It appeared that wide receiver Steve Smith would eventually end up back with the team that selected him in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
However, not only did the Giants lose a big part of their passing game, Smith is now with the division rival Philadelphia Eagles as they agreed to terms on a one-year deal Wednesday.
Smith was a Pro Bowl receiver in 2009 after catching 107 passes for 1,220 yards and scoring seven touchdowns. He was productive yet again last season until he suffered a knee injury against the Vikings in a game that was moved to Ford Field after the roof of the Metrodome collapsed. Smith underwent microfracture surgery in December and the Giants failed to show the commitment to Smith that the Eagles did.
"I think they're on the right path to winning a championship," Smith said of the Eagles. "It just seemed like a great fit."
Smith doesn't know the exact timetable regarding when he would be able to start practicing. He said he's been running and has incurred no setbacks. While he's "ahead of the curve" with his rehab, he wants "to be smart about it" so he can "play this game for a long time." Smith did not rule out being ready for the season opener in St. Louis on September 11.
With an already stocked stable of wide receivers in DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Riley Cooper, Smith said that it reminds him of his playing days at USC with all of the talent at the position. Fitting into the roster is a challenge that Smith welcomes.
"I think when you play with other great receivers it brings the best out of you," Smith said.
Smith is the sixth Pro Bowl player acquired by the Eagles this offseason and from afar has been in awe of the moves that the team has made.
"Wow, they're making some really big moves," Smith said. "It's something to look at. It's something to talk about."
Smith is also one of the few players on this roster who already has a Super Bowl ring. Smith said he doesn't need to pad the stat sheet because he knows that the Eagles have a special opportunity presented in front of them.
"When you're winning and you get an opportunity to win a lot of games and win a Super Bowl, I think that means more," Smith said.
The Eagles' home opener is September 25 against the New York Giants. Smith admitted that it will be "tough and crazy," but hopefully for the Eagles it will be an opportunity to show his former team what they're missing.
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