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John Mara, New York Giants (January 28, 2014)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

John Mara Talks New York Giants Personnel: New York Giants President and CEO John Mara spoke to the media at the NFL owners meetings in Florida on Sunday. Some of the topics discussed included:

  • On any future free agent moves: “(We are) pretty close to done…I think we’ve improved the team. Time will tell, but we all feel good about the players we’ve added. I would say we’re pretty close to done (signing veterans). Certainly, if the opportunity presented itself with another player, we’d look at it. But I don’t anticipate there being any big-money players being signed at this point.”
  • Mara said they would not rule out re-structuring QB Eli Manning’s contract to create more cap room. However, he said, “That’s not been something we’ve discussed.”
  • The emphasis on defense by the Giants in free agency: “I think that’s more a case of that’s where the opportunities have presented themselves. There were defensive players who were available that we thought could really help us. We did add some offensive players, but we have the draft coming up, so that will be another opportunity.”
  • The focus on improving the secondary: “There were good players that were available, and obviously, if you have a real strong secondary, it allows you to do a lot of other things. I think that was an area where we felt we had to improve a little bit. It wasn’t our number one priority, but those were the players who were available. I think they should help us.”
  • On signing OT John Jerry, who was involved in the bullying controversy of Jonathan Martin: “We were certainly aware of that and did some research into him, and we’re satisfied that he’s going to be a good citizen for us. We did not talk to the league about him, but we did talk to a number of people. We did do our due diligence on him.”
  • The loss of DE Justin Tuck to the Oakland Raiders: “You expect decisions like that in this business but there are some that affect you a little bit more than others…That was very hard. He was and still is very special to us. I’m happy for him that he got that kind of contract. It will be tough to walk into that locker room and not see him there.”
  • On the need for a new defensive leader: “Somebody is going to have to step up and be a leader…Hopefully between (Jon Beason) and Antrel Rolle, and there are other guys who are capable of doing that…but we’re obviously going to miss Justin quite a bit.”
  • On the fact that there are only four players remaining from the Super Bowl XLII team still on the roster (Eli Manning, Chris Snee, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Zak DeOssie): “It is pretty hard to believe, but that’s the nature of the business. Players come and go. It’s an unfortunate part of the business, but it is what it is.”
  • On what still needs to be done: “We feel like we’ve improved the team, but we also need to have a really great draft. And we’re going too have to count on some guys to come through for us – guys that we drafted last year and the year before.”
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Eric Kennedy

Founder and owner of BigBlueInteractive.com, which is now entering its 20th season. Follow Eric on Twitter @BigBlueInteract.

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