Jul 252014
 
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Will Hill, New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

Will Hill Returns an Interception for a TD – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The Baltimore Ravens have come to terms on a contract with ex-New York Giant and suspended safety Will Hill. Hill will take the roster spot of another former Giant, Aaron Ross, who suffered a season-ended achilles injury yesterday during the Ravens’ conditioning test.

“If we need it, Will will provide depth in the middle of the season,” Ravens’ general manager Ozzie Newsome told Jeff Zrebiec.

Hill spent two suspension-filled seasons with the Giants after going undrafted in 2011. When Hill was on the field, the dynamic safety flashed for the Giants with his play-making ability. The issue was staying on the field.

His rookie year, Hill missed four games when he was suspended for the use of Adderall. He returned to register 38 tackles and a forced fumble. Last season, he missed four more games when he was suspended for the use of marijuana.

Even though Hill returned and recorded 77 tackles, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two interceptions in 12 games, the Giants warned him he was on thin ice. One more slip up and Hill would be released.

Their warning fell on deaf ears.

Hill was suspended again on May 30 for the first six games of the regular season after failing another drug test for marijuana. He blamed second-hand smoke, but lost his appeal. The Giants released Hill shortly after his appeal was denied.

While Hill will need to sit out the first six games of the regular season, he will be eligible to practice and play in the Ravens’ preseason games. The news of Hill signing comes shortly after the announcement of Ray Rice’s two-game suspension for alleged domestic abuse.

Jul 172014
 
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Antrel Rolle, New York Giants (November 17, 2013)

Antrel Rolle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With the New York Giants reporting to camp next week, BigBlueInteractive.com is breaking down each of the team’s positional groups from now until July 21. Today, let’s take a look at this year’s safeties.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWNS: Safeties

Will Hill, New York Giants (October 27, 2013)

Will Hill – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: Things truly couldn’t have started much worse for the Giants’ safety unit in 2013. In the team’s third preseason game versus the Jets, Stevie Brown injured his knee returning an interception and was lost for the year.

Shades of C.C. Brown began to dance in the minds of fans… then Will Hill happened.

Hill returned from a four-game suspension to take over as the Giants’ starting safety opposite Antrel Rolle. Hill recorded 77 tackles, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and scored a game-winning touchdown versus the Lions. For 12 weeks, Hill flashed the play-making ability that made him one of the more coveted recruits out of high school. The safety played with reckless abandon, a never-ending motor and was constantly around the ball. As was the case versus the Redskins when Hill ripped the ball out of the hands of Pierre Garcon on fourth-and-1, preserving a Giants victory.

While the 24-year-old’s season was impressive, so was that of his safety counterpart.

Finally being allowed to play safety full time, Antrel Rolle put together his best season in a Giants’ uniform. The former first-round pick earned Pro-Bowl honors, finished with the team lead in tackles (98) and interceptions (6), recorded two sacks and forced fumble a fumble.

Behind Hill and Rolle, Ryan Mundy was solid in Perry Fewell’s signature three-safety package. The 29-year-old was a force down in the box and recorded 77 tackles, good for fifth on the team. Rookie Cooper Taylor saw limited action, mostly on special teams.

Quintin Demps, Kansas City Chiefs (December 15, 2013)

Quintin Demps – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Get this one out of the way early: After captivating the hearts of fans, Will Hill’s unbelievable season won’t get an encore. For the third consecutive year, Hill faced a drug-related suspension after his urine came up positive for marijuana. While the third-year player claimed it was for ‘second-hand pot,’ the six-game suspension was the last straw in a troubled career. The Giants cut ties with Hill, having warned him over and over again he was on his last strike. Ryan Mundy also left when the Giants’ chose not to renew his one-year contract.

The team re-signed Stevie Brown, who looks to have slid back into his starting safety position. Quintin Demps was brought over from Kansas City and Nat Berhe was drafted in the fifth round. C.J. Barnett and Thomas Gordon were brought in as undrafted rookies.

