All of the New York Giants Restricted Free Agents Safe: The deadline for another team to sign a restricted free agent to an offer sheet passed yesterday. Thus, the Giants’ four remaining unsigned restricted free agents – WR Domenik Hixon, WR Derek Hagan, DT Barry Cofield, and LB Gerris Wilkinson – will not be able to sign with other teams. Hixon told the press he expected to sign his 1-year tender with the Giants yesterday. Wilkinson said he may do so today.
Injury Update – Phillips, Cofield, Bradshaw, Nicks: Safety Kenny Phillips (knee) was cleared by the Giants’ medical staff to begin running three weeks ago.
“It was great,” said Phillips. “I was excited. For seven months I couldn’t run. It was tough just walking around. It felt really good to get out there and run again. No pain, no nothing. I feel like I’m a hundred percent.”
“I’m pretty much full-go in the offseason program,” Phillips said. “I’m running and everything. Not cutting yet, but everything else. I’ve been feeling pretty good. Two or three months after the surgery, I still felt good because I never had pain. Even during the season when I was injured I felt no pain. I felt like I didn’t lose anything. I was just ready.”
Phillips was asked if he would be ready to practice by the time training camp starts. “That’s a goal of mine,” Phillips said. “I feel I should be able to go by then. If not, we’ll just keep working until I get there.”
Meanwhile, defensive tackle Barry Cofield revealed yesterday that he underwent microfracture surgery in February 2009 to repair the same type of injury that Phillips has (patellofemoral arthritis). The surgery also repaired Cofield’s patella tendon. “I feel great right now,” said Cofield. “I didn’t feel good during the season (in 2009), but I feel great right now basically a year after. (Phillips will) be going into the season with a year recovery so I think he’ll feel good, too.”
Halfback Ahmad Bradshaw (feet/ankle) began running on Wednesday. “I just feel like everything will be fine now,” Bradshaw said. “I got out (on Wednesday) and did a little running. I felt great. I just got to get more balanced and more comfortable. After limping the last three months I still got a little limp and still a little bit of pain. But it’s not as bad as it was during the season.”
Bradshaw had three surgeries in the offseason. Screws were inserted in both feet and he also had surgery on the ankle. “Right now, I’m just trying to take this process slow,” Bradshaw said. “Getting as healthy as I can. I want the bone and screws to heal perfect. I just want them to be in the best position, so I can be in the best position during training camp and during the season.”
“(The coaches) tried to say, ‘Try to stay on the inside of your feet,’ but to me it’s so natural to run on the outside of my feet,” said Bradshaw, who is bow-legged. “At one point I’m sure there was a time when the bones probably broke, and I didn’t even know, it just started aching and I got to running a little more. You just never know with my style of running.”
Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks revealed yesterday that he played his rookie season with a broken toe. “I pretty much knew after the first game I was going to need surgery,” said Nicks. “But I just pushed through it. You guys saw me limping around (the locker room), I’m sure.”
As reported previously, Nicks also had offseason surgery on his wrist.
Article on the Giants’ Offseason: Anyone Remember the Giants? by Matt Mosley of ESPN.com
Quotes: Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka on his desire to start: “I want to start. Bottom line. So the decision is up to the coaches and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that at the end of the day I’m in the best possible position to get that starting job…We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have that same kind of attitude.I don’t take it personally at all. It’s the exact mindset that I have. I’m not worried about. Everybody in this locker room is fighting for starting jobs. It’s different because Osi (Umenyiora) is more vocal about his emotions. But there’s competition at every single position out here…I want to start. OK? Is there room for all of us? That’s not my decision. I’m just looking to get that job and I’m not looking back.”