Jun 262015
 
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Odell Beckham Victor Cruz, New York Giants (June 8, 2015)

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants.com Video Player Q&As: Video clips of Giants.com Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • WR Victor Cruz (Video)
  • DT Johnathan Hankins (Video)

Articles on the 2015 New York Giants:

Article on WR Odell Beckham: Odell Beckham insists: ‘No problem with anybody’ on Giants by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on the New York Giants Tight Ends: What do the Giants think of young tight end Jerome Cummingham, Will Tye and Matt LaCosse? by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Article on DE Jason Pierre-Paul: Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul intent on dropping weight for his contract year by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on LB J.T. Thomas: How Giants’ linebacker J.T. Thomas got his football education from his ‘toughest critic’ by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Article on New York Giants Cornerbacks: Sizing up the Giants nickel cornerback position after minicamp and the need to be good blitzers by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Best of New York Giants Mini-Camp Video: A sights and sounds video of the action from New York Giants mini-camp is available at Giants.com.

Jun 082015
 
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Rueben Randle, New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

Rueben Randle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 8, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…

The New York Giants completed their seventh of ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Monday.

Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started two weeks ago. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTAs. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The final three OTA practices will be held this week on June 9 and June 11-12. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 16-18.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…

Wide receiver Odell Beckham (hamstring), wide receiver Victor Cruz (recovering from knee surgery), wide receiver Marcus Harris (unknown), tight end Larry Donnell (Achilles tendinitis), offensive tackle Will Beatty (recovering from pectoral surgery), offensive guard Geoff Schwartz (recovering from ankle surgery), DE Robert Ayers (sprained ankle), defensive end Damontre Moore (recovering from shoulder surgery), defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa (leg), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (injection), linebacker Jameel McClain (back), and safety Nat Berhe (calf) did not practice or fully practice.

“Some days are good and some aren’t,” said Schwartz of why he did not participate in team drills on Monday.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who has yet to sign his Franchise tender, has not been participating in the voluntary OTA workouts.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Rueben Randle, Preston Parker, and Corey Washington saw first-team reps at wide receiver. Washington had another good practice.
  • Ereck Flowers continues to see reps with first- and second-teams at left tackle. John Jerry started at right guard.
  • On first-team defensive line, Cullen Jenkins continues to work at right defensive end with George Selvie at left defensive end. Johnathan Hankins and Markus Kuhn were the first-team defensive tackles. Kerry Wynn also received some first-team defensive end reps and had a good practice.
  • In nickel defense, Jon Beason and Devon Kennard were the linebackers with Trumaine McBride the slot corner and Cooper Taylor and Landon Collins the safeties. Mark Herzlich also saw some first-team reps in lieu of Beason.
  • Cole Farrand saw some first-team reps at linebacker along with Beason and Kennard.
  • Cornerback Prince Amakamara picked off a pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib.
  • Tight end Jerome Cunningham continues to impress, including catching a 20-yard pass from Manning.
  • “Running back Shane Vereen…had a busy day. He caught a short touchdown over the middle from Eli Manning during the first portion of team drills. The two later connected on a pair of completions in the final two-minute drill. ” (Giants.com)

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the morning practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: You have had a bunch of time with the rookies now… How are they integrating?

A: Whenever you throw something new, it is the same as if, obviously it is the first time they have heard it. There are a bunch of installations. When you have an installation and a review, they do fine with that. Add something new and it is a little bit more difficult, so that is how you see it. They have hung in there and worked hard and they are obviously making progress. They have to.

Q: Is it hard for guys like Landon Collins and Ereck Flowers when you throw them in there with the first team? Does it make it harder for them because they are trying to catch up to the veterans?

A: I don’t think so. I think, if anything, if you put yourself in that situation, that really makes it interesting. Holy cow, here I am. They have to earn those spots. They have the opportunity right now.

Q: What can you tell about offensive line play in general without pads?

A: It is not easy. You look at every tape and try to be as technical as you can, but there are obvious restrictions for both defense and offense without the pads.

Q: How is Odell Beckham Jr. doing?

A: Seem to be better. Seems to be a little bit better today. They did more with him.

Q: Did he do anything last week?

A: He did some individual stuff, but that was it.

Q: Is he going to be okay for next week?

A: I don’t know. I only know what they tell me. They probably won’t be able to project that until we see this week.

Q: Do you still expect Jason Pierre-Paul next week?

