Mar 132017
 
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Will Johnson, New York Giants (June 6, 2016)

Will Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT WILL JOHNSON…
The New York Post, Newsday, and NJ.com are reporting that the New York Giants have released fullback/H-Back/tight end Will Johnson. The Giants signed Johnson to a 2-year, $2.3 million contract last offseason, but he missed the entire season with nerve damage to his deltoid muscle. Johnson’s 2017 cap hit would have been $1.275 million. The Giants will suffer $200,000 in dead money by cutting him before June 1st.

Johnson has indicated that the Giants may re-sign him to a cheaper contract.

The Giants signed Johnson as an unrestricted free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers in April 2016. Johnson was not drafted and signed with the Steelers in 2012. In four seasons with the Steelers, Johnson only missed one regular-season game, and started 20 contests. He has 31 career receptions for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson is versatile with the ability to play fullback, H-Back, and tight end. He is a good lead blocker who can also catch the football. Johnson is a solid special teams player.

D.J. FLUKER SIGNING OFFICIAL…
The New York Giants officially announced the signing of unrestricted free agent offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, who was released by the Los Angeles Chargers on Tuesday. The contract is reportedly a 1-year, $3 million deal.

“D.J. is a young, versatile big man with lots of starts in this league,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He will bring size, toughness and competition to our offensive line unit.”

“I’m definitely looking forward to a new start,” said Fluker. “Hopefully, I can make a big impact on the offensive line. I think the Giants give me the best opportunity to be successful.”

Fluker was asked if he preferred play tackle or guard. “Wherever they want me to be successful and the team to be successful,” said Fluker. “They’ll move me around a little bit. Wherever they want to put me is fine.”

The 25-year old Fluker was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Chargers, Fluker has started 59 regular-season games, first at right tackle and then right guard. After a solid rookie season in 2013, Fluker has struggled since and was cut by the Chargers in March 2017. Fluker has excellent size (6’5”, 339 pounds) and strength, but he has struggled in pass protection. Tough, he’s played through injuries but has had issues with the cerebral elements of the game such as picking up stunts.

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Mar 112017
 
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D.J. Fluker, San Diego Chargers (October 2, 2016)

D.J. Fluker – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YOIRK GIANTS SIGN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN D.J. FLUKER…
According to multiple media reports, the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent offensive lineman D.J. Fluker. The contract is supposedly a 1-year, $3 million deal. Fluker was cut by the Los Angeles Chargers earlier this week.

The 25-year old Fluker was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Chargers, Fluker has started 59 regular-season games, first at right tackle and then right guard. After a solid rookie season in 2013, Fluker has struggled since and was cut by the Chargers in March 2017. Fluker has excellent size (6’5”, 339 pounds) and strength, but he has struggled in pass protection. Tough, he’s played through injuries but has had issues with the cerebral elements of the game such as picking up stunts.

Mar 112017
 
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Geno Smith, New York Jets (October 23, 2016)

Geno Smith – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GENO SMITH VISITING THE NEW YORK GIANTS…
The Bergen Record is reporting that unrestricted free agent quarterback Geno Smith (New York Jets) will be visiting the Giants today.

The 26-year old Smith was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Smith has started 30 regular-seasons games, with 29 of those starts coming in 2013-2014. He lost his starting job to Ryan Fitzpatrick in August 2015 after his jaw was broken by a teammate. Smith started one game in 2016 but tore the ACL in his right knee in that game. Smith has completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 5,962 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 36 interceptions. Smith has good size and is a good athlete with a strong arm. He has struggled with his accuracy and mental aspects of the game. Smith needs to protect the ball better (36 interceptions, 7 fumbles). He also has had some off-the-field immaturity issues.

D.J. FLUKER VISITING THE NEW YORK GIANTS…
The Bergen Record is reporting that unrestricted free agent offensive lineman D.J. Fluker will be visiting the Giants today. Fluker was cut by the Los Angeles Chargers earlier this week.

The 25-year old Fluker was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Chargers, Fluker has started 59 regular-season games, first at right tackle and then right guard. After a solid rookie season in 2013, Fluker has struggled since and was cut by the Chargers in March 2017. Fluker has excellent size (6’5”, 339 pounds) and strength, but he has struggled in pass protection. Tough, he’s played through injuries but has had issues with the cerebral elements of the game such as picking up stunts.

