NFL Free Agents 2011: 5 Reasons the New York Giants Won't Miss Steve Smith
They were shocked, disappointed, disgusted and angry all at the same time.
Smith is obviously a very talented wide receiver, catching 107 receptions in 2009, but he's replaceable. Miracle seasons like 2009 usually occur once upon a time. After coming off microfracture surgery in his knee, overpaying for Smith's services would be costly.
The G-Men were going to put Smith on the PUP list, and he wasn't going to start the first six weeks of the 2011-12 season.
While losing him wasn't ideal, here are five reasons the Giants won't miss Steve Smith.
He Wasn't Playing Until Week 7
Tom Coughlin was quoted saying "It’s going to be kind of a long haul for Steve."
The Giants have been here before with Kenny Phillips.
Phillips was out for 18 months after his surgery. Smith, like Phillips, might not see the field his first year coming off surgery.
Rushing him back onto the field too soon could cost Smith his career.
Besides, even if and when Smith did come back, there's no guarantee he would still be effective in the slot.
The Giants only offered Smith a one-year $2 million contract, with $1 million of that guaranteed. If the G-Men seriously wanted Smith back—they would've offered him more money to lock him up.
However, the Giants, like other teams in the league, had their doubts.
There's a lot of question marks surrounding Smith, and the Giants thought he was only worth $2 million.
The Eagles thought he was worth $4 million, so he went to the Eagles.
It's not a big deal, it's just a business.
The Giants Are Deep at Wide Receiver
In case you haven't noticed, the Giants are stacked at wide receiver.
They have: Hakeem Nicks, Mario Mannigham, Dominek Hixon, Victor Cruz, Jerrel Jernigan, Devin Thomas, Michael Clayton, Duke Calhoun and Darius Reynaud.
Ramses Barden is also in the mix, but he's currently injured.
While most of these guys are young and unproven, they're more than capable of stepping up this season.
Right now it's Hakeem Nicks and Mario Mannigham starting, but I'd look for Dominek Hixon or Victor Cruz to be slot receivers for the G-Men.
Against the Carolina Panthers on Saturday, Hixon caught five passes for 86 yards and Thomas three passes for 23 yards.
He Went to the Eagles
This is pretty self explanatory. If there's any way to make sure you're not missed, it's by going to the Eagles. New York fans hate Philadelphia fans, and vice versa.
The Giants, pretty much in spite of this, gave Jerrel Jernigan the No.12 jersey. As you might already know, Steve Smith used to wear that number.
If Smtih going to the Eagles is his way of sticking it to the Giants, giving the No.12 jersey to the rookie Jernigan is the Giants' way of sticking it right back.
If you owned a company, and one of your favorite clients went to one of your most hated competitors, are you going to sit around and mope about it? Or are you going to get out there and do something about it?
The G-Men took the proactive approach, and are moving on from the Steve Smith era.
He's a No. 3 Receiver
From the fans' reactions to losing Smith, you'd figure the Giants just lost Jerry Rice.
He's not Jerry Rice, he's a slot receiver. A great slot receiver, but also an injured one.
It's hard to predict a player's production after a season-ending injury, but they tend to lose a step or two. Since Smith makes his living in the middle, losing a step could mean losing his career.
The Giants are looking towards the future. Instead of breaking the very thin bank and signing all their free agents now, they're looking towards the future.
Justin Tuck and Hakeem Nicks are integral parts of that future. Getting rid of veterans like Shaun O'Hara and Shawn Andrew now gives the Giants room to sign their healthy stars down the road.
If you're a New York Giants fan reading this now, believe in your front office. It may be difficult at the moment, but they know better than we do.