So, when he picked up the phone and the New York Jets offered him a tryout, he jumped at the chance. Then, he had to explain it to all of his cringing buddies.
"My good friend growing up who I played high school football with was a die-hard Giants fan and he was very upset for a moment," the youngest son of former Giants star quarterback Phil Simms said with a smile. "I told him to look past that and now he finally supports me."
After stints playing quarterback at Louisville, El Camino College and finally the University of Tennessee, Simms was at Jets rookie minicamp last weekend unsure what the next stop in his football journey will be.
At least he has an idea for the summer after the Jets signed Simms as an undrafted free agent.
"Obviously, I'm just super excited to be here and it being a hometown team, especially, makes it that much more special," said Simms, from nearby Franklin Lakes, N.J. "It's a little strange for a lot of my friends since it is the Jets, but I told them that it doesn't matter."
While they kept a relatively low profile during the first two days of rookie camp, it was hard to miss Simms. From the blond hair to the zip on his passes, he resembles his father as well as his older brother Chris, a former NFL quarterback now coaching with the New England Patriots.
"The thing that you're impressed with immediately is how he can throw the football," Jets coach Rex Ryan said Saturday. "I mean, he definitely has a great arm. He can really spin it. ... Obviously, he's got the pedigree."
Simms went to Louisville on a scholarship and saw limited action as a freshman, appearing in just two games. He left the Cardinals after one season and headed to El Camino in Southern California, where he led the team to a league title and threw for 2,204 yards and 17 touchdowns.
His next stop was UT, where he started eight games as a junior but just two as a senior.
"This game, in general, is going to take you for a loop every now and then," Simms said. "You're going to go through a lot of different things and it's going to be hard to adjust to different scenarios. I am fortunate that I did have my brother and my father. They have tremendous knowledge of the game and they're a great support system. Their help has really guided me through this process, even though it has been difficult at times."
He worked out for the Giants before the draft and threw to Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, but didn't think he'd get an opportunity with the team his father helped win a Super Bowl. So, Simms went undrafted and then unsigned, receiving a chance to try out for the Jets with no guarantees.
His chances of catching on with the Jets are slim, considering they've already got Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy on the roster, and they signed former Tulsa star G.J. Kinne as an undrafted free agent. That doesn't faze Simms.
"It's just survival, and see what happens," he said. "I just want to keep playing the game I've been playing since I was a kid, and wherever that is, I would love to do it."