ARTICLES…

Mar 112017
 
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Marshall Newhouse, New York Giants (August 20, 2016)

Marshall Newhouse – © USA TODAY Sports Images

OAKLAND RAIDERS SIGN MARSHALL NEWHOUSE…
The Oakland Raiders have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse to a 2-year contract. Newhouse is the second player the Giants have lost in free agency, the first being place kicker Robbie Gould to the San Francisco 49ers.

In 2016, Newhouse started the first two games at right tackle, was sidelined by a calf injury for five weeks, started three games at left guard when injuries hit, and then started the final regular-season and post-season game at right tackle. In all, Newhouse played in 10 regular-season games with six starts.

Newhouse was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. He was the starting left tackle for the Packers in 2011 and 2012 before losing his starting job in 2013. Newhouse signed with the Bengals as a free agent in 2014 but struggled and was benched. The Giants signed him in March 2015 and he started 14 games at right tackle that season.

For a complete listing of team signings and losses, see the 2017 New York Giants Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

MENELIK WATSON SIGNS WITH DENVER BRONCOS…
The Denver Broncos have signed unrestricted free agent offensive tackle Menelik Watson (Oakland Raiders) to a 3-year contract. The New York Giants were reported to have some interest in Watson.

Mar 102017
 
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Menelik Watson, Oakland Raiders (August 12, 2016)

Menelik Watson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS INTERESTED IN MENELIK WATSON…
The Daily News is reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent offensive tackle Menelik Watson (Oakland Raiders).

The 28-year old Watson was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. Since that time, he has played in 27 regular-season games with just 17 starts, including five games in 2016. Watson has been injury prone and missed the entire 2015 season with a torn Achilles tendon. He also missed time in 2013 (knee and calf), 2014 (foot and ankle), and 2016 (groin and calf). Watson has good size, is athletic, and is versatile, having played both tackle spots. Watson is a good run blocker, but he has had issues in pass protection.

(Late Note: Watson signed with the Denver Broncos).

NEW YORK GIANTS INTERESTED IN D.J. FLUKER…
The Bergen Record and ESPN are reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in free agent offensive tackle/guard D.J. Fluker, who was cut earlier this week by the Los Angeles Chargers. ESPN says Fluker has a visit scheduled with the Giants and is drawing strong interest from the New England Patriots as well.

The 25-year old Fluker was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Chargers, Fluker has started 59 regular-season games, first at right tackle and then right guard. After a solid rookie season in 2013, Fluker has struggled since and was cut by the Chargers in March 2017. Fluker has excellent size (6’5”, 339 pounds) and strength, but he has struggled in pass protection. Tough, he’s played through injuries but has had issues with the cerebral elements of the game such as picking up stunts.

RHETT ELLISON SIGNING OFFICIAL…
The New York Giants officially announced the signing of unrestricted free agent tight end/H-Back/fullback Rhett Ellison (Minnesota Vikings) on Friday. Ellison is reported to have signed a 4-year, $18 million contract that included $8 million in guaranteed money.

“Rhett is a versatile, hard-nosed player who we feel is one of the best blocking tight ends in the league,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He also has good hands and is a very capable receiver in the pass game.”

Ellison said the Giants were interested in him before the 2012 NFL Draft and had hoped the team would select him nearly five years ago.

“It just kind of came together at the right time,” Ellison said. “It was unbelievable. It was cool to see that they were still following and still keeping an eye on me, and still wanted me to come here. It was the best-case scenario.

“I haven’t had an opportunity to be part of a team like this. I can already tell the culture is a whole different thing here. It’s a family. Everybody is all-in from the G.M. to the dishwasher. I can already feel the family here.

“(Blocking is) a big part of what I do. It started as a survival thing at USC, where that was the only way I was getting on the field. That was the pride of my game, being physical, being in the right spot, being a technician, and just effort. In the run game, it’s all about effort.”

At USC, Ellison was a teammate of Giants linebacker Devon Kennard.

“I had a lot of battles with him,” Ellison said. “He’s a strong dude, so it’s going to be fun to compete with him again. I think we definitely made each other better in college. He’s one of my favorite guys.”

Ellison’s father, Riki, played on the San Francisco 49ers (1983-1989) when the Giants and 49ers had an intense rivalry.

“He’s excited,” Ellison said. “He wants me to have an opportunity to win a Super Bowl. And he couldn’t be more excited. He had some run-ins with the Giants back in his career. Oddly enough, they were one of his least-favorite teams, because they had some losses to them in the playoffs.  Now he’s a big Giants fan. He’s already asking for all the gear.”

The 28-year old Ellison was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Vikings. In five NFL seasons, Ellison has played in 73 regular-season games with 41 starts. He has 51 career receptions for 515 yards and three touchdowns. Ellison suffered a serious patellar tendon injury in Week 17 of 2015. He returned in 2016, but only caught nine passes for 57 yards. Ellison has good size (6’5”, 250 pounds) and is a good blocker. He is very versatile, having the ability to play tight end, H-Back, and fullback. Lacking speed and quickness, Ellison is not much of a threat as a receiver. Ellison is a good special teams player.

The transcript of today’s media conference call with Ellison is available in The Corner Forum.

ARTICLES…

Mar 102017
 
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Will Johnson, New York Giants (June 6, 2016)

Will Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS TO CUT WILL JOHNSON, COULD BE RE-SIGNED…
NJ.com is reporting that the New York Giants will release fullback/tight end/H-Back Will Johnson. However, the Giants may re-sign Johnson to a cheaper deal. The Giants signed Johnson to a 2-year, $2.3 million contract last offseason, but he missed the entire season with nerve damage to his deltoid muscle. Johnson’s 2017 cap hit would have been $1.275 million. The Giants will suffer $200,000 in dead money by cutting him before June 1st.

Johnson told NJ.com that the Giants are interested in re-signing him to veteran-minimum contract ($775,000 for a player with his experience).

“I’d like to come back, but I know they just signed a guy (Rhett Ellison) who basically does the same thing I do, so I don’t know if they even want me back,” Johnson said. “They’re aware that I can sign elsewhere. I plan to shop around. There’s not much of a market for me coming off (Injured Reserve) for a season. So, we’ll see how things turn out.

“I’ve been told if I had to go out and play football today I could. I don’t know if by the books I’m cleared or not. But after talking with the team doctors, I think I would be cleared and good to go. Everything looks fine.”

The Giants signed Johnson as an unrestricted free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers in April 2016. Johnson was not drafted and signed with the Steelers in 2012. In four seasons with the Steelers, Johnson only missed one regular-season game, and started 20 contests. He has 31 career receptions for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson is versatile with the ability to play fullback, H-Back, and tight end. He is a good lead blocker who can also catch the football. Johnson is a solid special teams player.

BRANDON WILLIAMS RE-SIGNS WITH BALTIMORE RAVENS…
The Baltimore Ravens have re-signed unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Brandon Williams to a 5-year, $54 million contract. The New York Giants were reported to have some interest in Williams.

Mar 092017
 
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Robbie Gould, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Robbie Gould – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ROBBIE GOULD SIGNS WITH SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS…
The San Francisco 49ers have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent place kicker Robbie Gould to a 2-year contract.

The Giants signed Gould in October 2016 after the team parted ways with Josh Brown. Gould played in 10 regular-season games and finished the year a perfect 10-for-10 on field goal attempts, with a long kick of 47 yards. Forty-four percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

Gould was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2005 NFL Draft. After brief stints with the Patriots and Ravens, Gould signed with the Chicago Bears in October 2005. He played 11 seasons with the Bears (2005-2015).

The only place kicker currently on the roster is Aldrick Rosas, who was signed by the Giants to a reserve/future contract in January 2017. Rosas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Tennessee Titans after the 2016 NFL Draft. The Titans cut Rosas in early September before the season started. Rosas is a strong-legged kicker who made 25 of his 32 field goal attempts during his college career. Over half of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

RUSSELL OKUNG SIGNS WITH THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS…
Unrestricted free agent offensive tackle Russell Okung (Denver Broncos) has signed a 4-year, $53 million contract with the San Diego Chargers. The New York Giants were reported to have some interest in Okung.

Mar 092017
 
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Rhett Ellison, Minnesota Vikings (November 6, 2016)

Rhett Ellison – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN RHETT ELLISON…
The New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent tight end/H-Back/fullback Rhett Ellison (Minnesota Vikings) to a 4-year, $18 million contract that includes $8 million guaranteed money.

The 28-year old Ellison was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Vikings. In five NFL seasons, Ellison has played in 73 regular-season games with 41 starts. He has 51 career receptions for 515 yards and three touchdowns. Ellison suffered a serious patellar tendon injury in Week 17 of 2015. He returned in 2016, but only caught nine passes for 57 yards. Ellison has good size (6’5”, 250 pounds) and is a good blocker. He is very versatile, having the ability to play tight end, H-Back, and fullback. Lacking speed and quickness, Ellison is not much of a threat as a receiver. Ellison is a good special teams player.

ANTHONY FASANO SIGNS WITH THE MIAMI DOLPHINS…
Unrestricted free agent tight end Anthony Fasano (Tennessee Titans) has signed a 5-year contract with the Miami Dolphins. The New York Giants were reported to have some interest in Fasano.

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Mar 092017
 
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Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants (November 8, 2015)

Orleans Darkwa – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN ORLEANS DARKWA…
Newsday is reporting that the New York Giants have re-signed free agent running back Orleans Darkwa to a one-year contract. Darkwa was eligible to be a restricted free agent but the Giants chose not to tender him at the $1.797 million original-round level. This in effect made him an unrestricted free agent and allowed the Giants to re-sign him for a cheaper amount.

Darkwa was placed on Injured Reserve in November 2016 with a lower leg injury. Darkwa played in 10 games with two starts for the Giants in 2016. He carries the ball 30 times for 111 yards (3.7 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 12 yards.

Darkwa was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in four games in September before being waived in October and signed to the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants signed him off of Miami’s Practice Squad in November 2014. In 2015 with the Giants, Darkwa carried the ball 36 times for 153 yards and one touchdown.

NEW YORK GIANTS INTERESTED IN RHETT ELLISON…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants are interested in unrestricted free agent fullback/tight end/H-Back Rhett Ellison (Minnesota Vikings).

The 28-year old Ellison was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Vikings. In five NFL seasons, Ellison has played in 73 regular-season games with 41 starts. He has 51 career receptions for 515 yards and three touchdowns. Ellison suffered a serious patellar tendon injury in Week 17 of 2015. He returned in 2016, but only caught nine passes for 57 yards. Ellison has good size (6’5”, 250 pounds) and is a good blocker. Lacking speed and quickness, he is not much of a threat as a receiver. Ellison is a good special teams player.

REPORT – GIANTS AND JASON-PIERRE-PAUL NOT CLOSE ON NEW DEAL…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants and franchise-player defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul are not close on a new, long-term deal. Pierre-Paul’s franchise tender is currently taking up $16.934 million of the 2017 salary cap.

TERRELL MCCLAIN SIGNS WITH WASHINGTON REDSKINS…
Unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Terrell McClain (Dallas Cowboys) has signed a 4-year, $21 million contract with the Washington Redskins. The New York Giants were reported to have some interest in McClain.

BRANDON MARSHALL ON ESPN RADIO
The audio of Thursday’s ESPN Radio interview of New York Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall is available at ESPN.com.

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Mar 082017
 
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Brandon Williams, Baltimore Ravens (September 25, 2016)

Brandon Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS INTERESTED IN BRANDON WILLIAMS AND TERRELL MCCLAIN…
According to media reports, the New York Giants have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent defensive tackles Brandon Williams (Baltimore Ravens) and Terrell McClain (Dallas Cowboys). The Baltimore Sun is reporting the team’s interest in Williams, while First Coast News is reporting the Giants interest in McClain.

If the reports are accurate, the Giants could be using this interest as leverage against unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins. Or the Giants may know that they will not be able to re-sign Hankins.

The 28-year old Williams was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Ravens. He has started all but two regular-season games in the last three seasons. Last season, Williams accrued 51 tackles and one sack. Williams lacks ideal height (6’1”), but he mammoth (340 pounds) and considered one of the very best run-stuffing nose tackles in the NFL. Williams is not much of a pass rusher (4.5 career sacks).

The 28-year old McClain was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. He has played for the Panthers (2011), New England Patriots (2012), Houston Texans (2012-2013), and Dallas Cowboys (2014-2016). In six NFL seasons, McClain has played in 62 regular-season games with 27 starts. In 2016, he started 15 regular-season games and finished the year with 40 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. McClain lacks ideal size (6’2”, 302 pounds) but he was a disruptive player against the run and the pass in 2016. McClain has been injury prone.

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