The Giants' passing game suffered a difficult blow Friday with the news, courtesy of Adam Schefter, that the Raiders signed tight end Kevin Boss to a four-year, $16 million contract. The Giants had been working to sign both Boss and wide receiver Steve Smith, two of quarterback Eli Manning's most trusted and reliable targets. But while Smith remains unsigned (and in the process of recovering from knee surgery), Boss is headed to Oakland, leaving the Giants looking for a replacement.
They have Travis Beckum and the recently signed Ben Patrick on the roster, but Beckum is unproven and Patrick is more of a blocker than a receiver. Bo Scaife of the Titans is also on the free-agent market, though if they couldn't get Boss under the salary cap it's hard to see them swinging a deal for Scaife, who has reportedly drawn interest from the Rams and Bengals, among other teams. (UPDATE: Scaife has reportedly agreed to terms with the Bengals, so scratch that option.)
The Giants have two very good receivers in emerging star Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham, and running back Ahmad Bradshaw is a weapon in the passing game as well. But with questions swirling around Smith's health and contract status, and with Boss now gone, the offense has some question marks at some spots that had been among its most reliable. Add in the still-unsettled Osi Umenyiora contract dispute, and the first week of camp hasn't exactly gone beautifully for Big Blue.