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After Losing Steve Smith, Giants Settle For Brandon Stokely

The Giants said all offseason that they were hoping to re-sign WR Steve Smith, but rather than actually get a deal done, they let him dangle out in free agency for several weeks. That delay allowed the Eagles to swoop and sign away Smith, prompting an almost indignant response from the Giants who claimed that they expected to have a chance to match any offer to Smith.

Of course, as an unrestricted free agent, that's not how things work. Plus, after the coach and GM of the Giants cast doubt on whether Smith could be ready to play to start the season, in what could be seen as an attempt to drive down his value, it's not likely that Steve was eager to make things easy on the Giants.

But even after he left, Tom Coughlin made it clear that they would have liked to have him back. He was Eli Manning's favorite target and was clearly a major weapon in their offense. This week, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride seemed a little annoyed that the team didn't get Smith back and doesn't seem entirely pleased that they've decided to bring in veteran Brandon Stokley to help fill the big hole left by Smith in the slot.

"We had wanted all along Steve Smith back and that was the objective, that was the hope and the expectation," Gilbride said after Big Blue announced the Stokley signing. "But when that didn't happen, then we have two young guys that we think can do it. How fast will they be able to evolve into the experienced receiver that you need at that spot where everything is happening so quickly inside? The powers above me made that decision and we needed to add this additional receiver."

I really don't think I'm reading too much into this. His team just signed a new player and his response is that he wished he had Steve Smith back? That says something to me. Gilbride clearly wasn't happy about the games played with Smith this offseason and the smart money says he's not the only guy in the organization that feels the same.

Things are not rosy in the swamps of North Jersey it seems.