In a surprising move that left Big Apple fans supremely miffed, New York Giants wide receiver Steve Smith — who is still recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee — spurned his team to sign a one-year contract with NFC East rivals Philadelphia.
Earlier Wednesday, Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Smith still faced a “long haul” before he could make a full recovery that would allow him to return to game action, but Smith said he received positive reports from both the Giants and Eagles team doctors and he believes his return is near.
On his Facebook page, Smith said “This was obviously not an easy decision for me or something i ever expected but unfortunately the business aspect proved that the eagles wanted me to be part of their organization MUCH more than the Giants did.”
The post has already racked up nearly 5,000 comments — mostly from Giants fans who are expressing their feelings on Smith’s signing in a Philadelphian-sort-of manner.
One commentor cut straight to the heart: “I hope u choke on a cheesesteak u scumbag.”
The Giants were reportedly unwilling to match the Eagles’ offer of $2 million guaranteed with as much as $4 million included in the overall deal.
Smith set a Giants franchise record with 107 receptions during his Pro Bowl season in 2009. He had season-ending knee surgery last December after suffering an injury against the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 13.
Smith becomes the sixth Pro Bowl selection to join Philadelphia’s roster since the end of the lockout — Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Vince Young, Ronnie Brown and Jason Babin are the others on a roster seemingly overflowing with offseason upgrades and added depth.
Smith provides slot experiences and reliable hands to a receiving corps that already features DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Riley Cooper.