Smith Feels Comfortable with Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Torrey Smith understands he needs to revitalize his career after two down seasons in San Francisco and the veteran receiver feels Philadelphia is the best place to do that.
The Maryland product signed a glorified one-year deal with the Eagles for $5 million with another two years of team options at the same price on Thursday. Meanwhile, the guaranteed portion of the contract is only $500K, a far cry from where Smith was the last time he was a free agent and signed a big-money deal with the Niners.
Known for his speed and the ability to pop the top off of just about any defense, Smith cited the presence of second-year quarterback Carson Wentz as well as two familiar faces from his first NFL stop in Baltimore, personnel chief Joe Douglas and his top lieutenant Andy Weidl, as reasons for migrating back east.
Smith started with Wentz, the now second-year pro who Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman correctly claimed would be a big plus in luring talent via free agency.
"I watched Carson from a distance. You can see that he has that 'it' factor," Smith said Friday at his introductory press conference. "Obviously he's still young, so he's not perfect. But, I know that he has potential to get it done. ...To be able to play with a guy like that and also grow with him and help him in other ways is something that I'm looking forward to."
Wentz had his hiccups during a rookie season where he passed for 3,782 yards and 16 touchdowns but the Eagles are convinced they have their franchise quarterback and it's becoming increasingly obvious that many agree with that assessment.
Roseman has insisted that the goal of this offseason is to build around Wentz and that was evident on the first day of free agency by snaring two receivers, Smith and the big-ticket item, Alshon Jeffery, who believes the former No. 2 overall pick is a potential future MVP.
Smith, though, is coming off his worst season as a professional, catching just 20 passes for 267 yards in a Chip Kelly offense with Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick throwing him the football.
Another season like that and Smith's very career could be in jeopardy so reuniting with Douglas and Weidl, who pounded the table for him when he was a second-round pick in Baltimore back in 2011, was also a mitigating factor in getting him to Philadelphia.
"I'm very comfortable with Joe Douglas, Andy and I know they have my back," Smith said. "Having that comfort level with knowing that this is a team that's had interest in me in a while, I wanted to be a part of it. There's some potential here to build something special."
Over his six NFL seasons, Smith has won a Super Bowl and been on a 2-14 team so he understands what side of that fence he wants to be on.
"I'm most concerned with winning," He said. "And how I can help this team win. That's going to happen."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen