Steve Smith Giants Rumors: 5 Candidates to Step Up Big in His Place
Still unsigned, Steve Smith is seeking a new contract.
It is unclear as to why the Giants have not re-signed him, it might be time for Giants fans to begin searching for new options to replace the 2009 Pro-Bowler.
Everyone has their favorite player. Everyone has Steve Smith's replacement in the back of their minds. So we will let the debating begin. I'm sure I'll be hearing from a few of you out there about these choices. So, sit back, relax and enjoy because kickoff is around the corner.
Here are my five options to replace Smith.
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This one is a long shot.
But if the New York Giants are looking for a major splash during this year's free agency period to have Giants fans excited about this season, go get Randy Moss out of retirement.
Call me crazy, or insane, but if general manager Jerry Reese wants another playmaker to be added to the roster, if they're unable to re-sign Steve Smith, Moss is the guy.
We all know about his character issues and his in-game antics.
We all thought Plaxico Burress didn't fit the moral standards of the New York Giants, or that the Randy Moss experiment wasn't going to work in New England, but if Patriots coach Bill Belichick can control 'The Freak," head coach Tom Coughlin can too.
An all-time great, Moss, who still has a few more good years at the age of 34, played for four teams over 13 seasons. Twice playing for the Minnesota Vikings and playing for three teams last season. Overall, he has caught 954 passes for 14,858 yards and 153 touchdowns.
Do me a favor and don't think the last time you ever saw Moss play was as a member of the Tennessee Titans. In the 2010 season he set career lows in receptions (28) and receiving yards (393).
Moss is as enigmatic and puzzling as they come, so don't be surprised when he's playing for an NFL team this fall.
There is no reason it can't be big blue.
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Coming off a season, where he posted a career best 5.7 yards after-the-catch, since his rookie season, Braylon Edwards is still one of the few big names remaining on the free agent market.
Despite the rumors surrounding Edwards that he's heading to the West Coast to play for the Arizona Cardinals, Edwards already knows what it's like to play in the Big Apple.
Spending the last two seasons with the New York Jets, Edwards can be the perfect complement to Hakeem Nicks, who has been nothing short of a superstar since being drafted out of North Carolina two years ago. With Nicks superior route running and Edwards' ability to become a deep threat, they could form arguably the most talented wide receiver combination in the NFL.
There was never any truth to the trade that would have sent Edwards to the Giants a few years ago, when Edwards was almost called upon to replace Plaxico Burress, but it's never too late, to turn the Edwards into a Giants player.
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Let's not forget what happened the last time a 6'5" wide receiver was playing for the New York Giants.
February 3, 2008 ring a bell?
Hakeem Nicks and Co.
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After having the 15th worst ratio of drops to catch-able passes in the NFL, missing six of 54 catch-able balls, dropping 11.11 percent of passes judged catch-able, Steve Smith will still be missed if the Giants opt to go in a different direction.
With the way the Giants' offseason has gone thus far, don't expect general manager Jerry Reese to make any significant moves to the offense, leaving the current wide receivers to step up in Smith's absence.
Hakeem Nicks was emerging as a top notch receiver, catching 79 passes for 1,052 yards and 11 touchdowns in 13 games before he got injured. Mario Manningham, had 60 catches for 944 yards and nine touchdowns, while leading the team with 15.7 yards per catch. He has already started to emerge as the teams number two wide receiver. Ramses Barden, who was called out by Jerry Reese, should start playing like the fourth-round pick they expected when they drafted him.
Then there is always the hidden gem of last year's preseason, Victor Cruz, and wildcat specialist, rookie Jerrel Jernigan, who was taken in the third round of this year's NFL draft.
They have zero Pro-Bowl experiences amongst them, but when the season begins, and Manning has these receivers lining up at the line of scrimmage, Steve Smith will be nothing but an afterthought.
And for that, I certainly don't blame him.
There's No Other Options
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Come week one of the regular season the New York Giants are in trouble.
Although the wide receiving corps is still viewed as a strength, this group could end up being a liability.
With Hakeem Nicks passing on more surgery to fix his surgically repaired broken toe, this injury could come back to haunt him. Domenik Hixon, coming off an ACL reconstruction might not be the player he was pre-injury and Ramses Barden might be missing the first six weeks of the season because he is on the physically unable to play (PUP) list.
So, can you really expect a rookie wide receiver to contribute in his first year in the league?
I certainly don't, so if Smith doesn't re-sign, besides losing their best possession receiver, the Giants will be missing the playoffs for the second year in a row.
Returning from micro fracture knee surgery on his left knee is never easy. While no one knows how Smith will react to contact, and what condition he's in, Smith was transforming into Manning's go-to-guy, and bailout weapon before the injury.
If Smith is gone expect Manning to struggle because he struggled at times when Smith was there and there's no reason to think he won't struggle again.
This 2011season will not be easy. I just hope it's not painful to watch.