Smith's absence comes just a day after he led the team to a victory in its final game of the season against the Miami Dolphins, and just hours after the Jets fired head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik. The team let Ryan go after the coach earned a 46-50 record over six seasons, including trips to the AFC championship game in his first two years.
Smith, in his second year in the league, finished Sunday's game 20-of-25 passing, throwing for 358 yards and three touchdowns. His quarterback rating was a perfect 158.3, despite a lost fumble early in the game that led to a Miami touchdown.
New York went into the Miami game last in passing offense and 27th in the league in total offense. Despite his, and the team's, poor play, Smith hoped to remain at quarterback and lead the team's improvement.
"I see myself being the quarterback here for a long time," Smith said last Wednesday. "I see myself helping this team turn things around. Obviously, I'm a part of the reason why we're in this position, so I'd love to be part of the solution."
Smith began the season as New York's starting quarterback, but was replaced several times during the year by backup Michael Vick. In 14 games this year, Smith completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 2,525 yards, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He was sacked 28 times.
Smith and Ryan led the Jets to a 4-12 record this year, finishing in last place in the AFC East.
- Christopher Woody