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New York Giants sign former Jets wide receiver Jeff Smith

The Giants make a small move at receiver

Cleveland Browns v New York Jets
Jeff Smith
Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

The New York Giants added a wide receiver late Wednesday night, with NFL insider Tom Pelissero reporting that the team was signing former New York Jets wide receiver Jeff Smith.

This is far from a splashy move on the level of the signing of linebacker Bobby Okereke or the trade for tight end Darren Waller. Smith, a former undrafted free agent who turns 26 next month, had just 34 receptions in 36 career regular-season games with the Jets. He played in just 11 games last season, finishing the season on IR with a knee injury.

Smith has extensive experience on kickoff and punt coverage teams. The primary receivers currently part of the Giants’ roster — Isaiah Hodgins, Wan’Dale Robinson and Sterling Shepard — would be unlikely to play on special teams.

Could there be a bigger move coming for the Giants at wide receiver prior to the 2023 NFL Draft?

Darius Slayton, who led the Giants in receiving yards (724), explosive plays (12) and yards per catch (15.7) in 2022 remains a free agent. It remains unlikely that Slayton will be a Giant in 2023.

Richie James, who led the receivers with 57 receptions last season, also seems unlikely to be back.

So, who else might the Giants target? Here are three names that keep popping up.

Mecole Hardman

A second-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019, Hardman had 151 receptions in 57 regular-season games over four years. He has averaged 13.8 yards per catch and has 16 touchdowns. Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka obviously has familiarity with the 5-foot-10, 178-pound speedster.

D.J. Chark

A 2018 second-round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Chark has 177 career receptions. At 6-foot-4, 198 pounds, he would add some size on the outside for the Giants. He had 30 catches in 11 games for the Detroit Lions in 2022.

Cole Beasley

The Giants were reportedly interested in the 11-year veteran during the 2022 season, but Beasley chose to return to the Buffalo Bills. There has been plenty of speculation that they are once again interested in reuniting Beasley with Brian Daboll.

Beasley played in only four regular season and two playoff games in 2022. He played two games with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and four total with Buffalo.

Beasley, 5-foot-8, 174 pounds, will be 34 in 2023. He has 556 career receptions for 5,744 yards and 34 touchdowns.