May 302014
 
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Justin Tuck, New York Giants (October 21, 2013)

Justin Tuck sacking Josh Freeman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Cut Josh Freeman; Claim Rogers Gaines: The New York Giants have released quarterback Josh Freeman, who was signed as an unrestricted free agent last month from the Minnesota Vikings. The team also claimed offensive lineman Rogers Gaines off of waivers from the Chicago Bears.

BBI scouting report on Rogers Gaines:

The Giants claimed Rogers Gaines off of waivers from the Chicago Bears in May 2014. Gaines was originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. He played at Tennessee State University where he was named first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference. The Ravens waived him in August 2013. The Bears signed him to their Practice Squad in September 2013. Gaines has excellent size (6’6”, 329lbs) with long arms. He is a good athlete for his size. However, he is needs a lot of technique work and development.

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

Giants.com Q&A With Safety Stevie Brown: The video of a Giants.com Q&A session with safety Stevie Brown is available at Giants.com.

Apr 232014
 
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Josh Freeman, New York Giants (April 22, 2014)

Josh Freeman – Photo by Connor Hughes

He doesn’t have an excuse, a reason and honestly doesn’t know why.

Just three short years ago, Josh Freeman was considered one of the up-and-coming quarterbacks in the NFL. He’d just led his team to a 10-6 season and had Tampa Bay Buccaneer fans falling in love with him.

Now? He’s Eli Manning’s backup, and is flirting heavily with the label ‘bust.’

“I can’t really place my finger on one thing exactly, what it could have been” Freeman said. “A number of things didn’t really go my way and that’s kind of how life is.”

In 2010, his second year in the league, Freeman threw for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions. His Buccaneers just missed the playoffs, but the former first-round pick looked to warrant is No. 17 selection in the 2009 NFL Draft.

But in the ensuing two years, Freeman never experienced the same success. He threw 22 interceptions in 2011, and 17 in 2012. The Buccaneers finished a combined 11-21.

The struggles sent a once promising career into a downward spiral entering last season.

“I was going into a contract year in Tampa, next thing you know I’m cut and playing in Minnesota,” Freeman said.

Freeman’s Viking career was short lived, as it all but started and ended in the same building his new team calls home. Versus the Giants on Oct. 21, Freeman completed 20-of-53 passes, 37.7 percent, for 190 yards and an interception. He never played another down for the Vikings.

“It was an awful game,” Freeman said. “I remember coming up here and it was a rough start and a rough outing. Thinking back, maybe I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked to be.

“Like anything in your past, it’s an experience to learn from.”

Despite still viewing himself as a “starting caliber” quarterback, Freeman elected to sign with the Giants despite little-to-no chance of earning the No. 1 spot. The 26-year-old said the chance to play behind two-time Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning, was as appealing as any spot atop a depth chart.

“Having an opportunity to learn stuff from Eli,” Freeman said. “I have the opportunity to be behind a guy who has really had a lot of success year after year, continued to win and get his team to the playoffs consistently. It’s a really cool opportunity.

“I feel great. Honestly, last year didn’t turn out how I would have hoped, but at the same time, I’m happy to be a part of the Giants’ organization, and I’m happy to be moving forward.”

Apr 222014
 
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Victor Cruz, New York Giants (April 22, 2014)

Victor Cruz – Photo by Connor Hughes

Day Two of the New York Giants Offseason Program: Tuesday was day two of the New York Giants nine-week offseason workout program. The Giants are currently in “phase one” of the program (April 21 – May 4) with activities limited to voluntary strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation.

BigBlueInteractive.com will soon publish a number of feature articles based on today’s content, but here are some brief highlights:

  • Guard Chris Snee wasted no time before cracking the first joke of the day. When the 32-year-old was asked about all of the new faces, he responded, “I requested a team photo” in order familiarize himself with the team. Snee said the new offense is “different” from what he’s used to. Snee said he has been given no indication that he will be held back as he recovers from offseason hip and elbow surgery. Snee said has no limitations and is 100 percent.
  • Safety Antrel Rolle said he “loved” what has been done with the secondary this offseason and the goal during this portion of the offseason program is to build chemistry. When asked about cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Rolle said he feels that Rodgers-Cromartie, in his seventh year, has matured, and is a huge addition to the defense. With defensive end Justin Tuck in Oakland, Rolle was asked if he will take on any additional leadership roles: “I’m just go out there and play ball. I just know how to be Antrel…I think there should be 53 leaders on this team.”
  • Will Hill, who reportedly will be suspended by the NFL for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing or abusive substances, was was not made available to the media. Several players offered their support to the troubled safety.
  • Defensive end Robert Ayers said one of the main reasons that he decided to come to New York was the tradition and opportunity. Also, his late father, who passed away last year, said he used to wish Ayers would play for the New York Giants. Ayers also said that he plans on playing a bunch of different positions as it is what the management and coaches want. “They ask everyone to do everything….I look forward to doing whatever they ask me to do.”
  • Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul caught the attention of everyone when he alerted the media that he now weighed in at 270 pounds, down from the 285 pounds he played at last season. If you remember, Head Coach Tom Coughlin has made several comments in the past about Pierre-Paul being overweight. “I feel good at that weight,” said Pierre-Paul. After rehabbing his shoulder over the offseason, Pierre-Paul said he’s 100 percent right now and expects no limitations. Also, when asked if his role will change with Tuck in Oakland, Pierre-Paul said, “Not at all.” Pierre-Paul said he “didn’t get the memo” on Will Hill. Pierre-Paul said if Hill misses time, losing Hill would be a blow, but the defense would be “alright.”
  • Quarterback Eli Manning talked to the media in a walking boot. He said the surgery on his ankle went well and things are progressing very quickly. Manning told the media that with this being his first surgery, he’s being smart with it. Manning said when he started his training and running for the season he could tell something wasn’t right. He went for some additional MRI’s and developed a plan to see what was the best way to approach the injury. After consideration, he and the doctors felt surgery was best bet rather than waiting. “This will ensure I’m back at 100 percent for training camp,” said Manning. Prior to his informal workouts at Duke University, Manning had gotten a cortisone shot. He felt that once that wore off the injury and pain would return.
  • Left tackle Will Beatty said that the doctors have all given him positive reports and he’s “out here moving around.” Beatty said that he is hanging on every word from the doctors and doing whatever they say. He said that because the team has not gone full-contact, he hasn’t tested himself in that regard. Beatty said he plans on being 100 percent by the start of the season but was more non-committal about being ready for the start of training camp. Beatty talked about new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, saying he’s very “Energetic” and has “a lot of positive things to add to the team.” Beatty said that McAdoo came in the first day and told the team, “Our goal is to be a top-four offense, have an elite top-four QB, make it to the Super Bowl.”
  • Right tackle Justin Pugh talked to the media and said the new offense is similar to the one he ran in Syracuse and “I’m very comfortable in it.” He said, “It’s up-tempo and we’re going to be moving the ball.” Coughlin had told Pugh that he wanted him heavier, so he gained 10 pounds, he’s up to 315. “I’m stronger than ever,” said Pugh.
  • Cornerback Walter Thurmond III may have brought some of Richard Sherman’s personality with him to New York. The corner said he views himself as “the best slot corner in the league” and said the Giants secondary can be as good, if not better, than Seattle’s “Legion of Boom.”Thurmond says he looks forward to matching up with the Redskins now that they have Desean Jackson. He also said the difference between New York and Seattle: “Guys are a bit older here.” Thurmond got a solid laugh out of the media when asked the similarities between cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Richard Sherman saying, “They’re a little different,” before bursting into laughter.
  • Wide receiver Rueben Randle has a very, very soft voice, and it was a little tough to make out everything he was saying. What he did say is that his original plan was to attend Duke University with fellow wide receivers Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz, but “something came up.” From listening to Victor Cruz talk later in the day it seemed to be a family issue. He contacted Eli Manning to inform him once he became aware he could not participate in those workouts. Randle also went on to say that he is “ready” to step up as the starter. As far as the offense, Randle does not see much difference aside from the terminology.
  • Linebacker Jon Beason seems very comfortable with the New York media. He stated that he does feel that this is his defense as it “comes with the territory of being the signal caller and mike linebacker.” Beason said that he did his research before representing himself as his own agent in free agency. He said one of the reasons he wanted to be his own agent was he wanted to be “directly involved” and not “a little kid playing telephone.” There were other teams interested in Jon Beason’s services, but the Giants contacted Beason at 3:52 on Tuesday, only minutes before free agency began.
  • Quarterback Josh Freeman talked to the media for an extended period of time. He said he feels great coming in and last year, “Didn’t turn out how I had hoped.” He said he can’t pinpoint what has caused his career to go downhill since being considered one of the best quarterbacks in the league. “A couple things just didn’t go my way.” One of the things that drew Freeman to New York was the history and tradition, but also to learn things from Eli Manning.
  • Wide receiver Victor Cruz said he enjoys the new offense. It’s a “high-powered offense” and “high octane.” Also, Cruz said the offense in similar with the type of routes and compared it to Green Bay’s offense. Cruz was asked if he could tell at Duke University if Eli was impacted by his ankle injury. He said he could not and “it may have been something he was battling internally.”Cruz said he has taken on a stronger leadership role, including grabbing some of the younger guys, taking them off to the side, and “letting them know how valuable they are to this team and the receiving corp.” Cruz went on to say that the new offense is based less off of body language.
  • Running back David Wilson was excited and as animated as ever. In January, Wilson underwent a surgical procedure to fuse vertebrae to repair a herniated disc in his neck. Wilson said he expects to be cleared for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) but admitted it will come down to the doctors. Wilson said he feels great, and all that is holding him back “is a picture” (MRI) allowing him to resume his football career. Wilson was asked if he sees himself as a No. 1 back and he said he does, but in today’s NFL the feature back doesn’t exist. “Way the game is played today, it’s not gonna be one guy,” said Wilson.
  • Running back Rashaad Jennings said that he thinks the backfield has a lot of talent and potential. He said all are trying to “mesh into the system” and they will “spend a lot of extra time as a unit.”

An “all-access” video of Monday’s activities is available at Giants.com.

New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips from Tuesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on Today’s Offseason Program Media Day: Player interviews: 10 things we learned by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on the New York Giants Offense: Eli Manning, Giants envision their offense being similar to the Packers by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on QB Eli Manning: QB Eli Manning: I’ll be ready for camp by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on RB David Wilson: David Wilson ‘expects to’ be cleared for OTA’s next month by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on CB Walter Thurmond: Walter Thurmond: Giants secondary can be better than Seahawks ‘Legion of Boom’ by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Apr 212014
 
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Larry Donnell, New York Giants (September 15, 2013)

Larry Donnell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Offseason Workout Program Begins: The New York Giants offseason workout program began on Monday and will continue for the next nine weeks. The offseason program is conducted in three phases:

  1. Phase One (April 21 – May 4):  Consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
  2. Phase Two (May 5 – May 26):  Consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
  3. Phase Three (see OTA dates below): Consists of the next four weeks of the program. The Giants may conduct a total of 10 days of OTA workouts. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Important New York Giants dates of note:

  • April 21: Start of the offseason program.
  • May 28-30: Organized Team Activity (OTA) workouts.
  • June 2-3: OTA workouts.
  • June 5: OTA workout.
  • June 9-10: OTA workouts.
  • June 12-13: OTA workouts.
  • June 17-19: Mandatory, full-team mini-camp.

A video of New York Giants players arriving for the offseason program is available at Giants.com.

This year’s offseason program is the most important in recent memory. There are 15 new veteran free agents that need to be assimilated into the New York Giants’ team culture.

“It’s unprecedented, the percentage of change in this locker room,” said defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. “Those of us who are still here are excited for the start of a new season, but obviously it’s changed a lot. A lot of changes needed to be made, but whenever you’re a member of a team, it’s tough to see people go.”

“This is the most change I’ve been part of, for sure,” right guard Chris Snee said. “It’s going to take me a few weeks to learn all these guys’ names…Name tags would be a nice addition.”

“I tried to meet a lot of guys, tried to introduce myself to a lot of guys and start learning a little bit about them – where they’re from, are they married. Just little things like that, so hopefully these next weeks I’ll get to spend more time with each of the players and get to know them on a personal side,” said quarterback Eli Manning, who is coming off of arthroscopic ankle surgery that will sideline him at least six weeks.

The New York Giants’ offensive coaching staff was also revamped in the offseason with a new offensive coordinator (Ben McAdoo), new quarterbacks coach (Danny Langsdorf), and new running backs coach (Craig Johnson). Sean Ryan moved back to coaching wide receivers while Kevin M. Gilbride is now the new tight ends coach. The Giants will also have a brand new offensive scheme for the first time since Tom Coughlin became New York Giants head coach in 2004.