TRAINING CAMP STORYLINES: The health of Stevie Brown and his ability to ‘replace’ Will Hill may be the No. 1 question heading into camp. While Brown did record a league-high eight interceptions in 2012, many were a result of being in the right place at the right time and teams wanted to test the unproven Brown. Does he have the natural athletic ability that Hill has? No. Can he be serviceable? Yes. How serviceable? No one knows.

Cooper Taylor’s progression and the overall talent of Nat Berhe will worth keeping an eye on. Taylor has added muscle in the offseason, per the coaches request, and may be a sleeper to see increased playing time in his second year. In college, Berhe played San Diego State’s ‘Aztec’ position, a hybrid mix of the linebacker and safety positions. If he develops, he may make an immediate impact, but will need to climb the depth chart first.

ON THE BUBBLE: There really isn’t any big-name player that is in jeopardy of being cut. Right now, the Giants have seven safeties on the roster and figure to keep four or five. The odd men out? Most likely C.J. Barnett and Thomas Gordon. Cooper Taylor may be in warm water, but the odds of Jerry Reese cutting last year’s fifth-round pick are slim-to-none.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: David Merritt on what makes Quintin Demps a good candidate as the team’s third safety: “His speed, his ability to actually change directions and burst. Quintin has played back in the post for most of his career. One of the things that he told me when he first arrived was, ‘Coach, I want to be down near the box.’ So when he said that I said, ‘Well you know what, I’m going to give you all of the tools to hopefully help you be successful down around the box.’ His speed, his ability to change directions and burst is one of the valuable assets that he brings to the table.

“Because he’s played back so many years as a deep safety, being back 20 yards. When you’ve been back there for that amount of years you want to get down around the action. I think he probably has seen guys being down around the action, Berry that he played with in Kansas City, Pollard, the kid that was with him in Houston so he’s see all of these guys down around the action where he’s been back just as a safety valve. Now he’s down close to the box and he’s learning the linebacker aspect of it.”

PREDICTIONS:
Connor Hughes - I’m very, very concerned with Stevie Brown heading into the 2014 season. Not necessarily for his health, but simply because I’m not convinced he’s a starting-caliber player in the NFL.

Stevie Brown, New York Giants (October 7, 2012)

Stevie Brown – © USA TODAY Sports Images

What made Brown so good for the majority of the 2012 season was that he was allowed to play back in the ‘Kenny Phillips’ role. Brown would line up 15-20 yards behind the defense, wait for the deep ball and then track it down in the air. When Phillips played the position, teams stayed away from the deep pass. When Brown played it, they attacked him. The result? Eight interceptions.

If Quintin Demps can develop into a player that can play down in the box, as Merritt suggested he wants to do, then Brown can go back to playing the ‘Kenny Phillips’ role. It best suits him as he’s not an incredible player in the box. With that being said, can Demps play in the box? He’s unproven, just like every Giants’ safety not named ‘Antrel.’

I agreed entirely with the Giants decision to cut Will Hill. It was time. You can’t send that message to the locker room keeping him on the team. But looking over the roster, I just don’t see a viable replacement. The revamped and retooled cornerback position is going to have to carry the load. With their paychecks, that shouldn’t be a problem.

With that being said, there will be times Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie guesses wrong, it’s part of his game. Will there be a player behind him to catch his mistake? We’ll see.

Eric Kennedy - Losing Will Hill was a huge blow. The defense dramatically improved in 2013 once Jon Beason and Will Hill were inserted into the starting line-up. Hill looked like a future Pro Bowl free safety. He might have been the best player on the team last season. Now he’s bagging groceries. Stupid is as stupid does. Like Connor, I have my doubts about Stevie Brown. In 2012, he definitely had a nose for the football, but he also was missing in action on some big pass plays. In addition, he doesn’t hit or play the run like a big safety. I’d accept fewer interceptions if you could guarantee fewer big coverage breakdowns and better run defense.

The coaches have been talking up Quintin Demps more than his reputation in Philadelphia and Kansas City should indicate. Demps thinks he is better suited closer to the line of scrimmage and he may be right. Demps has the inside track on the third safety position in the Giants three-safety package. If he stumbles, Cooper Taylor has the physical tools to steal playing time.

My prediction is that 31-year old Antrel Rolle hasn’t peaked and will have an even better season in 2014. He’s the unquestioned leader of the strongest part of the defense. I expect that to motivate him, as well the fact that he’s entering the final year of his current contract. And I expect the talent at cornerback to allow him to take more chances to make plays on the football. He hasn’t returned a pick for a touchdown yet as a Giant (four times with Cardinals), but I believe he will do that twice in 2014.

FINAL DEPTH CHART
Connor Hughes - Antrel Rolle/Stevie Brown start. Quintin Demps third safety. Cooper Taylor and Nat Berhe reserve. C.J. Barnett, and Thomas Gordon cut.

Eric Kennedy - Antrel Rolle/Stevie Brown start. Quintin Demps third safety. Cooper Taylor reserve. Nat Berhe, C.J. Barnett, and Thomas Gordon cut. My biggest problem is figuring out how the Giants get from 54 to 53. My gut says Nat Berhe makes the team, but I can’t see how the Giants can carry 11 defensive backs in addition to nine defensive linemen, six wide receivers, and five running backs/fullback. Something has to give. I’m guessing they try to sneak Berhe onto the Practice Squad. C.J. Barnett and Thomas Gordon have some talent too.

Jun 062014
 
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Antrel Rolle and Trindon Holliday, New York Giants (June 5, 2014)

Antrel Rolle and Trindon Holliday – Photo by Connor Hughes

Antrel Rolle didn’t have an answer.

Standing in front of cameras, microphones and reporters following the culmination of yesterday’s Organized Team Activity, the Giants’ Pro-Bowl safety seemed stunned.

Not at the fact Jayron Hosley was suspended for four games, or at the fact Will Hill had just been cut. Heck, Rolle admitted he saw it coming. But what had the 31-year-old shocked was a simple three-letter question.

Why?

“It’s too easy to do right, than to keep doing wrong,” Rolle said.

For the better part of eight minutes, Rolle fielded questions without backing down or shying away from one. Whatever was thrown on the table, he answered with the same veracity and sincerity that had often times got him in trouble.

But today was different. The safety wasn’t looking to make headlines or light a fire under his teammates. Rolle was speaking from his heart on a situation few knew the true light of.

There was disappointment in his voice, embarrassment. Shock that what he had done for a decade others were not able to replicate. There was a sense that he was holding back, while also fully letting go. Hill was troubled, yes, but the Giants had done everything possible to help the situation. Still, it wasn’t enough.

When you heard the Will Hill news, it was probably disappointing.

“Will knew what situation he had put the Giants in, he kind of forced their hand,” Rolle said. “At that point in time you can’t really depend on Will to help us out and to really do anything for us if you’re suspended repeatedly. Season after season after season.”

With Will and Jayron (Hosley) coming back-to-back, do you feel like something needs to be said?

“No, I don’t feel anything needs to be said,” Rolle said. “Every individual has to be accountable for his own action. They’re both adults. They’re both men.”

The normally peppy and high-energy Rolle was anything but. There was something about the situation that seemed truly troubling. Throughout his entire career, Rolle had embodied the correct way for an athlete to carry himself.

During the offseason, Rolle lives in Miami. He goes out with friends to clubs in the area, has a good time and his personality often makes him the life of the party. Yet he knows when enough is enough. Not once has Rolle been suspended for any off-the-field antics.

“This is my 10th year and I’ve lived it,” Rolle said. “Not every guy is going to be like myself. I’m not going to be like every other guy.”

The same message with the same disappointed mannerisms was echoed when Tom Coughlin took his place in front of the media. There was nothing else the coach could have done. At the end of the day, both for Hosley and Hill, it comes down to the player maturing enough to know what’s right and what’s wrong.

“If this is your job and you’re willing to jeopardize your job for some other reason,” Coughlin said. “Then perhaps you don’t have your mind and priorities where they should be in the first place.”

Jun 032014
 
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Damontre Moore, New York Giants (August 10, 2013)

Damontre Moore – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Complete Fifth OTA Practice: The New York Giants held their fifth of 10 Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices on Tuesday. No live contact is allowed in OTA practices, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The media was not allowed to view Tuesday’s practice, but the Giants released the following details through their website, Giants.com, from John Schmeelk:

  • The quarterbacks got some good work in on the back corner fade as they practiced by throwing the ball into a net. Both Eli Manning and Curtis Painter connected in the drill, and Manning carried that over to the team portion of practice, hitting TE Kellen Davis on a perfect throw in the corner of the end zone.
  • The running backs looked smooth as the offense worked on the run game today. Andre Williams showed some nice vision on a couple plays and good feet as he quickly turned the ball upfield. You can tell David Wilson has ball security on his mind. Whenever he gets the ball in his hands, he holds it high and tight and puts a second hand over the ball to make sure it is secure.
  • The Giants pass rush was very active during practice, with a number of linemen finding their way into the backfield. DE Damontre Moore had an excellent practice and was very vocal after beating the left tackle trying to block him. Undrafted rookie free agent DE Kerry Wynn had an interception after an Eli Manning pass intended for WR Rueben Randle was bobbled and batted in the air almost a half dozen times before being caught by the Richmond product.
  • LB Jameel McClain is a great wingman for Jon Beason at linebacker. He flashes the same leadership qualities and has a good eye for defensive adjustments, often barking out audibles based on what the offense is showing.
  • S Quintin Demps looks great as a kickoff returner. He always seems to make the right cut and displays speed and explosiveness. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a place for WR Trindon Holliday, who is getting offensive reps as well as special teams return work.

John Schmeelk of Giants.com also singled out the following players:

  • WR Rueben Randle: Randle out-jumping a couple of defenders on an underthrown post pattern 30 yards down field. Earlier in the practice, he caught a nice slant from Eli Manning for a touchdown.
  • RB Peyton Hillis: Hillis ran the ball a couple of times and caught a couple well-run screen passes. He did have the ball stripped from him late in practice on a run off right tackle.
  • DE Damontre Moore: Moore was very active and very vocal during practice. He used his speed to get around offensive tackles James Brewer, Charles Brown, and Troy Kropog a number of times and vocally let everyone know about it.

Remaining New York Giants OTA practices:

  • June 5
  • June 9-10
  • June 12-13

Thursday’s practice will be open to the media.

The offseason program will culminate on June 17-19 with a mandatory, full-team mini-camp.

Prince Amukamara Disappointed With Will Hill Situation: The New York Giants waived safety Will Hill on Monday after he lost his appeal on his third drug-related suspension by the NFL in three years. His teammates are obviously disappointed to lose their comrade and a valuable member of the defense.

“(In looking at 2013 game film), I realized how many times he saved our butts and how many times he came up big,” Amukamara told Newsday on Monday. “It’s going to be a tough loss. Hopefully if he goes to a team, it’s not someone in the NFC East. He’s a guy you don’t want to face.”

“I just saw him with the trash bag right before we were going out to practice (on Monday), so it shocked us,” Amukamara said. “He told us that he was gone, so it was tough.”

“I know the Giants are very huge on reputation and representing the organization well,” Amukamara said. “It was tough. I figured that was an option, to cut him from the team, but I didn’t think they would. I don’t think he missed a day in meetings or showing up to OTAs or practice. I didn’t see it coming, but I definitely saw it as a possibility.”

“It’s going to be tough to fill his shoes because he brought so much energy on special teams and on defense,” Amukamara said. “He’ll be a hard guy to replace.”

