The conga line of high profile free agents signing with the Philadelphia Eagles got even longer when ex-Giant wide receiver Steve Smith signed a one year 4 million dollar deal with the Heatgles. No? I'll keep working at it. Smith is expected to start the year on the physically unable to perform list but it's still somewhat of a coup to steal a solid receiver from your hated rivals. Meanwhile, the Giants are so upset about it you can actually see steam coming out of their ears.
What has them particularly upset is they thought Smith would give them one last chance to sign him before he agreed to a deal with any other team. Said Giants coach Tom Coughlin, "I'm upset. So is everybody. But we are disappointed in the fact that...it's like lining up for the race and you are in the locker room and nobody tells you that the race is going to be run."
OK, really!? You didn't know he was talking to other teams? If you value him so highly then go after him aggressively. Don't say, "Hey, go out there, see what you can get, then come back and talk to us and we'll see if we want to top it." It's absurd! I don't blame him for leaving if that's the way they show interest. I didn't marry my wife by telling her to play the field and then if someone proposes to her to then come back to me and I'll see if I want to buy her a bigger ring.
When Smith's agent Ben Dogra was asked if he ever told the Giants he would give them one last shot to top any deal his client was offered he said, "I did not. I never told them (that) at any point."
More after the break...
With tight end Kevin Boss already having left for Oakland, Smith is now the second big target to leave the Giants giving quarterback Eli Manning that much less to work with. The one good piece of news for the Giants is Osi Umeyiora has ended his holdout and is back in camp, but he's still not happy.
"What has been offered has been unaccaeptable and shows they don't really respect the fact I sacrifice my health for the franchise," said Umeyiora. "I will play under my current deal because I love and respect my coaches, my teammates, the fans, and myself. Not for those incentives."
"Those incentives" he's referring to where concesions the Giants were going to work into his contract, increasing his potential salary to $7.1 million over the next two seasons. Instead he's turned them down and is just going to play under his old contract that will pay him $3.1 million this season.
Meanwhile the Eagles continue to stock pile quality players. About the only thing that would surprise me now is if the Eagles traded back-up quarterback Mike "I'm not a beetle" Kafka to the Titans for a second round draft pick and running back Chris Johnson. Hey, they've already traded three straight quarterbacks (A.J. Feeley, Donovan McNabb, and Kevin Kolb) for second round picks, why not a fourth?
Speaking of Chris Johnson (that's called a segue) he still hasn't reported for training camp and now Titans ex-great running back Eddie George is joining in on the action. George said of Johnson's holdout, "From Chris Johnson's perspective, I don't blame him for not being there. He has to do what he has to do because he is one of the top backs in the NFL and the window for running backs is small." He then went on to say the Titans should have worked out an extension long before now and called this whole thing "uncalled for".
Last year Johnson held out until the Titans increased his salary by $1.5 million, bringing his base pay for the year up to $2.05 million, which is a bit like buying a Bentley for the price of a Toyota. Coming into his fourth season Johnson can earn a maximum of $2.7 million over the last two years of his deal.
Now I know some will argue that he signed the deal so he just has to live with it, and most Americans would love to be paid over $2 million, but in his first three years in the league no running back has rushed for more yards than Johnson (4,598). It's also his right to hold out and try to work another deal if he wants to, just like it's Carson Palmer's right to sit out the year if he doesn't want to play any more for the penny pinching Bengals, or it's Ricky Williams right to walk away from football if he'd rather become a pothead and eat Cheetos all day long. Williams just needs to make sure he's using it for medicinal purposes because otherwise that's just wrong even if it's OK to get so hammered on alcohol you have to close one eye so you don't see two of everything.
Like George I agree Johnson should try to make as much as he can while he can and it seems the Titans are willing to pay him. They've said they want to make him the highest paid running back in the history of football but he needs to go to training camp first while they finish out the finer points of his deal. Speaking of which, that nice man from Nigeria told me he'd give me a million dollars if I just gave him all of my bank account information first.
In the end I'm sure the Titans and Johnson will get things worked out. The Titans want to keep him for many more years and want him to be happy, while Johnson can't play anywhere else for two years so it's in both their best interest to get this done. I just wonder why if the Panthers could work out a five year deal worth $43 million with their star running back DeAngelo Williams a few days after the lockout ended it's taking several weeks for the Titans to get a deal done with maybe the most dynamic running back in the NFL. Then again, I don't get why everyone goes so crazy over those Transformers movies, so what do I know?