“Sometimes you need change,” said Manning. “We have a new offense, a new quarterback coach, a new offensive coordinator. It’s a learning experience for me, getting adjusted to that, having a lot of new teammates and new faces. There’s a lot of work to be done here, not only learning an offense but getting familiar with your teammates, building relationships there. It also is exciting. I think sometimes you’ve got to mix things up and change things up a little bit in your career. It will be a great challenge, but I’m looking forward to that.”

“I look forward to learning the new offense,” wide receiver Victor Cruz said. “I’m enjoying the fact that I’ve got to really study again, really look into the books again. Before, (Kevin) Gilbride’s offense was so innate for me that I kind of understood it, but this time I’ve really got to hone in and study every night. It’s like I’m back in college, so I’m excited about it. It’s cool. You understand this offseason we made some changes, we got a lot of guys through free agency and we’re looking to kind of change the mold of our team a little bit, at least from a visual standpoint; different guys, different positions. I’m excited. Any time you bring in guys, new energy, new people, it’s always a good thing, so we’re excited.”

Not only do the old Giants need to adjust to change, but so do the 15 new ones.

“It’s an adjustment but not a big one,” said linebacker Jameel McClain. “My personality, I just go with the flow and see how things are done here and fit in as time goes on. But it is different. I’ve been in Baltimore for six years, so that’s a change of scenery for me. Everybody is eager to see how it all falls together. That’s every NFL season. You come into the next year with a different team. There are a lot of moving parts and it’s good to see how it all comes together. So far there are a lot of great personalities, so that’s a winning combination by itself.”

“It’s exciting to finally get here after all of the buildup of signing and everything,” left guard Geoff Schwartz said. “It was great meeting some of the guys and getting going and kind of building toward the future. Right now it’s so early that it’s the getting to know each other phase. As we continue to work and go through stuff, you bring it all together. The guys I’ve met so far today seem to fit that personality of wanting to build chemistry.”

Josh Freeman Signing Now Official: The New York Giants officially announced the signing of unrestricted free agent quarterback Josh Freeman (Minnesota Vikings) on Monday, confirming what had originally been reported last Wednesday.

“I’m definitely excited about being a part of this great organization,” said Freeman. “Obviously, it’s a chance to go play quality football, learn from some great coaches, learn from a great quarterback in Eli (Manning) and just be a part of a great organization. The atmosphere is great here, great facilities. Everyone I’ve met has been awesome. Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

“Today, having the opportunity to sit in meetings and be around the guys in the room, from Eli to Curtis (Painter), Ryan (Nassib), it’s a great group of guys,” Freeman said. “I’m excited and am looking forward to learning about everybody and getting to know the team…It’s a big thing, getting on a team and getting in the offseason program, I’m learning the offense, working and trying to fill my role as best I can.”

Article on CB Prince Amukamara: The Prince Amukamara Dilemma: Giants must decide on fifth-year option by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Victor Cruz, one year later by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on the New York Giants and the 2014 NFL Draft: Giants pre-draft visits and workouts by Jordan Raanan and Conor Orr for NJ.com

Articles on the New York Giants and the NFL Draft: 

Apr 162014
 
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Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers  (September 8, 2013)

Josh Freeman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Sign Quarterback Josh Freeman: Though not officially confirmed by the team, according to multiple press reports, the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent quarterback Josh Freeman (Minnesota Vikings). The contract for the 26-year old Freeman is reportedly a 1-year deal.

BBI scouting report on Freeman:

The Giants signed Josh Freeman as an unrestricted free agent from the Minnesota Vikings in April 2014. Freeman was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers released Freeman in October 2013 and he quickly signed with the Minnesota Vikings. After starting 56 regular-season games for Tampa Bay in 2009-2012, Freeman only started four games in 2013. Three of those were with Tampa Bay and one was for the Vikings, ironically against the Giants. In those four games, Freeman only completed 43 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and four interceptions. In the game against the Giants in October, Freeman played terribly and the Vikings did not allow him to see the field again. Freeman has great size (6’6”, 240 pounds) and a strong arm. But he has struggled with his accuracy (57.6 percent completion percentage) and turnovers (67 career interceptions) during his five NFL seasons. His best season was in 2010 when he started all 16 games, and threw for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. But he threw a total of 39 interceptions in 2011 and 2012. Freeman needs to improve his accuracy, consistency, maturity, and work ethic if he is going to last in the NFL much longer.

Because of this move, we have updated the New York Giants Free Agent Signings (with scouting reports), New York Giants 2014 Free Agency ScorecardRoster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

Chris Johnson Signs With New York Jets: Unrestricted free agent running back Chris Johnson, who was recently released by the Tennessee Titans in a salary cap-related move, has signed with the New York Jets. There had been reports that the Giants were once interested in Johnson. However, that interest may have been tepid at best as there was never any indication of a meeting between Johnson and the Giants.

Apr 152014
 
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LaRon Byrd, Arizona Cardinals (May 14, 2013)

LaRon Byrd – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Kevin Williams, Josh Freeman, and LaRon Byrd Visit Giants But No Deals Yet: Following up on earlier updates, unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Kevin Williams (Minnesota Vikings), unrestricted free agent quarterback Josh Freeman (Minnesota Vikings), and street free agent wide receiver LaRon Byrd (cut by Arizona Cardinals) all met with the New York Giants on Tuesday. But none of the three signed contracts with the Giants.

Williams, who spent two days with the Giants, told The Star Tribune that he had “nothing really to report.” He then said by text message, “Had a good visit and gonna see what happens!” That message obviously implies that Williams may still sign with the Giants.

The New York Daily News says Freeman did meet with the Giants but no deal was reached. The paper speculated a deal could still be possible or the Giants may be still evaluating the inconsistent quarterback.

The New York Daily News is reporting that Byrd left the area and will next meet with the Dallas Cowboys.

Apr 142014
 
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Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers (December 22, 2013)

Matt Flynn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Matt Flynn and Josh Freeman to Visit Giants on Tuesday: According to multiple press reports, unrestricted free agent quarterbacks Matt Flynn (Green Bay Packers) and Josh Freeman (Minnesota Vikings) will visit the New York Giants on Tuesday.

As we previously reported, the Giants are most likely looking for a veteran quarterback to help carry the workload during the team’s ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) workouts from May 28 to June 13 as well the mandatory mini-camp on June 17-19. Quarterback Eli Manning may be out of action until the start of summer training camp in late July, recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle.

Articles on the 2014 New York Giants:

Article on the New York Giants and the 2014 NFL Draft: Giants draft 2014: Analyzing general manager Jerry Reese’s tendencies by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants and the 2009 NFL Draft: Giants’ last five drafts: 2009 by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on the New York Giants Offensive Line: How will Giants piece together O-Line? by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on WR Mario Manningham: Manningham returns feeling tested by Kevin Connelly of Vindy.com

Article on DE Robert Ayers: Giants roster 2014: What’s the difference between Justin Tuck and Robert Ayers? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on New York Giants and Post-Football Career Planning: Josh Brown plans early for life after NFL by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

BBI on Giants.com Big Blue Kickoff Live: The audio of Eric Kennedy being interviewed on Giants.com’s Big Blue Kickoff Live podcast on Monday is available at Giants.com. Eric joins the show at the midway point of the broadcast.

Apr 112014
 
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Justin Tuck, New York Giants (October 21, 2013)

Justin Tuck sacking Josh Freeman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Report – Josh Freeman to Visit New York Giants: According to the Bleacher Report, unrestricted free agent quarterback Josh Freeman (Minnesota Vikings) will visit the New York Giants next week, possibly as early as Tuesday. The New York Daily News is reporting that a Giants’ team official says no visit has officially been scheduled yet.

The 26-year old Freeman was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers released Freeman in October 2013 and he quickly signed with the Minnesota Vikings.

After starting 56 regular-season games for Tampa Bay in 2009-2012, Freeman only started four games in 2013. Three of those were with Tampa Bay and one was for the Vikings, ironically against the Giants. In those four games, Freeman only completed 43 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and four interceptions. In the game against the Giants, Freeman was 20-of-53 for 190 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. The Giants won that game 23-7.

Freeman has great size (6’6”, 240 pounds) and a strong arm. But he has struggled with his accuracy (57.6 percent completion percentage) and turnovers (67 career interceptions) during his five NFL seasons. His best season was in 2010 when he started all 16 games, and threw for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. But he threw a total of 39 interceptions in 2011 and 2012.

Quarterback Eli Manning underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle on Thursday and he will miss the beginning of the team’s offseason workout program which begins on April 21. Manning is not expected to be able to run for at least six weeks. The Giants first Organized Team Activity (OTA) workout is on May 28.

The other quarterbacks on the roster are Curtis Painter and Ryan Nassib.

Articles on Quarterback Eli Manning: