Sep 132021
 
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Joe Judge, New York Giants (September 12, 2021)

Joe Judge – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 13, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants did NOT practice on Monday. But because of the short week, they provided the following estimated injury report.

TE Evan Engram (calf), OG Shane Lemieux (knee), and LB Cam Brown (hamstring) did not practice.

RB Saquon Barkley (knee) was limited in practice.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 27-13 loss to the Denver Broncos and the upcoming game against the Washington Football Team:

Q: I know it’s a new season, but if you look at this offense since you’ve been here and since (Offensive Coordinator) Jason (Garrett) has been here, you guys haven’t really been able to score consistently. When you look at just the offensive system that you guys are running, what gives you confidence that you can get to a point where you will be putting points on the board like teams around the league do?

A: I think the big focus for us right now is really just focused on making sure we’re going to keep putting players in a position to be successful. I saw a lot of positive things yesterday from players like (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) and (Wide Receiver Sterling) Shep (Shepard). Those guys (were) making plays down the field. I think those guys definitely showed up and made an impact for us. To me, there’s a number of plays you can play with and you can draw up a lot of different patterns and routes. Obviously, we have to be creative and give the players a chance. I’m more focused right now on the fundamentals and the execution to go with, making sure we’re emphasizing ball security, running, blocking, making sure we can break tackles and extend plays right there, protecting leverage on the routes. But in terms of just the overall system, our focus right now is really more on putting the players in position and get them going. I saw a lot of improvement from a lot of guys. I was pleased with the way the offensive line played last night from a big picture standpoint. Obviously, there were some things we’ve got to clean up, but I was pleased with the step forward those guys have taken and improved consistently. It was good to have them out there for obviously the entire game length. Different than a preseason or a practice competitively, so it was good getting them out there and having a lot of execution together. That’s obviously moving in the right direction for us.

Q: (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) said after the game that he needed to see how his knee responded before meeting with the medical staff and you guys when it comes to Thursday and beyond that. Just curious how Saquon came out of yesterday and after you’ve watched the tape, what did you see from him?

A: It was good having him out there, obviously. The emphasis was really getting this guy out there, getting his feet wet. He hasn’t had the opportunity to play in the preseason. Obviously, he hasn’t played since last year when the injury happened, so the focus for us was really getting him out there, letting him get going, getting in sync of playing in the game. Obviously, it was the first time he was truly under a live fire with fully getting tackled and all that stuff from all different angles, so it was good and encouraging to see him come out of there. I thought he responded well. For all accounts right now, he came out of the game good for us. In terms of Thursday we’ll see what the game plan brings as we move on forward. I didn’t see any setbacks from anything last night and I didn’t get any reports on anything as far as medically with him. But in terms of him meeting with the medical staff, that’s kind of just part of the normal procedure for him and for all of our players that are dealing with anything.

Q: I saw that (Safety) Jabrill Peppers only played half of the snaps on defense yesterday. What was the thought process there and beyond that, how did you feel like the secondary helped up against (Broncos Quarterback) Teddy Bridgewater yesterday?

A: I think, obviously, Teddy played a really good game. They moved the ball consistently and stayed on the field, and our job is to get them off the field and disrupt his timing. I thought the guy played a good game. Obviously, give credit where credit is due and he’s a good player, he’s on a team for a reason. We’ve got to make sure we keep sharpening up how we’re calling plays and putting players in position and making sure that we execute when it’s called our way. In terms of Pep, I wouldn’t read anything into that at all. Pep’s a guy who’s going to play a lot of ball for us. Pep’s going to play a lot in a significant role, he’s a captain on this team, he’s a key member of our defense and our special teams units. A lot of it was kind of based around making sure we try to thin some of the loads out for this guy in different things he had to handle. It wasn’t anything reflected on how he’s played or performed. If anything, we came out of there with some of the things he did in the game, saying, ‘Hey, he’s a guy we want to have on the field as much as possible.’ So, we’ve just got to make sure that we consider some of the things that he’s doing and when he’s available having him out there on the field for us. The plan was really just with his best interest in mind, in terms of making sure he can stay fresh through all the different responsibilities he has on the team. But I would definitely not read too much into that. He’s a key part of our team for a reason.

Q: When (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) was asked about the fumble yesterday, he essentially said he has to be mindful of that and be better going forward, but this has been a recurring situation. How do you make him better in those spots to where he’s not turning over the ball, especially at critical times?

