Monday, January 25, 2010

Same Old Steve

In his first three years in the league, Steve Smith has participated fully in the Giants' offseason program. And he said today that his ascendance to Pro Bowl status -- the first Giants wide receiver to receive such accord since Homer Jones in 1968 -- won't change that. And neither will his contract status.

In other words, he has no intentions of turning into another Plaxico Burress, who normally spent the offseason away from his teammates and quarterback Eli Manning.

"It was a big help because we were there working together," Smith said as he prepared to leave his Woodlands Hills, Ca. home on tonight's red-eye to Miami, where the Pro Bowl will be played Sunday. "We were trying to get on the same page and learn more about each other so we could play faster this year."

The work obviously paid off as Smith reeled in a team-record 107 passes and put up the franchise's second-best yardage number with 1,220. He also caught a league-leading 38 passes on third down.

But Smith indicated that he won't be slacking off in the offseason, simply because he has more work to do before he considers himself one of the top two or three elite receivers in the league. The voting this year backed him up, as Smith received first-alternate status. He only made the roster because Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald had to pull out with an injury.

"I need another year or two to do it to be able to rank myself among the top receivers," Smith said.

He also said his desire for a contract extension won't get in the way, either. Smith heads into the final season of his four-year rookie contract, and is slated to make $550,000. For a receiver who put up those kinds of numbers, that's a steal. Even if the Giants balk at extending him, he'd still be a restricted free agent assuming that 2010 will be an uncapped season.

But Smith said he doesn't plan on being a no-show, as so many others have been as they sought contract alterations.

"I have a lot of goals I want to accomplish, so I'll keep working hard and doing everything I've done," Smith said. "I'm not really worried about the contract. That's for my agent to deal with. I'm just going to keep working my butt off for the Giants and myself."

That will start with the offseason program. To Smith, it's just too important for him to miss.

"It's a crucial time in getting better and improving," Smith said. "When everybody's not watching, you can get some real quality work in your fellow teammates."


  1. Good piece on Smith. Now, Ernie, why wouldn't the Giants just go ahead and extend his contract? This is a no brainer. Does it have something to do with the CBA? If so, when do we know whether it will be an uncapped year or not?

  2. I wish all the giants players were as classy as steve smith.

  3. He is gonna have to work harder than any other reciever if he wants to be a top three receiver. haha ahahha ahah

  4. CE718:

    They may not extend because Smith would be their property, anyway. If there's no CBA agreement (we'll know by March 1) the uncapped year minimum for unrestricted free agency goes to six years from its current four. Smith would be a restricted free agent. It might be cheaper to tender him a maximum offer for a year that will probably include a work stoppage while trying to work out a longer agreement. Meanwhile, you've got him for 2010 at $550,000.

  5. Is he strong influence on any of the other WRs, is he close with Barden and Manningham? The Giants need these two to progress as rapidly as Steve Smith has.

  6. Thanks for the info Ernie. I thought that might be the case. I agree with everyone else here. Steve Smith is a class act and I enjoy the fact he is not a show-off either. Not high stepping backward into the endzone after smoking a safety who could barely make a pop warner squad. I really enjoyed watching him this year (he and Eli were the few bright spots of the season) and hope to keep watching him in a Giants uniform for many years to come!

  7. Just for that attitude ownership should re-sign him to bigger dollars. That is just 100% professional behaviour. This guy is an anti prima donna and that should be rewarded!

    Who wouldn't want Steve Smith on their team. The guy is a technician and a class act. Too many times we get sucked in to guys who are all about them and the contract. This is a guy I can tell my kids to pay attention too.

    Chris B.

  8. Plaxico Who? Smith is class all the way. CBA will be tell all come March...