Mar 312014
 
Zack Bowman, Chicago Bears (October 10, 2013)

Zack Bowman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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New York Giants Sign Zack Bowman: The New York Giants announced on Monday that they have officially signed unrestricted free agent cornerback Zack Bowman (Chicago Bears). The contract is reportedly a 1-year deal. The 29-year old Bowman, who was drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft, started seven games for the Bears in 2013.

The Giants have focused a lot of attention on their secondary in free agency. They re-signed CB Trumaine McBride and S Stevie Brown. And they added CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB Walter Thurmond, and S Quintin Demps from other teams.

Because of this move, we have updated the New York Giants Free Agent Signings (with scouting report), New York Giants 2014 Free Agency Scorecard, and Roster sections of the website.

New York Giants Re-Sign Mike Patterson: The New York Giants announced on Monday that they have officially re-signed unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Mike Patterson. Patterson was originally signed by the Giants in April 2013 after being cut by the Philadelphia Eagles. He played in all 16 games last season with one start.

Because of this move, we have updated the New York Giants Free Agent Signings (with scouting report), New York Giants 2014 Free Agency Scorecard, and Roster sections of the website.

Articles on the 2014 New York Giants:

Article on OG Chris Snee: Chris Snee reflects on career, talks 2014 by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Notes: According to the Giants.com roster page, offensive linemen Justin Pugh and Brandon Mosley have changed jersey numbers. Pugh now wears #67 and Mosley now wears #75.

Mar 282014
 
Quintin Demps, Kansas City Chiefs (December 15, 2013)

Quintin Demps – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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A pen, a piece of paper and faith.

For every trial, tribulation, stress or struggle that has been thrown his way, Giants safety Quintin Demps always seemed to find himself retreating to a room with those two objects and one belief.

He’d sit there as long as it took, writing down whatever came to his mind in lyrical verses. It was his way to relieve stress. It started when he was growing up in San Antonio, Texas, followed him when he enrolled at Texas-El Paso and to each of his four stops in the National Football League.

Whenever stress caught up to the 28-year-old, that pen, paper and faith were always there to help him through whatever life had in store.

“I grew up with music and writing was always my way of venting,” Demps said in a phone interview. “It’s been a part of my life for decades. It’s how I express myself.”

Throughout his life, fans and onlookers have always known Demps as an athlete. During his time at Theodore Roosevelt High School, Demps was a star on the school’s track and football team.

As a junior, he led his team to a District Title while earning second team All-District 26-5A honors. As a senior, he was named as an All-District, an All-Greater San Antonio selection and All State Honorable Mention.

The accolades led to his enrollment at UTEP where the successes kept coming. In four years, Demps recorded 17 interceptions, the second most in school history, leading to his selection in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.

In his rookie year, Demps displayed game-breaking ability as a kick returner, averaging 25.3 yards a return. Defensively, he showed enough promise that Jim Johnson penciled him in as the team’s starting safety for the 2009 season.

Yet Demps’ time as a starter never materialized. He was beat out by Macho Harris for the starting spot and was cut in 2010. But during those three years, the safety took note of the team he saw twice each season.

“I always knew about the Giants,” Demps recalled. “They were a first class organization. We all knew that any given year they could make it to the Super Bowl.

“They’re a team that is all about business. Coughlin is a great leader and they were about winning, nothing else. That’s what I’m about, too.”

After being cut, Demps spent a brief stint with the Harford Colonials of the United Football League before being signed with the Texans midway through the 2010 season. He played two years in Houston before reuniting with Andy Reid in Kansas City last year.

In 2013, Demps excelled as a kick returner averaging 30.1 yards per return, but the season would be his last in Kansas City as the Chiefs elected not to resign Demps. Moments into free agency, it didn’t take long for his phone to light up.

“(The Giants) were one of the first teams to contact me, they called real quick,” Demps said. “There were about four teams that reached out, but I knew that any given year the Giants could make it to the Super Bowl.

“Going into free agency, I wanted to go to a team with a chance of winning a championship. I saw that with the Giants.”

Demps vows to bring leadership, play-making ability and experience to a Giants team in desperate need of help on special teams, along with a winning pedigree. In his seven-year career, Demps has never missed the playoffs.

But for everything Demps brings to a team, there’s more than what fans see on Sundays.

“I hated to be associated as just a football player,” Demps said. “That’s what I do and that’s part of who I am, but I really don’t put myself in that category.”

Music and faith have always joined football as the ‘Big 3’ that encompasses Demps’ life. While music and football came by themselves, his mother, Jacqueline, instilled faith.

Demps said his mother always made sure God found a way into her son’s life as she brought him up in the Catholic Church.

“She did a great job training me up in faith, it all started with her and the church,” Demps said. “My mother made sure God was a part of my life at a young age.”

In Demps’ mind, faith and music have always been one. While others rapped of topics including sex, drugs and women, Demps preferred his music involve religion, purpose and motivation.

It was this combination that led to Demps creating his record label, Purpose by Faith, in 2012. Demps says he hopes the label can create music for the masses. Presently, he’s working on a mix tape with a tentative release date later this year.

