Mar 112015
 
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Walter Thurmond and Michael Strahan, New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Walter Thurmond and Michael Strahan – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants unrestricted free agent cornerback Walter Thurmond has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. The contract is reportedly a 1-year deal.

The Giants signed Thurmond as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014. Penciled in as the team’s nickel or #3 corner, Thurmond was placed on Injured Reserve in September 2014 with a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery after playing in only two games. Thurmond was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Seahawks. He missed much of the 2011 and 2012 seasons recovering from a broken leg (fibula), playing in only eight regular-season games. In November 2013, he was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s drug policy.

For a list of all of the Giants free agents, see the 2015 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

Mar 082015
 
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Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills (December 21, 2014)

Jerry Hughes – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants are interested in unrestricted free agents defensive end Jerry Hughes (Buffalo Bills), defensive end/linebacker Pernell McPhee (Baltimore Ravens), defensive end/linebacker Brandon Graham (Philadelphia Eagles), and defensive tackle Dan Williams (Arizona Cardinals).

The 26-year old Hughes (6’2”, 254 lbs) started 16 games in 2014 and finished with 53 tackles, 10 sacks, and three forced fumbles. The 26-year old McPhee (6’3” 280 lbs) did not start a game but was a key reserve for the Ravens, accruing 27 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and one force fumble. The 26-year old Graham (6’2”, 265 lbs) started one game for the Eagles, and finished the year with 47 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles. The 27-year old Williams (6’2”, 327 lbs) started nine games, accruing 31 tackles and one sack. He is considered one of the better run-defending tackles in the game.

ESPN is also confirming the Giants interest in unrestricted free agent safeties Devin McCourty (New England Patriots), Rahim Moore (Denver Broncos), and Ron Parker (Kansas City Chiefs). However, ESPN says the cost for McCourty and Moore may be higher than what the Giants are able and willing to pay. On the other hand, NJ.com is reporting that the Giants are serious players for McCourty, who is expected to receive a contract worth $9-10 million per season. The Giants apparently reached out to McCourty on Saturday.

ESPN says the Giants are likely to re-sign linebacker Mark Herzlich, tight end Daniel Fells, and fullback Henry Hynoski, while safety Antrel Rolle, linebacker Jacquian Williams, and cornerback Walter Thurmond are unlikely to re-sign. NJ.com is reporting that safety Stevie Brown, Fells, and Hynoski are likely to be re-signed and that Herzlich and linebacker Spencer Paysinger may return.

Although teams cannot officially sign players from other teams until 4:00PM ET on March 10, the negotiating period began on March 7.

Mar 052015
 
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Jerrel Jernigan, New York Giants (September 8, 2014)

Jerrel Jernigan – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Latest New York Giants Free Agent Rumors: Teams can begin negotiating with free agents on other teams on March 7 and begin signing players on other teams on March 10. Here are the latest New York Giants free agent rumors:

  • According to a BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) source, the Giants hope to have a new, long-term deal with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul by Monday, but there are significant differences over guaranteed money.
  • According to a BBI source, the Giants and linebacker Jon Beason have agreed to a contract re-structuring that will create more cap space for the team.
  • According to a BBI source, the Giants intend to invite unrestricted free agent safeties Devin McCourty (Patriots) and Rahim Moore (Broncos) to visit.
  • According to a BBI source, the Giants rumored interest in unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is smoke.
  • The New York Daily News is reporting that while there have been talks between the Giants and unrestricted free agent safety Antrel Rolle, the discussions have not been productive and Rolle may receive much higher contract offers from other teams on the open market. NJ.com believes Rolle will sign with another team. Rolle is denying he and the Giants have talked about a new contract.

