Tom Coughlin said that the Giants were not given a chance to meet or exceed the Eagles' offer to Steve Smith.
“It’s like lining up for the race and you’re in the locker room and nobody tells you the race is going to be run,” Coughlin said. “That’s the disappointing thing here. I don’t think we were given the opportunity to do that.”
Smith wound up signing a one-year deal with the Eagles worth $4 million and a guaranteed $2 million. While the Giants have looked at their salary cap in recent weeks and decided that they could not spend the kind of money that Barry Cofield or Kevin Boss, other departed free agents, received, Coughlin made it sound as if the Giants could have scrounged up enough to compete with the Eagles’ offer if given the chance. General manager Jerry Reese did not speak to the media despite a request to do so.
“Our people had pursued an offer and tried to get this done a long time ago but nothing ever came forth from their people,” Coughlin said. “We were constantly told that if and when the market did develop that we would always be included in what was going on … From what I understand there wasn’t any involvement on our part at all. We were never brought into the discussion. And we were told we were going to.”
Of course he was an unrestricted free agent and under no obligation to do so. And chances are when he heard the Coughlin comments yesterday about there being a long haul to his return it probably ruffled some feathers. But Smith visited with the Giants for two days earlier this week and gave no indication that he was considering any other team.
"I felt that with him being here and talking to the Giants that was a positive," Domenik Hixon said. "I thought he was going to end up coming here."
Eli Manning said the same thing, although he had only spoken to Smith via phone since the lockout.
Justin Tuck said he did not know the particulars of Smith's situation and was not speaking for Smith.
"I can only say what I would have done in that situation," Tuck said. "Yeah I would have given the Giants an opportunity to match it."