Eagles Add ex-Giants WR Steve Smith

Posted: August 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 37 Comments »

Say what???

The Eagles signed recovering WR Steve Smith to a 1-year deal.  He’s on the way back from microfracture surgery on his knee.  Smith was expected to re-sign in NY, but the Eagles jumped in and made him an offer.  Part of the equation is that Tom Coughlin didn’t think Smith could play before midseason.  The Eagles have a more aggressive timetable.

Does this tell us anything about Jeremy Maclin?  I don’t think so.  If anything, Maclin would miss a game or two at the beginning of the year.  Smith won’t be ready by then.  Eagles sources are telling all the beat reporters this has nothing to do with Mac.  I think the Eagles are being straight on this.

So why sign Smith?  Insurance.  If anything happens to Mac, DJax, or Avant, you now have someone that can hop on the field and perform at a high level, assuming he’s healthy.  Smith might start the season on the PUP list. If so, that means he’s out for the first 6 games.  He’s hoping to be back sooner, but that might not be realistic.

Interesting addition.  I love Smith as a player.  Crafty, tough, and talented.  He’s even made the Pro Bowl.  Solid starter, great slot receiver.

As I said on Twitter, we now have Eli Manning’s two favorite receivers:  Steve Smith and Asante Samuel.


37 Comments on “Eagles Add ex-Giants WR Steve Smith”

  1. 1 Alex K said at 8:00 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    Love that last bit. I wonder how this deal affects the Eagles’ ability to redo Desean’s contract. Or, is this a result of stalled negotiations with Rosenhaus?

  2. 2 wellhelloitsdan said at 8:00 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    How the heck is that going to work out? Will Smith be ok riding the bench if everyone stays healthy? Or does he take Riley Cooper’s place on the depth chart?

    Also, in terms of cap room…don’t you think it’s more important to be making sure they have enough room to rework DeSean Jackson’s contract and maybe THEN worry about adding a luxury guy like Smith?

  3. 3 Tommy Lawlor said at 8:03 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    The Eagles will get the DeSean deal done. He’s an Eagle. No rush on that situation for now.

    Smith was someone the Eagles wanted, from comments he made tonight. The Eagles had to work to get him signed and not lose him.

    I’m sure the focus will shift over to DeSean.

  4. 4 fran35 said at 8:29 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    As a fan of the Birds since I was old enough to watch, I cannot believe the way we have gone after free agents this year. I really will never tolerate anyone speaking about Lurie being tight again. The front office has really gone for it this year.

  5. 5 Arby said at 8:30 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    Sinorice Moss: F@#k! Not again!

  6. 6 Kammich said at 8:33 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    The Kolb trade and the Asomugha signing have grabbed the headlines, but it is these type of cunning, savvy moves that have made this off-season so great. I love this addition. Two of my favorite WRs coming out of college the last 5 or 6 years have been tough, work-the-middle USC WRs: Keary Colbert and Steve Smith. I plead the fifth when it comes to Colbert, but Smith panned out in a big way for NYG.

    Its a low-risk, potentially-high-reward signing. If his knee checks out and he contributes, we’ll have a leg up on negotiating with him next offseason, and he could become the longterm successor to Jason Avant(I love Avant, but there’s no arguing that a healthy Steve Smith is an upgrade). Plus, we take a major contributor away from a division rival, which is ALWAYS a plus.

  7. 7 Tommy Lawlor said at 8:36 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    @ Arby…

    Great line. Well done, sir.

  8. 8 JonS said at 8:40 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    Steve Smith isn’t that good. He’s not better than our 1,2 or 3. Had Hixon not got injured, we’d have no idea who Smith was. lol

  9. 9 Ben said at 8:53 PM on August 10th, 2011:


    He’s pretty good. He’s always been under the radar. he was behind Dwayne Jarrett (ha. ha. ha.) at USC. Almost snuck into the first round though (some late mocks actually had the Eagles looking at him). He’s not overly fast, but he’s got good hands and is a really good route runner. I’d say Avant probably has slightly better hands (you can say that about him vs. most though) and Smith probably runs a little better routes.

    Smith’s crafty. He gets open on 3rd downs and is tough to cover in the slot. He’d be a great weapon when trying to move the chains in a 3rd or 4th receiver role, has big game experience, and he’s one less person that Eli has now!

    Needless to say I really like this signing, low risk, high reward. Hopefully he’s healthy and effective in case of any injuries (knock on wood) to our starters.

  10. 10 Corry said at 8:57 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    This is an excellent signing in my opinion. Really adds to the depth of the roster where we were probably already 4 or 5 deep. If he’s healthy, we could potentially go 4 wide (and probably 5 if Cooper progresses from last year) and have favorable matchups across the board. I don’t think there’s any other team in the league who could say that.

  11. 11 Kammich said at 8:59 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    Like I said in my prior post, I WOULD argue that a healthy Smith is better than our #3. I love Jazz Hands Avant, and I think hes a great asset to the team and a wonderful slot receiver.

    But Steve Smith is 26 years old and a year removed from a season where he caught 107 passes. Avant has 154 receptions in his whole career.

    (again, don’t take this as Avant-bashing. I love the dude. just sayin’.)

  12. 12 jacka123 said at 9:01 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    Are you kidding JonS, Smith has 107 catches in 2009, don’t think ANY Eagles has ever had that many. He was well on his way to 100 again last year until the injury. He has been AllPro, you haven’t a clue.

  13. 13 makarov__ said at 9:03 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    If Smith heals up, this will be a major upgrade to our less than stellar red zone offense. God knows it needs something, and Chad Hall isn’t it.

    Too early too celebrate Chad Hall’s departure? I hope not.

  14. 14 jacka123 said at 9:06 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    Steve Smith had 107 catches, not sure he is not better than any receiver the Eagles have, and believe me, I love Jackson and Maclin. I think I’m right in saying, NO Eagle has ever had that many catches, not even T.O.

  15. 15 eagles nut said at 9:08 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    What the heck are the Eagles doing with all these free agent signings? They’re entirely ruining the 2012 draft. What are we going to do without all those 7th round comp picks?

  16. 16 CW9 said at 9:08 PM on August 10th, 2011:


    Denial much? Let’s not try to pretend that he wasn’t a big part of the Giant’s offense. This is a blow to that team. You can’t say that a healthy Smith wouldn’t have been good for them this year.

  17. 17 izzylangfan said at 9:22 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    The acquisition of Smith suggests that they will keep at least 6 WRs since we still need someone to return punts and kicks.

    Smith allows the Eagles to have two good WRs in the game and keep Avant in the slot if Maclin or DJax cant play.

    Also if Reid thinks its good to have 4 CBs to defend the best offenses, then he wants to have 4WRs and be one of the best offenses as well.

  18. 18 eagles nut said at 9:46 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    In looking at the final composition of the 53-man roster, there’s no reason keeping 3 true RBs has to be locked in stone. Really another WR has more size and STs ability than keeping a Dion Lewis or one of the other RBs in camp. The Eagles can keep 2 RBs on the practice squad. It’s not unprecedented to only keep 2 RBs on the 53-man roster. The Titans did it last year with Chris Johnson and Javon Ringer.

  19. 19 Sean said at 9:48 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    The plan exactly copy the Packers is almost finished.

    Pass rush. Check.
    Deep at CB. Check.
    Deep at WR. Check.

    And then there’s that recent ESPN article on how the top 3 rushing QBs last season were Freeman, Vick, and Rodgers.

    Not a bad strategy, though Vick’s excuses for not delivering are dwindling.

  20. 20 ian no. 2 said at 9:56 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    I was rooting for Smith not to go to the Giants and this does the trick. Even if Ronnie Brown makes more sense for the Eagles than Ahmad Bradshaw, signing Bradshaw too would have been a nice touch. Do you get the impression I don’t like the Giants? Smith was one of Jerry Reese’s smart picks (2nd round) and ran 4.44 out of college at 5’11”. The Giants may have some D but their offense is hurting.. their line isn’t that good either.

    Eagles nut: 1 year contracts can lead to comp picks. In baseball the Yankees get a lot of comp picks through late season vet pickups.

    There were two days with no practice and the reporters were taking time off while the Phillies were winning, now there’s a new story.

    Maclin-related rumors have been doused by “sources,” but imagine if this signing had happened during DJax’s holdout. It’s still hard to say whether this has anything to do with DJax directly or indirectly because it’s unknown whether the Eagles are going to make him a long term offer. DJax could have played chicken and let the Aug 9 deadline pass, threatening a long holdout that would put a damper on the glory days, but he did the honorable thing and showed up.

  21. 21 Eric said at 10:15 PM on August 10th, 2011:


    I never like being a Negative Nelly (i.e., Morton), but a lot of this big name free agent signings do bother me a little. Adding NA and Jenkins doesn’t bother me much, but a lot of these other ones concern me. I realize this team has a long tenured staff and young guys, but I worry about egos meshing. I guess you can say if guys like Steve Smith are willing to sign for such low amounts, that they’ll do whatever.

    I just worry about team chemistry a lot.

  22. 22 Tommy Lawlor said at 10:31 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    @ eagles nut…

    Interesting idea about 2 RBs. I need to think about that.

    @ ian…

    eagles nut was joking about the Comp picks. He’s a smart fan and knows how things work. The minute we signed Nnamdi we killed any real shot at a Comp pick.

  23. 23 Tommy Lawlor said at 10:33 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    @ Eric…

    Chemistry is tricky. I think it will be easier because of Vick and Reid. People are coming here knowing ahead of time what’s going on. They want to be here due to Vick and Reid. They want to win.

    I’m not super concerned, but it is something to keep an eye on.

  24. 24 Austinfan said at 10:35 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    I can’t get excited about Smith.
    Basically he plays the same position as Avant, he’s not a big receiver like Cooper, he’s not an outside receiver, he’s not a return man.

    If he’s 100%, he’s very quick, agile with great hands.

    But that’s a huge IF, he had a long history of dings in college, and it’s continued in the pros. He’s coming back from microfracture surgery, which is used when there is cartilege damage, so his future is probably limited.

    I don’t see the logic, even as insurance, he’s not shown himself to be an outside WR, Moss might be better at the deep role, and Cooper as the “X”.

  25. 25 Kevin (RC) said at 10:41 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    We were always going to have 24 players on offense. We all just assumed it would be 5WR/10OL/4RBs/2TE/3QBs. If it’s 6WR/9OL instead, we can carry the guys. That’s assuming Smith is even activated.

    Where Smith comes in handy is 3rd down + red-zone. You can play 4WR (Maclin/Jackson wide, Avant/Smith inside). You blitz and we can quick slant you. All 4 guys can win 1 on 1.

    My only issue is that Andy Reid does NOT need more toys. We need to run the ball more.

  26. 26 Fran35 said at 11:19 PM on August 10th, 2011:

    Anyone who is hinting that Steve Smith is better than Desean or Maclin are delusional. You cannot judge our receivers off of strict number of catches/yards. Steve Smith is a decent slot receiver who Eli leaned on for one year.

    Honestly, even if healthy, I would rather have Avant as our number 3. He is not as fast, but Avant is a tough blue collar guy with great hands who is ego-less. He is exactly what we need. I am hoping that signing Smith does not hamper the development of Cooper, who we need to help us in the red zone.

  27. 27 eagles nut said at 12:02 AM on August 11th, 2011:

    Actually, Tommy, the primary determinant for comp picks is whether or not you had a net loss of FAs. No one knows exactly how the comp pick formula works but based on past history, the Eagles could have signed Asomugha and then lost 4 of their own free agents to relatively minimum contracts and gotten 3 7th round comp picks. With as many UFAs as we’ve signed, there’s no shot of that now.

  28. 28 mattwill said at 1:22 AM on August 11th, 2011:

    That is true eagles nut, but 12 months later all those 1 year contracts will expire and I expect the eagles will be losing quite a few of the one year contracted players and therefore the Comp Picks for the next year will swing heavily in the Eagles’ favor.

  29. 29 T_S_O_P said at 4:14 AM on August 11th, 2011:

    Waking up to European mornings can be so much fun. 🙂

  30. 30 GermanEagle said at 5:09 AM on August 11th, 2011:


    same here. Where do you live?

  31. 31 JakFTW said at 7:04 AM on August 11th, 2011:

    I am trying to figure out which players have RS ability, because it seems to me that they are going to need at least one roster spot for RS, with other players being backups in those roles.

    eg – If JL Higgins or S Moss make the team to return punts and kicks, which other receiver loses out?

    Who else can return? DRC? Does Marsh have any returning experience? I know that Maclin returned in college, but he hasn’t stood out in the return game at the NFL level.

    Who else can we use? I’d hate to see us cut a useful starter because we need another roster spot for a RS.

  32. 32 cvd said at 8:11 AM on August 11th, 2011:

    Eagle recievrs never had 100 catches cuz we spread the ball around so much. He had micro in dec, wouldn’t that mean pup? I thinks it good for a late push. But I do worry that most of our signings r guys that r injury prone or c9min off injury

  33. 33 izzylangfan said at 8:41 AM on August 11th, 2011:

    Regarding your prior article on linebackers and the run defense: With the linebackers inside the DE’s in the wide 9 running up the middle could be difficult since the LBs are concentrated there. True a DT shooting the gap might be passed before he can get to the runner but there should be others behind him.

    The DE’s shooting the gap could mess up some plays to the outside but a quick runner once by the DE might have some running room especially if the outside linebackers are too slow. But overall it seems to me that the vulnerability of the new Eagles scheme is running to the outside.

    Is that the way to look at it?

  34. 34 Cliff said at 8:53 AM on August 11th, 2011:

    Can’t believe anyone would hate this move. There was actually a debate going about who was a better receiver – Smith or DeSean – just a few years go. He’s a very good WR. We keep him from the Giants and risked very little to bring him hear to recover from injury. Very good move by the Eagles.

  35. 35 DanJ said at 9:04 AM on August 11th, 2011:

    If we carry 5 WRs – Mac, DJax, Avant, Cooper & RS, then when Steve Smith is activated from PUP either we have another RS or we cut down to 9 Oline or 2 RBs.

    I’m another person who lives on the east of the Pond. Its been pleasant breakfast reading the last few weeks.

  36. 36 Dan in Philly said at 9:12 AM on August 11th, 2011:

    I have ceased to be amazed by our FO this year. They would have to somehow use a time machine and sign a peak of his abilities Dick Butkus for me to be more impressed than I already am.

  37. 37 Tommy Lawlor said at 9:14 AM on August 11th, 2011:

    @ Izzy…

    I think you are on the money with your thinking. The DEs funnel the action to the middle. That’s where the LBs are.