  • The Daily News is reporting that the Giants and unrestricted free agent cornerback Walter Thurmond have talked about a new contract, but he will likely test the open market. NJ.com believes Thurmond will sign with another team.
  • The Daily News is reporting that the Giants would like to re-sign unrestricted free agent safety Stevie Brown but a source told the paper that his chance to return is “50-50″. NJ.com believes Brown will re-sign with the Giants.
  • NJ.com and The Daily News are reporting that unrestricted free agent linebacker Jacquian Williams will hit the free agent market. NJ.com says it is unlikely that the Giants will re-sign him.
  • The Daily News is reporting that the Giants are not interested in re-signing unrestricted free agent wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan. NJ.com believes Jernigan will not be re-signed.
  • The Daily News is reporting that there have been talks between the Giants and unrestricted free agent tight end Daniel Fells but nothing substantial. NJ.com believes Fells will not be re-signed.
  • The Daily News says there were talks about bringing back unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Mike Patterson before defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins accepted a pay cut. Now it is unclear if the Giants want Patterson back. NJ.com believes Patterson will not be re-signed.
  • The Daily News reports there have been talks between the Giants and unrestricted free agent linebacker Spencer Paysinger, but Paysinger is expected to hit the open market. NJ.com believes the Giants will re-sign Paysinger.
  • The Daily News is reporting that the Giants have been in talks with unrestricted free agent cornerback Chykie Brown and Brown could be re-signed soon. On the other hand, NJ.com believes Brown will not be re-signed.

NJ.com also believes the Giants will re-sign unrestricted free agents linebacker Mark Herzlich, fullback Henry Hynoski, and guard John Jerry. NJ.com does not believe the Giants will re-sign unrestricted free agents cornerback Zack Bowman, tackle James Brewer, safety Quintin Demps, running back Chris Ogbonnaya, and guard Adam Snyder.

Article on the New York Giants and Free Agency: If Rolle bolts, these 4 safeties could help Giants secondary by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Feb 232015
 
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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Before the season, many had anticipated that the secondary might not only be the strength of the defense, but the strength of the entire team. The Giants had parted ways with long-time contributors such as Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, and Terrell Thomas and had reinforced the unit with free agents Dominique-Rodgers Cromartie (DRC), Walter Thurmond, Quintin Demps, and Zack Bowman. The team also re-signed Trumaine McBride and Stevie Brown. As for those already under contract, Prince Amukamara appeared primed for his best season, Antrel Rolle was coming off his best season, and Will Hill appeared to be a budding star.

But these high expectations soon began to turn to dust. Will Hill failed yet another drug test and was cut in early June. Jayron Hosley also failed a drug test and was suspended for the first month of the season; when he returned, guys signed off the street quickly passed him on the depth chart. Cooper Taylor looked sharp in the preseason but broke his foot in August and was lost for the year. Injuries then struck hard at corner once the regular season began. Nickel corner Walter Thurmond was placed on Injured Reserve after only two games, followed by  Trumaine McBride and Prince Amukamara. The loss of Amukamara – who indeed was having his best season – was particularly a hard pill to swallow. Without two of their top three corners, more pressure was placed on DRC, who was also dealing with a litany of injury issues to the point where he could not play a full game. A year after playing his best season, Rolle may have played his worst, failing to make many impact plays. And Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps were both disappointing at the other safety spot, both losing the starting job to the other at different points of the season. Stevie Brown’s 2012 season – where he led the team with eight interceptions – appears to have been a mirage.

The Giants were quickly left to scramble and made in-season roster moves including signing Chykie Brown, Mike Harris, and Chandler Fenner. Chykie Brown and Harris performed reasonably well given the circumstances, but overall, the secondary failed to fulfill their preseason boasts as one of the best units in the NFL. The Giants finished 18th in the NFL in pass defense.

THE CORNERBACKS

Although Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played in all 16 games, hamstring, back, side, and shoulder injuries limited practice and game snaps for much of the season and impacted his play on the field. Nevertheless, Rodgers-Cromartie remained the team’s most physically-talented defensive back and he often shut down his opponent. Rodgers-Cromartie finished the season with 38 tackles, two interceptions, and 12 pass defenses. Rodgers-Cromartie was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 and signed with the Broncos as an unrestricted free agent in 2013 and the Giants in 2014. Rodgers-Cromartie combines superb size and overall athletic ability, including speed, size, and leaping ability. When motivated and focused, Rodgers-Cromartie is one of the better cover corners in the NFL. But he needs to be more consistent, and he s not a very physical player as a hitter or tackler.