Article on DT Kelcy Quarles: Kelcy Quarles: Analyzing the Giants undrafted defensive tackle on tape by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on Former Giant S Will Hill: Giants do Will Hill a favor by waiving him by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Quotes: CB Prince Amukamara on the new offense under Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: “It’s fun because they bring out a lot of different formations to line up against and, like the Packers offense, it’s more about gun-slinging and quick throws. It’s fun for DBs. It gives us a lot of reps attacking the ball…(The new offense) looks pretty good.”

BBI Has New Ticket Vendor!: We have a new ticket vendor on the site, TicketMonster.com, which has low prices and no fees on tickets for a variety of events, including at preseason and regular-season Giants games. We have included links to tickets to specific games in the Schedule section of the website.

Jun 022014
 
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Will Hill, New York Giants (October 27, 2013)

Will Hill – © USA TODAY Sports Images


Will Hill is not a bad guy.

He’s never been charged with a murder, like a certain someone up in New England. He’s never mistreated a woman, like a certain quarterback in Pittsburgh. Will Hill has never harmed an animal, like a certain someone in New York.

He’s never been malicious, violent or barbarous. Will Hill simply smoked a joint, got caught, and suspended in back-to-back years. He’s gone for six games, not a season. So why cut him? Why let walk for free a player with immense talent, the potential to be one of the game’s best?

Because it’s not about the pot. It’s not about marijuana. It’s not because of first hand, second hand, or third hand smoke. It’s because Will Hill was told by his boss not to do something. Then he did it anyway.

Three times.

On Monday afternoon, the New York Giants released a statement through the team’s twitter account. It came across subtle, with a picture and link to a press release. A move that was once rumored and assumed for six weeks finally came to fruition. Will Hill, the hard-hitting troubled safety, was released. The team, which was the only one to give him a shot three years ago, had given up. Thrown in the towel on the talent-limitless Jersey City native.

Since his early years, “talent” was never an issue with the 24-year-old. Hill grew up in New Jersey and quickly earned fame as a triple threat at St. Peter’s Prep High School. Hill starred as the team’s returner, quarterback and safety. In his senior season, Hill ran for 682 yards, threw for 758, intercepted three passes, recorded 68 tackles and had 444 receiving yards.

The Star-Ledger named Hill its New Jersey Offensive Player of the Year and he was given a five-star recruit rating by Rivals.com. ESPN ranked him as the second overall football prospect and top athlete in the nation. Hill committed to Florida.

While Hill’s talent on the field was demonstrated to the nation, his life off it was not.

According to The Star-Ledger’s Conor Orr, while in high school, Hill would sleep at head coach Rich Hansen’s house the night before games. Hansen saw the talent that Hill had, knew the only thing that could stop him from reaching fame and glory were those in his life.

Growing up in Orange, New Jersey, Hill constantly found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. While Hill was a good kid, those in his life were anything but. Coaches, fellow teammates and advisers worked to keep Hill out of trouble during his high school days. But when the safety arrived at Florida, those voices were not there. Hill was on his own.

During his three years in Gainesville, Hill’s career was plagued with disappointment. He flashed potential, showed the game-breaking ability he once displayed on Friday nights in Jersey, but his off-the-field life was now as in the spotlight as his play.

Hill was suspended following his junior year after being caught with marijuana. He tweeted out messages with graphic sexual references, mentions of drug use and prostitutes. Hill claimed to have had his account hacked.

The safety fathered four children with three different women, got married then divorced. According to Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News, he struggled with drugs and “pondered leaving the game.”

Despite the above, Hill declared for the NFL Draft, but performed poorly both during NFL Combine interviews and private workouts. The one that was once thought of as a sure-fire NFL player went undrafted and wound up with the Arizona Football League’s Arena Rattlers.

After that short stint, the team that played 18 miles from his high school school’s stadium gave him a call. Hill would work out for the New York Giants.

Hill showed up and appeared to have turned a corner, appeared to be more mature and ready to take his life into his own hands. He was told he’d be on a short leash and showed enough during a workout to be signed to the roster for training camp. Then on October 8, 2012, Hill’s off-the-field life caught up to him again.

The safety was suspended for Adderall, strike one, but the Giants stood by him. Hill played 12 games, registering 38 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He was brought back for the following season, before swinging and missing at strike No. 2.

On July 20, 2013, the NFL announced that Hill will be suspended four more games, this time for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He openly stated he smoked marijuana in order to cope with some of the stresses of his off-the-field life.

“It’s from family members, everyone reaching their hand out and thinking I’m an ATM, and people who think you owe them something,” Hill told John Breech of CBS Sports. “It was just a situation where I was visiting back to my hometown and a guy pulled a shotgun on me then and wanted money. How do you deal with those situations? I really can’t so I dealt with it the best way I knew how.”

As was the case before, the Giants stood by Hill, but this time issued a warning.

“The Giants just told me that they had my back, they had my support, but another slip-up and that’s that,” Hill told The Star-Ledger.

Not even 12 months after uttering those words out of his mouth, Hill slipped again.

On May 30, 2014, the NFL suspended Hill for six games of the 2014 season for violating the policy and program for substance abuse. Hill reportedly told friends that he had not smoked marijuana, that the positive urine test was derived from second-hand smoke.

It doesn’t matter. And it shouldn’t.

Anyone who has stumbled upon Hill’s Instagram account know the safety has put himself in less than ideal situations. Clubs, photos of him with liquor and females litter the social media account.

For someone down 0-2 in the bottom of the ninth, why start swinging at chase-me pitches out of the zone?

While no drug arrested was made, Hill was arrested on Dec. 20, 2013 on a warrant for outstanding child-support payments. The officer detected an odor of marijuana and found cigar shavings in the vehicle. The report stated “suggesting that marijuana was prepared and smoke in the vehicle.”

Why is Hill in the vehicle? Why are those shavings in the car? Despite this, the Giants stood by Hill. That was, until, their hands were forced.

Hill’s release from the Giants is not because he did, or didn’t, smoke marijuana. It’s not because Jerry Reese believes pot is bad, is illegal, or is a ‘gateway drug.’ It’s not because Tom Coughlin is too old fashioned or straight edge.

It’s because Hill was warned. He was warned over, and over, and over again, yet he still continued to put himself in these positions. Wrong place, wrong time? Sure. But when you know you are one step away from being cut from the only team that was willing to give you a shot, why are you around marijuana in the first place?

Whether Hill put the joint to his lips or not, it got in his system. You don’t fail a test by sitting in on a Friday night with close friends and not allowing any to light up. You don’t fail a test by going to a club, noticing marijuana, then leaving the location.

You don’t fail a drug test unless you put yourself in the situation to do so. The Giants gave Hill three strikes, and he went down on the first three pitches he saw.

One in 2012. One in 2013. One in 2014.

Will Hill is not a bad guy. He is not a murderer, child molester or animal abuser. Will Hill is a troubled child who has continually put himself in situations that could jeopardize his career. Will Hill is a talented safety who can’t follow the rules.

It doesn’t matter that Will Hill smoked pot. It matters that he was told not to do these things, and proceeded to do them anyway.

Jun 022014
 
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Will Hill, New York Giants (December 2, 2013)

Will Hill – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Waive Safety Will Hill: In a move that was not terribly surprising, the New York Giants have waived safety Will Hill, one of the team’s best defensive players.

In April 2014, it was revealed that Hill had failed another drug test for substances of abuse (illegal drugs) and would be suspended for the third time in three seasons by the NFL. Hill appealed that ruling, but lost his appeal last Friday. The NFL announced on Friday that Hill would be suspended for the first six games of the 2014 NFL regular season.

As reported on Saturday, Hill had told friends that he was a victim of second-hand marijuana smoke and therefore innocent.

Hill was originally suspended for four games of the 2012 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances (reportedly Adderall). Hill was suspended for four games a second time in 2013, this time for violating the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse (reportedly marijuana).

In December 2013, Hill was arrested for being delinquent on child support payments. At the time of that arrest, the police reported that they detected the smell of marijuana in his vehicle, but no drug-related charges were filed.

When he came off of the second drug suspension, Hill played in the remaining 12 games of the 2013 season. Hill started one game at strong safety and became the new starter at free safety in the last nine games. He impressed with his play, finishing with 77 tackles, 2 pass defenses, 2 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and 2 forced fumbles. Hill was a top-ranked athlete coming out of high school in New Jersey, but off-the-field issues caused him to be undrafted and unsigned after his junior season at the University of Florida in 2011.

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

Article on the New York Giants and the 2014 NFL Salary Cap: It’s June, the Giants have money … now what? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on RB David Wilson: David Wilson hopes Wednesday’s MRI will clear him for football activities by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on TE Xavier Grimble: Giants hope for secret weapon in undrafted tight end Grimble by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on RT Justin Pugh: Pugh gained from rookie lessons by Ken Mandel of the Bucks County Courier Times

May 312014
 
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Will Hill, New York Giants (October 27, 2013)

Will Hill – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Will Hill Claiming Second-Hand Marijuana Smoke Caused Suspension: According to a report on NJ.com, New York Giants safety Will Hill has told his friends that second-hand marijuana smoke is what contaminated his blood and led to his third drug-related suspension in three years.

The NFL announced on Friday that they rejected Hill’s appeal and that Hill will have to serve a 6-game suspension, starting with Week 1 of the 2014 regular season. If the Giants do not cut Hill, he is allowed to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games until his suspension begins. Hill will be eligible to return to the Giants’ active roster on Monday, October 13 following the team’s October 12 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hill was first suspended for four games of the 2012 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances (reportedly Adderall). Hill was suspended for four games a second time in 2013, this time for violating the NFL’s policy on abusive substances (reportedly marijuana).

In December 2013, Hill was arrested for being delinquent on child support payments. At the time of that arrest, the police reported that they detected the smell of marijuana in his vehicle, but no drug-related charges were filed.

According to the NJ.com story, some of Hill’s friends and mentors were stunned to learn about the third infraction as Hill “seemed to be settling down, staying in more and hanging out with the right people.”

“A lot of us were surprised,” said friend and former Giants teammate Deon Grant. “It was the last thing that we thought we’d be getting from him as far as his situation. Throughout the season, when I was talking to him, I was trying to get it through to him. ‘Do you know how much you could be worth if you just get serious and get focused?’ And we were on the same page.”

Though Hill has not yet spoken publicly about the third suspension, he has told his friends he was innocent and that he he thought the suspension may be overturned.

“He felt like he had a great chance of beating it because of the circumstances,” Grant said. “He said, ‘I’ll be honest with you. If it was something that I did, I would tell you I messed up. But I didn’t. It was an incident in a club where people were (smoking marijuana) and it got in my system. It’s not like how my urine was a certain kind of way before when I did do it. It’s the total opposite right now. They found something in my urine, but it’s not the same thing they found when I did make that mistake.’”

Both Grant and another unidentified source told NJ.com that they do not believe Hill has a drug dependency problem.

“I don’t think he has an issue or problem,” said Grant. “The truth, I’m almost 80 or 90 percent sure that he doesn’t have an issue and he’s not putting it in his system himself. This situation again is something where he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“Will’s grown. All I really tell him is watch the company you keep. It’s all I can really tell him,” said safety Stevie Brown earlier this week. “He knows what to do.”

“I hope they give him another chance,” said Grant. “I don’t want to see him go anywhere else. I like him in the Giants uniform…But they have a slim tolerance of negative energy in that organization. I hope they can see this last incident was not really him messing up again but just picking the wrong place to be in at the wrong time.”

On the other hand, The Star Ledger says one of Hill’s previous confidants said, “He had every resource over the last eight years and blew it. He will never get better.”

May 302014
 
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Will Hill, New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

Will Hill Returns an Interception for a TD – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Safety Will Hill Suspended for Six Games: New York Giants safety Will Hill has been suspended without pay for the first six regular-season games of the 2014 season. Hill violated the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse. Pleading innocence, Hill appealed the suspension, but lost the appeal.

If the Giants do not cut Hill, he is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games until his suspension begins before Week 1 of the regular season. Hill will be eligible to return to the Giants’ active roster on Monday, October 13 following the team’s October 12 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is Hill’s third NFL suspension in three seasons.

Hill was first suspended for four games of the 2012 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances (reportedly Adderall). Hill was suspended for four games a second time in 2013, this time for violating the NFL’s policy on abusive substances (reportedly marijuana). Hill was also arrested during the 2013 season for not making child support payments. At the time of that arrest, the police reported that they detected the smell of marijuana in his vehicle, but no drug-related charges were filed.

When he came off of the second drug suspension, Hill played in the remaining 12 games of the 2013 season. Hill started one game at strong safety and became the new starter at free safety in the last nine games. He impressed with his play, finishing with 77 tackles, 2 pass defenses, 2 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and 2 forced fumbles. Hill was a top-ranked athlete coming out of high school in New Jersey, but off-the-field issues caused him to be undrafted and unsigned as a junior in 2011.

Now the team will need to decide on whether Will Hill will remain a New York Giant.

May 142014
 
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Jamaal Johnson-Webb, Arizona Cardinals (August 9, 2013)

Jamaal Johnson-Webb – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Claim Jamaal Johnson-Webb Off of Waivers: The New York Giants claimed offensive lineman Jamaal Johnson-Webb off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday.

BBI Scouting Report on Jamaal Johnson-Webb:

Johnson-Webb was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Cardinals, Bears, Vikings, and Bills. Johnson-Webb has a nice combination of size, arm length, and overall athleticism. However, given his late start to the game of football and small-school background, he is raw and needs continued strength training and technique work.

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

TE Xavier Grimble Close to Officially Signing: Undrafted rookie free agent tight end Xavier Grimble (USC) indicated on Twitter on Wednesday that he will likely officially sign with the New York Giants soon.

Article on OC Weston Richburg: Weston Richbug: Analyzing the Giants’ second-round pick on tape by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on CB Prince Amukamara: Prince Amukamara: I haven’t given the Giants a return on their investment yet by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on S Will Hill: Will Hill has told Giants players he’s been clean by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Apr 222014
 
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Will Hill, New York Giants (October 27, 2013)

Will Hill – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Will Hill Fails Drug Test Again and Giants May Cut Ties: According to multiple press reports, New York Giants safety Will Hill has failed yet another drug test. Hill now faces a potential 6-game, 8-game, or even full-year suspension by the NFL. Hill will appeal the results of the drug test.

Worse for Hill, according to The New York Daily News, a team source says the Giants are “livid” with Hill and that Hill is likely “done with the team, whether he wins his appeal or not.”

Hill was first suspended in October 2012 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. It is believed the substance was Adderall. Hill was suspended for four games of the 2012 season.

Hill was suspended as second time in July 2013, this time for violating the NFL’s policy on abusive substances (illegal drugs), which was believed to be marijuana. Again, Hill was suspended for four games.

According to press reports, if Hill tested positive again for performance-enhancing substances and loses his appeal, he now faces an 8-game suspension. There are conflicting reports on how long the suspension would be for illegal drugs. The Daily News is reporting it would be for six games while other media sources say it would be a full-season suspension if he loses his appeal.

The 24-year old Hill was one of the best defensive players on the team in 2013. In 12 games, he accrued 77 tackles, 2 pass defenses, 2 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and 2 forced fumbles.