A: Yes.

Q: Have you noticed if Prince Amukamara is out there trying to play at a faster speed?

A: I thought he was playing at a nice speed last year, too, when he was injured, so I think he is just trying to pick up from there. It started out as it normally does. He was under control. He has been enticing people to try to throw it over his head because he has broken on the underneath stuff very well.

Q: How does Kerry Wynn look to you?

A: Kerry Wynn works hard and makes plays. He is very consistent.

Q: Re: Nat Berhe?

A: We have been standing here. This would have been the ideal time for him. Unfortunately, he has not been able to get to where he can really drive, so it has been very slow.

Q: That helps Cooper Taylor and Landon Collins get reps?

A: It helps them, but it doesn’t help Berhe any, and he was here as a rookie and got to play a little bit. He also did a nice job on special teams. He has a lot of things of that nature, but this would have been ideal for him. Crying over spilled milk there.

Q: Do you ever leave an OTA day in June like this thinking big picture?

A: That is the problem with being a coach. The good things pop up and then you quickly talk about the things that weren’t so good, so you kind of get back to the balancing it off. You like to see something go well and be enhanced and when it does, you are glad about that, but then you are thinking ‘we do have to stop the run’ or something like that. You start to look at a little bit more scope, but really on a daily basis, practice to practice, as I just told everybody – coaches this morning and players this afternoon — what they should be doing right now is deciding how do they want to finish the spring and what are their goals and what impression do they want to have? What have we accomplished when we finish up the mini-camp? Hopefully that is where they all are.

Q: When you gathered them before today’s session it seemed like they had a spirited response… Did you say something in particular?

A: I just said we need to have four solid practices and a good mini-camp to wrap the spring up.

Q: You have seen the flashes from Corey Washington in the past. Have you seen more from him this spring?

A: Yeah, he has had a nice spring. He has worked hard. He has had a good attitude. He has had a smile on his face. He has done most everything we have asked him to do. I think every time he has been called upon he seems to have responded.

Q: Can you assess where Washington has come growth-wise on special teams?

A: Not on special teams yet, but I think the opportunities he has had offensively, he has taken full advantage of his year to learn, and I think he has matured a little bit. He has had a solid spring.

Q: We haven’t seen Damontre Moore or Owa Odighizuwa in the team drills. Is that them needing to catch up or something physical?

A: They are being held back. We want to get Damontre in some, but we don’t want to do anything that is going to set him back. He may get a little bit more work than he is getting, but not a lot. Owa is being held out. It is a leg.

Q: Re: Jonathan Cassillas and Jameel McClain absence from practice?

A: Cassillas just had some kind of injection where they have to hold him. McClain did something to his back the other day and it is not going to be anything major. They held him out today.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media Q&As are available at Giants.com:

  • QB Eli Manning on WR Corey Washington: “I think Corey has had a good camp. He has made some plays and has a better understanding of the offense in his second year and playing faster, and I think he has always had the ability to make the great catch and run the go routes and fades but just kind of adding the complete package to his game. I think that he has had a good camp and done some good things.”
  • LB Jon Beason on the new defense: “The beauty of it is we won’t be able to be dictated to. We will be able to get lined up and no matter what they do, we are going to be ready for it. That should cause a lot of problems for opposing offenses…The overall scheme (is different). We have some things that are unsound, but based on the pressure, that is the illusion. When you send eight and it looks like an all-out pressure, but really you are dropping some linemen in coverage. Some man pressures. We do it all. I would say, more so than any other scheme I have been in, we do more than anything else.”

RELATED ARTICLES…

Jun 052015
 
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New York Giants Waive Linebacker Ryan Jones: The New York Giants have waived/injured linebacker Ryan Jones with an undisclosed injury. The Giants signed Jones in April 2015. Jones was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2014 NFL Draft, but he was waived/injured less than a month later with a foot injury. Jones had been earning reps with the second-team defense at strongside linebacker.

Because of this move, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

SI.com Q&A with RB Shane Vereen: The transcript of a Sports Illustrated interview with running back Shane Vereen is available at SI.com.

Giants.com Q&A with TE Jerome Cunningham: The video of a Giants.com interview with tight end Jerome Cunningham is available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Feature on Tight Ends: A video feature on the New York Giants tight ends is available at Giants.com.

