New York Giants news this morning is still all about Steve Smith. It's Steve Smith signs with the Philadelphia Eagles Hangover Day. So, let's devote this notebook to the reactions around the Inter-Google. And if you want the real vitriol, you can always visit Smith's Facebook page -- where some of the disgusting things being written by Giants fans are pretty embarrassing.
Make no mistake about it, Smith was a very important part of the Giants’ offense and developed a very strong connection with quarterback Eli Manning. Since Super Bowl XLII, Manning has lost – among others – Smith, Plaxico Burress and Kevin Boss. So much for that clutch passing attack.
There’s no doubt the Giants wanted a healthy Smith to resume his pairing with Manning. None at all. And nobody is foolish enough to say the Giants are better off without Smith. They are not. But this is a receiver who is coming off very serious knee surgery and has decided he’s getting back on the field faster than the Giants’ doctors would recommend (for his own safety).
So the questions GM Jerry Reese had to answer, given his salary-cap contraints, were: How much of the original Smith will be seen on the field? And what are the chances he’ll be able remain in the lineup for the remaining of the season once he takes that first snap?
The Giants must not have felt too good about those answers, otherwise, there’s no logical explanation for Smith landing down the Turnpike.
Did they make a mistake? It might take the entire season to decide.
Yeah, Steve Smith left to sign with the Eagles. No, that's not a good thing for the Giants, who'd hoped to re-sign him. But they were already preparing for life without him, since they didn't expect him to return from his knee injury and contribute right away. It's a tough break for the Giants, who haven't had a very successful free-agency period. It's another score for the Eagles, who have had the most successful one of any team in the league. But I think it's easy to lose sight of the fact that not every team has to kill it in free agency in order to be a good team.
I get called out here very often for being only negative/never positive about the Giants. This criticism is unfair and inaccurate, of course, and I fully expect this missive to be forgotten the next time a Giants fan wants to get on me for writing something about the team that isn't 100 percent positive. But the Giants, remember, won 10 games last year. Their starting lineup is loaded with very good players on offense and defense. Eli Manning is a top-10 quarterback, Hakeem Nicks is emerging as a top young receiver and they remain stacked in the running game. The defensive line, led by Justin Tuck, is also deep and talented, and the starting secondary looks stellar in practice. If they keep their key guys healthy, the fact that they couldn't get anything done in free agency shouldn't stop them from being a playoff contender.
This has also been my theme. The Giants are still good, regardless of the last couple of weeks.
I guess what I'm saying is that regardless of what happens to Maclin, the Eagles were looking for help at wide receiver and jumped when Smith became available. And why not? It's a low-risk, high-reward signing.
First of all, it hurts a division rival. Smith was a key component of the Giants' passing game. Second, it makes the Eagles stronger at a position where they appear loaded, with DeSean Jackson, Smith, Maclin, Jason Avant and Riley Cooper. Third, no matter when he plays, the Eagles are convinced they found a slot receiver who can catch balls in traffic -- a perfect complement to Jackson and Maclin.
It all makes sense ...again.
It is a dagger to the heart of Giant fans already beside themselves over the loss of Plaxico Burress to the Jets and Kevin Boss to the Raiders and the absence of any free-agent splash from GM Jerry Reese at a time when the Eagles are swooping down and grabbing a slew of marquee names.
This brazen heist, from right under Big Blue’s nose, will only ratchet up the white-hot rivalry between the teams and cause consternation, if not shock, within the walls of the Timex Performance Center.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Jerry Reese needs to pick up the telephone and see if Randy Moss might be interested in coming out of retirement.
You heard me right.
Randy Moss. Sometimes you need to fight fire with fire, and this is one of those times.
This is the panicked, typical, stir up the masses non-sensical New York Post reaction. Forget Moss. How about we get excited for the opportunity now sitting in front of Victor Cruz, Jerrel Jernigan and Ramses Barden?
I was with the Giants on the Ahmad Bradshaw situation. They had no business overpaying there. They didn't, and they got their man. Good for them.
I did not agree with the team letting Kevin Boss leave for a deal from the Raiders they could have matched, if not at least come close to matching. Given the market and their backups, Boss was a guy they should have retained. Still, I was reminding fans ready to jump off the ledge the season doesn't start until a month from now. The Giants are still tied for first with the Eagles ... and everybody else, for that matter.
But now, after seeing Steve Smith sign for one year and $4 million with the Eagles, I'm completely baffled on this one. What is going on in the Giants' front office? I mean, seriously, what is going on right now?
I'll tell you what's going on: for the first time, Jerry Reese's seat must be getting warm.
This I do agree with. Reese has taken a stance here that many of the players he has drafted who have not yet had a full opportunity are ready for bigger roles with this team. The Giants' season hinges largely on whether or not the GM is right.