Mar 312013
 

Domenik Hixon to Visit the Carolina Panthers: Unrestricted free agent WR Domenik Hixon will visit the Carolina Panthers on Monday. Former Giants’ Senior Pro Personnel Analyst David Gettleman is Carolina’s general manager. The Panther signed unrestricted free agent LB Chase Blackburn on Wednesday.

Pat White and Tim Hightower to Visit This Upcoming Week: As previously reported, ex-Dolphins QB Pat White and ex-Redskins HB Tim Hightower will visit the Giants this upcoming week.

Article on WR Victor Cruz and WR Steve Smith: Smith & Lesson – Cruz Can Learn from Steve’s Saga by Gary Myers of The Daily News

Mar 292013
 

New York Giants Officially $4.58 Million Under the NFL Salary Cap: According to an NFL press release issued Wednesday, the Giants are $4.58 Million under the 2013 salary cap. Here are some specifics:

  • Current Contracts: 47
  • Previous Year Carryover: $1,000,000
  • Adjustments: $91,284
  • Adjusted Cap: $124,091,284
  • Team Cap: $119,510,326
  • Cap Room: $4,580,958

For a listing of each team, see Remaining Salary-Cap Space for Each NFL Team.

OTA and Mini-Camp Dates Set: It was announced yesterday what days the Giants will hold Organized Team Activity (OTA) workouts and their full-team, mandatory mini-camp:

  • May 22-23: OTA Offseason Workouts
  • May 29-31: OTA Offseason Workouts
  • June 3-7: OTA Offseason Workouts
  • June 11-13: Mandatory Full-Team Mini-Camp

QB Pat White to Visit Giants:The Daily News is reporting that QB Pat White will visit the Giants next week. White was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins, but cut the following year before the 2010 season started. He is now attempting an NFL comeback.

Article on the Giants and the Super Bowl XLVI Team: Giants Keep Breaking Up the Band by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Mar 282013
 

Osi Umenyiora and Chase Blackburn Are No Longer Giants: Unrestricted free agent DE Osi Umenyiora has signed a 2-year, $8.5-million contract with the Atlanta Falcons and LB Chase Blackburn has signed a 2-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. Umenyiora was drafted by the Giants in 2003 and Blackburn was signed by the Giants as a rookie free agent in 2005. Both players won Super Bowl rings on the 2007 and 2011 teams. Umenyiora finishes as the Giants’ seventh-leading sacker in team history with 75 career regular-season sacks. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2005 and 2007.

Domenik Hixon Visits the Raiders: Unrestricted free agent WR Domenik Hixon is visiting with the Oakland Raiders. Hixon visited with the Detroit Lions earlier this month but obviously did not sign a deal with the Lions.

Tim Hightower to Visit the Giants: The Daily News is reporting that HB Tim Hightower, who was released by the Washington Redskins in August 2012, will visit the Giants this weekend. Hightower has not played in a regular-season game since tearing an ACL in his left knee in October 2011.

New Pro Scout Joins Giants: Though not official, according to press reports, Notre Dame Director of Football Personnel Tim McDonnell is joining Giants as a pro personnel scout. McDonnell will work under Director of Pro Personnel Ken Sternfeld and evaluate talent on other NFL teams. The pro personnel department is crucial in evaluating veteran free agents.

McDonnell is former Giants’ co-owner Wellington Mara’s grandson and the nephew of current Giants’ President/CEO John Mara.

Giants.com Q&A With LB Mark Herzlich: The video of a Q&A session with LB Mark Herzlich is available at Giants.com.

Mar 262013
 

David Diehl Accepts Big Pay Cut: According NFL Player Association records, OT David Diehl’s 2013 base salary has been reduced from $4.475 million to $1 million. No years were added to Diehl’s contract – which expires after this upcoming season – so this appears to be a straight pay cut rather than a restructuring. The Daily News is reporting that the Giants did guarantee $200,000 of Diehl’s $1 million salary, effectively making it a signing bonus.

This move saves the Giants at least $3.475 million in salary cap space, and according to The Daily News, drops Diehl’s 2013 cap number from $6.903 million to $3.428 million.

Details on Some Recent Contracts: Here are some details on recent contracts signed by the Giants:

  • QB David Carr: 1-year, $940,000 base salary
  • WR Louis Murphy: 1-year, $715,000 base salary
  • OG Kevin Boothe: 1-year, $905,000 ($840,000 base salary)

New York Giants Will Wear Alternate Uniform for Some Games in 2013: The Giants announced yesterday that the team will wear white instead of gray pants for select games in which they wear their blue jerseys. The Giants will not wear white pants with their white jerseys.

How many games and against which opponents were not announced.

The white pants will have a thin red stripe bordered by gray and blue stripes. The current gray pants have a blue stripe bordered by gray and red stripes. The Giants last wore white pants in 1999, the final season they had “GIANTS” on their helmets and wore all-white road uniforms.

Mar 262013
 

New York Giants Re-Sign OG Kevin Boothe: The Giants have officially re-signed unrestricted free agent OG Kevin Boothe. The contract is reportedly a 1-year deal.

“Kevin is a pro’s pro and we’re happy to have him back,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “His return will provide experience, versatility, competition and depth on our offensive line.”

“I’m happy to be back,” Boothe said. “It’s a great organization and a great team. I’m looking forward to this upcoming season.”

“I think you owe it to yourself to put yourself out there (in free agency),” Boothe said. “The entire time I wanted to return to the New York Giants, and fortunately they wanted me back.”

With Boothe back, the Giants now have five veteran offensive linemen who started last season under contract: LT Will Beatty, LG Kevin Boothe, OC David Baas, RG Chris Snee, and RT David Diehl.

“We’re constantly looking to improve,” Boothe said. “This season, that doesn’t change. We’ll have most, if not all, of the pieces back together and we’re looking forward to getting back to work and having a successful season – more than last year.”

Boothe has played guard, center, and even tackle for the Giants at times.

“It was fun to focus in on one position (left guard) for the most part this past season,” said Boothe. “I always keep prepared for any change that might happen. You don’t know what might happen over the course of a game or a season. I always try to keep myself fresh with regard to center or any other position, so I’m ready wherever I’m needed.”

“I just happy do whatever is needed,” Boothe said. “I’m going into my seventh year here with the Giants. Whatever role they need me to be in, I’m more than happy to fill. Whether it was the first person off the bench in years past or being the starter this past year, I approach every day with 100 percent effort. Whatever I can do to help the team, that’s what I’m all about.”

Mar 242013
 

Report Says Giants Are Offering Victor Cruz More Than $7 Million Per Season:The Daily News is reporting that the Giants are offering restricted free agent WR Victor Cruz a long-term contract that averages more than $7 million per season with “a sizable amount of guaranteed money.”

Cruz is currently tendered at the $2.879 million level. If another team signs Cruz to an offer sheet, and the Giants choose not to match that offer, the Giants would lose Cruz but gain that team’s first round draft pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Osi Umenyiora on Verge of Signing with Falcons: According to ProFootballTalk.com, unrestricted free agent DE Osi Umenyiora is expected to sign with the Atlanta Falcons today or on Monday. Umenyiora has a home in Atlanta so the Falcons were always believed to be a likely destination for him.

“There was nothing better than being able to win (in the New York area),” Umenyiora told an Atlanta radio station on Friday. “The only thing I can think of, for myself personally, (better) than being able to win in New York would be if I was able to win here at home in Atlanta. So we’ll see how that plays out. Hopefully, it will work out in a positive direction.”

Umenyiora met with the Falcons earlier this week. “I live here so I just drove up there and visited with them,” Umenyiora said. “It was very good. Very productive meeting. Hopefully, things will work out.”

OT David Diehl on The NFL Network: OT David Diehl was interviewed by The NFL Network on Thursday and Friday:

Article on TE Brandon Myers: Tight End Brandon Myers Hopes to Reach Next Level with Giants by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Notes: S Will Hill wore #31 last season. CB Aaron Ross, who re-signed with the Giants this offseason, will get that number back and Hill will now wear #25.

Mar 222013
 

New York Giants Officially Announce Re-Signing QB David Carr: The Giants officially announced yesterday that they have re-signed unrestricted free agent QB David Carr. Carr reportedly signed a 1-year contract.

HB David Wilson on Makes the Radio Rounds: HB David Wilson was interviewed yesterday by the following radio stations:

Articles on HB David Wilson:

Article on OG Chris Snee: Giants’ Chris Snee Feels ‘Great’ After Offseason Hip Surgery by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Article on OT David Diehl: Giants’ David Diehl Says He Would Re-Do Contract to Help Victor Cruz by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Article on QB Eli Manning and the Giants’ Offseason Personnel Moves: Eli Runs the Show Only on the Field by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article on Eagles’ Head Coach Chip Kelly and the Giants: Kelly Not Blue Over Passing on G-Men by Gary Myers of The Daily News

Mar 212013
 

DE Osi Umenyiora Visits Falcons: Unrestricted free agent DE Osi Umenyiora visited with the Atlanta Falcons yesterday.

QB Eli Manning on WFAN: The audio of yesterday’s WFAN interview with QB Eli Manning is available at CBSNewYork.com.

Article on QB Eli Manning and WR Victor Cruz: Eli Manning Calls Victor Cruz’s Uncertain Giants Future ‘Nerve-Wracking’ by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Article on the Giants and the New Offenses in the NFL: Tom Coughlin Has Had Enough of Being Run Over by Jonathan Clegg of The Wall Street Journal

Notes and Quotes: HB Ahmad Bradshaw, who was released by the Giants in February, is receiving interest from the Jets, Steelers, and Packers.

QB Eli Manning on WR Hakeem Nicks, who was bothered by foot and knee problems all of last season: “Hakeem is doing well. Talked to him the other day, and he’s training and getting ready, and he’ll be ready when we start the spring. He’ll be full go and running, so that’s good.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin on the Giants and free agency: “We’ve added players, veteran football players who can really make a very good contribution to our team. We’ve added some of our own players back. There are still some we would love to have back. But the ability to bring some people in who are veterans and can contribute and help us, we’ve made some pretty significant moves there.”

Coughlin on TE Brandon Myers: “We’ve had tight ends catch the ball. Not to the extent that he did a year ago, what was it 79? But I’m excited about that. And he’s also a well-rounded tight end. He’s a blocker in the running game as well. We’re looking forward to that.”

Coughlin on DE Jason Pierre-Paul: “He didn’t play as well as the year before. He was big (overweight) when he came to camp. There’s not a lot of body fat (on Pierre-Paul), yes, but still…”

Mar 202013
 

New York Giants Re-Sign Safety Stevie Brown: Restricted free agent S Stevie Brown signed his 1-year, $2.023 million tender with the Giants yesterday. In other words, Brown has re-signed with Giants. The $2.023 million tender originally protected Brown at the second-round level, meaning another team would have had to give the Giants their second round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft if they had successfully signed Brown away from the Giants.

The only unsigned Giants’ restricted free agents now are WR Victor Cruz (1st round tender) and HB Andre Brown (2nd round tender).

New York Giants Re-Sign QB David Carr: Although not official yet, according to press reports, the Giants have agreed to terms to re-sign unrestricted free agent QB David Carr to a 1-year deal.

WR Louis Murphy Officially Signs His Deal: WR Louis Murphy, an unrestricted free agent from the Carolina Panthers, officially signed with the Giants yesterday.

Quotes: General Manager Jerry Reese on the state of the Giants: “Nobody was more disappointed than me (last season), believe me. We needed to retool a little bit and we started to do that. We need to get a little better on both sides of the ball on the line of scrimmage. Our offensive line, we need to improve a little bit. Our defensive line we feel like we have improved. We bring in Cullen Jenkins, who all of our people just loved. He’s been a terrific player. He’s been very durable…We need to reestablish that toughness on the front. Teams ran the ball too easily against us in my opinion last year, and I think that’s an area of concern. And our offensive line, that performance needs to get a little bit better too. But I think we’re headed in the right direction. The key to long-term success in this league is what happens at the end of every April. You have to draft well. If you do that, you’re going to have a chance to be competitive for years to come. If you have a couple of years where you don’t draft well, it is awfully difficult to come back.”

Reese on his free agent strategy: “I don’t think there is a template. Some years you have more money than other years and you think. ‘I can get out and strike quickly.’ I remember one year we went out and got Antrel Rolle and then another year we went out and got (Chris) Canty and (Michael) Boley and we went out and got a center (David Baas) one time. So you have to strike when you can, but other times you have to sit back and wait and let the market settle down a little bit. There are three levels of free agency…(You) have the first level; you get the guys out there who (are) going to get the money right away. Then there is a second level and then you can bottom feed on the guys left at the end.”

Reese on TE Adrien Robinson: “Wish we could have gotten him in some games more last year, but it just didn’t work out for us to get him in some games. But we really think – the guy is 280 pounds, he ran a 4.57 (40-yard dash) at his Pro Day, and we think he can really develop into a terrific blocker. In practice,he flashed some things that were really like some ‘Wow’ things in practice. So we’re expecting him to make a jump this season and get in and get going and give us some contributions as our big blocking tight end. And he can catch the ball really nice. So we expect to bring him along, and hopefully he’ll contribute for us.”

Reese on DE Justin Tuck: “I saw a guy that was not the Justin Tuck that I know. He and I had a good conversation about it. He’s driven, I’ve been seeing him at the office every day, to come back and show everybody – show himself first, obviously, and his teammates and our organization that he can be the old Justin Tuck. So he hadn’t played good, and we talked about it. He’s like, ‘I’m the leader, I know I haven’t played well, so it’s tough to lead when you’re not playing well yourself.’ He’s concerned about all of it. He’s very conscious of what we want to do, and who the Giants are, and what we try to represent in the National Football League, and the toughness. And he’s driven to come back and be that player, and I think you’re going to see that guy.”

Giants’ President/CEO John Mara on why so many free agents are signing 1-year contracts: “That’s what’s happened quite a bit right now. You find players who are quality players who haven’t gotten the big money offered to them, that want to go somewhere where they can maybe reestablish themselves as top flight players and maybe get the big contract the next time around. And we’ve been able to take advantage of that with a few of the guys that we’ve signed. So that has been a little bit surprising to me. But when you think about it, maybe it really shouldn’t be because the cap has been relatively flat, there wasn’t a big increase this year. I think that has a lot to do with it.”

Mar 192013
 

New York Giants Awarded One Compensatory Pick: The Giants were awarded one compensatory pick for their free agent losses from last offseason. The pick is a 7th round selection (#253 overall). The pick is the second-to-last in the entire draft.

Compensatory picks are awarded to teams that have lost more qualifying free agents than they gained the previous year in free agency. Compensatory picks cannot be traded, and the selection of the picks is determined by a proprietary formula based on a player’s salary, playing time, and postseason honors with his new team, with salary being the primary factor.

Last offseason, the Giants signed TE Martellus Bennett, OT Sean Locklear, and DT Shaun Rogers. The team lost WR Mario Manningham, CB Aaron Ross, and DE Dave Tollefson. The Giants gained and lost the same number of players, but the NFL determined that the free agents they lost were more valuable than the ones they gained.

Contract Details for Recently Signed Free Agents: Though all the specifics are not available, here are some contract details on players recently re-signed or signed by the New York Giants:

  • TE Brandon Myers: 4-year, $14.25 million contract including a $1.5 million signing bonus, but the last three years of the contract are voidable so the contract really is a 1-year, $2.25 million deal. Myers’ cap number for 2013 is $1.125 million.
  • LB Dan Connor signed a 1-year deal with a base salary of $715,000.
  • LB Keith Rivers signed a 1-year deal with a base salary of $715,000.
  • S Ryan Mundy signed a 1-year deal with a base salary of $715,000.

Other Free Agent Rumblings: Here is some other news on the free agent front:

  • According to USA Today, the Lions and Dolphins are reportedly interested in unrestricted free agent DE Osi Umenyiora.
  • Unrestricted free agent WR Ramses Barden told The Daily News that re-signing with the Giants is still an option for him. It’s not clear if the Giants feel the same way.
  • ESPN reported that the Giants were one of many teams interested in QB Matt Hasselbeck, who was released by the Tennessee Titans yesterday. But Hasselbeck is reportedly signing with the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Unrestricted free agent LB Rey Maualuga (Cincinnati Bengals), who the Giants were rumored to have some interest in, has re-signed with the Bengals.
  • USA Today is reporting that the deal S Kenny Phillips signed with the Eagles was a 1-year, $2 million contract with no guaranteed money or signing bonus.

Article on WR Victor Cruz: The Cruz Rules: A Look Inside the ‘Tender’ Options by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Quotes: General Manager Jerry Reese on WR Louis Murphy: “I think he’s gonna add another dimension to our offense. We have a scout named Jeremiah Davis and he talks about guys being a knife. This guy is a knife. This guy can take the top off your defense. He’s an interesting guy. He gives us a different dimension in out offense. If we have the same guys, if we have Nicks back healthy and we have Cruz back this guy gives you a deep threat that we haven’t had. We haven’t had a guy who can run like this guy.”

Reese on TE Brandon Myers: “Number one he knows how to play. He’s a professional football player. This guy has played quite a bit, caught 79 balls last year at Oakland so there’s not a lot of training, he’s quarterback friendly. He catches 80 balls and people really don’t know that much about him. We think he’ll be a great piece to our offense and I think (Eli Manning) will have a relationship with him really quickly.”

Giants’ President/CEO John Mara on what the Giants need to do to improve: “We need to re-establish that toughness (up) front. Teams ran the ball against us too easily last year. That’s an area of concern. And the offensive line, that performance needs to get a little better, too.”

Mara on DT Cullen Jenkins: “Our defensive line we feel like we have improved with Cullen, who all of our (personnel) people just loved. He’s been a terrific player and very durable. Actually, one of the biggest proponents to bring him was Chris Snee, who’s had to play against him. He said this guy is a heck of a player.”