Jets sign Matt Simms after tryout

Updated: May 6, 2012, 2:32 PM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

The New York Jets added another recognizable name to their quarterback depth chart, signing rookie Matt Simms -- son of former Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms -- to the roster Sunday after a three-day tryout in minicamp.

Simms joins a crowded position headed by starter Mark Sanchez and backup Tim Tebow, who will contribute immediately in a Wildcat-like role. The other quarterbacks are Greg McElroy and rookie G.J. Kinne, an undrafted free agent.

After a non-descript college career at Louisville and Tennessee, with a junior-college stop in between, Simms wasn't drafted and didn't receive any contract offers. He worked out before the draft for the New York Giants, his father's old team, but their interest was low.

Simms, who lives in Franklin Lakes, N.J. and starred at nearby Don Bosco Prep, accepted the Jets' invitation to audition as a non-roster player.

"With Simms, the thing that you're impressed with immediately is how he can throw the football," coach Rex Ryan said Saturday. "I mean, he definitely has a great arm. He can really spin it. The thing you don't see is, obviously, how he is against the rush and all that.

"I followed him. I knew he was at Tennessee. Kind of had ups and downs when he was there. But the kid has the arm talent. Obviously he's got the pedigree."

Phil Simms, now a CBS game analyst, is a Giants icon, having led the team to their first Super Bowl championship in 1986. His oldest son, Chris, was a third-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003, but he started only 16 games and lasted only five years in the league. He's currently an assistant coach for the New England Patriots.

Matt Simms said his father offered only three words of advice before the Jets tryout: "Don't mess up." Simms said he didn't approach the opportunity with any expectations.

"I just want to keep playing football, it's as simple as that," said Simms, who threw no touchdown passes and three interceptions in two starts last season for the Volunteers. "I just want to keep playing the game that I've been playing since I was a child."

The Jets will keep three quarterbacks, with McElroy -- a seventh-round pick in 2011 -- the No. 3. They haven't ruled out the possibility of keeping four.

In other roster moves, the Jets announced the signing of sixth-round safety Josh Bush of Wake Forest. They also signed offensive lineman Fredrick Koloto, an undrafted free agent from San Jose State, and waived center Kris O'Dowd.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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