The Eagles have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with former New York Giants wide receiver Steve Smith.
Smith, 26, caught 220 catches for 2,386 yards and 11 touchdowns in four seasons with the Giants. He went to the Pro Bowl in 2009 after accumulating 1,220 yards and seven touchdowns.
In the midst of another promising season, Smith suffered a severe knee injury late in 2010 and had microfracture surgery last December. Microfracture surgery, for those who don’t know, is a pretty serious deal. Very hard to come back from quickly.
Most reports have the former USC Trojan back on the field by mid-season, sometime around early November. It seems the Giants training staff had a more pessimistic timetable, and Smith’s decision to sign with the Eagles might have something to do with that.
“I think I’m pretty close,” Smith told reporters. ” It could be week one. You never know.”
Tom Coughlin and other Giants staff members had considered Smith’s recovery a “long haul” and might have been inclined to put him on injured reserve this year, but his signing with the Eagles is a clear indication that he will be put on the PUP list until he can begin practicing again.
Said Andy Reid: “We feel very good about our current group of receivers and Steve adds another dimension to that position. He’s played very well against us in the past few years and we’re happy to have him on board. Howie and I are always keeping our eyes open for good football players and players that we think can help our football team win. And Steve Smith certainly fits that category. He’s a Pro Bowl-quality receiver that we will work into our offense as soon as he is ready to go.”
Whether or not this move is in reaction to Jeremy Maclin’s health or Desean Jackson’s contract status has yet to be determined, as we still have no realistic timetable on when Smith could be activated. It may just be a cheap way to bring in a Giant and pick his brain about offensive gameplans and the like, or it may mean something more significant. We’ll know soon enough.