Article on the New York Giants Cornerbacks: Health of starting cornerbacks is paramount for Giants by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on S Cooper Taylor: Cooper Taylor could bolster safety shortage by Arthur Stapleton of The Bergen Record

 

Jan 212015
 
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Larry Donnell, New York Giants (September 25, 2014)

Larry Donnell led Giants tight ends with 63 catches – © USA TODAY Sports Images

As the New York Giants entered training camp in July 2014, the tight end position appeared to be a pending disaster. The Giants had parted ways with the disappointing Brandon Myers and jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none Bear Pascoe. The only returning players were Larry Donnell (16 games, 3 catches in his two NFL seasons) and Adrien Robinson (3 games, no catches in his two seasons), both of whom had demonstrated very little to date. The Giants had only added Kellen Davis (unrestricted free agent from the Seahawks), Daniel Fells (who was out of football in 2013), and Xavier Grimble (undrafted rookie free agent). Late in training camp, the Giants also signed Jerome Cunningham (who was out of football in 2013).

The only tight ends drafted by the Giants in recent years were the disappointing Travis Beckham (2009 3rd round pick) and Robinson (2012 4th round pick). In free agency, the Giants let Kevin Boss walk in 2012 most likely due to a combination of salary cap and concussion concerns. His replacement Martellus Bennett was a good addition, but he departed in free agency the following offseason in 2013. Bennett’s replacement, Brandon Myers, was clearly a free agent mistake.

Exacerbating the legitimate concern about the lack of headline talent was the adoption by the Giants of new offensive system that would feature the tight end position. In a West Coast Offense, the tight end is a critically important component as a pass receiver. Mini-camp, OTA, and training camp reports confirmed that new Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system would not only rely heavily on the tight end, but often employ two- and three-tight end formations. The fullback position was marginalized. And rather than use more three- and four-wide receiver sets, the multiple tight end packages were more prominent. It began took as if McAdoo would not adapt his system to the strengths and weaknesses of the given roster.

So pessimistic were many fans about the prospects for Donnell, Fells, and Robinson that they had penciled in Davis and Grimble as the two most likely to make the team. However, by late August, Davis and Grimble had been cut. Cunningham was cut too but then signed to the Practice Squad. Larry Donnell had won the starting tight end position, followed by #2 tight end Daniel Fells, and #3 tight end Adrien Robinson.

Overall, while the tight end was not a position of strength on the 2014 New York Giants, it certainly was not the mess many had expected. Donnell had a breakout year as a receiver. He finished tied for 9th in the NFL among tight ends in terms of catches (63), 13th in terms of yards (623), and tied for 7th in terms of touchdowns (6). Blocking was not a strength of his game, but Donnell appears to be an ascending player with enough physical talent to get better. Fells proved to be less dynamic, but was more reliable as a blocker. And he did chip in with four touchdowns. Robinson remained buried in last place on the depth chart, but at least he finally saw some playing time and caught his first NFL touchdown.

THE PLAYERS

Larry Donnell went from a little-known player to the team’s primary tight end in 2014, playing in all 16 games with 12 starts. Donnell finished the season with 63 catches for 623 yards and six touchdowns. Donnell originally went undrafted and unsigned in 2011. The Giants signed him as a street free agent in March 2012 and Donnell spent 2012 on the team’s Practice Squad. Donnell made the 53-man roster in 2013 and was active for all 16 games, starting one contest. He finished the season with only three catches for 31 yards. Donnell combines very good size and overall athleticism. A very raw player when he came to the Giants, Donnell is still a work in progress. In the passing game, Donnell is a big target, adjusts well for the football, and is capable of making the circus catch. He needs to do a better job of holding onto the football (four fumbles in 2014) and gaining yards after the catch. While Donnell gives a good effort, he still has a lot of work to do to improve as a blocker.

Daniel Fells was the #2 tight end for the Giants in 2014. He played in all 16 games with nine starts and finished the season with 16 catches for 188 yards and four touchdowns. Fells was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2006 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Falcons, Raiders, Buccaneers, Rams, Broncos, and Patriots. The Giants signed Fells to a reserve/future contract in January 2014. Fells has good size and average athletic ability. He is a decent blocker. He does not really threaten defenses as a receiver, but he is reliable.

Adrien Robinson has not developed as hoped since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Giants. In 2014, he was the team’s #3 tight end and played in all 16 games with one start. Robinson only caught five passes for 50 yards on one touchdown. In the previous two seasons, Robinson only played in three games and had no catches. He missed virtually all of the 2013 season with a foot injury he suffered in the preseason. Robinson has a good combination of size and athletic ability, but to date he has been unable to put it all together at the pro level as a blocker and receiver.

Jerome Cunningham was signed to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad in December 2014. Cunningham played college football at Southern Connecticut State University from 2009-2012, but he was not with an NFL team in training camp until August 2014 when the Giants signed him. He did try out with the Indianapolis Colts in May 2013 and Arizona Cardinals in May 2014, but was not signed by either team. Cunningham lacks ideal size for the position; he’s built more like an H-Back. But he is a good athlete who catches the ball well.

Dec 202014
 
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Odell Beckham Named Rookie of the Week: New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham was named NFL Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Washington Redskins last Sunday. In the Giants’ 24-13 victory, Beckham caught 12 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns.

Article on the New York Giants Head Coaching Position: Giants job the ‘gold standard’ of the coaching profession? by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: Tom Coughlin praises job Ben McAdoo has done with NY Giants offense by Mitch Abramson of The New York Daily News

Article QB Ryan Nassib: When do the Giants take a look at quarterback Ryan Nassib? by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on RB Andre Williams: The headway of Andre Williams, Giants RB and soon-to-be author by Kevin Kernan of The New York Post

Article on TE Jerome Cunningham: From club bouncer to Giants tight end | Four downs with Jerome Cunningham by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on OT Justin Pugh: Justin Pugh finding his rhythm before facing major test by Brian Lewis of The New York Post

Article on DE Kerry Wynn: Undrafted DE Kerry Wynn makes most of opportunity by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on LB Devon Kennard: Rookie Devon Kennard keeps turning heads by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Dec 172014
 
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Giants Sign TE Jerome Cunningham to 53-Man Roster: The New York Giants signed tight end Jerome Cunningham to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad on Wednesday. Cunningham fills the roster vacancy created when the Giants put linebacker Terrell Manning on Injured Reserve on December 2. Per an obscure NFL rule, Manning could not be replaced on the 53-man roster for three weeks after he was signed from the Bengals’ Practice Squad on November 25.

Cunningham played college football at Southern Connecticut State University from 2009-2012, but he was not with an NFL team in training camp until August 2014 when the Giants signed him. He did try out with the Indianapolis Colts in May 2013 and Arizona Cardinals in May 2014, but was not signed by either team. Cunningham lacks ideal size for the position; he’s built more like an H-Back. But he is a good athlete who catches the ball well.

Giants Sign FB Nikita Whitlock to Practice Squad: To fill the vacancy created when the Giants signed TE Jerome Cunningham to the 53-man roster, the Giants signed fullback Nikita Whitlock to the Practice Squad on Wednesday.

Whitlock, who played defensive tackle in college, was originally signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. He was cut by the Bengals in their final round of cuts and then signed by the Dallas Cowboys to their Practice Squad. The NFL suspended Whitlock in November for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and the Cowboys terminated his Practice Squad contract. Whitlock was converted to fullback by the Bengals and he flashed in the preseason as a lead blocker with good size.

December 17, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) and LB Jameel McClain (knee) did not practice on Wednesday.

December 17, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Wednesday’s press conference are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com.

December 17, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of media sessions on Wednesday with the following players are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:

ESPN Radio Interview with WR Odell Beckham: The audio of Wednesday’s ESPN Radio interview with WR Odell Beckham is available at ESPN.com.

Article on Giants President/CEO John Mara: NY Giants owner John Mara will be able to tune out fans if he doesn’t fire Tom Coughlin by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on the New York Giants Offense: Kevin Gilbride still questions overhaul of Giants offense by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: Giants’ Johnathan Hankins steps up by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article son S Antrel Rolle:

Article on the Giants and the 2015 NFL Draft: NY Giants need help on offensive and defensive lines this draft by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News

Sep 022014
 
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Jerome Cunningham, Indianapolis Colts (May 10, 2013)

Jerome Cunningham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Add TE Jerome Cunningham to Practice Squad: Though not officially announced, the Giants have added TE Jerome Cunningham to the Practice Squad. The Giants have now filled nine of their 10 available Practice Squad vacancies.

Cunningham played college football at Southern Connecticut State University from 2009-2012, but he was not with an NFL team in training camp until August 2014 when the Giants signed him. He did try out with the Indianapolis Colts in May 2013 and Arizona Cardinals in May 2014, but was not signed by either team. Cunningham lacks ideal size for the position; he’s built more like an H-Back. But he is a good athlete who catches the ball well.

Because of this move, we have updated the Transactions and Roster sections of the website.

OT Justin Pugh NFL Network Interview: The video from Monday’s NFL Network interview with OT Justin Pugh is available at Giants.com.

Articles on the 2014 New York Giants:

Article on WR Odell Beckham, Jr.: Odell Beckham injury: Why the Giants need their first-round pick by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on the New York Giants Tight Ends: Giants 2014 roster: Will the tight end experiment work out? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on DE Mathias Kiwanuka: Mathias Kiwanuka thinks Giants can win a Super Bowl — even if offense stumbles by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on LB Jon Beason: Beastly Beason’s return ignites Giants’ confidence by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Aug 262014
 
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Marcus Harris, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Marcus Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants made 15 roster moves on Tuesday in order to each the NFL roster limit of 75 players.

The Giants placed safety Cooper Taylor (foot) and wide receiver Marcus Harris (hip) on season-ending Injured Reserve. Taylor is expected to undergo surgery to repair the sesamoid bone in his foot. Harris will undergo surgery to repair the labrum in his hip. (Oddly, Harris’ injury had previously been described as a shoulder injury).

The Giants waived/injured linebacker Justin Anderson (hamstring) and defensive end Emmanuel Dieke (knee).

Lastly, the Giants waived the following 11 players:

  • WR Travis Harvey
  • TE Xavier Grimble (injury settlement)
  • TE Jerome Cunningham
  • OG John Sullen
  • DT Everett Dawkins
  • LB Spencer Adkins
  • CB Charles James
  • CB Ross Weaver
  • S C.J. Barnett
  • S Kyle Sebetic
  • PK Brandon McManus

(UPDATE: In a late move, the Giants have reportedly traded Brandon McManus to the Denver Broncos for a conditional draft pick, reportedly conditional 7th round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft).

Because of these moves, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

The final cuts to the 53-man roster must be made by 4:00PM on Saturday, August 30th, the day after the Giants-Patriots preseason finale.

Aug 222014
 
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Andre Williams, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Andre Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Articles on the New York Giants Offense:

Article on QB Eli Manning:

Article on General Manager Jerry Reese and WR Odell Beckham: Odell Beckham may add to NY Giants GM Jerry Reese’s draft duds by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: Rashad Jennings hoping for diverse offense after years where run was expected by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Articles on the New York Giants Tight Ends:

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Line:

Articles on the New York Giants Linebackers:

Article on S Stevie Brown: Giants’ Stevie Brown comes full circle by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Aug 052014
 
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Israel Idonije, Chicago Bears (September 13, 2012)

Israel Idonije – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants announced on Tuesday that they have signed defensive end Israel Idonije and tight end Jerome Cunningham. To make room for Idonije and Cunningham, the Giants waived defensive end Kendrick Adams. The team also waived/injured running back David Wilson on Monday and placed him on Injured Reserve on Tuesday after he cleared waivers.

Idonije was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2003 NFL Draft. He did not make the team that season but spent time on the Practice Squad of the Chicago Bears. For nine seasons, from 2004-12, Idonije was on the 53-man roster of the Bears. He started 42 games from 2010-12. In 2013, Idonije played in 11 games with the Detroit Lions as a reserve. The Bears re-signed him in March 2014 but then released him in June. The 33-year old Idonije is nearing the end of his career, but he was a fairly productive player for the Bears, including accruing 20.5 sacks in his last three seasons in Chicago. He has good size and strength. Idonije lacks suddenness and quickness as a pass rusher. He has good intangibles as he is a hard-working, high-effort player with good character.

Cunningham played college football at Southern Connecticut State University from 2009-2012, but he has not been with an NFL team in training camp. He did try out with the Arizona Cardinals in May, but was not signed. Cunningham lacks ideal size for the position; he’s built more like an H-Back.

Adams was signed to the Giants’ Practice Squad in December 2013. Adams was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2012 NFL Draft. He also spent time with the Buccaneers, Lions, Browns, and Bengals.

Wilson, New York’s 1st round draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, has been advised to retire from the NFL after re-injuring of his surgically repaired neck in training camp.

Because of these moves, we have updated the TransactionsRoster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.