Smith was the choice over Michael Vick, ending a competition that never really was an open competition. Vick admitted as much throughout the spring, saying he expected Smith to get the job.
For Smith, their second-round pick in 2013, it's the first public acknowledgement that he's the permanent starter. He won the job by default as a rookie after Mark Sanchez suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last preseason, ending their competition.
Throughout the 2013 season, coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik played the semantics game, referring to Smith as their week-to-week starter, not the full-time quarterback. Not even a strong finish was enough to garner a public endorsement from the hierarchy.
The Jets signed Vick to a one-year, $4 million contract to push Smith, who remained the preferred choice - even if the organization never publicly identified him that way.
In training camp, Smith has taken about 80 percent of the first-team reps.
Smith hasn't been lights-out in the preseason, but his decision making and pocket presence have improved from his rookie year, when he was a turnover machine. He has completed 70 percent of his passes (23-for-33) for 268 yards, with one interception and one touchdown pass.
There hasn't been much suspense in the locker room, as players have been referring to Smith as the starter since minicamp.
His first official appearance as the starter was Friday night against the New York Giants. In last summer's preseason game against the Giants, Smith was dreadful, throwing three interceptions. He appeared headed to the bench, but Sanchez wrecked his shoulder in the fourth quarter.