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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Mar 082017
 
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Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (October 30, 2016)

Brandon Marshall – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BRANDON MARSHALL SIGNING OFFICIAL…
The New York Giants have officially announced the signing of free agent wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who was cut by the New York Jets last week.

“Brandon is a big, talented wide receiver who we believe can still play at a very high level,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “But, most of all, we believe he still has the hunger.”

“I feel great,” said Marshall, who turns 33 later this month. “I started my training three weeks ago. I have lot to prove. I have a chip on my shoulder. When you get to the plus side of 30, a lot of people say that you’re done. I’ve always been that type of player, to use things like that as fuel. I’m approaching this year like it’s my rookie year. I want to try to outwork everyone and do my best to be the best receiver I can be.

“I think it’s the perfect situation for me. There’s a stability in ownership. Since I’ve been in New York, all I’ve heard is amazing things about how well-run this organization is. Now I can understand why everybody holds the Giants organization so high.”

Marshall was asked if Eli Manning was probably the best quarterback he has played with.

“Not probably. He is,” Marshall said. “I’ve played with some great quarterbacks. (Jets) Ryan Fitzpatrick is probably one of my favorite quarterbacks that I’ve played with. I see a lot of similarities there. I don’t think people realize how hard Eli works in the film room and in the classroom, and how he’s an amazing leader. Obviously, we know about his physical ability. What’s not reported is how hard he works off the field. With Ryan Fitzpatrick, I’m used to that type of approach, where they’re leaders and they also push you in the classroom. So being able to play with a guy who’s a two-time Super Bowl champion and has done some amazing things in this league for a long time, he’s a warrior, and I’m looking forward to following him.”

Marshall also addressed being a mentor for the young receivers on the roster. “Whatever our room needs,” Marshall said. “I know my number one job is to take pressure off the other receivers by doing my job and being a great receiver. I think that naturally will happen as far as being able to be that older guy in the room where they can learn from my history and my experiences. There is a lot that they can pull from. Hopefully, we’ll learn from each other.

“I’m super excited to play with and experience an awesome quarterback in Eli Manning and play with the biggest superstar in the NFL, Odell (Beckham), on the other side. I’m eager to take pressure of him. He’s seen funky coverages. So many teams do everything they can to pull him out of the game.”

Marshall has never played on a playoff team.  “That’s why I’m here,” said Marshall. “I’m here just because of that reason, because I want to finish my career as a winner.”

Marshall was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He has played with the Broncos (2006-2009), Miami Dolphins (2010-2011), Chicago Bears (2012-2014), and Jets (2015-2016). Marshall is a six-time Pro Bowler (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015) and two-time All-Pro (2012 and 2015). Marshall is the only player in NFL history with six seasons of 100 or more receptions. In 2016, started 15 regular-season games despite battling knee and foot injuries that he suffered in Week 2. Marshall caught 59 passes for 788 yards and three touchdowns. Those numbers were dramatically down from his 109-catch, 1,502-yard, 14-touchdown 2015 season.

While Marshall is nearing the end of a stellar career, he still is a huge (6’4”, 230 pounds), physical play-maker who runs well after the catch and is tough to tackle.  Lacking classic speed and quickness, Marshall is more possession receiver than deep threat. Good run blocker.

The transcript of today’s media conference call with Marshall is available in The Corner Forum. The video of a Giants.com Insider interview with Marshall is available at Giants.com.

GIANTS INTERESTED IN MARTELLUS BENNETT…
CBS Sports is reporting that the New York Giants are one of several teams interested in unrestricted free agent tight end Martellus Bennett (New England Patriots). The 29-year old Bennett was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He has played for the Cowboys (2008-2011), Giants (2012), Chicago Bears (2013-2015), and Patriots (2016). Last season, Bennett caught 55 passes for 701 yards and seven touchdowns. Bennett is a solid two-way tight end who can block and catch. With the Giants in 2012, Bennett caught 55 passes from Eli Manning for 626 yards and five touchdowns.

ARTICLES…

Mar 082017
 
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Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (December 11, 2016)

Brandon Marshall – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS AGREE TO TERMS WITH BRANDON MARSHALL…
According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants have agreed to terms with wide receiver Brandon Marshall. The contract is reportedly a 2-year, $12 million deal. Marshall, who turns 33 this month, was released by the New York Jets last week.

Marshall was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He has played with the Broncos (2006-2009), Miami Dolphins (2010-2011), Chicago Bears (2012-2014), and Jets (2015-2016). Marshall is a six-time Pro Bowler (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015) and two-time All-Pro (2012 and 2015). Marshall is the only player in NFL history with six seasons of 100 or more receptions. In 2016, started 15 regular-season games despite battling knee and foot injuries that he suffered in Week 2. Marshall caught 59 passes for 788 yards and three touchdowns. Those numbers were dramatically down from his 109-catch, 1,502-yard, 14-touchdown 2015 season.

While Marshall is nearing the end of a stellar career, he still is a huge (6’4”, 230 pounds), physical play-maker who runs well after the catch and is tough to tackle.  Lacking classic speed and quickness, Marshall is more possession receiver than deep threat. Good run blocker.

GIANTS WANT DWAYNE HARRIS TO TAKE A PAY CUT…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants are seeking to restructure wide receiver/returner Dwayne Harris’ contract. If an agreement is not reached, the team may cut Harris.

Harris has three years left on his current 5-year contract. His 2017 cap figure is $3.8 million, including $2.975 million in salary.

Harris was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cowboys. The Giants signed him in free agency in March 2015. In his second year with the Giants, Harris suffered through a frustrating, injury-plagued season. While he played in all 16 regular-season games with one start, Harris was hampered by a variety of nagging injuries all season. A year after his career-best 36 catches for 396 yards and four touchdowns, Harris caught only one pass for 13 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, his special teams return numbers plummeted with his punt return average falling from 10.0 yards to 5.9 yards and his kickoff return average falling from 28.7 yards to 24.2 yards. He also did not score a year after becoming the first Giants player in 60 years to return a kickoff and punt for a touchdown in the same season. Harris did remain a force on punt coverage and he was voted to his first Pro Bowl.

Mar 072017
 
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Anthony Fasano, Tennessee Titans (September 1, 2016)

Anthony Fasano – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MARCH 7, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS FREE AGENT RUMORS…
The negotiating period of NFL free agency began today. Teams can officially sign free agents from other teams at 4:00PM ET on Thursday, March 9th. Here are some of the latest rumors:

  • The New York Post is reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent tight end Anthony Fasano (Tennessee Titans). The 32-year old Fasano was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He has spent time with the Cowboys (2006-2007), Miami Dolphins (2008-2012), Kansas City Chiefs (2013-2014), and Titans (2015-2016). Fasano is a better blocker than receiver, but he does have 287 career regular-season catches for 3,171 yards and 35 touchdowns.
  • ESPN is reporting that the Giants are “monitoring the top of the tight end market,” including unrestricted free agents Martellus Bennett (New England Patriots), Jared Cook (Green Bay Packers), and Jack Doyle (Indianapolis Colts). (Late Note: Doyle re-signed with the Colts).
  • ESPN is reporting that the Giants may be one of several teams interested in offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, who was released today by the Los Angeles Chargers.
  • The Bergen Record is reporting that the Giants have some interest in unrestricted free agent running backs Eddie Lacy (Green Bay Packers) and Latavius Murray (Oakland Raiders).
Mar 072017
 
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Kerry Wynn, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Kerry Wynn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS DEFENSIVE END KERRY WYNN TENDERED…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants have tendered restricted free agent defensive end Kerry Wynn at the original-round, $1.797 million level. The tender allows the Giants to match any offer from another team to retain his services. But since Wynn was not drafted, the Giants would not receive any draft pick compensation.

Wynn saw his playing time decrease in 2016 (11 percent of defensive snaps). He played in 14 regular-season games with no starts and finished the year with 12 tackles and 0.5 sacks. Wynn was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Giants after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has played in 34 regular-season games, with seven starts, for the Giants in his three years with the team.

For a full list of the team’s free agents, see the New York Giants 2017 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

ARTICLES…

Mar 062017
 
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Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants (October 3, 2016)

Orleans Darkwa – © USA TODAY Sports Images

REPORT – NEW YORK GIANTS WILL NOT TENDER ORLEANS DARKWA…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants will not tender restricted free agent running back Orleans Darkwa, effectively making him an unrestricted free agent. Darkwa could re-sign with the Giants but the team was not willing to pay the required $1.797 million for an original-round one-year tender.

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.

The only other potential restricted free agent on the team is defensive end Kerry Wynn, who has not been tendered yet. For a complete listing of Giants free agents, see the 2017 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

REPORT – NEW YORK GIANTS INTERESTED IN TERRELLE PRYOR…
Cleveland.com is reporting that the New York Giants are one of several teams to have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (Cleveland Browns). The Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, and Philadelphia Eagles are also said to be interested. Teams are not allowed to begin talking to players from other teams until noon on Tuesday.

The 27-year old Pryor is a converted quarterback who had a breakout season in 2016 with 77 catches for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns. Before 2016, he only had two career receptions. Pryor was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft by the Oakland Raiders. He has spent time with the Raiders (2011-2013), Seattle Seahawks (2014), Kansas City Chiefs (2015), Cincinnati Bengals (2015), and Browns (2015-2016). Pryor has excellent size (6’4”, 223 pounds) and is a good athlete with fine hands.

Mar 062017
 
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Robbie Gould, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Robbie Gould – © USA TODAY Sports Images

REPORT – ROBBIE GOULD WILL HIT FREE AGENT MARKET…
ESPN is reporting that New York Giants unrestricted free agent place kicker Robbie Gould will test the free agent market. Other teams can begin talking to free agents on March 7th and signing them on March 9th.

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).

NEW YORK GIANTS SALARY CAP SPACE…
According to the NFL Players Association website, the New York Giants currently are $13,120,005 under the $167 million 2017 salary cap.

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Mar 042017
 
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Russell Okung, Seattle Seahawks (October 22, 2015)

Russell Okung – © USA TODAY Sports Images

REPORT – GIANTS INTERESTED IN RUSSELL OKUNG AGAIN…
The Washington Post is reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent Russell Okung (Denver Broncos), along with the New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, and Minnesota Vikings. The Giants also pursued Okung last year in free agency.

The 29-year old Okung was originally drafted in the 1st round (6th overall pick) of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks and signed by the Broncos as a free agent last year to a 5-year contract. Denver chose not to pick up his option after an inconsistent season.

In seven NFL seasons, Okung has started all 88 regular-season games that he played in. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2012. However, 2016 was the first year he played a full 16-game schedule, having missed 24 regular-season games due to injuries: high ankle sprains in both ankles in 2010, a torn right pectoral muscle in 2011, a toe injury that caused him to miss half of the 2013 season, a bruised lung in 2014, and ankle and calf injuries in 2015. Okung also needed left shoulder surgery to repair a dislocation suffered in the 2015 playoffs. Okung combines excellent size and overall athleticism. Although, he really has not played at an elite level since the 2012 season, Okung is still considered one of the more solid all-around tackles in the game as both a run and pass blocker.

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Mar 032017
 
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Jason Pierre-Paul and Johnathan Hankins, New York Giants (November 20, 2016)

Jason Pierre-Paul and Johnathan Hankins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MARCH 3, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS FREE AGENT RUMORS…
The negotiating period of NFL free agency begins on March 7th. ESPN is reporting the following:

  • The Giants are not interested in unrestricted free agent running back Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings).
  • Not only is the team interested in retaining defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (franchise player), but it is working hard to re-sign unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.
  • The Giants have also had talks to re-sign unrestricted free agents linebacker Keenan Robinson, right guard John Jerry, quarterback Josh Johnson, and cornerback Coty Sensabaugh.

NJ.com is reporting:

  • The Giants are pushing for a long-term deal with Pierre-Paul before free agency begins in order to reduce Pierre-Paul’s current $16.9 million 2017 franchise-player cap hit.
  • The Giants are unlikely to match the $10 million-per-year contract that Hankins is expected to receive on the open market.
  • The Giants are expected to tender restricted free agent defensive end Kerry Wynn at the lowest tender level, which will allow the team to match any offer from another team if they choose to do so.

For a listing of the team’s free agents, see the 2017 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

NEW YORK GIANTS COACHING STAFF CHANGES…
The New York Giants officially announced on Friday that they have promoted Rob Leonard to assistant defensive line coach. That position had been held by Jeff Zgonina, who was hired by the San Francisco 49ers as their new defensive line coach last month. Leonard has served as a defensive assistant with the Giants since 2013.

To fill Leonard’s old coaching position, the Giants hired Bobby Blick to be the team’s new defensive assistant. The Giants also have hired Pratik Patel as Director of Performance Nutrition/Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. Blick served as Army’s director of player personnel in 2016. Patel was the University of Oregon’s sports nutrition coach since October 2014. Fuller information on their bios is available in the Coaching Staff section of the website.

GIANTS INSIDER WITH MARC ROSS…
The video of a Giants Insider Q&A with Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Mar 022017
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (October 23, 2016)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JOHN MARA COMMENTS ON FREE AGENCY…
New York Giants President and CEO John Mara weighed in on the following subjects with Newsday on Wednesday:

  • On franchise-player defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul: “I heard him say (he won’t play on a 1-year contract), yes, and we’re trying to get a (long-term) deal done. We want to get him signed long-term, but we had to do that to protect ourselves. Hopefully, we’ll be able to reach an agreement, but I can’t say it’s imminent…(His franchise-tag contract is) a high number, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the average going forward. It ain’t gonna be that going forward…He’s an important part of our team. He played at a high level last year. He gave us a huge boost. Having him on one side and (Olivier) Vernon on the other gives us a nice pair of bookend pass rushers, so yeah, we’d like to have him back. Plus, he’s a positive influence. He’s a good young man, very popular (in the locker room). He’s the type of guy you want on your team.”
  • On the Giants approach to free agency this offseason: “We’re obviously not going to be as aggressive as we were (last year). We just don’t have the salary-cap room, and you can’t do that every year. Putting the franchise tag on Jason takes a lot of our room away, but there’s still enough room for us to do some things if we want…We struggled on offense last year, but when you go into free agency, there has to be the right guys. I’m not sure the offensive line is the strongest group this year, so I don’t know.”

REPORT – GIANTS WON’T PURSUE ADRIAN PETERSON…
NJ.com is reporting that the New York Giants will not pursue unrestricted free agent running back Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) when free agency begins on March 7th. Peterson has expressed interest in the Giants but the 31-year old running back is on the downside of his career and has had off-the-field issues involving domestic abuse of a child.

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