May 192020
 
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Darius Slayton, New York Giants (December 9, 2019)

Darius Slayton – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp hopefully beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Keep in mind that some of the players discussed may be cut as the 2020 NFL draft class signs their rookie contracts.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Wide Receivers

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW: Perhaps the biggest offseason NFL story in 2019 was the trade of Odell Beckham, Jr. to the Cleveland Browns in March. While the Giants received what now appears to be more-than-adequate compensation (1st- and 3rd-round draft picks and safety Jabrill Peppers), the trade left the Giants without a clearcut #1 wide receiver who could consistently threaten opposing defenses down the field. In addition, the Giants were now very thin and top heavy at the position, with only newly-acquired Golden Tate and yet-to-breakout Sterling Shepard as headliners.

Things got even dicier early when Tate (49 catches, 676 yards, 6 TDs) was suspended for the first four games of the season for the use of performance-enhancing substances. Shepard (57 catches, 576 yards, 3 TDs) then missed six games (Week 2, Weeks 6-10) with concussions. Evan Engram (44 catches, 467 yards, 3 TDs), a hybrid tight end/wide receiver, also missed eight games (Week 6, Weeks 10-17) with knee and foot issues. Former Browns 1st rounder Corey Coleman was lost in July with a torn ACL.

Long story short was that the Giants were forced to rely on guys like perennial tease Cody Latimer (24 catches, 300 yards, 2 TDs) and no-name journeymen such as Bennie Fowler (23 catches, 193 yards), T.J. Jones (3 catches), Cody Core (3 catches), Russell Shepard (3 catches), and Da’Mari Scott (2 catches). David Sills spent the bulk of the season on the Practice Squad until mid-December but he did not have a catch.

Thank goodness for 5th-round steal Darius Slayton, who had a surprisingly productive rookie season, playing in 14 games with nine starts, and finishing with 48 catches for a team-leading 740 yards (team-leading 15.4 yards per catch) and a team-leading eight touchdowns.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants cut Fowler and Jones during the 2019 season and chose not to re-sign Latimer and Russell Shepard in free agency. The team did re-sign Coleman and Core in free agency, as well as re-sign practice squader Alex Bachman.

Surprisingly, the Giants did not sign any free agents from other teams and did not draft a receiver in what was widely-regarded as a very deep wide receiver draft. The only newcomers are undrafted rookie free agents Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, and Derrick Dillon.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The main question is do the Giants have enough receiving targets who can stay healthy and scare opposing defenses? On paper, the Giants are pretty much in the same boat as they were at this time last year, having to rely on Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Evan Engram to stay on the field and be consistently productive. The one significant change is the emergence of Darius Slayton. Was 2019 a flash in the pan for the rookie Slayton or the start of something even better? Will he experience the dreaded “sophomore slump”? Tate proved he can still play, but the Giants are his fourth NFL team and it will be interesting to see how he interacts with Joe Judge. The big concern is Shepard’s career-threatening concussion history. How much more will he be able to play?

Cody Core is a stud special teamer but only has 33 catches in four NFL seasons. It’s a bit surprising that Da’Mari Scott is even back. Sills and Bachman have already been cut by other teams. There was some hope last year that Corey Coleman could emerge, but now he’s coming off a torn ACL. Undrafted free agents Victor, Mack, and Dillon probably couldn’t have picked a better team to sign with. At least one has a reasonable shot of making the team. Unless someone really surprises, there is very little depth at this position.

ON THE BUBBLE: Slayton, Shepard, and Tate are the sure bets with Core having a great shot because of his special teams value. That leaves probably two or three spots for the rest, who are all on the bubble. Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge will be actively scanning the waiver wire.

PREDICTIONS: There are a lot of conflicting thoughts in my head when I consider the team’s situation at wide receiver. I grew up during a time when Phil Simms largely had a bunch of no-name scrubs and still got the job done. I also witnessed how the personal excellence of Odell Beckham had no impact on the overall W-L record. On the other hand, it’s hard to see Eli Manning winning two Super Bowls without the presence of Amani Toomer, Plaxico Burress, Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham.

Personally, I don’t think the Giants have enough talent at the position. If everyone stays healthy, this could be a more-than-adequate unit, but the slot receiver Shepard is one big hit away from being done and he’s never come close to cracking the 1,000-yard mark. The hybrid Engram also can’t seem to stay on the field. I also could see the show-boating Tate rubbing Judge the wrong way. There will be a lot of pressure on Darius Slayton to perform and even improve upon his rookie season. It is a long shot to believe anyone else will be meaningfully productive.