“A lot of guys in the locker room are clinging to it,” Demps said. “That’s been my biggest support group. People have always known me as just an athlete, but now they see I have some potential musically.”

Former teammates such as Eric Berry, Tamba Hali and Justin Forsett have all reached out to Demps about potential collaborations, but for now he’s just focused on getting his label off the ground.

Some of Demps’ music has been released on his Sound Cloud account, including his most recent track entitled, “My Conscience.”

“That’s the one that sticks out the most,” Demps said. “I’m trying to get my rhythm and flow, but I really like that one.”

While he continues producing his mix tape, Demps is beginning to shed the label of ‘Football Player.’ While the title has defined him since he began playing as a child, it hardly describes the man he’s grown up to be.

“I’m just a man walking with Jesus,” Demps said. “I’ve been very gifted in football, but I don’t really put myself in that category.

“I’m just a guy trying to be the best he can be at life.”

Mar 272014
 
Mike Evans, Texas A&M (September 14, 2013)

Mike Evans – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BBI 2014 NFL Draft Chat with Great Blue North Draft Report: BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) hosted a draft chat with Colin of the Great Blue North Draft Report on Thursday in The Corner Forum.

Article on the 2014 New York Giants:

Articles on Head Coach Tom Coughlin:

Article on the New York Giants and the Tight End Position: Tom Coughlin: Giants ‘have to make something happen’ at tight end by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Rodgers-Cromartie to be used like No. 1 CB by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Giants.com Inside the Film Room: Video breakdowns of the following Giants players are available at Giants.com:

  • Tight End Larry Donnell (Video)
  • Defensive End Mathias Kiwanuka (Video)
Mar 272014
 
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (December 29, 2013)

NFL Bans Dunk Celebration – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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It gets to the point where enough is enough.

Sure, the NFL had every right to rethink touchdown “celebrations” moments after Joe Horn removed a cell phone from underneath the goal post at the Super Dome 11 years ago. Yes…that was over a decade ago.

Sure, the NFL had every right to implement fines when players like Randy Moss mimicked mooning the crowd at Lambeau Field and ever right when others gathered in groups for unnecessary and extravagant antics.

But dunking? ….Really?

There comes a moment in time where the NFL needs to answer what exactly is being accomplished by removing a celebration such as the “Dunk?” What was the issue in the first place?

During his 18 years playing in the NFL, did one of Tony Gonzalez 111 career touchdowns (most of which ended in his signature dunk) ever strike an un-expecting ball boy on the top of his head, rendering him concussed?

Has Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates or Drew Brees–all of which have turned to the one-handed slam in their careers–ever done any “harm” to the game while celebrating a “TD?”

No.

The NFL announced that for each “dunk,” the “dunking” team will be hit with a penalty, of which the severity is not yet known. Assuming it falls under the same category as other endzone celebrations, it’ll be a 15-yarder.

When the NFL implemented a five-yard penalty for “Delay of Game” following an inbounds spike, it was understandable. The bouncing ball had the potential to roll out of the way of officials causing the ever-precious time to slowly tick of the clock. As has been shown on countless occasions, those are seconds that could truly have an impact on the game.

But a dunk? When the clock is stopped? A players emotions running? A celebration that has been a part of the game for as long as I’ve been alive? I reiterate…

Really?

Players have taken to twitter and other social media outlets to voice their opinions. Goal-post-rattlers such as Jimmy Graham is predicting he’ll lead the league in penalties, Tony Gonzalez is stating he got out “just in time,” and others like the Giants Charles James, who has yet to score a touchdown in his career, tweeted the following:

Yeah…there was no need for that tweet to appear in red ink to sense the sarcasm filled in the young corner’s typing fingers.

Many consider the NFL arguably the most well run league in all of professional sports. The multi-billion dollar industry is at the heart of Americans and–aside from the red mark that is the concussion crisis–has been the focal point of what others strive to be.

Other Leagues have tried to duplicate “football.” Be it the XFL, AFL (Arena Football League), or CFL (Canadian Football League), yet none have mastered what the NFL has perfected.

So the question is simple, why?

While the NFL has imposed fines, suspensions and penalties over the years for offenses that have garnered backlash, there was still an answer, an understandable reason.

Safeties can no longer leap headfirst at wide outs for fear of player safety; running backs cannot lower their head for the same reason. But a dunk?

Really?

NFL vice president of officiating, Dean Blandino, released the following quote on the “Dan Patrick Show” Tuesday afternoon:

“We grandfathered in some, the Lambeau Leap and things like that. But dunking will come out (of the game). Using the ball as a prop or any object as a prop, whether that’s the goal post, the crossbar, that will come out and will be a foul next season.”

Ahh, just realized that I’ve forgotten to reference exactly what “NFL” stands for in the above paragraphs. I’ll clarify:

No Fun League.

Mar 262014
 
Victor Cruz (80), Louis Murphy, Jr. (18), New York Giants (November 24, 2013)

Victor Cruz and Louis Murphy – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Louis Murphy Signs with Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Unrestricted free agent wide receiver Louis Murphy (New York Giants) has signed a 1-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Because of this move, we have updated the New York Giants Free Agent Losses (with scouting report) and New York Giants 2014 Free Agency Scorecard sections of the website.

