May 182022
 
Share Button
Maurice Canady, Baltimore Ravens (October 6, 2019)

Maurice Canady – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have signed the following unrestricted free agents:

  • DE Jalyn Holmes (New Orleans Saints)
  • CB Maurice Canady (Dallas Cowboys)
  • CB Khalil Dorsey (Baltimore Ravens)
  • S Henry Black (Green Bay Packers)

Both Canady and Dorsey have previous experience with former Ravens and current Giants defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale. Holmes was coached by former Vikings and current Giants defensive line coach Andre Patterson in Minnesota.

The 26-year old, 6’5”, 283-pound Holmes was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. In three seasons with the Vikings, Holmes played in 25 regular-season games with nine starts. All of his starts came in 2020 as he was credited with 36 tackles and two pass defenses. The Vikings waived him in September 2021, and he was then signed by the Saints. He played in eight games with one start and was credited with 14 tackles and one pass defense.

The 27-year old, 6’1”, 200-pound Canady was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Ravens. He has spent time with the Ravens (2016-2019), New York Jets (2019), and Cowboys (2020-2021). The Ravens cut him in November 2019 and he was then claimed by the Jets. Canady signed with the Cowboys in March 2020, but opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to COVID. Canady has played in 40 regular-season games with four starts. He played in eight games in 2021 with the Cowboys, but missed half the season with a concussion that landed him on Injured Reserve. In those eight games, he played just 14 percent of defensive snaps and was credited with six tackles.

The 24-year old, 5’9”, 181-pound Dorsey was originally signed as undrafted rookie free agent by the Ravens after the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in six games as a rookie in 2020, almost exclusively on special teams. Dorsey missed all of 2021 with an injury that landed him on Injured Reserve in August. The Ravens chose not to tender him as an exclusive rights free agent.

The 25-year old, 6’0”, 204-pound Black was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Green Bay Packers after the 2020 NFL Draft. In two seasons, he has played in 25 regular-season games with no starts, While most of his playing time has come on special teams, he did play in 24 percent of all defensive snaps in 2021 and was credited with 38 tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble. The Packers chose not to tender him as an exclusive rights free agent.

To make room for these four, the Giants cut the following players:

  • QB Brian Lewerke (waived)
  • DE Raymond Johnson (waived)
  • LB Trent Harris (contract terminated)
  • S Jordan Mosley (waived/injured)

Lewerke was signed late in the preseason in August 2021 and then to the Practice Squad in early September 2021. The 6’3”, 216-pound Lewerke was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Patriots waived him in early September 2020.

The Giants signed Johnson as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2021 NFL Draft. He surprisingly made the team, played in 15 games with no starts (16 percent of all defensive snaps), and finished the season with three tackles, one tackle for a loss, and one sack.

Harris was signed to the Practice Squad in early September 2021 and the 53-man roster in November. The Giants then placed him on Injured Reserve in early December with an ankle injury and waived him at the end of the month. He played in four games with no starts (15 percent of defensive snaps in those games), finishing with seven tackles. The 6’2”, 255-pound Harris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Practice Squad of the Patriots. The Miami Dolphins claimed Harris off of waivers in September 2019. He played in 11 games with three starts with the Dolphins, accruing 20 tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Dolphins cut him in early September 2020. The Giants signed Harris to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2020; he was re-signed to the Practice Squad in December after playing in four games with two starts (26 percent of all defensive snaps in those games). He finished they year with five tackles and 0.5 sacks.

Mosley was signed four days ago after impressing as a rookie tryout player during the team’s rookie mini-camp.

