Jul 032017
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 14, 2016)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With New York Giants training camp 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.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Quarterbacks

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: For quarterback Eli Manning and the entire passing offense, 2016 was a major disappointment. The passing game was once again expected to be THE strength of the team. Instead, the New York Giants fell from 7th in the NFL in 2015 (271.4 yards per game) to 17th in 2016 (242.4 yards per game). Manning’s yards, yards per pass play, and touchdowns were down while interceptions increased. All of this was a significant shock given that Manning was coming off of one of his best seasons in 2015 and was entering his third season in Ben McAdoo’s West Coast Offense. The Giants had problems making big plays. And when they didn’t hit the big play, the Giants had problems sustaining drives and scoring points. This wasn’t supposed to happen given return of Victor Cruz and the addition of Sterling Shepard, not to mention the rest of the offense returning mostly intact.

The back-up quarterback situation also evolved into a mild surprise. Ryan Nassib – who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 Draft and who was the #2 quarterback on the team since 2014 – had a terrible preseason and then developed an elbow issue that landed him on Injured Reserve in December 2016. He was replaced by Josh Johnson, who the team signed in September after he was cut by the Baltimore Ravens.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants made no effort to re-sign Ryan Nassib and he has since signed with the New Orleans Saints. The Giants re-signed Josh Johnson, signed ex-New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith in free agency, and drafted Davis Webb in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: It’s one of the great ironies that a two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback on a team that plays in the biggest media market in the world is rarely the subject of media attention. For years, his pressers have been yawn-fests that rarely make a headline. That’s a tribute to Manning’s demeanor, character, hard work, on-field success, and off-field behavior. That said, the biggest question mark on this possible Super Bowl contender is if Manning is losing it? Manning has never missed a start, but he is 36 years old and coming off a disappointing season where much more was expected. Many will convincingly argue that Manning was sabotaged by a sub-par supporting cast, but if this was true in 2016, it was also true in 2015 as the biggest changes were the moves from Rueben Randle and Dwayne Harris to Victor Cruz and Sterling Sheppard. Perhaps the loss of Shane Vereen was a much bigger blow to the passing game than realized.

This offseason, the Giants ditched their 2016 opening-day starters at running back (Rashad Jennings), wide receiver (Victor Cruz), and tight end (Larry Donnell). They added aging but still dangerous super-stud wideout Brandon Marshall, revamped the tight end position with the additions of Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison, and re-configured the running back group with Paul Perkins starting and the drafting of Wayne Gallman. In both of Manning’s two Super Bowl seasons, he had a quartet of dependable targets to throw to (Plaxico Burress/Amani Toomer/Steve Smith/Kevin Boss in 2007 and Victor Cruz/Hakeem Nicks/Mario Manningham/Jake Ballard in 2011). The Giants appear to have a similar level of talent now. So the pressure will be on Manning to perform and once again make the Giants a top-10 passing offense. A highly-paid franchise quarterback is supposed to raise the level of the entire offense.

“I think we want to get back to where we are scoring points and being explosive and where we can take over a game,” said Manning. “The important thing is that we get those yards. That we get the points. You know we didn’t score enough points last year, everyone knows that. We didn’t take care of the football where we needed to take care of it.”

The second big story line, and the one actually gaining more media attention right now, is the back-up quarterback situation. Because of when he was drafted, Ryan Nassib was never considered the heir apparent to Eli Manning. But Davis Webb has a legitimate chance to eventually replace arguably the best quarterback in New York Giants history. Webb has the physical tools and he appears to have the mental make-up. But does he have “it”? And can he handle the media spotlight of New York and the pressure that comes with replacing a living legend in a few years?

“Davis has done an excellent job in terms of his preparation,” said Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan. “I mean, here is someone that was in a completely different offense in college and he has come in and all of the reports that we had about him as far as being a grinder, being a gym rat, and being someone who is a football junkie are true because he puts the time in. And the thing that we have been pleased with in his development is that he is not making the same mistakes twice and there is a learning curve, they are all going to make mistakes, but he has continued to show incremental improvements and he has adjusted well.”

In the short-term, Geno Smith and Josh Johnson will most likely vie for the #2 job. While unlikely, Smith has been given a tremendous opportunity to revive his career and stick it to the Jets if he eventually became a successful starter with the Giants. But don’t count out Josh Johnson, who may be better suited to the back-up role.

ON THE BUBBLE: Barring the unforeseen, Eli Manning and Davis Webb are locks to make the 53-man roster. The Giants won’t risk putting Webb on the Practice Squad. Unless Webb unexpectedly advances rapidly, the Giants will carry three quarterbacks and Geno Smith and Josh Johnson will be fighting for the primary back-up spot.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Frank Cignetti Jr. on Geno Smith: “(He is making a) very positive (impression). Tremendous work ethic, tremendous passion for the game, smart… He’s done a great job acclimating himself to the New York Giants. He’s done a great job rehabbing, he’s done a great job learning the fundamentals. He’s done a great job communicating in the classroom and on the field. Every day we’re teaching and learning and Geno has done a great job.”

Cignetti on Josh Johnson: “You could see last season that Josh is a pro. Josh has been in the league. What do I mean by that; he knows how to prepare, he knows how to study, he does a great job in the classroom, he does a great job in the locker room. On the field, he does what he’s asked to do, and does it well. The nice thing is to see Josh go through the offseason program now, because he wasn’t here the last offseason. The offseason, like McAdoo communicates, is building our fundamentals, building our communication, being in the classroom, then on the field with our teammates. Always teaching and learning. So, Josh has been able to start from jump street in the offseason and it’s been great to see.”

PREDICTIONS: Eli Manning seems to alternate the good with the bad. Since 2016 was a down year for him, expect him to rebound in a big way in 2017. Of course, having Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall, Sterling Sheppard, and Evan Engram to throw to will help his cause. The big question is how good can Eli play at the age of 36? The pressure will be on him to perform and help his team make another Super Bowl run. If Eli and the offense struggle, we may see Davis Webb sooner this decade than expected.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Eli Manning, Josh Johnson, Davis Webb

Jun 082017
 
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Corbin Bryant, Buffalo Bills (August 13, 2016)

Corbin Bryant – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN CORBIN BRYANT, CUT KHALED HOLMES…
The New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Corbin Bryant (Buffalo Bills). Newsday is reporting that the contract is a 1-year deal. To make room for Bryant, the Giants waived center Khaled Holmes.

The 29-year old Bryant was originally signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Bears (2011), Pittsburgh Steelers (2011-2012), and Buffalo Bills (2012-2016). Bryant has played in 56 regular-season games with 18 starts, including six games in 2016 before he was placed on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury in October. Bryant has decent size (6’4”, 300lbs). Although he only has 2.5 career sacks, Bryant has flashed as disruptive player both against the run and the pass. He needs to stay healthy.

Holmes was signed by the Giants to a reserve/future contract in January 2017. Holmes was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In three seasons with the Colts, Holmes played in 17 regular-season games with nine starts. The Colts waived him in May 2016. He then spent a couple of weeks with the Chicago Bears before being waived in the final cuts.

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE #9…
The New York Giants held their next-to-last Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice on Thursday. The practice was not open to the media or public. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTA practices. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s last OTA will be held on Friday, which will be open to the media. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

Giants.com has provided the following notes from Thursday’s OTA:

OTA #9:

GIANTS INSIDER WITH QB GENO SMITH…
The video of a Giants Insider Q&A with quarterback Geno Smith is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

May 312017
 
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Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (May 12, 2017)

Wayne Gallman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN WAYNE GALLMAN…
The New York Giants have signed running back Wayne Gallman – their 4th-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft – to a 4-year contract. The New York Post is reporting that the contract is a 4-year, $2.8 million deal that includes a $419,641 signing bonus. The only unsigned draft pick is tight end Evan Engram, the team’s 1st-round selection.

ISHAQ WILLIAMS PLACED ON INJURED RESERVE…
Linebacker Ishaq Williams, who was waived/injured by the New York Giants on May 25 with a knee injury, has been placed on Injured Reserve by the team. Williams was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016 and the 53-man roster in December 2016. He did not play in any games. The Giants originally signed Williams after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2016 mini-camp. Williams had been out of football since 2013 after being implicated in an academic dishonesty scandal at Notre Dame.

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICES…
The New York Giants held two more Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those practices were not open to the media or public. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTA practices. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s remaining OTAs will be held on June 2, June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15. Friday’s OTA practice will be open to the media.

Giants.com has provided the following notes and video highlights from the last three OTA practices:

OTA #3:

OTA #4:

OTA #5:

GIANTS INSIDER WITH CB JANORIS JENKINS…
The video of a Giants Insider Q&A with cornerback Janoris Jenkins is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

May 252017
 
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B.J. Goodson, New York Giants (May 25, 2017)

B.J. Goodson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MAY 25, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their third voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Thursday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

The seven remaining OTA practices will be held on May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Tight end Rhett Ellison (soreness), safety Darian Thompson (recovering from lisfranc injury), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (recovering from torn ACL) did not practice.

Cornerback Eli Apple (thigh or hamstring) left practice early with a wrap around his leg.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., defensive end Olivier Vernon, and defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa were no-shows for the voluntary OTA.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The first-team offensive line was Ereck Flowers at left tackle, Justin Pugh at left guard, Weston Richburg at center, John Jerry at right guard, and Bobby Hart at right tackle.
  • The second-team offensive line was Michael Bowie at left tackle, Adam Gettis at left guard, Brett Jones at center, D.J. Fluker at right guard, and Adam Bisnowaty at right tackle.
  • With Odell Beckham, Jr. absent, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard “started” but Tavarres King also saw quite a bit of time with the first unit.
  • The second-team quarterback was Josh Johnson.
  • First-team defense included defensive ends Jason Pierre Paul and Romeo Okwara; defensive tackles Robert Thomas and Damon Harrison; linebackers Devon Kennard, B.J. Goodson, and Jonathan Casillas; cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple; and safeties Landon Collins and Andrew Adams.
  • Stansly Maponga, who was at defensive end last season, saw snaps at linebacker.
  • Mykkele Thompson saw reps at cornerback.
  • Wide receiver Brandon Marshall beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins deep for a long touchdown. Later, Jenkins broke up a pass intended for Marshall.
  • Tight end Evan Engram was spotted lining up in multiple positions.
  • Wide receiver Darius Powe made a nice catch from quarterback Josh Johnson.
  • Donte Deayon saw work at nickel corner.
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson hit wide receiver Dwayne Harris in stride over the middle for a touchdown.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas was sharp, including nailing one from 50 yards out with plenty of distance to spare.
  • Linebacker Mark Herzlich saw reps at tight end and made a catch down the seam from quarterback Davis Webb. Tight end Evan Engram also made a nice catch from Webb.

GIANTS CUT ISHAQ WILLIAMS AND RAHIM MOORE…
The New York Giants officially announced on Thursday that the team has signed unrestricted free agents defensive end Devin Taylor (Detroit Lions) and safety Duke Ihenacho (Washington Redskins). To make room for these two, the Giants waived/injured linebacker Ishaq Williams and terminated the contract of safety Rahim Moore.

Williams was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016 and the 53-man roster in December 2016. He did not play in any games. The Giants originally signed Williams after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2016 mini-camp. Williams had been out of football since 2013 after being implicated in an academic dishonesty scandal at Notre Dame.

Moore was signed by the Giants to a reserve/future contract in January 2017. Moore was originally drafted in the 2nd round of 2011 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. The Giants pursued Moore in free agency in 2015 before he signed with the Houston Texans, who waived him in March 2016 after he was benched for the bulk of the season. Moore signed with the Browns last year but he did not make the team.

GERALD HODGES SIGNS WITH THE BILLS…
Unrestricted free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges (San Francisco 49ers) has signed a 1-year contract with the Buffalo Bills. Hodges visited the Giants on Wednesday.

VICTOR CRUZ TO SIGN WITH THE BEARS…
Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (2010-2016) will sign a 1-year contract with the Chicago Bears. The Giants cut Cruz in February.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’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:

ARTICLES…

May 252017
 
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Duke Ihenacho, Washington Redskins (October 9, 2016)

Duke Ihenacho – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN DEVIN TAYLOR AND DUKE IHENACHO…
Multiple media sources are reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agents defensive end Devin Taylor (Detroit Lions) and safety Duke Ihenacho (Washington Redskins).

Taylor was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. In four seasons with the Lions, Taylor has played in 61 regular-season games with 18 starts, 16 of which came in 2016 when Taylor accrued 28 tackles, 4.5 sacks, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. The 27-year old Taylor is a big end (6’7”, 275lbs) with good overall athleticism. However, he never lived up to expectations in Detroit.

The 27-year old Ihenacho was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Denver Broncos after the 2012 NFL Draft. The Redskins claimed him off of waivers from the Broncos in August 2014. Ihenacho spent most of 2014 (broken foot) and 2015 (dislocated/fractured wrist) on Injured Reserve. Ihenacho started 10 of 15 regular-season games in 2016, being credited with 66 tackles and two pass defenses. In his five NFL seasons, Ihenacho has not intercepted a pass. Ihenacho has a nice combination of size (6’1”, 208lbs) and athleticism, but his development has been sabotaged by injuries. He flashes against both the run and pass but also has proven to be inconsistent in both areas.

GERALD HODGES UPDATE…
The NFL Network is reporting that unrestricted free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges (San Francisco 49ers) visited the New York Giants on Wednesday. It was reported earlier that Hodges was visiting the Giants on Tuesday.

Hodges was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in October 2015. In four NFL seasons, Hodges has played in 54 regular-season games with 26 starts. Hodges started 12 games in 2016 and finished the year with 83 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, and one forced fumble. The 26-year old, 6’2”, 236lb defender is good run defender who does an adequate job in pass coverage.

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICES…
The New York Giants held their first two Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices on Monday and Tuesday. Those practices were not open to the media or public. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTA practices. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s remaining OTAs will be held on May 25, May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15. Thursday’s OTA practice will be open to the media.

Giants.com has provided the following notes and video highlights from the OTA practices:

OTA #1:

OTA #2:

ARTICLES…

May 202017
 
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Adam Bisnowaty, Pittsburgh Panthers (October 8, 2016)

Adam Bisnowaty – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICES BEGIN ON MONDAY…
The four-week “phase three” portion of the New York Giants offseason program begins on Monday with the team’s first organized team activity, or OTA, practice. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTA practices. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s OTAs will be held on May 22-23, May 25, May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

Monday’s OTA practice will not be open to the media. The first practice open to the media will be Thursday, May 25th.

The Giants’ nine-week offseason program began on April 18. The first two weeks consisted of activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. The next three weeks of the program consisted of on-field workouts that included individual player instruction and drills.

GIANTS SIGN ADAM BISNOWATY
NJ.com is reporting that the New York Giants have signed their 6th-round 2017 NFL draft selection, offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty. The Giants signed defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (2nd round), quarterback Davis Webb (3rd round), and defensive end Avery Moss (5th round) earlier this month.

The only remaining draft picks unsigned are tight end Evan Engram (1st round) and running back Wayne Gallman (4th round).

GIANTS.COM PLAYER INTERVIEWS…
Video clips of exclusive Giants.com interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • QB Davis Webb (Video)
  • RB Wayne Gallman (Video)
  • OL Adam Bisnowaty (Video)
  • DE Avery Moss (Video)
  • DT Dalvin Tomlinson (Video)
  • S Darian Thompson (Video)

ARTICLES…

May 122017
 
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New York Giants 2017 Rookie Class (May 12, 2017)

New York Giants 2017 Rookie Class – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MAY 12, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS ROOKIE MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The first day of the New York Giants 3-day rookie mini-camp was held on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Sixty-six (66) players – draft picks, signed rookie free agents, first-year players who have not completed a season of credited service, and street and rookie free agent tryout players – were in attendance.

PARTICIPANTS…

2017 NFL Draft Picks (6):

  • TE Evan Engram, Mississippi
  • DT Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama
  • QB Davis Webb, California
  • RB Wayne Gallman, Clemson
  • DE Avery Moss, Youngstown State
  • OL Adam Bisnowaty, Pittsburgh

2017 Signed Rookie Free Agents (15):

  • FB Shane Smith, San Jose State
  • WR Keeon Johnson, Virginia
  • WR Travis Rudolph, Florida State
  • WR Rob Wheelwright, Wisconsin
  • WR Jalen Williams, Massachusetts
  • TE Colin Thompson, Temple
  • OL Jessamen Dunker, Tennessee State
  • OT Chad Wheeler, USC
  • DE Evan Schwan, Penn State
  • DT Josh Banks, Wake Forest
  • DT Jarron Jones, Notre Dame
  • LB Calvin Munson, San Diego State
  • CB Nigel Tribune, Iowa State
  • CB DaShaun Amos, East Carolina
  • S Jadar Johnson, Clemson

Contrary to previous reports, offensive linemen Sam Ekwonike (Coastal Carolina) and Armando Bonheur (Samford) were not signed after the draft. Both are present as tryout players.

New York Giants First-Year Players (8):

  • RB Daryl Virgies
  • RB Jacob Huesman
  • WR Darius Powe
  • OC/OG Jon Halapio
  • LB Curtis Grant
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • S Ryan Murphy
  • PK Aldrick Rosas

Rookie and Veteran Tryout Players (37):

  • QB Steve Cluley, William & Mary
  • QB Jeremy Johnson, Auburn
  • RB Jonathan Gray, Texas
  • RB Khalid Abdullah, James Madison
  • WR Nate Behar, Carleton (Canada)
  • WR Kevin Snead, Carson Newman
  • WR Alex Morrison, British Columbia
  • TE Justice Cunningham, South Carolina
  • TE Kevin Greene, USC
  • OC Mike Brewster, Ohio St.
  • OC Tobijah Hughley, Louisville
  • OC/OG Jake Schunke, Towson
  • OG Armando Bonheur, Samford
  • G Sam Ekwonike, Coastal Carolina
  • OG/OT Jeremy Zver, Regina
  • OT Helva Matungulu, Western Carolina
  • DE Omarius Bryant, Western Kentucky
  • DE Junior Gnokonde, Troy
  • DE Connor McGough, Calgary
  • DT Junior Luke, Montreal
  • DT A.J. Wolf, Duke
  • LB Nick Haag, Assumption
  • LB Frederic Chagnon, Montreal
  • LB Jimmy Herman, Purdue
  • LB Christophe Mulumba Tshimanga, Maine
  • LB John Stepec, Toledo
  • CB Keith Baxter, Marshall
  • CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon
  • CB SaQwan Edwards, New Mexico
  • CB Tunde Adeleke, Carleton (Canada)
  • CB Robert Woodson, Calgary
  • S Nate Hamlin, Carleton (Canada)
  • S Trey Robinson, Furman
  • S Joel Wilkinson, Australian University
  • LS Josh Appel, Indiana St.
  • PK Travis Coons, Washington
  • P Felix Menard-Briere, Montreal

GIANTS SIGN THREE OF THEIR DRAFT PICKS
The New York Giants have announced they have signed the following three of their 2017 NFL Draft class:

  • DT Dalvin Tomlinson – 2nd round
  • QB Davis Webb – 3rd round
  • DE Avery Moss – 5th round

The remaining draft picks unsigned are tight end Evan Engram (1st round), running back Wayne Gallman (4th round), and offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty (6th round).

TREVIN WADE RECEIVES TRYOUT WITH CHICAGO BEARS
New York Giants unrestricted free agent cornerback Trevin Wade is trying out with the Chicago Bears during the their mini-camp this week. Wade played in every game in 2016 with two regular-season starts. He received about 33 percent of defensive snaps and finished the year with 26 tackles and three pass defenses. Wade was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He has spent time with the Browns (2012-13), Saints (2013-14), and Lions (2014). The Giants signed Wade to a reserve/future contract in January 2015.

BEN MCADOO AND THE COORDINATORS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and 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:

ARTICLES…

May 102017
 
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Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MARK HERZLICH WILL ALSO WORK AT TIGHT END…
New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich has revealed that the reason he changed his jersey number from #94 to #44 was so he could also play tight end on offense. The coaching staff asked Herzlich to also learn the offense this offseason.

“I needed to have an eligible number,” said Herzlich. “It’s exciting. A lot of times I’m playing scout-team tight end the last couple of years just because we were low in numbers and I was able to show I could be versatile in that aspect. So, when it’s, ‘Hey, you want to come add another weapon to your repertoire?’ It’s, ‘Yeah, sure, sign me up.’ The more I can learn, the better. And the better I can help out, the better, too… We’ll see what Coach (Ben) McAdoo puts me at, but I can go back and forth and learn both (offense and defense). I anticipate helping out in all three phases (including special teams).”

“He’s that good from what I see every day in practice,” fellow linebacker Keenan Robinson said. “He can run routes with the best of them. He can block better than probably most of them. He’s just a versatile athlete. He’s got the size and frame, so that helps, also.”

J.T. THOMAS STILL RECOVERING FROM HIS KNEE INJURY…
New York Giants linebacker J.T. Thomas, who missed virtually all of the 2016 NFL season after tearing the ACL in his left knee in the regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, is still recovering from the injury.

“I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m at about 75-80 percent. I’ll be ready to go in training camp,” Thomas said. “I’m really, really trying to time the thing up, so when that light comes on Sunday there isn’t any excuses why you won’t see #55 on the field.”

Thomas was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in August 2013 and he was claimed off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants signed Thomas in March 2015. In 2015 with the Giants, Thomas played in 12 games with 11 starts, missing four games with an ankle injury.

Thomas currently has the team’s 10th largest 2017 cap hit with $4 million.

GIANTS.COM PLAYER INTERVIEWS…
Video clips of exclusive Giants.com interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (Video)

ARTICLES…

May 072017
 
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Travis Rudolph, Florida State Seminoles (September 5, 2016)

Travis Rudolph – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS ROOKIE MINI-CAMP STARTS ON FRIDAY…
The New York Giants will hold a 3-day rookie mini-camp starting on Friday, May 12th. Head Coach Ben McAdoo, team coordinators, and select players will be available to the media on Friday.

Those players in attendance will include the Giants’ six draft picks, signed undrafted rookie free agents, players who were signed to reserve/future contracts in the offseason, and rookie and veteran street free agent tryout players.

REPORT – GIANTS ADD ANOTHER ROOKIE FREE AGENT…
NJ.com is reporting that the New York Giants have signed undrafted rookie free agent cornerback DaShaun Amos.

JERRY REESE ON ESPN RADIO
The audio of Tuesday’s ESPN Radio interview with New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese is available at ESPN.com.

ARTICLES…

Mar 232017
 
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Shane Vereen, New York Giants (August 12 2016)

Shane Vereen – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SHANE VEREEN TAKES A PAY CUT…
According to NFL Player Association records, New York Giants running back Shane Vereen has accepted a $1 million pay cut to his 2017 salary. Vereen’s salary was reduced from $3.15 million to $2.15 million. NJ.com is reporting that the reduction “is a straight pay cut with no incentives added to his contract to make up the lost income.” The Giants recently paid him a $500,000 roster bonus that was due if he remained on the team. Vereen is in the final year of his current contract.

(Late Corrrection: The NFL Network is reporting that in exchange for the $1 million salary reduction, Vereen can earn that back plus $250,000 through incentives).

Vereen was placed on Injured Reserve (IR) in September 2016 with a triceps injury that required surgery, activated back off of IR in December, and then placed on IR again that same month after re-injuring his triceps and needing surgery again. In all, Vereen played in just five games in 2016 and finished the season with 33 rushes for 158 yards (4.8 yards per carry) and 11 catches for 94 yards.

Vereen was originally selected in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2015. In 2015, serving as the team’s third-down back and playing in all 16 games with no starts, Vereen had his most productive year in the NFL as a pass receiver. He caught a career-high 59 passes for 495 yards and four touchdowns. It was the most receptions by a Giants running back in a single season since Tiki Barber. Vereen also carried the ball 61 times for 260 yards (4.3 yards per carry).

Vereen lacks ideal size and power, but he is an elusive back with good vision and quickness. Vereen is one of the better pass-catching backs in the NFL as he runs good routes and has good hands. He is also solid in pass protection. Vereen has proven to be somewhat injury prone.

SHAUN DRAUGHN DEAL OFFICIAL…
The New York Giants officially announced that the team signed unrestricted free agent running back Shaun Draughn (San Francisco 49ers) on Wednesday.

“I think my versatility has helped keep me in the league,” Draughn said. “(The Giants) talked about my versatility. I don’t know exactly how they’ll use me. I’m sure they’ll use me to the strengths that I have.”

The 29-year Draughn was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Redskins after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Redskins (2011), Kansas City Chiefs (2011–2012), Baltimore Ravens (2013), Indianapolis Colts (2013), Chicago Bears (2014), San Diego Chargers (2014), Cleveland Browns (2014–2015), and San Francisco 49ers (2015-2016). In six seasons, Draughn has played in 57 regular-season games with seven starts (all seven coming with the 49ers in the last two years). For his career, Draughn has rushed the ball 225 times for 723 yards (3.2 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns. He also 80 catches for 597 yards and two touchdowns.

Draughn has ordinary size (5’11”, 205 pounds), but he is a tough, hard-nosed cut-back runner who can move the chains in short yardage and catch the football. He is a good special teams player.

Video of an exclusive Giants Insider interview with Draughn is available at Giants.com.

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