. In San Fran, the crazier than shit Mike Singletary, couldn’t decide which Smith he wanted to start as his QB. The Bay Area wanted Alex Smith’s head on a pike for some time, which gave Troy an opportunity. He did well in those starts, but was eventually replaced by Alex only a few games later. Smith was released by the Niners at the end of the season. The irony in this half of the story – not one, but two Harbaugh’s released Troy Smith. Jimmy boy became head coach of the Niners after that dreadful Singletary led 2010 season and wanted to move the team in a different direction than having two Smiths.
Once again Smith became a backup to another team, but this time in the UFL. And once again, Smith was passed up for another QB when the Omaha Nighthawks decided to go with Jeremiah Masoli. Troy signed a futures contract with the Steelers very early on in the off season. His shortest stint yet, Smith lasted only through the OTA’s and mini-camps – a mere 5 months and 5 days.
It’s a pretty sad story for a kid who did have the athleticism to play QB in the NFL. Was it his past of breaking the ‘rules’ in college that always haunted him? Was it just poor circumstances/wrong place at the wrong time year in and year out? Did he have an attitude problem that left teams pondering was he actually worth the time and resources?
Whatever the reason, Troy Smith finds himself once again a long list of Heisman Trophy winners of the last 20 years who have gone bust in the NFL. This latest release from the Steelers must be a true back breaker. Here you have a team that has a grey hair and a guy who has more hospital bills than a WWE wrestler as their backup QB’s – a real chance of backing up and maybe even starting should Roethlisberger get injured and you can’t even make it through pickup drills? Eesh. I’ve never been a fan myself, and so I can’t say I’m sorry to see you go. Well, so long Troy Smith – maybe one day you’ll actually keep a ‘starting’ job for a while. Maybe it’s just not in football….
Everyone raise your Heisman’s and give a salute to Troy Smith.