Jan 102022
 
Share Button
Kevin Abrams, New York Giants (June 12, 2018)

Kevin Abrams – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS BEGIN LINING UP POTENTIAL GM CANDIDATES…
According to various press reports, the list of potential candidates for the vacant general manager position is beginning to emerge. Thus far, the Giants will attempt to interview:

  • Kevin Abrams, Vice President of Football Operations/Assistant General Manager, New York Giants
  • Ryan Cowden, Vice President of Player Personnel, Tennessee Titans
  • Monti Ossenfort, Director of Player Personnel, Tennessee Titans
  • Joe Schoen, Assistant General Manager, Buffalo Bills
  • Ryan Poles, Executive Director of Player Personnel, Kansas City Chiefs

GIANTS RE-SIGN EIGHT PLAYERS…
The Giants have re-signed the following eight players to reserve/future contracts:

  • QB Brian Lewerke
  • WR Travis Toivonen
  • TE Jake Hausmann
  • OT Devery Hamilton
  • DL David Moa
  • LB Omari Cobb
  • LB Trent Harris
  • LB Niko Lalos
Dec 302021
 
Share Button
Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (December 5, 2021)

Kadarius Toney has a lot of boo-boos

DECEMBER 30, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants practiced on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Not on the official injury list, but also not practicing due to being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List were WR Darius Slayton, OL Korey Cunningham, NT Danny Shelton, DE Dexter Lawrence, and S Julian Love.

Not practicing were RB Gary Brightwell (neck), WR Kadarius Toney (shoulder), WR John Ross (knee/COVID ramp up), WR Collin Johnson (hamstring), OL Billy Price (personal), and DL Austin Johnson (foot).

“Billy and his family are dealing with a family matter,” Head Coach Joe Judge said. “I’m not going to go into it. It’s not mine to disclose, but his family has our full support as an organization. We’ve all talked to him. Our concern is for the personal wellbeing of Billy as a person, and his family’s well-being is a primary concern right now. We’ll deal with Billy as we go through the week, and we’ll know more as we go.”

Limited in practice were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), FB Cullen Gillaspia (shin), TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle), TE Chris Myarick (hip), OT Nate Solder (COVID ramp up), OL Ben Bredeson (ankle), DL Raymond Johnson (illness), CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad/COVID ramp up), CB Keion Crossen (COVID ramp up), and PK Graham Gano (illness).

ROSTER MOVES…
The Giants have placed WR Darius Slayton, OL Korey Cunningham, and LB Omari Cobb on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Slayton and Cunningham will likely miss Sunday’s game; Cobb is on the Practice Squad. The team activated OT Nate Solder from the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

The Giants also placed OT Matt Peart (knee) and RB Gary Brightwell (neck) on Injured Reserve. Their season is over.

The Giants waived LB Trent Harris.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Friday. Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Dec 292021
 
Share Button

DECEMBER 29, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants held a light, walk-thru practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Not on the official injury list, but also not practicing due to being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List were OT Nate Solder, NT Danny Shelton, DE Dexter Lawrence, and S Julian Love.

Not practicing were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), RB Gary Brightwell (neck), WR Kadarius Toney (shoulder), WR Collin Johnson (hamstring), TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle), OL Billy Price (personal), DL Austin Johnson (foot), DL Raymond Johnson (illness), and PK Graham Gano (illness).

Limited in practice were FB Cullen Gillaspia (shin), WR John Ross (knee/COVID ramp up), OL Ben Bredeson (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad/COVID ramp up), and CB Keion Crossen (COVID ramp up).

ROSTER MOVES…
On Tuesday, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contracts of cornerbacks Sam Beal and Darqueze Dennard. The team also re-signed TE Jake Hausmann and LB Omari Cobb to the Practice Squad.

On Wednesday, the Giants placed DE Dexter Lawrence on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Head Coach Joe Judge has already ruled Lawrence out of Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

The team also activated WR John Ross, CB Adoree’ Jackson, and CB Keion Crossen from the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

LB Trent Harris was designated for return from Injured Reserve, where he was placed in early December with an ankle injury.

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 Thursday. The coordinators, position coaches, and select players will also address the media.

Dec 032021
 
Share Button
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (August 29, 2021)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

DECEMBER 3, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT – TWO MORE TO IR…
The New York Giants practiced on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Not practicing were WR Kadarius Toney (oblique/quad), TE Kaden Smith (knee), OT Nate Solder (elbow), LB Trent Harris (ankle), and CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad).

