Steve Smith, former standout wide receiver for the New York Giant, is officially retired.
While Smith played for other teams, he is most famous for his excellent career with the Giants. After being drafted out of the University of Southern California in 2007, Smith played minimally during the regular season. However, he was crucial to the Giants Superbowl XLII victory over the New England Patriots, catching five passes during the contest.
By 2008, Smith began to give New York a taste of his ability to be a top receiver in the league. He caught 57 passes for 574 yards, and quickly began to emerge as one of Eli Manning‘s favorite targets. In addition to his on-the-field prowess, Smith also interacted with fans avidly through social media, bolstering his image as a leader and a genuine team player in the eyes of the Giants’ fan base.
In 2009 and 2010, Smith excelled as a member of the Giants. He averaged 75-plus catches, 875 yards and five touchdowns over those two seasons, establishing himself as a key player for the team and possibly a long-term star. Smith had excellent hands, a great ability to run routes and always seemed to be making the right plays at the right times.
And then, abruptly, Smith signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Smith had been offered $7 million per year with the Giants previously, but had turned that down in order to wait for a potentially better deal once he became a free agent. However, after suffering a rough knee injury in 2010, Smith could only eke out a $2 million for one-year contract with the Giants division rival. Predictably, this did not sit well with fans who felt understandably betrayed.
Smith’s career path after Big Blue was disappointing for sure, and it’s obvious he made the wrong decision leaving the team.
“I’ve been blessed to play the game that I love at the highest level for the past six years,” said Smith in a recent statement. “I will always cherish my time with the New York Giants and our Super Bowl victory in 2007.”