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Instant Analysis: Steve Smith agrees with Eagles

Was part of the new labor agreement giving the Philadelphia Eagles 100 roster spots?

The Eagles have agreed to terms on a one year deal with former Giants wideout Steve Smith. It’s the latest high profile move from the busiest team in the NFL this offseason. Smith joins the list of new Eagles that includes Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Nnamdi Asomugha, Vince Young, Ronnie Brown and Jason Babin among others. The signing of Smith comes as a big surprise as most expected he’d simply re-sign with the Giants. Let’s take a look at the players whose dynasty values have changed as a result.

Steve Smith, WR PHI
You can’t love this move if you own Smith.

In his four years in New York, he posted 220 catches, 2,386 yards and eleven touchdowns. While those numbers aren’t exactly eye popping, consider that Smith was one of the up and coming young stars after a 2009 breakout season that saw him post 107 receptions, 1,220 yards and seven scores. He was on his way to another fine year in 2010 until a season ending knee injury put him on the shelf.

Landing in Philadelphia doesn’t help his value at all in the short term. He’s obviously still recovering from microfracture surgery (Colston owners take note) and not ready to contribute. On the bright side, the Eagles did give him nearly $2 million in guaranteed money, suggesting they believe he’ll be able to play this season.

Smith is unlikely going to give owners anything substantial this year. At best, he could work himself into the number three spot on the depth chart, but he’s no threat to DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin.

Don’t go crazy just yet, though. Smith is on a one year deal with the obvious goal this season to simply prove he’s healthy again. He’s still just 26 years old and he’ll be looking for a new home at this time next year.

Jeremy Maclin, WR PHI
If you can find a Maclin owner believing this addition is an indictment on his health or a real threat to his playing time, buy now. The addition of Smith doesn’t really have anything to do in the team’s belief in Maclin or Jackson. In reality, the Eagles are just taking a calculated risk with Smith in the hopes he can contribute in some way later this year.

Jason Avant, WR PHI
Avant is really the only Eagle worth worrying about. He’ll be manning the slot for the first part of the season while Smith continues his recovery, but could find himself in a dogfight later this season. If you were counting on Avant, you were probably in some trouble anyway.

Mario Manningham WR NYG
Need any more proof that he’s the clear cut second option in New York? Manningham is poised for a breakout season and was being undervalued in drafts. At the very least, that should stop now.

Victor Cruz, WR NYG
You probably remember Cruz from his spectacular Monday night preseason performance last season. He was put on the disabled list prior to the season with a hamstring injury, but it’s no secret the Giants really liked what they saw. With Smith out of the way, Cruz should be able to nail down the third receiver job this season.

Ramses Barden and Jerrel Jernigan, WRs NYG
Having Smith out off the depth chart does nothing but help these two young receivers. There’s no reason to think Victor Cruz is going to just run away and hide with the third receiver job, so the preseason is going to be big for both of them. Barden has had his own problems staying healthy, so Jernigan may only need to push Domenik Hixon to special teams only to carve himself out a guaranteed roster spot and avoid the practice squad.

Ken Kelly
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Misift74
10 years ago

No way in hell Jernigan 1. would make it to the practice squad without another team claiming him, or 2. even gets sent there.

Cruz, Barden, Hixon all will fall to the talented Jernagin. All the other guys, except Cruz, have had enough time to prove they are replacement-level players (see: poor).

I think Jernagin’s skill-set once developed will fill in the slot role nicely. I’d venture to say that Jernagin was specifically drafted as ‘Steve Smith insurance’.

8 years ago

Great blog you have here.. It’s hard to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays.
I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

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