Ex-Giants WR heads down Turnpike to sign with Philadelphia Eagles
As if the Philadelphia Eagles hadn’t done enough in free agency to assemble the NFL’s version of the “Dream Team”, they added yet another key piece in former NY Giants wide receiver Steve Smith. To date the Eagles have traded for Pro Bowl corner Dominique Rodgers- Cromartie in addition to signing free agency’s biggest prize Nnamdi Asomugha, DE/DT Cullen Jenkins, DE/OLB Jason Babin, OT Ryan Harris, QB Vince Young, RB Ronnie Brown, and others. Just hours after meeting with the Giants, Smith accepted a one-year $4 million contract – with $2 million of if guaranteed. Part of what confused the matter was that Smith, 26, is coming off of surgery in December to repair articular cartilage damage in his left knee. Giants’ team officials did not expect him to be ready to be on the field until October at the earliest. While there would have been significant risk to re-sign Smith, the reward may have outweighed it. Smith had a record-setting Pro Bowl season in 2009 when he hauled in a franchise-record 107 passes, good for 1,220 yards. Just last week New York offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride called Smith the best inside wide receiver in the entire NFL. Not only is this yet another blow to a Giants roster who has now lost Smith, Kevin Boss (Oakland Raiders), Barry Cofield ( Washington Raiders), as well as the loss of Plaxico Burress to the New York Jets. Eli Manning will have his work cut out for him this season as his diminished receiving core ooooooonow features rising star Hakeem Nicks (who led the team in receiving last year), former Michigan Wolverine Mario Manningham, Devin Thomas (who is expected to miss time with a dislocated finger), Ramses Barden (who has yet to see the field in two seasons since being drafted due to a series of injuries), and last season’s preseason hero and Paterson-native Victor Cruz. The tight end position is of even more concern since the loss of Kevin Boss, as the Giants will look to Travis Beckum and Bear Pascoe to fill the void left behind.
For the Eagles, this move just brings them one step closer to a Super Bowl as they now have Michael Vick (A weapon with his arm and his feet) throwing the ball to DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Brent Celek, and Steve Smith.