When the Eagles play the Giants in 2012, wide receiver Steve Smith could be back in a New York uniform, according to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Here's what Schefter said on TV this morning, per ESPN New York:
"Don't be surprised if he also returns there next season," Schefter said. "Sources close to Smith say he is open to returning to the Giants next season once his contract expires after this year.
"We know that Eli Manning has a very comfortable relationship with Steve Smith," Schefter continued. "Mario Manningham also is a free agent and there's a chance that Steve Smith could wind up back in New York with the Giants."
There's nothing definitive about the report, as Schefter merely says it's possible Smith could return. But that idea shouldn't surprise anyone.
In the win over the Cowboys and the loss to the Bears, Smith played zero snaps in back-to-back weeks. With DeSean Jackson benched and Jeremy Maclin injured, he saw his most significant playing time last week against the Cardinals. Smith played 55 snaps (by my count), the most of any Eagles wide receiver, but the results were less than impressive. He had five catches for 47 yards, but dropped two balls and of course dove down short of the first-down marker on a key 3rd-and-20 in the second half.
With Maclin out today, Smith will get another shot to make plays. He had a ball bounce off his hands for an interception the first time the Eagles played the Giants.
Smith signed just a one-year deal this offseason. And barring a drastic change in the final seven games, it seems unlikely that the Eagles would bring him back.
But it's possible the Birds could be in need of a wide receiver this offseason. Jackson's future is uncertain. Smith will likely be gone. And Riley Cooper remains an unknown. The only two players we can say will definitely be here are Maclin and Jason Avant.
As for the Giants, they've got a No. 1 in Hakeem Nicks. And while Schefter notes that Manningham is a free agent, Victor Cruz has emerged as a big-play threat for Eli Manning.
Meanwhile, if you missed my post earlier, Jackson told NFL Network's Michael Irvin that he belongs in the same category as Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson.