Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Eagles snare another big fish, sign WR Smith

Steve Smith
There just may be something to this "Dream Team" stuff after all.

The Eagles snared another big-time player on a one-year, cap friendly contract when they agreed to terms with former Giants Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith. 

"I just wanted to say that I’m happy this process is over with and just really thankful for the Giants and them for drafting me," Smith said. "And I’m just really excited for my future with the Eagles now.”

The 26-year-old Smith played his first four NFL seasons with the G-Men, who selected him in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft out of USC. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound receiver has totaled 220 receptions for 2,386 yards and 11 touchdowns in 46 career regular season games (26 starts). He's added 16 catches for 169 yards in five playoff contests.

“Like I’ve said many times before, Howie Roseman and I are always keeping our eyes open for good football players and players that we think can help our football team win,” said head coach Andy Reid. “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. 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.”

After catching just eight passes in his rookie season, Smith exploded onto the scene during his sophomore campaign, snaring 57 receptions in a reserve role for 574 yards and one TD as the Giants went on to win Super Bowl XLII. 

The following year, Smith earned his first Pro Bowl selection as he grabbed a Giants team-record 107 catches (second in the NFL) for 1,220 yards and seven touchdowns. He recorded a league-best 38 grabs on third down that year and his yardage total was the second most in Giants history. 

In 2010, a knee injury limited Smith to just nine games but he caught 48 passes for 529 yards and three touchdowns. New York, however, reportedly though Smith was not close to getting on the field.

"I would disagree with that personally just because I feel good," Smith said. "I’ve been running, I’ve been doing different things, cutting and stuff and it’s been feeling good. I haven’t been having any setbacks so hopefully that will continue but we’ll see.
"I’m not sure how far I am away from playing. I think I’m pretty close but we’ll have to determine that with the doctors and with [head] coach [Andy Reid]. And I just chose the Eagles because it seemed like a great fit and that’s just how it played out. So it just worked out this way.”

Smith finished his collegiate career at USC with 190 receptions (fifth in school history) for 3,019 yards (fourth in USC record books) and 22 touchdowns.

He gives the Birds imposing depth on the outside, especially if Jeremy Maclin recovers from his undisclosed illness. On paper Philadelphia's foursome of DeSean Jackson, Maclin, Smith and Jason Avant would have to rank as one of the NFL's best.

 “Yeah, you know, it just reminds me of my USC days when I had to go out there and compete with all kinds of other guys and they really didn’t care much about me," Smith said. "And every day I spent I was doing pretty well for myself. So I love the competition and I think when you play around other great players that brings the best out of you.”

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