The New York Giants were locked in a contract battle with Steve Smith for a couple of weeks. And when I say “battle,” I mean the Giants offered him a deal and he sat on it for two weeks while looking for better options.
In the end he spurned the Giants for twice as much money and went to the division rival and hated Philadelphia Eagles, prompting Smith to say “I used to hate the Eagles, now I don’t like the Giants.”
On his Facebook page, which is updated by Smith himself, he insisted the Giants did not want him back. I feel like nothing could be further from the truth, but this story has already been told.
The point is, we’re now looking to replace Smith, who worked the slot and did it at a high level for Eli Manning. In 2009 Smith set a franchise record for catches with 107.
He was mostly injured last year, but in the games he did play he was still Eli’s go-to guy, despite Hakeem Nicks emerging as the No. 1.
So who are the Giants looking for to replace him? At the moment, Domenik Hixon and Victor Cruz are locked in a battle for the spot, but it may not be as close as advertised.
Hixon had a great game against Carolina, working the middle of the field with Sage Rosenfels to the tune of four catches for 49 yards.
I can’t say the same for Cruz. He was targeted twice, had one catch for 10 yards, and dropped the other ball thrown to him. That seems to be the theme for Cruz this training camp—he makes some good catches but he’s been good for at least a drop or two in each practice, and that’s not good from a slot receiver.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say Devin Thomas should be in the running over Cruz; he’s looked much better in camp and played better against Carolina even with a dislocated finger.
The hype surrounding Cruz should be all but gone—yes he dominated the preseason last year but he did so mostly as a 4th string player going against 3rd and 4th string players.
There isn’t much to that.
Let’s all stop pretending that Cruz is the next Wes Welker and move on. The sooner we do that, the sooner we can focus on players that will actually contribute.