Smith, Harris, and Jackson have officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. In addition, Smith and Harris were placed on Injured Reserve.

Toney is “doubtful” and Solder is “questionable” for the game.

QB Daniel Jones (neck), FB Cullen Gillaspia (calf), WR John Ross (illness/quad), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), and TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

Jones has been ruled out of the game. Mike Glennon will start at quarterback. Shepard is “doubtful” for the game, while Gillaspia, Ross, and Rudolph are “questionable.”

“At this point, (Jones) has not been cleared for contact,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “So, we’re going to go ahead and hold him out of this game. At this point, we don’t feel 100 percent comfortable with him until the medical team clears him fully. As of right now, we’ll rule him out. We’ll evaluate him for the future, including as soon as next week, with the doctors. We don’t have any answers on the immediate future yet. His status for this week will be he’ll be out.”

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 Dolphins in Miami on Sunday.

Nov 232021
 
Share Button

Yes, we have to use this damn photo again!

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 30 – NEW YORK GIANTS 10…
The once-proud New York Giants franchise was humiliated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-10 on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Giants are now 3-7 and all alone in the cellar of the NFC East.

In a game that was misleadingly close at halftime (Buccaneers 17 – Giants 10), Tampa Bay simply dominated in all facets of the contest:

  • Total offensive plays: Bucs 76 – Giants 54
  • Total net yards: Bucs 402 – Giants 215
  • Net yards rushing: Bucs 94 – Giants 66
  • Net yard passing: Bucs 308 – Giants 149
  • Total first downs: Bucs 28 – Giants 15
  • 3rd-down efficiency: Bucs 6-13 (46 percent) – Giants 1-9 (11 percent)
  • 4th-down efficiency: Bucs 1-1 (100 percent) – Giants 1-3 (33 percent)
  • Turnovers: Bucs 1 – Giants 3
  • Time of possession: Bucs 35:39 – Giants 24:21

The Buccaneers received the ball to start the game and cut right through the New York defense, driving 73 yards in eight plays to take a quick 7-0 lead. The Giants responded with their “best” drive of the night, picking up 56 yards in 13 plays but having to settle for a 37-yard field goal. On their second possession, Tampa Bay put together a marathon, 18-play, 79-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard field goal in the 2nd quarter. Tampa Bay 10 – Giants 3.

After a three-and-out by the Giants on their second possession, New York got the ball right back when quarterback Tom Brady’s pass was deflected and intercepted by cornerback Adoree’ Jackson at the Tampa Bay 15-yard line and returned to their five yard line. Two plays later, left tackle Andrew Thomas caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Daniel Jones. The 5-yard drive was New York’s last scoring possession of the night. It was all downhill for the Giants after that.

With the score tied at 10-10, Tampa Bay easily drove the field again. The 8-play, 71-yard drive resulted in a 6-yard touchdown run that gave the Buccaneers the lead for good. Neither team scored for the remainder of the half.

The tone for the second half was set on each team’s initial possession after the break. The Giants’ second most productive drive of the evening gained 50 yards and reached the Tampa Bay 25-yard line. But Jones’ 4th-and-1 pass fell incomplete and the Giants turned the ball over on downs. The Buccaneers responded with a 10-play, 74-yard drive that resulted in a 5-yard touchdown pass. The rout was on.

New York’s final five possessions resulted in two punts, two bad interceptions by Jones, and a final turnover on downs. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay added two more field goals to extend the lead to eventual final score of 30-10.

Daniel Jones finished the game 23-of-38 for 167 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. No Giants’ receiving target gained more than 40 yards. The team’s leading rusher was running back Saquon Barkley with just 25 yards on six carries.

Defensively, the Giants rarely pressured Tom Brady as he orchestrated six scoring drives with over 400 yards of offense.

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Monday, the Giants activated LT Andrew Thomas (foot/ankle)  to the 53-man roster from Injured Reserve. LB Trent Harris was signed to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.

The Giants also elevated TE Chris Myarick and S Steven Parker to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. In addition, WR/returner Pharoh Cooper was activated from the Practice Squad as a COVID-19 replacement for S Logan Ryan (Reserve/COVID-19 List).

Inactive for the game were FB Cullen Gillaspia (calf), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), TE Kaden Smith (knee), LB Lorenzo Carter (illness/ankle), S Nate Ebner (knee), OG/OC Wes Martin, and LB Oshane Ximines.

TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) and WR Kadarius Toney (quad contusion) were injured in the game and did not return.

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

  • Head Coach Joe Judge (Video)
  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
  • LT Andrew Thomas (Video)
  • DL Leonard Williams (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media by conference call on Tuesday.

Sep 032021
 
Share Button
Dexter Williams, Green Bay Packers (August 8, 2021)

Dexter Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have re-signed quarterback Brian Lewerke, wide receiver Dante Pettis and linebacker Trent Harris to the Practice Squad. All three players were with the Giants in training camp this summer. The team also signed running back Dexter Williams to the Practice Squad.

The Giants signed Brian Lewerke in August 2021. The 6’3”, 216-pound Lewerke was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Patriots waived him before the 2020 season started in early September.

The Giants claimed Dante Pettis off of waivers from the San Francisco 49ers in early November 2020. He played in the final two games of the season for the Giants, catching four passes for 76 yards and one touchdown. The 6’1”, 195-pound Pettis was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the 49ers. He has played in 30 regular-season games, with 12 starts. Pettis has experience returning kickoffs and punts.

The 6’2”, 255-pound Harris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Practice Squad of the Patriots. The Miami Dolphins claimed Harris off of waivers in September 2019. He played in 11 games with three starts with the Dolphins, accruing 20 tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Dolphins cut him in early September 2020. The Giants signed Harris to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2020; he was re-signed to the Practice Squad in December after playing in four games with two starts (6 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished they year with five tackles and 0.5 sacks.

The 24-year old, 5’11, 212-pound Williams was originally drafted in the 6th-round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. In two seasons with the Packers, Williams played in seven regular-season games with no starts. He has seven career rushing attempts for 19 yards.

In corresponding moves, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contracts of tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart, guard Jake Burton, and center Brett Heggie.

The 6’5”, 260-pound Griffin-Stewart was originally signed as rookie free agent by the Minnesota Vikings after the 2020 NFL Draft. He also spent time on the Practice Squad of the Green Bay Packers that year before being signed to the Practice Squad of the Giants in November 2020. The Giants cut him in December 2020 but re-signed him in January 2021.

The Giants signed Burton and Heggie as an undrafted rookie free agents after the 2021 NFL Draft.

Lastly, the Giants waived wide receiver Alex Bachman from Injured Reserve with an injury settlement.

The Giants placed Bachman on Injured Reserve in late August 2021 with an unknown injury. The 6’0”, 190-pound Bachman was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Rams after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Rams cut him before the season started and the Giants signed him to their Practice Squad in November 2019. Bachman also spent two stints on the team’s Practice Squad in 2020.

 

Sep 012021
 
Share Button
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.

Feb 012021
 
Share Button
Blake Martinez, New York Giants (September 27, 2020)

Blake Martinez – © USA TODAY Sports

As we covered in our defensive line review, the New York Giants defense significantly improved from 25th in 2019 to 12th in 2020 in terms of yards allowed. It was a remarkable achievement given the year-long personnel changes in the back seven on defense. There were no adjustments on the defensive line. The same three starters and two back-ups played in every game. The same could not be said for the linebackers and defensive backs.

In today’s 3-4 defenses, the outside linebackers are more of a hybrid linebacker/defensive end, increasingly commonly referred to as “edge” players. The two Giants who won the starting edge jobs (Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines) were both lost for the season in early October with 3/4ths of the season left to play. Their primary back-up (Markus Golden) was traded to the Cardinals a few weeks later with half the season left to play. The next man up (OLB/ILB hybrid Kyler Fackrell) missed four games due to a calf injury. The Giants were forced to rely on three rookies (7th rounder Carter Coughlin, 6th rounder Cam Brown, and undrafted free agent Niko Lalos) and two retreads (Jabaal Sheard and Trent Harris).

There was chaos too at one of the inside linebacker spots. Devonta Downs started the season but was unimpressive and lost his job to rookie Tae Crowder, the very last player taken in the draft. But after starting two games, Crowder landed on Injured Reserve with a groin injury for five games. Downs was reinserted into the starting line-up, but now David Mayo, who missed the first five games of the season with a knee injury, also saw increased playing time and two starts. Crowder returned in late November and reclaimed the starting job.

Whew. Just typing that was confusing. The only constants were free agent godsend Blake Martinez and the coaching staff.

Martinez was the glue that held the defense together. He directed the defense, played virtually every defensive snap (97 percent), and was a tackling machine (team-high 151 tackles). Long story short, Martinez is the best inside linebacker the Giants have had since Antonio Pierce was cut a decade ago.

Inside Linebackers Coach Kevin Sherrer and Outside Linebackers Coach Bret Bielema did a marvelous job of mixing and matching on a week-to-week basis. Look no further than the edge position where the Giants were left scrambling. At one point, the available players to use were Sheard, Coughlin, Brown, and Lalos. Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham, who coached linebackers with the Patriots and Packers, also employed defensive backs at linebacker in various packages. But there was a bit of chaos even in the coaching ranks when Bielema left the Giants with three games left to play to become head coach at the University of Illinois. Sherrer then handled both positions.

Aside from Martinez, what really stands out is that all four of the team’s late-round draft picks at linebacker made the team in addition to a rookie free agent. All five of these rookies played. The Giants were hammered by injuries at the outside linebacker position – down to their 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th options – and yet the coaching staff held the unit together. The biggest negative was the lack of pass rush, particularly from the edge spots. Of the team’s 40 sacks, 13.5 came from the linebackers (and four of them were from inside backers Martinez and Crowder). Fackrell led the linebacking corps with just four sacks.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

The Giants signed Blake Martinez as an unrestricted free agent from the Green Bay Packers in March 2020. He had a major impact on the defense, starting all 16 games and playing in 97 percent of all defensive snaps. Martinez finished the season with a team-high 151 tackles and also accrued nine tackles for losses, three sacks, six quarterback hits, five pass defenses, one interception, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. The 6’2”, 237-pound Martinez was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Packers. In four seasons with Green Bay, Martinez has played in 61 regular-season games with 57 starts, accruing 512 tackles and 10 sacks. Martinez lacks ideal size and range for the position, but he is a heady player who can make the defensive calls and gets in on lot of tackles. He is better against the run than the pass.

The Giants selected Tae Crowder in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He surprisingly moved into the starting line-up in Week 5 and 6 before suffering a groin injury that landed him on Injured Reserve for five games. Crowder returned in late November, starting four of his final six games. In all, Crowder played in 11 games with six starts (37 percent of all defensive snaps), and was credited with 57 tackles, three tackles for losses, one sack, three quarterback hits, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery that he returned for a game-winning touchdown. The 6’3”, 235-pound Crowder was moved from running back to linebacker in college and thus is still learning the position. Only a 1-year starter in college. While Crowder lacks ideal size, he is a good athlete and seems to have good instincts for the position. He must improve his tackling consistency.

Devante Downs began the season as a starter, but saw his playing time give way to Tae Crowder. Downs played in all 16 games with eight starts (21 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished the season with 33 tackles, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery. The 6’2”, 252-pound Downs was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings waived him in late September 2019 and he was then signed by the Giants to their Practice Squad and 53-man roster in October 2019. Downs played in seven games for the Giants in 2019 on special teams. Downs has good size, but he did not impress against the run or pass in 2020 despite his eight starts.

The Giants placed David Mayo on Injured Reserve in early September 2020 with a torn meniscus in his left knee that required surgery. He was activated from Injured Reserve in mid-October. Mayo ended up playing in 11 games with two starts (18 percent of all defensive snaps). He was credited with 29 tackles, two tackles for losses, and one forced fumble. The Giants signed Mayo in September 2019 after he was cut by the San Francisco 49ers. He surprisingly ended up playing in all 16 games with 13 starts, playing in 57 percent of all defensive snaps, and finishing with 82 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 pass defenses. The 6’2”, 240-pound Mayo was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. After four seasons in Carolina, Mayo signed with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2019. Before coming to the Giants, Mayo only had started four NFL games in four seasons. Mayo lacks ideal tools which limits his ability defend the run and cover receivers, but he plays hard.

The Giants selected T.J. Brunson in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Brunson spent most of the season on the inactive list, but he did play in five games, almost exclusively on special teams. He was credited with three tackles. The 6’1”, 230-pound Brunson is an undersized inside linebacker with decent but not ideal athleticism. He is very physical and aggressive.

EDGE

The Giants placed Lorenzo Carter on Injured Reserve with a ruptured Achilles’ tendon that he suffered in Week 5 in October 2020. He underwent surgery and missed the rest of the season after starting all five games and finishing with 14 tackles and one sack. The Giants drafted Carter in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Carter played in 15 games as a rookie with two starts, finishing the season with 43 tackles, 4 sacks, and 4 pass defenses. In 2019, Carter started 12 of the 15 games he played in, finishing the year with 45 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 5 pass defenses, and 1 forced fumble. Carter is a tall, athletic, disruptive forward mover. Carter looks the part, combining good size (6’5”, 255 pounds) and overall athletic ability. He flashes the ability to disrupt, but must do a better job of disengaging from blockers and making more plays. Versatile, he can play with his hand in the dirt.

Oshane Ximines was placed on Injured Reserve in early October 2020 with a shoulder injury that he suffered in Week 4. He returned to practice in late November, but his season ended when it was determined he would need rotator cuff surgery. Ximines started three of the four games he played in and finished the season with just four tackles. The Giants drafted Ximines in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He played at end in college. Ximines had a mixed performance in his rookie season in 2019. He received significant playing time, playing in all 16 games with two starts, playing in 45 percent of all defensive snaps, and accruing 25 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and one pass defense. Ximines has a nice combination of size (6’4”, 254 pounds) and overall athletic-ability. Ximines flashed at times as a pass rusher, but he must become a more physical run defender and more consistent, dynamic performer when rushing the passer. He also needs work in coverage.

2020 was an odd year for Markus Golden. Coming off of a superlative debut season for the Giants as a 1-year free agent rental in 2019 (career-high 72 tackles and team-high 10 sacks), Golden did not receive much interest in 2020 free agency. He re-signed with the Giants very late in the offseason in early August, but did not regain his starting position when the season started. The Giants then traded him to the Cardinals in late October. Golden ended up having a much bigger impact with the Cardinals than the Giants in 2020. With the Giants, he played in seven games with one start (16 percent of all defensive snaps) and finished with just 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Golden was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cardinals. After rejoining the Cardinals, Golden started the final eight games, including a 1-sack, 1-fumble recovery performance against the Giants in Week 14. 

The Giants placed Kyler Fackrell on Injured Reserve in early December 2020 with a calf injury and activated him to the 53-man roster in early January 2021. In all, Fackrell played in 12 games with nine starts. He played in 56 percent of all defensive snaps and finished the season with 34 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, four sacks, 10 quarterback hits, two pass defenses, one interception that he returned for a touchdown, and one forced fumble. The 6’5”, 245-pound Fackrell was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. In four seasons with Green Bay, Fackrell played in 61 regular-season games with nine starts, compiling 111 tackles, 16.5 sacks, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. Fackrell’s best season was in 2018 when he started seven games and accrued 42 tackles and 10.5 sacks. The Giants signed Fackrell an unrestricted free agent from the Packers in March 2020. Although not a dynamic athlete, Fackrell is a big, versatile linebacker who can play outside or inside linebacker. He flashes as a pass rusher.

The Giants signed Jabaal Sheard off of the Practice Squad of the Jacksonville Jaguars in October 2020. He ended up playing in nine games for the Giants with three starts (24 percent of all defensive snaps), and finished with 19 tackles, two tackles for losses, 1.5 sacks, two quarterback hits, and one forced fumble. The 6’3”, 268-pound Sheard was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He has spent time with the Browns (2011-2014), New England Patriots (2015-2016), Indianapolis Colts (2017-2019), and Jaguars (2020). Sheard has played in 144 regular-season games with 106 starts. While not a dynamic performer, Sheard is a steady, veteran presence who is solid against the run and will occasionally make some noise as a pass rusher.

The Giants selected Carter Coughlin in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in 14 games as a rookie with two starts (18 percent of all defensive snaps). Coughlin finished the season with 17 tackles, two tackles for losses, one sack, and two quarterback hits. The 6’3”, 236-pound Coughlin is not a top athlete, but he is a tough, competitive, and reliable linebacker who plays hard.

The Giants selected Cam Brown in the 6th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in 15 games as a rookie with no starts (8 percent of all defensive snaps). Brown finished the year with 12 tackles, three quarterback hits, and one forced fumble. The 6’5”, 233-pound Brown is a tall and lanky outside backer with long arms and decent speed. His size and solid athletic ability assist him coverage but he needs to improve his run defense at the point-of-attack and overall tackling consistency.

The Giants signed Niko Lalos as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. Lalos spent most of the season on the Practice Squad but was elevated to the 53-man roster in December. He played in six games with no starts as a rookie (7 percent of all defensive snaps). Lalos finished the season with six tackles, one interception, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery. The 6’5”, 270-pound Lalos played defensive end in college but was moved to the outside linebacker position by the Giants. He has good size for the position, but is not a dynamic athlete. Over-achiever who plays hard.

The Giants signed Trent Harris to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2020; he was re-signed to the Practice Squad in December after playing in four games with two starts (6 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished they year with five tackles and 0.5 sacks. The 6’2”, 255-pound Harris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Practice Squad of the Patriots. The Miami Dolphins claimed Harris off of waivers in September 2019. He played in 11 games with three starts with the Dolphins, accruing 20 tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Dolphins cut him in early September 2020.

Jan 042021
 
Share Button
Xavier McKinney, New York Giants (January 3, 2021)

Xavier McKinney – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 2021 OPPONENTS SET…
The New York Giants’ 2021 opponents have been mostly set:

Home:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Denver Broncos
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Los Angeles Rams

Away:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • Chicago Bears

The NFL will reportedly add a 17th regular-season game. If so, the Giants are expected to play a team from the AFC East. If the match-up is determined by division ranking, it will be the Miami Dolphins.

The league’s 2021 schedule will be announced in the spring.

NEW YORK GIANTS TO PICK 11TH IN 2021 NFL DRAFT…
The New York Giants now hold the 11th pick in the 1st round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

GIANTS RE-SIGN 15 PLAYERS…
The Giants have re-signed two exclusive rights free agents and 13 players to reserve/future contracts.

The two exclusive rights free agents are OT Jackson Barton and CB Madre Harper. Barton spent the entire year on the 53-man roster, but was only active for one game. Harper played in nine games for the Giants this year.

The 13 reserve/future players are:

  • QB Clayton Thorson
  • QB Alex Tanney
  • RB Taquan Mizzell
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • TE Rysen John
  • OG Chad Slade
  • OG Kenny Wiggins
  • DT David Moa
  • LB Trent Harris
  • CB Jarren Williams
  • CB Quincy Wilson
  • S Montre Hartage
  • LS Carson Tinker

All 13 of these players finished the year on the team’s Practice Squad.

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: