Former New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer has done a relatively nice job at transitioning from playing on the field, to a media role off of it. He began doing on shows on local Long Island sports, and has worked his way up to appearances with both NBC and Sports Illustrated. Seeing a former Giants great succeed after retirement is encouraging, yet it makes it significantly more painful when that person says something that makes little to no sense.
"Steve Smith was a guy who had a contract on the table, got injured, they pulled the contract off the table," Toomer said. "He subsequently went to the Philadelphia Eagles, then he went to Tampa Bay, then the Rams in St. Louis. Anyway, he never got his big contract."
In the NFL, there's always a risk factor, for both parties, when it comes to signing a contract. Weeks before his injury, Smith had a five-year, $35 million contract offer on the table that he had the opportunity to sign and secure his long-term financial wealth. He decided not to accept the deal and instead bargain with general manager Jerry Reese, and suffered a career altering injury not long after doing so.
Smith could have signed a contract that would have made him a very rich man, but the allure of making even more money led him to take a risk. He lost, and it's not the Giants fault that Smith got hurt. Additionally, the Giants would have been idiotic to keep the contract on the table post-injury. Toomer says that Cruz and Nicks are learning from how the Giants treated Smith, but the truth is, any team in the NFL would have pulled that offer off the table. Smith had a chance to sign, he didn't, got hurt, and now his career is over. As productive of a player as he was for Big Blue, it's entirely his fault that he didn't accept the long-term contract when it was offered.
"In the NFL, the way it is now with the CBA, you have to take advantage when you can," Toomer said. "Because things can change in an absolute second."
Toomer is assuming that Nicks is holding out, while his camp still insists that Nicks' absence from OTA's is not contract related. In fact, it's entirely possible that Nicks does not want to injure himself in OTA's like he did last season and have to play hobbled again in 2013. His contract situation isn't ideal, but unless Toomer has some inside information that the public doesn't have, there's no way of knowing exactly why Nicks has not attended OTA's thus far.
Regardless, the Giants are going to do all they can to keep their two star wide receivers for the foreseeable future. Nicks and Cruz are going to try and get as much money as they can out of general manager Jerry Reese, just as any Pro Bowl caliber player would. But, they are not missing OTA's right now because of how the team treated wide receiver Steve Smith. The two situations are not at all similar, and will play out completely unique of one another.Tags: Amani Toomer, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jerry Reese, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Eagles, Sports Illustrated, Steve Smith, Victor Cruz, wide receiver