NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Emotions were running high at Giants camp on Thursday, one day after Steve Smith, who had a team-record 107 catches two years ago, joined the Philadelphia Eagles’ “Dream Team.”
The loss of Smith, who is coming off major knee surgery, was stunning, especially to a rival. He visited the Giants on Monday and everyone, including coach Tom Coughlin, assumed he would either re-sign or give them the right to match any offer.
Smith didn’t, and it upset Coughlin.
“There are some disappointing factors involved, which I’m not going to get into,” Coughlin said. “I am upset. So is everybody. It’s like lining up for the race, you’re in the locker room, and nobody tells you the race is going to be run. That’s the disappointing thing here. I don’t believe we were given the opportunity to do what we could do. We were never brought into the discussion.”
Smith signed a one-year, $4 million deal with Philadelphia, with $2 million guaranteed.
“We were just waiting, waiting to see what’s going to happen with the Giants,” Smith said. “I don’t know what happened there. I’m just fortunate that Philadelphia, such a great team, wanted me.”
Giants general manager Jerry Reese refused to criticize Smith or his agent, Ben Droga.
“I don’t want to get into a he said-she said situation, but you do expect some feedback,” Reese said. “I don’t feel I got a raw deal on anything. It’s free agency. Guys can do whatever they want to do in free agency.”
Reese admitted the Giants’ offers to Smith and Raiders tight end Kevin Boss reflected the fact that both players had medical issues. Boss has had a couple of concussions and Smith probably won’t be start the season because of his knee.
“When I say sticking to our game plan, I mean we made responsible offers,” Reese said, “and when those offers weren’t good enough, we moved on.”
Coughlin estimated Smith would need another six weeks to be ready.
“It’s free agency, guys leave in free agency and that’s the way it’s has been for some time,” Reese said. “Nobody — nobody — owes you anything in free agency, almost a dog-eat-dog type of thing.”
What do you think really happened? Did Smith spurn the Giants? Sound off below…
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