I suspect wide receiver will be a top priority in free agency and the draft next offseason.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Cody Core, Corey Coleman, Binjimen Victor

After my first four, the next two are my best guesses. Coleman has talent but is now on his fourth team and coming off an ACL. Still, he has the one thing you can’t teach: speed. Austin Mack is one of those receivers who is tough to cut, but I just don’t see an ability to separate in his game. Victor reminds me of a poor man’s Plaxico Burress. The 5th and 6th receivers may not be on the roster yet. Stay tuned.

Nov 272019
 
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Kareem Martin, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Kareem Martin – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 27, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Golden Tate (concussion), tight end Evan Engram (foot), tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion), and safety Jabrill Peppers (back) did not practice on Wednesday.

Linebacker Kareem Martin, who has been on Injured Reserve since September 11th with a knee injury that he suffered in the season opener, has been designated for return from Injured Reserve by the Giants. He is now eligible to return to the 53-man roster in three weeks.

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have waived wide receiver Bennie Fowler and signed wide receiver Da’Mari Scott from the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants also re-signed wide receiver Reggie White, Jr. to the Practice Squad.

Fowler originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Denver Broncos after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Broncos (2014-2017), Chicago Bears (2018), and New England Patriots (2018). After signing late with the Giants in October 2018, Fowler surprisingly played in 10 games in 2018 with five starts, finishing the year with 16 catches for 199 yards and one touchdown. Fowler made the 53-man roster again in 2019. The Giants cut him in early October and re-signed him two weeks later. This year, Fowler has played in eight games with two starts for the Giants, catching 23 passes for 193  yards.

The 6’0”, 205-pound Scott was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns waived him in December 2018 and he was then signed by the Bills. The Giants claimed Scott off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills in July 2019, waived him in August, and re-signed him to the Practice Squad in October 2019.

The Giants originally signed White as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The team signed him to the Practice Squad in September but terminated his contract two weeks ago.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Thanksgiving. The players practice on  Friday with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the team’s coordinators addressing the media.

Oct 012019
 
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Golden Tate, New York Giants (August 29, 2019)

Golden Tate – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS CUT BENNIE FOWLER AND T.J. JONES; PROMOTE GOLDEN TATE AND JOSIAH TAUAEFA…
The New York Giants have added wide receiver Golden Tate and middle linebacker Josiah Tauaefa to the 53-man roster. To make room, the team terminated the contracts of wide receiver Bennie Fowler and T.J. Jones.

Tate was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The Giants signed Tate as an unrestricted free agent from the Philadelphia Eagles in March 2019. The 5’10”, 197-pound Tate was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He has spent time with the Seahawks (2010-2013), Detroit Lions (2014-2018), and Eagles (2018). In nine NFL seasons, Tate has played in 137 regular-season games with 100 starts, accruing 611 catches for 7,214 yards and 38 touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl in 2014. Last season, for the Lions and Eagles, Tate caught 74 passes for 795 yards and four touchdowns.

The Giants signed Tauaefa to the Practice Squad in September 2019. The Giants originally signed Tauaefa as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft.

After signing late with the Giants in October 2018, Fowler surprisingly played in 10 games in 2018 with five starts, finishing the year with 16 catches for 199 yards and one touchdown. This year, Fowler played in all four regular-season games with two starts, catching 12 passes for 99 yards. Fowler originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Denver Broncos after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Broncos (2014-2017), Chicago Bears (2018), and New England Patriots (2018).

The Giants re-signed T.J. Jones to the 53-man roster in September 2019 after cutting him in late August. He played in three regular-season games, catching three passes for 38 yards and a touchdown. Jones also returned eight punts, but fumbled three of those chances. Jones was originally drafted in the 6th-round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. The Giants signed Jones in July 2019.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The Giants have signed wide receiver Da’Mari Scott and linebacker Devante Downs to their Practice Squad.

The Giants claimed Scott off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills in July 2019, but waived him in August. The 6’0”, 205-pound Scott was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns waived him in December and he was then signed by the Bills. While he played in three regular-season games with the Bills, he does not yet have a reception in the NFL.

The 23-year old, 6’2”, 252-pound Downs was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Downs played in 13 games with the Vikings, with no starts, accruing three tackles. The Vikings waived him on September 24th.

Aug 222019
 
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Oshane Ximines, New York Giants (August 22, 2019)

Oshane Ximines – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 25 – CINCINNATI BENGALS 23…
The New York Giants improved their preseason record to 3-0 on Thursday night by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 25-23 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Running back Saquon Barkley was once again a healthy scratch from the game. He has not played all preseason.

The Bengals received the football to start the game. After picking up 28 yards on a pass, Cincinnati only gained four more yards before punting. With quarterback Eli Manning at the helm, the Giants started their initial possession at their own 11-yard line. New York put together a 15-play, 66-yard drive that stalled inside the red zone and resulted in a 41-yard field goal by place kicker Adrick Rosas. The drive was kept alive with a 19-yard completion by wide receiver Russell Shepard on 3rd-and-6. Wide receiver Cody Latimer could not hold onto what could have been an 18-yard touchdown pass.

The Bengals went three-and-out on their second possession. Daniel Jones entered the game at quarterback with the starting unit. He completed two throws for 26 yards before two incompletions led to a turnover on downs at the Bengals’ 30-yard line. Cincinnati then easily drove 70 yards in six plays to go ahead 7-3 on a 26-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Andy Dalton.

The Giants picked up one first down on their third series before punting. The Bengals then drove to the New York 38-yard line but turned the ball over on downs. On 2nd-and-5, Jones completed a 35-yard pass to wide receiver Brittan Golden. Two plays later, Jones was crushed by both defensive ends. He fumbled the ball but the Giants recovered. On the very next snap, on 3rd-and-16, Jones completed a 27-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton down to the 1-yard line despite tremendous pass pressure again. Two plays later, running back Rod Jones scored from one yard out. Giants 10 – Bengals 7.

The Bengals responded with a 12-play drive that only picked up 43 yards, but it was good enough to set up a 50-yard field goal to tie the game at 10-10 right before halftime.

Alex Tanney entered the game as New York’s quarterback to start the 3rd quarter. After picking up one first down, the Giants punted. The Bengals drove to the New York 30-yard line, but for the second time in the game, turned the ball over on downs. After two punts by the Giants and one by the Bengals, Cincinnati went up 17-10 early in the 4th quarter on a 5-play, 45-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass.

With Kyle Lauletta now in at quarterback, the Giants responded with an 8-play, 74-yard effort that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Jon Hilliman. On this drive, Lauletta completed two passes for 30 yards to tight end Garrett Dickerson, including one key 3rd-and-9 conversion. Lauletta also threw a 36-yard strike to wide receiver Reggie White, Jr. Head Coach Pat Shurmur decided to go for the 2-point conversion, and the Giants went up 18-17 on Lauletta’s pass to wide receiver Alonzo Russell.

It looked like the Giants had safely put the game away after a Bengals’ three-and-out, followed by a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown by Brittan Golden. The Giants were now up 25-17 with seven minutes to go in the game. However, after another three-and-out by the Bengals, Golden muffed his next punt return. Cincinnati recovered at the Giants’ 35-yard line. Seven plays later, the Bengals scored on a 2-yard touchdown pass. Fortunately, the 2-point conversion failed.

With 2:43 left on the clock, the Giants held onto a tenuous 25-23 lead. However, New York was able to run out the clock with an important 11-yard pass by Lauletta to tight end C.J. Conrad and then a 6-yard end-around by Reggie White, Jr.

Eli Manning finished 2-of-4 for 41 yards, but also had two drops by Latimer. Daniel Jones completed 9-of-11 passes for 141 yards. Alex Tanney completed 2-o-6 for 25 yards. Kyle Lauletta was 4-of-7 for 77 yards. The leading rushers were Wayne Gallman (8 carries for 31 yards), Jon Hilliman (6 carries for 14 yards and a touchdown), and Rod Smith (5 carries for 8 yards and a touchdown). No player caught more than three passes, though Brittan Golden had two catches for 59 yards (and one drop).

Defensively, the Giants accrued five sacks, including those by linebacker Oshane Ximines (2), linebacker Josiah Tauaefa, linebacker Keion Adams, and safety Sean Chandler. While the Giants did not force a turnover, they did have six tackles for a loss and eight pass defenses.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (thumb), WR Golden Tate (concussion), OT Chad Wheeler (back), OT George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), LB Alec Ogletree (calf), CB Deandre Baker (knee), CB Antonio Hamilton (groin), and CB Sam Beal (hamstring) did not play.

Running back Saquon Barkley was a healthy scratch.

Running back Rod Smith left the game with a groin injury and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • QB Kyle Lauletta (Video)

GIANTS CUT DA’MARI SCOTT…
The New York Giants have waived wide receiver Da’Mari Scott. The Giants claimed Scott off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills in July 2019. The 6’0”, 205-pound Scott was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns waived him in December and he was then signed by the Bills. While he played in three regular-season games with the Bills, he does not yet have a reception in the NFL.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call on Friday. The players are off on Saturday and return to training camp practice on Sunday.

Jul 252019
 
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Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Jabrill Peppers – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 25, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their first full-team summer training camp practice on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT – STERLING SHEPARD BREAKS THUMB…
Wide receivers Darius Slayton (hamstring) and Alex Wesley (PUP List – unknown) did not practice on Thursday.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard left practice early. X-rays revealed that he fractured his thumb and will be “evaluated on a week-to-week basis.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The starting offensive line consisted of LT Nate Solder, LG Will Hernandez, OC Jon Halapio, RG Kevin Zeitler, and RT Mike Remmers.
  • The second-team offensive line consisted of LT Brian Mihalik, LG Nick Gates, OC Spencer Pulley, RG Chad Slade, and RT Chad Wheeler.
  • The third-team offensive line consisted of LT Paul Adams, LG Austin Droogsma, OC Evan Brown, RG Victor Salako, and RT George Asafo-Adjei.
  • Wheeler and Mihalik also received first-team reps at left tackle. Wheeler received first-team reps at right tackle and Pulley first-team reps at center.
  • The quarterback pecking order was Eli Manning, Daniel Jones, Alex Tanney, and Kyle Lauletta.
  • The starting defensive line consisted of DE Dexter Lawrence, NT Dalvin Tomlinson, and DE B.J. Hill.
  • The starting linebackers were Lorenzo Carter, B.J. Goodson, Alec Ogletree, and Kareem Martin.
  • The starting corners were Janoris Jenkins and Deandre Baker with Grant Haley playing the nickel spot. The second-team corners were Sam Beal and Antonio Hamilton with Julian Love playing the nickel.
  • WR Golden Tate caught a touchdown pass from QB Eli Manning against CB Grant Haley in 1-on-1 drills. WR Sterling Shepard then did the same against CB Sam Beal.
  • A blitzing LB Kareem Martin forced QB Eli Manning to spike the ball into the ground.
  • LB Markus Golden beat second-team RT Chad Wheeler for what would have been a sack.
  • CB Antonio Hamilton punched the ball out of RB Rod Smith’s hands, forcing a fumble that Hamilton picked up and returned for a touchdown.
  • S Jabrill Peppers flashed into the backfield on a blitz.
  • QB Eli Manning completed 10-of-13 passes, with one interception on a screen pass.
  • QB Daniel Jones hit WR Bennie Fowler deep over the middle for what should have been a touchdown, but Fowler dropped the ball. Jones was 0-for-6 on his first six passes.
  • QB Daniel Jones’ first completion was a dump-off pass to RB Paul Perkins. He then completed three more passes in a row to Perkins, WR Bennie Fowler, and WR Alonzo Russell. Jones finished practice going 6-of-8, and ended the day 6-of-14.
  • LB Lorenzo Carter chased down WR Golden Tate on an end-around. Carter then broke up a screen pass intended for RB Saquon Barkley, picked off the ball before it hit the ground, and returned it for a defensive score.
  • WR Alonzo Russell was very active catching the football.
  • QB Daniel Jones and WR Bennie Fowler stayed after practice for some extra work.

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have re-signed place kicker Joey Slye and claimed wide receiver Da’Mari Scott off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills. In addition, the Giants terminated the contract of cornerback Tony Lippett and received a Commissioner’s roster exemption for safety Kamrin Moore, who was suspended by the team last week after his alleged involvement in a domestic violence incident. Moore now will not count against the 90-man roster.

Slye graduated from Virginia Tech and did not play pro football in 2018. As a senior, he converted on 15-of-22 field goal attempts (68 percent) and 37-of-37 extra point attempts. The Giants signed him on May 6 but cut him on May 14.

The 23-year old, 6’0”, 205-pound Scott was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns waived him in December and he was then signed by the Bills. While he played in three regular-season games with the Bills, he does not yet have a reception in the NFL.

The Giants signed Lippett in to the 53-man roster in October 2018. He ended up playing in three games, with no starts. A former wide receiver, the 6’3”, 192-pound Lippett was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. In three years with the Dolphins, from 2015 to 2017, Lippett played in 25 regular-season games with 13 starts. He missed all of the 2017 season with with a torn Achilles’ tendon. The Dolphins cut Lippett before the 2018 season started.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com: