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#pounditSaturday, March 2, 2024

Cris Carter: Geno Smith got punched because he lacks leadership


Geno Smith is expected to be out for two or three months after a teammate broke his jaw with a sucker-punch in the locker room on Tuesday. New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles immediately released the attacker, linebacker I.K. Enemkpali, which would seem to indicate that Smith was not at fault.

Cris Carter isn’t so sure about that.

Shortly after the incident, Carter said on ESPN that Smith would not have gotten socked if he was more of a leader.

“Now, I don’t know what happened. But for me, it’s a lack of leadership on Geno Smith’s part that he would put himself in harm’s way to get sucker-punched,” Carter said. “You’re the president — like CEO — of the team. We can’t have you fighting. We’ve got a bunch of other fighters here and these young players are trying to make the team.”

While we still have no idea what happened between Smith and Enemkpali, it’s mind-blowing that Carter would blame Smith after Bowles labeled the attack from Enemkpali a “sucker-punch.”

“For me, from a leadership standpoint, if you look at the best quarterbacks in this league, they’re great leaders,” Carter continued. “They can say things to players to make them feel uncomfortable. You’ve got to establish yourself with those players before you get that respect. … When guys don’t respect you, you see the likelihood of something like this happening.”

Enemkpali broke Smith’s jaw — in the locker room, no less. This is nothing like the fight we saw between Cam Newton and one of his teammates earlier in the week, which took place on the actual field. Even if Smith put his finger in Enemkpali’s face like some reports have indicated, these aren’t high school kids. Surely there was a better way to settle the dispute.


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