A: Like him, with any other player as well, you’ve got to show them on tape what’s happening, show them what the symptom is and why it’s been an issue, and then you’ve got to make sure you drill it on the field and improve the technique. We’ve got to keep doing a better job of coaching, putting our players in a position within practice where we’re getting the ball attacked and the exact fundamentals of what they’re getting issues with. We’ve just got to keep stressing on a daily basis with all of our players, which we make an emphasis of, but we’ve got to keep doing a better job of coaching that and making sure going forward it’s not an issue with any player on our team.

Q: A quick follow-up to that, as a teaching moment for the Daniel Jones fumble, would you and your staff tell him if he slid there that he could avoid that fumble?

A: That’s part of what we teach anyway. There are times where a guy’s going to be aggressive and he’s going to have to go ahead and lower his shoulder to get an extra yard in a got-to-have-it type of situation. There are other times as a quarterback where you go ahead, and you slide, and you avoid the contact. Look, Daniel’s a tough dude and I’m the one that’s got to tell him to slide sometimes. I know he hates hearing that. He doesn’t want to be treated like he’s got kid gloves on, but that’s part of what we teach him in terms of getting down and protecting. You can see obviously on the runs after that run right there, he worked to go ahead and get on the ground and protect it until he got in the endzone on the final play.

Q: That was a first-down play, so he’s not necessarily fighting for extra yards or anything. He already had a nice gain, so in that specific play is the coaching instruction – you have to slide there and that solves the problem with the fumble?

A: I’d say the coaching on any of these situations is if it’s not a got-to-have it, you want to protect the ball as best as we can, whether it’s getting out of bounds or sliding and getting down.

Q: How do you balance demanding better from your team with still finding the positives which you have detailed yesterday and today?

A: To be honest with you, that’s what our meeting was about today. Look, it’s real simple for me and again, a win or a loss, you’ve got to come out and you’ve got to show your team the truth of what happens on tape. You’ve got to show them examples of winning football, what we did well, things we can build on and things that are going to help us move forward and win as a team. Then, you’ve got to show them things that you have to eliminate as a team, things you have to improve on, and you have to do it fast to make sure you don’t eliminate opportunities. To me, it’s not about going in there and giving motivational speeches or trying to get in there and embarrass anybody. It’s just you put the tape on, you teach through it and you correct it. Our job is to be teachers. Guys come in everyday, they sit in meetings in a classroom, and they’ve got to learn, and that’s really what it is. We go out there on the practice field and we have to take what we’ve talked about in the film room and put it on the practice field and make sure they can execute it. But to me, our guys have always been very good. We preach about being mentally tough and it can’t be an emotional rollercoaster. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter. The emphasis every week is you come in and work to improve. That was the emphasis today, as well.

Q: Is Saquon going to play barring his knee having a problem here?

A: This week coming up?

Q: Yeah, I mean, is that the plan? It is three days of rest and it’s a very awkward situation for a guy coming off a big knee injury.

­­A: I would say unless the medical team tells us something else, our intention’s going to be to keep on progressing this guy throughout the season and playing with him, unless there’s some kind of setback. Look, he came out last night, from all accounts, in a good position. Our plan to this point is to go ahead and include him in the game plan as we work through this next day and a half.

Q: How unique is this spot though, to have that coming off of this major knee injury and only have three days after your first game?

A: I couldn’t speak specifically on the uniqueness of it. I don’t know what other players have done this in our league and turned around and had to play in this. But every injury is unique in itself, so we have to rely on the information from our medical team here in terms of what we can and can’t do safely with our players.

Q: I’m sure you’ll give a full rundown on Washington tomorrow, but just at first glance, what do you think of their quarterback situation and (Washington Quarterback Taylor) Heinicke?

A: First off, I’ve got a world of respect for Fitz (Washington Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick). Never having coached this guy but competing against him a lot for a long time in different spots, this guy’s a great competitor. He does a great job. I’d say with Heinicke, to me obviously, it’s not the same guy, but there’s a lot of the same characteristics. I think you can get a little of a gunslinger in both these guys and I don’t say that in an insulting way. I say that in a very complimentary way that he’s a guy that can go out there and can really function and operate and think outside the box, extend plays, be creative within the system and, obviously, he’s been very competitive in all the games he’s been in. I’ve got a lot of respect for this guy as a player. Obviously, I started watching this guy back in the playoffs and all last year as well as some other spots he’d been in. Seeing this guy out there on the field, he’s going to be a challenge for us. He’s going to be a challenge for us. He’s a competitor and he’s going to look for ways to extend plays and get the ball downfield to their receivers.

