The NY Giants moved on from veteran running back Rod Smith on Tuesday and brought on another vet to take his place on the practice squad.
Smith was originally signed by the NY Giants after a four-year stint with the Dallas Cowboys bur failed to make his mark in 2019 before not originally being retained this offseason.
Big Blue ended up bringing Smith back at the beginning of the 2020 season, adding him to the practice squad at the end of training camp.
The move was a curious one as the NY Giants had already let a promising young running back go late into camp, and Rod Smith has never shown himself to be a factor in the NFL with just 364 career rushing yards on a 3.6 yards-per-carry average over his five-year career.
Now, instead of bringing back that explosive young UDFA they previously cut in Javon Leake, Dave Gettleman has chosen to bring in another veteran running back in Alfred Morris. Although Morris is 31-years-old, he’s far more accomplished in the NFL than Smith and this move has to be looked at as a positive.
Morris started off his career with a bang in Washington in 2012, racking up a staggering 1,613 rushing yards and 13 TD’s as a rookie sixth-round draft pick en route to earning a spot on the second-team All-Pro squad.
The former Florida Atlantic ‘back parlayed that rookie year success into two more monster years that saw him surpass 1,000 yards again and 15 TD’s combined, earning Pro Bowl nods in both 2013 and 2014.
After picking the worst time to have the worst year of his young career, Morris was only able to land a two-year, $3.5M deal with the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.
Smith and Morris actually played together for two years in Dallas in 2016 and 2017 with Morris beating Smith out for the #2 job behind Ezekiel Elliott, as Morris outrushed him by a total of 790 rushing yards to just 232 for Smith.
Morris also set career highs in rushing average in 2017 with an impressive 4.8 yards-per-attempt. He went on to have another productive season as a backup with the 49ers in 2018, picking up 428 yards.
It should be as clear as day to anyone that Morris has been and is a much-more productive NFL running back than Rod Smith up to this point.
Can Alfred Morris be the jumpstart the NY Giants’ running game needs?
At 31-years-old, it’s unlikely that Alfred Morris will make much of a difference for the 2020 NY Giants. Still, again, I’d much rather have him on the practice squad if Devonta Freeman, Wayne Gallman, or Dion Lewis go down with an injury.
Morris has proven to be an effective between the tackles runner which is something the NY Giants are severely lacking at the moment as the rushing unit ranks dead last in rushing yards and yards-per-attempt.
Should there be an injury, Morris should be a capable fill-in. The same could not have been said for Rod Smith.
So while this can’t be considering an earth-shattering move by any means, the NY Giants improved their roster today at a dire position of need and that has to be looked at as a good thing.