Report: Patriots sign Louisiana Tech quarterback J’Mar Smith
By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
It may not have come the way ‘everybody’ expected it to, but the New England Patriots added a third quarterback to the mix with the reporting signing of undrafted free agent J’Mar Smith, per the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
A starter since he was a redshirted sophomore in 2017, Smith concluded his collegiate career with the Bulldogs a 2019 campaign that featured 2,977 passing yards as well as a career-best 18 touchdowns and 270.6 passing yards per game. Smith also posted a 64 percent completion percentage, which was a seven percentage point increase from his 2018 campaign, and was his best mark in his three seasons as Louisiana Tech’s starter. Smith also rushed for at least 100 times for the second time in his NCAA career in 2019, and contributed 264 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
But trouble also found Smith in his final run in Ruston, as the 6-foot-1 quarterback was hit with a two-game suspension by the athletic department. The details behind the suspension were not revealed at all during Smith’s fifth-year senior year, and Smith himself has repeatedly declined to talk about them in various interviews this season.
Nevertheless, Smith’s suspension didn’t sour a college experience that ended with an Independence Bowl shutout victory over the University of Miami Hurricanes, and 51 touchdowns (fourth-most in program history) and 9,523 yards (third-most in program history) in four years with the Bulldogs.
Speaking with reporters on Saturday evening, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick would not confirm the signing of Smith, but noted that the Patriots had been in talks with Smith and that their third quarterback would be an undrafted free agent.
“We’ll announce them once we verify them and they’re done,” Belichick offered. “You can report them however you want to report them. [But] we talked to Jamar, no question, yes.”
If and when finalized, the Mississippi-born Smith will compete against veteran journeyman Brian Hoyer and second-year pro Jarrett Stidham for a spot on the New England depth chart.