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Giants roster moves: Geno Smith signing official, CB Valentino Blake also added

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Giants lose Coty Sensabaugh to Pittsburgh Steelers

New York Jets v Arizona Cardinals
Geno Smith
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The New York Giants made the signing of former New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith official on Monday.

A 2013 second-round pick, Smith started in 29 games his first two seasons. He played in only three games with one start the last two seasons, and is currently still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in his only 2016 start.

“I think the opportunity to learn from (quarterbacks) coach (Frank) Cignetti, coach (Ben) McAdoo, and to be alongside Eli (Manning) and learn from him, a two-time Super Bowl champion and, in my opinion, a Hall of Fame quarterback,” Smith said in a statement released by the Giants. “I think it will work out tremendously for me. And it’s also an opportunity to be on a real good team, a winning team, get healthy – it’s just a perfect scenario for me. I couldn’t have written it up any better myself.”

Smith, 26, joins Josh Johnson as veteran backups for Eli Manning.

“I want to carry my notepad around and whatever I see Eli doing, whether it’s in the classroom, on the field or off the field, I want to write it down. Because he’s a guy you can model yourself after,” Smith said. “If you learn from a guy like that, we can all do a lot better.”

Playing in a stable environment and learning from an established quarterback with Super Bowl rings are opportunities Smith did not have with the Jets.

“Geno has a great, positive attitude, and he’s looking forward to learning and competing in our QB room,” general manager Jerry Reese said.

There is some question about when Smith’s surgically repaired knee will allow him to handle a full practice workload.

“Right now, it’s doing great,” Smith said of his knee. “We’re being cautious. But I’m at that stage where I’m feeling healthy enough that I can push it. But I have to be smart about it and not do anything that will cause me setbacks.

“I have tons of good football ahead,” he said. “The key is just staying healthy. If I can just stay healthy, the future is pretty bright. But I just look forward to this year and having an opportunity to get healthy and learn and become a better quarterback.”

Cornerback swap

Cornerback Coty Sensabaugh, who played in 10 games after joining the New York Giants last season, will join the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sensabaugh had signed with the Los Angeles Rams to replace Janoris Jenkins, who, of course, landed with the Giants. He lasted only three games with the Rams before being cut and signing with the Giants.

The Giants quickly replaced Sensabaugh on the roster by adding free agent cornerback Valentino Blake, who has played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans in a five-year career. Blake started all 16 games for the Steelers in 2015, then signed with Tennessee last season, starting just one game. The 5-foot-9, 198-pound Blake is considered a solid special teams player.

With Sensabaugh signing in Pittsburgh and Leon Hall and Trevin Wade unrestricted free agents the Giants needed the veteran cornerback depth.