Prince Amukamara, New York Giants (September 25, 2014)

Prince Amukamara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Prince Amukamara was having his best season before being placed on Injured Reserve in November 2014 with a torn biceps muscle. Amukamara started eight games and finished the season with 45 tackles, three interceptions, and 11 pass defenses. Amukamara was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Giants, but his initial season was a virtual wash due to a broken foot that required surgery. Amukamara also battled a high ankle sprain and hamstring injuries in 2012. Amukamara is a well-built corner with good overall athleticism and speed. He usually does a good job of keeping his opponent quiet during a game and he finally started making more plays on the football in 2014. Amukamara flashes in run defense with his hitting and tackling.

Walter Thurmond III was placed on Injured Reserve in September 2014 with a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery after playing in only two games. Thurmond was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Seahawks. He missed much of the 2011 and 2012 seasons recovering from a broken leg (fibula), playing in only eight regular-season games. In November 2013, he was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s drug policy. That year he played in 12 regular-season games, with three starts, and finished with 33 tackles, six pass defenses, and one interception that he returned for a touchdown. The Giants signed Thurmond as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014. Thurmond combines decent size with good speed and quickness. Smooth in coverage, Thurmond is considered one of the better slot corners/nickel backs in the NFL. Thurmond obviously has off-the-field concerns.

Trumaine McBride, New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

Trumaine McBride – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Trumaine McBride was placed on Injured Reserve in October 2014 after thumb surgery. He finished the 2014 season 21 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 1 pass defense, and 2 forced fumbles in six games with one start. McBride was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in September 2009. He has also spent time with the Cardinals, Saints, and Jaguars. The Giants signed McBride to a Reserve/Future contract in January 2013. That season, McBride played in 15 games with 10 starts, and he finished the season with 37 tackles, 15 pass defenses, 2 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble. McBride lacks ideal size and speed, but he plays with good quickness and instincts.

The Giants claimed Chykie Brown off of waivers from the Baltimore Ravens in November 2014. He ended up playing in eight games with four starts and finished the season with 31 tackles and two pass defenses for the Giants. Brown was originally drafted by the Ravens in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Ravens, Brown played in 46 regular-season games with two starts. Brown has decent size and athletic ability. While he struggled in Baltimore, Brown held his own for the Giants in the final month of the season.

The Giants signed Mike Harris off of the Practice Squad of the Detroit Lions in October 2014. He ended up playing in five games with one start, mainly at slot/nickel corner where he performed at a reasonable level. Harris finished the season with 21 tackles, one interception, and two pass defenses. Harris was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. In two seasons with Jacksonville, Harris played in 31 games with eight starts. Harris was waived by the Jaguars in August 2014 before signing with the Lions in October. Harris has decent size and athleticism. He is a good tackler and special teams player.

Zack Bowman, New York Giants (October 19, 2014)

Zack Bowman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Zack Bowman played in all 16 games with five starts but saw his playing time decrease as the season progressed despite all of the injuries that hit the secondary. He finished the year with 24 tackles, two interceptions, and six pass defenses. Bowman was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Bears. In six seasons with the Bears, Bowman played in 73 regular-season games with 23 starts. The Giants signed Bowman as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014. Bowman is a big, physical corner who can make plays on the football. He lacks ideal speed and quickness and can be beat deep. Bowman is a good special teams player.

Chandler Fenner was signed to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad in October 2014. He played in 11 games, mainly on special teams, and finished the season with seven tackles. Fenner was originally signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2012 NFL Draft. He did not make the team but the Seattle Seahawks signed him to their Practice Squad in December 2012. He missed all of 2013 with a knee injury that landed him on Seattle’s Injured Reserve. The Giants signed Chandler Fenner in August 2014. Fenner has a nice combination of size and athleticism and he plays a physical game.

Jayron Hosley has not developed since being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He not only received a 4-game suspension for drug use at the start of the season, but he was quickly by-passed on the depth chart by guys signed off of the street when injuries hit the secondary hard. Hosley ended up playing in just six games with two starts. He finished the season with eight tackles and one pass defense. Hosley lacks ideal stature, but he is athletic with good speed and quickness. However, despite his athletic ability, Hosley’s play against the pass actually seems to have deteriorated since being drafted. He has also been very injury prone, missing significant time in both 2012 and 2013.

Bennett Jackson was signed to the Practice Squad in August 2014 and placed on the Practice Squad/Injured List in October 2014 with cartilage damage knee injury that required microfracture surgery. The Giants drafted Jackson in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Jackson converted to cornerback from wide receiver at Notre Dame and could project to safety. He has good size and decent speed for a corner, but may lack ideal quickness for the position. He is a good hitter and tackler. Jackson was a team captain at Notre Dame and a good special teams player.

Josh Victorian was signed to the Practice Squad in November 2014. Victorian was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Since then, he has spent time with the Patriots (2011), Saints (2012), Steelers (2012-13), Texans (2013), and Lions (2014). He has played in 12 NFL games, four for the Steelers with one start in 2012 and eight for the Texans in 2013. Victorian has average size and lacks ideal overall athleticism, but he is a hard working, instinctive football player.

Travis Howard was waived/injured and placed on Injured Reserve in August 2014. Howard was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Houston Texans after the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent some time on the Practice Squad of the Patriots that season before the Giants signed him to their Practice Squad in December 2013. Howard is a physical corner with good ball skills. He has good size and long arms, but lacks ideal speed and quickness. Howard is a good hitter, but he needs to become a more consistent and reliable tackler.

Antrel Rolle, New York Giants (December 14, 2014)

Antrel Rolle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

THE SAFETIES

Despite starting all 16 games, Antrel Rolle did not have the same impact on the playing field that he did in 2013. Rolle finished the season with 87 tackles, three interceptions, nine pass defenses, and one forced fumble. Rolle was steady but did not make many big plays. Rolle was originally drafted as a cornerback in the 1st round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. After three inconsistent seasons at corner, the Cardinals moved him to free safety in 2008. Rolle was signed by the Giants in March 2010 after the Cardinals cut him in a salary-related move. One of the better coverage safeties in the game, Rolle has good speed and range. Due to his experience as a cornerback, unlike most safeties, Rolle can play man coverage and has often been called upon to play the slot corner position. He is a good tackler and run defender. Rolle has become one of the key leaders of the defense. He also has been very durable, never missing a game in his five seasons with the Giants. Rolle has been voted to the Pro Bowl twice (2009 and 2010) and named All-Pro twice (2010 and 2013). He also played in the 2013 Pro Bowl as a second-alternate.

Stevie Brown played in all 16 games. He started the first three games of the season, lost his starting job for eight weeks, then regained it for the last five weeks of the season. Brown finished with 38 tackles, one sack, and one pass defense. Brown was originally drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 7th round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The Raiders released him in September 2011 and he then spent time with the Panthers and Colts. The Giants signed him in April 2012. Brown had a tremendous season in 2012, intercepting more passes in a single season by a Giant in 44 years. He was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2013 after tearing the ACL in his left knee in the preseason. Brown has superb size for a safety, but lacks quickness and range. Despite his size, he does not stand out as a run defender and tackler. Against the pass, Brown lacks range and quickness, and is prone to making mental mistakes. Contrary to 2012, he rarely made plays on the football in 2014.

Quintin Demps, New York Giants (September 25, 2014)

Quintin Demps – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Quintin Demps begain the season as the Giants’ third safety, was promoted to the starting job for half the season, then lost it again the final month of the season. Demps finished the year with 57 tackles, four interceptions, seven pass defenses, and one forced fumble. Demps was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He has spent time with the Eagles (2008-09), Houston Texans (2010-12), and Chiefs (2013). The Giants signed Demps in March 2014. Demps has a nice combination of size and athletic ability. He’s a frustratingly inconsistent player who flashes play-making ability but also makes too many mistakes in coverage. He does not stand out against the run either.

Nat Berhe, a 5th round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, played in all 16 games. Although he was mainly relegated to special teams, he did see some time on defense and finished the season with 10 tackles. Berhe lacks ideal size and speed, but he is a smart, aggressive competitor who plays hard all of the time. In college, Berhe made a ton of tackles against the run, but was not as active in pass defense.

Cooper Taylor was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2014 with a semasoid bone issue in his foot that required surgery. Cooper was impressing with his play during training camp and the preseason. Cooper was selected in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. A heart condition caused him to slip in the draft. Taylor has an excellent combination of size and athleticism. Taylor missed six games in 2013 with shoulder and hamstring injuries. He played in 10 games that year, serving almost exclusively on special teams.

Thomas Gordon was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. The team waived Gordon in August, but re-signed him to the Practice Squad in December 2014. Gordon lacks ideal height, but he is well-built and a decent athlete. He is a good run defender who hits and tackles well. He started 38 games at Michigan.

Feb 212015
 
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Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (September 14, 2014)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants and Jason Pierre-Paul Have Not Talked Contract: According to NJ.com and ESPN.com, the New York Giants and representatives of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul have not begun talking about a new contract. Pierre-Paul is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 10 (players can actually begin talking to new teams on March 7).

Media speculation continues that the Giants will designate Pierre-Paul the team’s Franchise player, which the Giants can do during a two-week period from February 16 to March 2. By doing so, Pierre-Paul is all but certain to remain a Giants through the 2015 NFL season. He could play out the year on the near $15 million tender or still possibly sign a long-term deal.

“We are convinced that we want (Pierre-Paul) back, without a doubt,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin on Thursday. “There has been a lot of different discussions, and hopefully he is going to remain a Giant…The goal is for him to be a Giant and play as a Giant forever, and retire as a Giant. How that works out is another issue.”

Free Agent Rumors: According to ESPN.com, the New York Giants have expressed interest in re-signing soon-to-be unrestricted free agents cornerback Walter Thurmond and defensive tackle Mike Patterson.

ESPN.com is also reporting that soon-to-be unrestricted free agent safety Antrel Rolle is looking for a bigger contract than the Giants are willing to offer.

“Certainly we would like him to come back. Obviously we do have financial restrictions involved,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin of Rolle on Thursday.

Salary Cap Expected to Be Near $143-145 Million: According to press reports, the 2015 NFL salary cap is expected to be near $143-145 million, which would be a $10-12 million increase over the 2014 NFL salary cap.

Article on the New York Giants and the NFL Combine: An updated list of players visiting with the Giants at the 2015 NFL Combine by Nick Powell for NJ.com

BBI on CBS Sports Radio (940 AM) on Sunday: BBI’s owner Eric Kennedy will be on CBS Sports Radio’s GameFace this Sunday at 9:20 AM on 940 AM in the NY/CT market and on www.940sportsradio.com. GameFace is America’s longest running, year round, NFL radio show.

Dec 292014
 
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Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin to Return, But Some Assistants Might Not: According to The New York Daily News and The New York Post, Jerry Reese will not be fired by team ownership and will return as general manager of the New York Giants for the 9th season.

In addition, according to ESPN, The Bergen Record, and The New York Post, Tom Coughlin will not be fired and will return as head coach of the Giants for the 12th season. ESPN is also reporting that Coughlin will meet with team President/CEO John Mara at 3:00PM on Monday to discuss potential coaching staff changes.

Unconfirmed BigBlueInteractive.com sources have said that Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell and Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn will be let go.

December 29, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Monday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:

Article on Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell: Perry Fewell’s status with the Giants uncertain, but players show support for the defensive coordinator by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Article on QB Eli Manning: Giants’ Eli Manning wants to improve timing with his receivers in second year of new offense by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Article on RB Andre Williams: Andre Williams thinks the Giants need to pick an identity and run with it by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on OT Justin Pugh: Justin Pugh wants to stay at right tackle for Giants by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on LB Jameel McClain: Jameel McClain believes Giants are positioned to make a run in 2015 by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on the New York Giants Cornerbacks: Giants defensive backs want a chance to gel…and be healthy by Tom Rock of Newsday

Nov 192014
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (November 16, 2014)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

November 19, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: RT Justin Pugh (quadriceps), DT Cullen Jenkins (calf), and LB Jacquian Williams (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday.

I don’t know (if Pugh will practice this week), we will see, he’s day to day,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

DE Mathias Kiwanuka (knee) practiced on a limited basis.

OG Geoff Schwartz (toe) and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) fully practiced.

LB Justin Anderson Re-Signed to Practice Squad: The New York Giants have re-signed linebacker Justin Anderson to the Practice Squad. Anderson was signed off of the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster last Saturday but waived on Monday when the Giants activated offensive guard Geoff Schwartz from short-term Injured Reserve.

November 19, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Wednesday’s press conference are available at Giants.com.

November 19, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of media sessions on Wednesday with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ESPN Radio Interview with RB Rashad Jennings: The audio of Wednesday’s ESPN Radio interview with RB Rashad Jennings is available at ESPN.com.

Articles on the New York Giants Upcoming Offseason:

Articles on Head Coach Tom Coughlin:

Article on Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: McAdoo wasn’t brought in as Coughlin’s head coach-in-waiting by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on CB Walter Thurmond: Injured cornerback Walter Thurmond III ‘wouldn’t mind’ re-signing with Giants in the offseason by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Articles on QB Eli Manning:

Articles on QB Eli Manning and the Giants-49ers Game:

Sep 162014
 
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Jerrel Jernigan, New York Giants (September 8, 2014)

Jerrel Jernigan – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants Place Jerrel Jernigan and Walter Thurmond on IR: The New York Giants have officially placed WR Jerrel Jernigan (mid-foot sprain) and CB Walter Thurmond (torn pectoral muscle) on season-ending Injured Reserve. Thurmond underwent successful surgery on his chest on Tuesday. Jernigan will not need surgery but will wear a protective boot and rehabilitate the foot.

To fill those two vacant roster spots, the Giants signed WR Julian Talley and LB Dan Fox from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

There still really is no official word on how long LB Jon Beason will be out. The Giants announced that Beason aggravated the previous foot injury that sidelined him for all of training camp and the preseason. Beason may visit foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, NC later this week. Dr. Anderson examined Beason’s foot when he suffered the original injury in June.

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

Giants Sign Two to the Practice Squad, Cut Another: With WR Julian Talley and LB Dan Fox being promoted to the 53-man roster, the Giants have filled their Practice Squad vacancies by signing WR Travis Harvey and WR L’Damian Washington.

The Giants signed Travis Harvey as a street free agent in April 2014. Harvey was originally signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. The Titans waived him in July and he did not play football in 2013. The Giants cut him on August 26.

Washington is a very tall (6-4), thin (200 pounds), fast receiver who was signed as a rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2014 NFL Draft. He was waived on August 2 and awarded the next day to the San Francisco 49ers, who released him on August 30.

The Giants also terminated the Practice Squad contract of DE Jordan Stanton.

The Giants still have one opening on their 10-man Practice Squad.

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

Safety Antrel Rolle on WFAN: The audio of Tuesday’s WFAN interview with S Antrel Rolle is available at CBS NewYork

Article on DE Mathias Kiwanuka: Giants film review: Fazing out of Mathias Kiwanuka has begun? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Sights and Sounds from Giants-Cardinals Game: A sights and sounds video from the Giants-Cardinals game is available at Giants.com.

Sep 152014
 
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Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers (December 8, 2013)

Keenan Allen Beats Terrell Thomas for a TD – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants secondary was set.

The team had two former first-round picks (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Prince Amukamara) at their outside cornerback positions, both of whom were capable of shutting down an opponent’s No. 1 target. Then, for those pesky slot receivers, New York signed the self-proclaimed best nickel defender in the game, Walter Thurmond III, this offseason.

On paper, everything seemed perfect. It looked as if a team that had been led for so many years by their front four, would now be led by their secondary.

Two games into the season, that tactic took a massive blow. Versus the Arizona Cardinals Sunday afternoon, Thurmond suffered a torn pectoral muscle. He will have surgery on Tuesday. His season is over.

In years past, the Giants secondary had been ravaged by injuries. As a result, New York didn’t just build up its starting unit this offseason, but depth as well. Aside from Rodgers-Cromartie and Thurmond, Zack Bowman was signed from Chicago, Trumaine McBride was re-signed and Bennett Jackson drafted.

The injury to Thurmond, while a blow, shouldn’t be that bad. Right? New York should be able to slide any of the above mentioned players into the nickel cornerback position. Right?

Actually, wrong. While New York was considered to be incredibly deep at the cornerback position, it actually lacks experience at the nickel.

Here’s a look at what each cornerback on the Giants roster has done when brought in to play nickel. If the Giants deem the present group not worthy, here’s a few other options that may be worth a look.

Stats are courtesy of Pro Football Focus

Zack Bowman, Chicago Bears (October 10, 2013)

Zack Bowman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

PRESENTLY ON THE ROSTER:

Zack Bowman, CB
Last Year Team: Chicago Bears
Snaps in Slot: 2013 – 8, 2012 – 0, 2011 – 5, 2010 – 5

When the news broke that Thurmond would miss the season, the instant logical solution to many was to simply plug Bowman in. The issue with that? Bowman has rarely been used at the nickel cornerback position throughout the duration of his career. The 29-year old has primarily been known as an outside corner and special teams player. While Bowman excelled in the preseason this year, it was very rarely when lined up in the slot. In four preseason games, Bowman played just two snaps matched up against the slot receiver.

Trumaine McBride, CB
Last Year Team: New York Giants
Snaps in Slot: 2013 – 10, 2012-0, 2011- 0, 2010- 12

McBride enjoyed a breakout season in 2014 while filling in for injured Giants cornerback Corey Webster. When quarterbacks decided to test McBride, their average QB rating was under 60. However, similar to Bowman, McBride has been known as an outside cornerback throughout the majority of his NFL career. In fact, between 2011 and 2012, McBride didn’t play a single snap in the slot.

Jayron Hosley, CB
Last Year Team: New York Giants
Snaps in Slot: 2013-4, 2012-177, 2011- 0

Jayron Hosley is arguably the player with the most experience in the slot, having played 177 snaps as the Giants nickel cornerback in 2012. The issue? He wasn’t particularly effective. Quarterbacks completed 52-of-76 passes when testing Hosley and had a combined quarterback rating of 86.7. In the 2014 preseason, Hosley played primarily outside and struggled, but did get six reps in nickel. He allowed two catches on the only two passes thrown his way. There’s also the small tidbit that Hosley is still suspended for two games. There is a chance that if the new drug policy is put in place, Hosley can play as early as this Sunday, but that’s no guarantee.

Antrel Rolle, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Antrel Rolle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Antrel Rolle, S
Last Year Team: New York Giants
Snaps in Slot: 2013-176, 2012- 173, 2011- 319

It seems as if every year the Giants try everything to get Rolle out of the slot, and every year something happens that puts him right back in it. Since joining the Giants, Rolle has played 668 snaps as a nickel cornerback. He’s had some success, too. Last year, a quarterback’s rating when testing Rolle was 66.6, but in 2012, that number was 107.3. Rolle is much better suited to simply play safety, as was evident last year, and New York will most likely try all other scenarios before moving the Pro Bowler down.

ON THE PRACTICE SQUAD:

Bennett Jackson, CB
Last Year: Rookie
Snaps in Slot: 2014 preseason-53

Quietly, Bennett Jackson had a pretty impressive preseason when playing the nickel cornerback position. On 53 snaps, he was only tested four times. He allowed two catches for 36 yards. Jackson is presently stashed on the Giants practice squad and could be activated if Thurmond is placed on the injured reserve, and the Giants decide not to activate Hosley.

Chandler Fenner, CB
Last year: Rookie
Snaps in Slot: 2014 preseason- 0

A very, very unlikely situation would be the activation of Chandler Fenner to the Giants 53-man roster. While Fenner played well in the preseason and team’s training camp, he saw no snaps as a nickel back in the preseason.

Terrell Thomas, New York Giants (October 6, 2013)

Terrell Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

OUTSIDE THE TEAM:

Terrel Thomas, CB
Last Year: New York Giants
Snaps in Slot: 2014-315, 2010- 57

While Jordan Raanan (NJ.com) and Conor Orr (The Star-Ledger) have reported that, at least to this point, the Giants have not contacted Thomas’ reps, the former second-round pick is still a free agent after being cut by the Seattle Seahawks in training camp.

Thomas was one of the feel-good stories for the Giants a year ago when he bounced back from a third ACL tear to play the full 16 games. Thomas saw over 300 snaps as the nickel corner and played well at times. In his first game action in two years, Thomas allowed 45 completions in 59 attempts for 453 yards with three touchdowns. He intercepted one pass and a quarterback’s average rating when testing the USC alum was an even 91. He’s available, knows the system and has had more experience and success than any other cornerback option on the roster.

Charles James II, CB
Last Year Team: New York Giants
Snaps in Slot: 2014 (preseason)- 44 2013 (PS)- 27

During the Giants 75-man roster cut down, they waived fan-favorite Charles James. The former undrafted free agent is still a free agent and saw some action in the nickel package this preseason, but struggled mightily. James played 27 snaps and allowed a completion on both of the throws tossed his way. Similar to Thomas, NJ.com and The Star-Ledger are reporting there has been no phone call made from the Giants to James.

Dunta Robinson, CB
2013 Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Snaps in Slot: 2013- 143 2012-48 2011-3

An unlikely option for the Giants would be to sign a veteran with little connection to the team. Former first-round pick Dunta Robinson is presently a free agent and had the most success in the slot last year of available veterans. Playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, Robinson allowed 17 completions on 24 targets as a nickel corner.

Sep 152014
 
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Walter Thurmond and Michael Strahan, New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Walter Thurmond and Michael Strahan – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Things just went from bad, to worse for the 0-2 New York Giants.

Free-agent acquisition and nickel cornerback Walter Thurmond III, who left Sunday’s game with the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth quarter, suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the 25-14 defeat.

Thurmond will have surgery on Tuesday and will miss the entire 2014-215 season.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Thurmond came in in an attempt to make a play on a screen pass. As Thurmond went to “punch” the ball out, his arm hit an opponent’s shoulder pads. Thurmond said he felt a stinging pain shoot up his arm, but remained in the game. Three plays later, he removed himself after struggling in press coverage.

After the game, Thurmond said his arm was “sore” and that he’d have additional tests done on Monday. Those tests, according to Pro Football Talk, showed a tear.

Thurmond, 27, signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Giants this offseason as part of the team’s secondary overhaul. Along with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Thurmond was expected to build one of the league’s best back units. Rodgers-Cromartie, and former first-round pick Prince Amukamara, manned the outside while Thurmond played nickel.

Throughout training camp, the preseason and first two games of the regular season, Thurmond displayed the physicality New York had hoped he’d bring to the defense. Not only did Thurmond walk-the-walk, but the former Seattle Seahawk enjoyed the talk just as much.

The first time Thurmond met the New York media, he boasted claims as the league’s best nickel cornerback, sparking a twitter war with Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin. He was often times seen jawing with teammates in training camp and took it upon himself to bring the “swag” to New York’s secondary.

While the Giants have yet to confirm or deny the report, if Thurmond is out for the season, the door will open for Trumaine McBride. Last season, McBride enjoyed a breakout season for the Giants.

According to Pro Football Focus, McBride graded out with a positive 6.8 rating in 2013. When quarterbacks tested McBride, their rating was a 57.4. New York re-signed McBride this offseason prior to signing Thurmond.

With the new drug policy being revamped, there is also a chance former third-round pick Jayron Hosley returns early from his four-game suspension. If that is the case, Hosley can be activated to the 53-man roster and play as early as Sunday.