Q: You said that you liked how your offensive line played yesterday. Just wanted to know specifically what did you like about what they did?

A: I liked the way we gave ourselves an opportunity for Daniel to get back there and get the ball out on time. Really did a good job of operating upfront, the guards and centers playing with a good, flat, firm pocket. The tackles did a good job for the most part of staying inside-out, keeping the rush riding on by. There are always a couple extra ones that we’ve got to go ahead and correct and build off of. That’s all been addressed today in the meetings and that’ll be a focus going forward as it always is. But seeing consistent progress from that group and how they played together and progressed, that’s something that’s moving in the right direction for us.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will hold a light practice on Tuesday morning (10:50-11:50AM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Sep 102021
 
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Evan Engram, New York Giants (August 22, 2021)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 10, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants practiced on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

TE Evan Engram (calf) is the only player who did not practice. He has officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.

RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), TE Kaden Smith (knee), LT Andrew Thomas (ankle), NT Danny Shelton (neck), LB Justin Hilliard (foot), CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle), and CB Josh Jackson (calf) were limited in practice.

Barkley and Adoree’ Jackson were officially ruled “questionable” for the game. Everyone else who was limited is expected to play.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Friday 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 Giants on Saturday. The team plays the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Sep 012021
 
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Quincy Roche, Pittsburgh Steelers (August 21, 2021)

Quincy Roche – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS CLAIM THREE PLAYERS OFF OF WAIVERS, CUT THREE…
The New York Giants have claimed the following players off of waivers:

  • WR Collin Johnson (from Jacksonville Jaguars)
  • LB Justin Hilliard (from San Francisco 49ers)
  • LB Quincy Roche (from Pittsburgh Steelers)

The 23-year old, 6’6”, 222-pound Johnson was originally drafted in the 5th-round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Jaguars. As a rookie, he played in 14 NFL games with no starts, catching 18 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns.

The 24-year old, 6’1”, 231-pound Hilliard was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the 49ers after the 2021 NFL Draft.

The 23-year old, 6’3”, 245-pound Roche was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Steelers.

To make room for these three players, the Giants cut wide receivers C.J. Board (contract terminated) and Dante Pettis (waived) as well as linebacker Trent Harris (waived). Board was re-signed a few hours later when the Giants placed two players on Injured Reserve.

GIANTS PLACE ELERSON SMITH AND JOHN ROSS ON INJURED RESERVE…
The New York Giants have placed linebacker Elerson Smith and wide receiver John Ross on short-term Injured Reserve. Both are eligible to return to the 53-man roster after the first three games of the 2021 regular season.

With these roster vacancies, the Giants re-signed wide receiver C.J. Board, who was cut hours earlier in the day, and long snapper Casey Kreiter, who was cut yesterday.

GIANTS SIGN 14 PLAYERS TO THE PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed the following players to the team’s 16-man Practice Squad:

  • RB Sandro Platzgummer
  • WR David Sills
  • WR Damion Willis
  • WR Matt Cole
  • TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart
  • TE Jake Hausmann
  • OC Brett Heggie
  • OG Kenny Wiggins
  • OG Jake Burton
  • OT Jackson Barton
  • DL David Moa
  • DL Willie Henry
  • LB Niko Lalos
  • S Jordyn Peters

All 14 players were with the team during training camp.

Platzgummer will spend a second season on the Practice Squad as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. Platzgummer does not count against the 16.

Three spots remain open on the Practice Squad.

MICHAEL STRAHAN TO HAVE HIS JERSEY NUMBER RETIRED ON NOVEMBER 28…
The New York Giants will retire former defensive end Michael Strahan’s #92 jersey during the November 28 game at MetLife Stadium against the Philadelphia Eagles. Strahan played for the Giants from 1993 to 2007. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Currently, 12 Giants have their jersey numbers retired by the Giants. Former quarterback Eli Manning will also have his jersey number (#10) retired during the September 26 game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’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…
The Giants practice again on Wednesday afternoon (12:30-2:30 PM). The team’s coordinators and assistant coaches will also address the media, as well as select players.

Aug 122021
 
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Niko Lalos and Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (July 29,2021)

Niko Lalos and Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 12, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their 14th full-team summer training camp practice on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

First of all, I appreciate all the fans that came out for Fan Fest last night,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “It was a great experience for our players and as much of a learning experience as well in terms of communication on the field, managing the atmosphere that comes up throughout the game. It’ll be a lesson that we can tie into this week’s preseason game against the Jets. Something we need to build on day in and day out, and even in the regular season, as well. That being said, today is going to be more of a recovery day for our players, back them off after three hard days. We’re going to do more of a situational walkthrough getting ready for playing, end of game situations, as well as things that may come up. Tomorrow, we’ll transition a little more back into a practice, a little lighter than what we’ve had earlier in the week and then we’ll get ready for the game on Saturday.”

INJURY REPORT…
TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR John Ross (hamstring?), and WR Austin Mack (hamstring) did not practice on Thursday.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Today’s practice was light walk-thru in advance of Saturday’s game against the New York Jets.
  • LB Lorenzo Carter was back at practice today with the first-string defense.
  • LB Elerson Smith received his first practice reps of training camp.
  • Former Giants DE George Martin spoke to the team after practice.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media access to the team on Friday. The Giants plays the New York Jets on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium.

Jul 282021
 
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Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants (June 10, 2021)

Jabrill Peppers – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 28, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their first full-team summer training camp practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Practices are not open to the public this year.

“There’s a ramp-up period, so we really won’t be in pads until next Tuesday,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before the first practice. “So it’ll be helmets and shorts for the next couple of days, we’ll go into shells Friday and Saturday, shells the following Monday and then we’ll be in pads. We’ll be in pads as much as we can be, even when it’s not a live contact day. Just get used to wearing the equipment, moving around, getting our players used to being out there.”

GIANTS CUT KELVIN BENJAMIN…
The Giants have cut Kelvin Benjamin, who the team was converting from wide receiver to tight end. The Giants signed Benjamin as a tryout player during the team’s rookie mini-camp in May 2021. The 6’5”, 245-pound Benjamin was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. As a wide receiver, Benjamin has spent time with the Panthers (2014-2017), Buffalo Bills (2017-2018), and Kansas City Chiefs (2018).

INJURY REPORT…
The following players remain on various PUP and reserve lists:

  • Reserve/COVID-19 List: LB Blake Martinez, S Joshua Kalu, and TE Rysen John
  • Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), RT Matt Peart (back), OC Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), LB Oshane Ximines (hamstring), and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)
  • Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List: LB Reggie Ragland (hamstring) and LB Ryan Anderson (back)
  • Injured Reserve: RB Taquan Mizzell (hamstring)

RB Sandro Platzgummer, who was on the NFL List with a hamstring injury, passed his physical and practiced.

TE Rysen John was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List today.

WR Kadarius Toney, who came off of the Reserve/COVID-19 List yesterday, worked with trainers on the sideline, but did not practice. “He’s going to ramp up with our trainers,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “We’ll see where he is physically before we kind of bring him back completely.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Devontae Booker and Corey Clement received the bulk of the work at running back.
  • QB Daniel Jones had some trouble connecting with his targets in red zone drills. He did connect with WR Darius Slayton on two red zone touchdowns as well as one each to WR Sterling Shepard and WR David Sills.
  • WRs Darius Slayton and Kenny Golladay made some nice catches.
  • QB Mike Glennon threw a touchdown pass to WR C.J. Board.
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson, DB Julian Love, and S Logan Ryan were active defending passes. CB Madre Harper picked off a pass. S Xavier McKinney also broke up an end zone pass intended for WR Kenny Golladay.
  • WR John Ross impressed on special teams with his speed (both returning and in coverage).
  • QB Daniel Jones and WR Kenny Golladay stayed after practice to work on end zone fade routes under the guidance of Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’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…
The New York Giants practice Thursday morning (9:30-11:30AM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media.

Jun 042021
 
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Evan Engram, New York Giants (May 27, 2021)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports

JUNE 4, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their sixth voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Friday, and second one open to the media. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

Right now, it’s all about football movement, getting these guys in shape and training their bodies,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “That’s the most important thing for us at this time as a team, and understanding the systems and the schemes.”

A mandatory mini-camp will be held June 8-10. The two remaining OTA practices will be held on June 14-15.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Cornerback Aaron Robinson (unknown) was present at practice, but did not participate. Not present at Friday’s practice were:

  • RB Saquon Barkley (knee)
  • RB Corey Clement
  • RB Taquan Mizzell
  • WR Kadarius Toney
  • WR John Ross
  • TE Kyle Rudolph (foot)
  • OLB Ryan Anderson
  • OLB Cam Brown
  • CB James Bradberry
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson
  • CB Darnay Holmes
  • CB Isaac Yiadom
  • CB Sam Beal
  • S Jabrill Peppers
  • S Logan Ryan
  • S Xavier McKinney
  • S Julian Love
  • K Graham Gano

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Most of Friday’s action was limited to three-quarter speed with a focus on teaching.
  • The starting offensive line remained the same: LT Andrew Thomas, LG Shane Lemieux, OC Nick Gates, RG Will Hernandez, and RT Matt Peart.
  • The second-team offensive line was LT Chad Slade, LG Kenny Wiggins, OC Jonotthan Harrison, RG Zach Fulton, and RT Nate Solder.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judges’s press conference on Friday 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:

KADARIUS TONEY SIGNS
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants have signed wide receiver Kadarius Toney, their 2021 NFL Draft 1st-round selection, to a 4-year, $13,719,508 contract. The deal is fully guaranteed and reportedly includes a $7.3 million signing bonus and a fifth-year option. The team’s entire 2021 NFL Draft class is now signed.

ARTICLES…

Mar 292021
 
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Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (November 28, 2019)

Kenny Golladay – © USA TODAY Sports

Teams were officially able to begin negotiating with free agents from other teams on March 15. So although it seems as if free agency has been going on for quite some time, we’re only still at the 2-week mark since it began. More signings will continue through the spring and summer, especially as players are cut. That said, the initial free agency rush is over and we can start to make some snap opinions on what the New York Giants have and have not accomplished.

The “need” level I reference was addressed in my March 12th Free Agency Preview for the team.

QUARTERBACKS (Previous Need Level – Medium): For at least one more season, Daniel Jones is the unquestioned starter. The expectation was that the team would re-sign Colt McCoy. However, the Giants surprisingly went in another direction by signing the well-traveled Mike Glennon as Jones’ back-up. Glennon is much bigger (half a foot taller) than McCoy with a much stronger arm. Both complete around 61 percent of their passes and both have started roughly the same number of NFL games. There were media whispers too that McCoy wanted more money than the Giants were willing to pay. On the surface, this appears to be a wash, although the coaches said McCoy was a very good influence on Jones in the meeting rooms. (Mike Glennon YouTube Highlights)

RUNNING BACKS (Previous Need Level – High to Desperate): Some chided my prediction that all three running backs behind Saquon Barkley may not return in 2021, but that appears in fact to be the case. As of this moment, Wayne Gallman, Alfred Morris, and Dion Lewis remain unsigned. So much of the team’s upcoming success will depend on how well Barkley returns from a major knee injury and whether he can stay healthy for a full season. It’s quite telling that the very first player the Giants signed in free agency was the relatively-unknown Devontae Booker to a 2-year, $5.5 million contract. Fan reaction was immediately negative. But it appears the coaching staff simply wanted a veteran back who was a more reliable blocker and receiver than Gallman. Depth behind Barkley still remains shaky as the only other halfbacks on the roster are NFL cast-offs Taquan Mizzell and Jordan Chunn. The Giants also added another fullback/special teams player in Cullen Gillaspia to compete with Eli Penny. (Devontae Booker YouTube Highlights)

WIDE RECEIVERS (Previous Need Level – Desperate): The Giants have significantly upgraded this position with the addition of one player to the tune of a 4-year, $72 million contract. Kenny Golladay is not only a true #1 receiver, but he fills a desperate need that this team had for a physical receiver with size. His presence also allows Darius Slayton to become the #2 and Sterling Shepard the slot receiver, roles that both are far better suited for. From Golladay’s style of play to the team’s extended wooing period to satisfy personality issues, this signing is highly reminiscent of the Giants’ signing of Plaxico Burress in 2005. And Golladay is quite capable of having a Plaxico-type impact on this team. In addition, before the Giants signed Golladay, they signed the 9th overall player taken in the 2017 NFL Draft, John Ross. While Ross did not live up to expectations in Cincinnati, he brings true deep speed to a team that desperately needs it. It would not be shocking to see Ross get cut, but it also would not be shocking for him to press for a starting job opposite of Golladay. In addition to wanting to prove doubters wrong, Ross will rejoin his old college receiving teammate, Dante Pettis, on what had been an explosive University of Washington receiving corps. Overall, the make-up of this unit is far different now than it was just two weeks ago. (John Ross YouTube Highlights)

TIGHT ENDS (Previous Need Level – Desperate): Right or wrong, the front office and coaching staff appear willing to continue to hope Evan Engram develops into the player hoped for when he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft. But the team decided to team him with a mentor. Kyle Rudolph has been one of the NFL’s best tight ends for the past 10 years. While not an explosive player, he can catch and block. Just as importantly, he is reliable, something Engram is not. The downside is that Rudolph turns 32 in November and is coming off a foot injury (The Athletic is reporting it is a Lisfranc injury) that required surgery AFTER the Giants signed him. Much depends on how well he recovers. On paper, if he is healthy, this looks like a major addition both in terms of helping out Daniel Jones and the offensive line. (Kyle Rudolph YouTube Highlights)

OFFENSIVE LINE (Previous Need Level – Medium): This is one area where it is debatable if the team has improved in free agency. The Giants were able to force Nate Solder to take a big pay cut to remain with the team. He will now compete against Matt Peart for the starting tackle spot opposite of Andrew Thomas. The Giants somewhat surprisingly simply cut Kevin Zeitler without approaching him about a pay cut. To fill that void, they signed right guard Zach Fulton, who had an inconsistent stay with the Houston Texans. Fulton will compete with Will Hernandez and Shane Lemieux for a starting spot. Fulton does not feel like an upgrade over Zeitler. Where the team probably did get better is at back-up center with the signing of Jonotthan Harrison back in January. He is a better player than Spencer Pulley. Look for the team to continue to address the offensive line in the upcoming draft.

DEFENSIVE LINE (Previous Need Level – Low to High Depending on Tomlinson): Undoubtedly, the biggest loss the team suffered in free agency was losing nose tackle Davlin Tomlinson to the Minnesota Vikings for what appeared to be a reasonable 2-year, $22 million contract. The Giants re-signed back-up nose tackle Austin Johnson to a 1-year, $3 million deal in anticipation of the loss. Johnson will now have to start at nose tackle or the team will be forced to move Dexter Lawrence from end, or sign a veteran or draft a player. Moving Lawrence seems like an obvious option, but that would have a domino effect in that B.J. Hill would probably then become the new starter at end opposite of Leonard Williams. Thus, what had been a somewhat shaky depth situation becomes even more dubious. The team was extremely fortunate in 2020 that no one got hurt up front. The only back-ups on the roster right now are R.J. McIntosh, David Moa, and Breeland Speaks, the latter signed by the Giants in January. Speaking of Williams, the Giants were able to re-sign him to a 3-year, $63 million deal. There will be tremendous pressure on him to live up to that contract.

(Late Note: The Giants signed 6’2”, 335-pound nose tackle Danny Shelton today. Drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, Shelton was cut by the Detroit Lions and will help fill the void created by the departure of Tomlinson).

LINEBACKERS (Previous Need Level – High): On paper, the Giants lost one free agent (Kyler Fackrell) and signed three (Ifeadi Odenigbo, Reggie Ragland, Ryan Anderson). All three newcomers were relatively inexpensive, 1-year deals. Ragland will likely compete with Tae Crowder for the inside linebacker spot next to Blake Martinez. He has started 38 regular-season games in the NFL and is a former 2nd-round pick so he has a good shot to win that job. Anderson is another former 2nd-round pick who was stuck behind a plethora of outstanding outside linebackers in Washington. He is known more as an overachiever who saw most of his playing time on special teams, but he could surprise as his competition will be Lorenzo Carter (coming off of a torn Achilles), Oshane Ximines (coming off of shoulder surgery), and last year’s rookies (Carter Coughlin, Cam Brown, Niko Lalos). What about Odenigbo? Good question. He was the first defensive player the Giants signed in free agency. He played exclusively on the defensive line in Minnesota, primarily at end, but also shifting inside in pass-rush packages. However, his lack of size (6’3”, 258 pounds) strongly suggests he will be used like “linebacker” Jabaal Sheard was used by the Giants last year, that is, an edge rusher in 4-man pass rush packages. The Giants could also push him inside like the Vikings did in obvious passing situations in 4-man fronts. It is doubtful that he should be considered a true outside linebacker because he simply does not have experience dropping into coverage. Because of that, one could actually argue he should be included in the defensive line review. Also, the Giants did re-sign inside linebacker Devonta Downs, who started at inside linebacker for the Giants in 2020 until Tae Crowder beat him out. He will have to fight just to make the team however.

CORNERBACKS (Previous Need Level – Desperate): Like the wide receiving position, the make-up of this position completely changed with the addition of one free agent, adding Adoree’ Jackson to a 3-year, $39 million contract after he was cut by the Tennessee Titans. Opinions on his play vary, but Jackson is clearly a major upgrade over everyone else on the team’s roster with the exception of Pro Bowler James Bradberry. The former 1st rounder is a physical and aggressive press corner who plays with a lot of confidence. Depth is still a concern, but on paper, the Giants now look like they have one of the better secondaries in the NFL as long as Darnay Holmes continues to develop at slot corner.

SAFETIES (Previous Need Level – Low): While Adrian Colbert and Nate Ebner remain unsigned, the Giants still look to be in decent shape at this position with Jabrill Peppers, Xavier McKinney, Logan Ryan, and Julian Love – the latter two who can also play corner. Depth will be added later in free agency or the draft.

KICKERS/LONG SNAPPER (Previous Need Level – Low to Average Depending on Kreiter): When the Giants re-signed long snapper Casey Kreiter, this position was largely settled other than camp bodies. The only real question is are the Giants looking to upgrade at punter at some point.

SUMMARY: In my March 12th article, I argued this roster was a train wreck. Two weeks later, with the addition of 11 free agents and counting, it feels vastly different. It’s not just the quantity, but the quality. Keeping Leonard Williams was a big deal. Kenny Golladay and Adoree’ Jackson were two of the best, if not the very best, players available at desperate need positions.  If healthy, Kyle Rudolph could be a major addition as a security blanket for both Daniel Jones and the offensive line. Golladay and Jackson will start. Rudolph will be a quasi-starter. John Ross (1st rounder), Reggie Ragland (2nd rounder), Ryan Anderson (2nd rounder), and Zach Fulton might start. Devontae Booker is now the primary back-up behind Saquon Barkely, Ifeadi Odenigbo will add to the pass rush.

The risk? The money. While most of the deals were relatively cheap, the team did dole out $174 million on three players – Leonard Williams, Kenny Golladay, and Adoree’ Jackson. If they are wrong about any of these three, the team will be paying for it for years. We’ve seen that before and it’s one of the major reasons why the Giants have been mired in the basement of the NFL for a decade. One could also argue that the team should have allocated its resources a bit differently in order to keep Dalvin Tomlinson, extending his contract even last year.

Mar 182021
 
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Mike Glennon, Jacksonville Jaguars (December 27, 2020)

Mike Glennon – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS SIGN MIKE GLENNON
Multiple media outlets are reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent quarterback Mike Glennon (Jacksonville Jaguars). Terms of the deal are not yet known.

The 31-year old, 6’7”, 225-pound Glennon was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The well-traveled Glennon has spent time with the Buccaneers (2013-2016), Chicago Bears (2017), Arizona Cardinals (2018), Oakland Raiders (2019), and Jacksonville Jaguars (2020). He has played in 34 regular-season games with 27 starts, completing 61 percent of his passes for 6,235 yards, 43 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions. Glennon is only 6-21 as starter however. With the Jaguars in 2020, he started five games, completing 111-of-179 passes (62 percent) for 1,072 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions.

For a complete overview of the team’s free agent activity, see the 2021 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

GIANTS SIGN KYLE RUDOLPH
Multiple media outlets are reporting that the New York Giants have signed free agent tight end Kyle Rudolph, who was cut earlier this month by the Minnesota Vikings. The New York Post and SNY are say the contract is a 2-year deal worth up to $14 million.

The 31-year old, 6’6”, 265-pound Rudolph was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Vikings. In 10 seasons with the Vikings, Rudolph has played in 140 regular-season games with 132 starts, catching 453 passes for 4,488 yards and 48 touchdowns. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and 2017. Last year in 2020, Rudolph missed the last four games of the season with a foot injury but started 12 games, catching just 28 passes for 334 yards and one touchdown.

For a complete overview of the team’s free agent activity, see the 2021 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

LEONARD WILLIAMS ADDRESSES THE MEDIA
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who just signed a new 3-year, $63 million contract with the Giants, addressed the media on Thursday. The transcript of his press conference is available in The Corner Forum.

Mar 162021
 
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Leonard Williams, New York Giants (January 3, 2021)

Leonard Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS RE-SIGN LEONARD WILLIAMS…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants have re-signed free agent defensive lineman Leonard Williams to a 3-year, $63 million contract that includes $45 million in guaranteed money. The Giants placed the non-exclusive Franchise tag on Williams last week, which tied up over $19 million in this year’s cap. The new deal reportedly will drop his cap hit to around $11 million in 2021.

The 6’5”, 302-pound Williams was the sixth player taken overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. The Giants acquired Williams by trade from the in late October 2019. In his sixth NFL season, Williams had his best year as a pro in 2020. Williams played in all 16 games with 12 starts (74 percent of defensive snaps) and finished the year with 57 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery.

GIANTS SIGN JOHN ROSS…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver John Ross (Cincinnati Bengals) to a 1-year, $2.5 million contract that includes $1 million in guaranteed money.

The 25-year old, 5’11”, 194-pound Ross was drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. In four seasons with the Bengals, the speedy Ross played in just 27 games with 20 starts, accruing 51 catches for 733 yards and 10 touchdowns. In addition to not performing up to expectations in Cincinnati, Ross spent time on Injured Reserve with shoulder and foot injuries in 2019 and 2020.

GIANTS SIGN CULLEN GILLASPIA…
The New York Giants have signed fullback Cullen Gillaspia, who was waived/failed physical by the Houston Texans last week. The 25-year old, 6’2”, 235-pound Gillaspia was drafted by the Texans in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In two seasons with the Texans, Gillaspia played in 23 regular-season games with no starts. He has not carried the ball in a regular-season game and only has one catch for six yards. To date, he has played mainly on special teams. Gillaspia missed half of 2020 with a back injury.

Mar 092021
 
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Leonard Williams, New York Giants (September 27, 2020)

Leonard Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORTS – GIANTS WILL PLACE FRANCHISE TAG ON LEONARD WILLIAMS…
Multiple media outlets are reporting that for the second year in a row, the New York Giants will designate defensive lineman Leonard Williams as the team’s Franchise Player, thus keeping him off of the free agent market which begins on March 15th. The deadline for designating Franchise Players is 4PM today.

However, these same media reports still indicate that a long-term deal with Williams is still possible. The New York Post is even reporting that the Giants have no intention of paying Williams the $19.4 million he would be due under the Franchise Tag and this move is only to buy additional negotiating time once free agency starts. That said, The Athletic is reporting that the two sides are not close to a new deal.

The 6’5”, 302-pound Williams was the sixth player taken overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. The Giants acquired Williams by trade from the in late October 2019. In his sixth NFL season, Williams had his best year as a pro in 2020. Williams played in all 16 games with 12 starts (74 percent of defensive snaps) and finished the year with 57 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery.

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT CODY CORE…
The New York Giants have officially terminated the contract (failed physical) of wide receiver/special teamer Cody Core, who was set to make $1.45 million is base salary and $550,000 in bonuses in 2021. The move creates an additional $2 million in cap room this year. However, multiple media sources are reporting that the Giants could re-sign Core to a smaller contract if he is healthy enough to return.

Core was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2020 after tearing his Achilles during a training camp practice. While Core only had three catches for 28 yards in 2019, he was arguably the team’s best special teams player, excelling on punt coverage. He was credited with eight tackles and was a big factor in downing punts inside the 20-yard line.

The 6’3”, 205-pound Core was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. In three seasons with the Bengals, he played in 35 regular-season games with seven starts, accumulating 30 catches for 360 yards and one touchdown. The Giants claimed  Core off of waivers from the Bengals in September 2019.