Former Giants Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride on ESPN Radio: The audio of Wednesday’s ESPN Radio interview with former New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride is available at ESPN.com.

Article on WR/Returner Trindon Holliday: Giants free agents 2014: Is Trindon Holliday more than a return man? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Giants reveal plans for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Quotes: Head Coach Tom Coughlin on offensive guard Chris Snee: “He’s got the fire, he’s excited, he wants to play, he feels good, he’s worked hard. He is an incredible competitor. He’s a tough, hard-nosed football player who brings a great ingredient to your team and quite frankly we need that…He probably says it best.’Am I the same player I was four or five years ago? Maybe not. But am I good enough to be included in the top guards in the game? Yes.’ I think that’s pretty well-said.”

Coughin on WR Mario Manningham: “As I told him when he was here, if we’re going to be the team that we want to be, he’s got to come back and make a very strong contribution. He’s excited about that chance, that opportunity.”

Mar 262014
 
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (August 29, 2013)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Tom Coughlin at the NFL Owners Meeting: New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the media at the NFL Owners Meeting in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday morning. Some tidbits from Coughlin:

  • On installing the offense under new Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: “We’re moving. We’re better than halfway through the completion of where we want it to be. I’ll say this and the word goes forth to our players. It’s obvious. This is a whole new undertaking from an offensive standpoint because you will have some of the old and a tremendous amount of the new. I think it’s stimulating. I think it’s good for everybody. Hopefully it’s going to provide a little fire for everybody. I know it will for Eli (Manning). I know he’ll be excited about this…In the beginning, there is a lot to learn. There is a lot of be able to comprehend. I don’t care how you do it. It’s apples and oranges. It’s Chinese vs. another language. But you have to get to where you’re communicating with each other. In order to do that, he’s really going to have to focus. Now, with his intelligence, it’s not going to be real difficult.”
  • On offensive goals: “Offensively we have to get back to Giants football. When I say that, I mean (Geoff) Schwartz and (John) Jerry, big human beings in the NFC East. We weren’t very big up front last year. It’s further to run around those big guys. We’re going to have balance…Everyone wants to know what the difference is going to be? Whatever we do is going to be designed around our personnel. I mean, we have the Encyclopedia Brittanica between the systems that you are familiar with and the system that you are soon going to be familiar with. You can put your finger on anything you want.”
  • On QB Ryan Nassib: “I think he’s going to be a good player. This is going to be an important year for him and for the Giants.”
  • On RB Rashad Jennings: “He’s a great athlete and in tremendous shape. He’s a solid 230 (pounds). The more you look, the better you like. I think he’s a good football player who will be a very solid, solid, impactful guy in our offense.”
  • On RB David Wilson, who is recovering from career-threatening neck surgery:  “I’m planning that he’s there. Until they tell me differently, he’s there. Now, to what extent is he there? Does his presence mean that you have to have another number going into camp at that spot? All of those things are possible…He’s making outstanding progress. Whenever I see him I tell David, ‘Slow down now, stay with whatever they are telling you that you can or can’t do.’ He’s been working on his legs for a month or more…Let’s get him back, let’s see. I wouldn’t rush him into anything.”
  • On Rueben Randle: “Rueben has to continue to develop, be a better pro…We have very high expectations for him. He’s got to continue to be a better pro and show consistency.”
  • On WR Mario Manningham:  “Mario is really excited to be a Giant again. He can hardly contain himself. He’s physically and mentally matured.”
  • On the tight end position: “Right now, it’s a question mark.”
  • On OT John Jerry, who was implicated in the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal: “I think he was authentic in terms of his presentation and (General Manager) Jerry (Reese) really did believe everything that he said. The investigation took place, calls were made to the league office…There was remorse, sincere remorse, and we still feel very strongly about our locker room and the players that are there for us. I don’t see anything of that nature happening with us…There is no suspension in the air or anything of that nature.”
  • On CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: “We have a young man who really wants to be coached. We studied and we saw some areas that we can really help him in and we were very specific about how that would happen and he was very receptive to it. Our coaches worked their tails off on him, spent a lot of time. A lot of time…It seemed as if he was going to continue to visit (teams) until he found what he wanted. When he came to see us, we knew we would have our chance…He was looking for a place to sink his roots and become a guy who represented a team and stayed there and worked his way through things and wanted to be a part of something other than a one-year-here, one-year-there kind of thing. He responded to that. He jumped on that. He wanted to be a guy who is associated with a team.”
  • On DE Justin Tuck, who signed with the Oakland Raiders: “We’re going to miss Justin Tuck, period. The body of work last year was very solid. He’s an outstanding young man…Justin has had two outstanding Super Bowls and playoff runs and played very, very well even as a young man playing with Osi (Umenyiora) and (Michael) Strahan, what he learned and how he performed, so, there’s no doubt…You always hold out hope that nobody goes, you don’t want to see anybody leave. But it’s part of our game. When Justin, as an outstanding defensive end who had numbers to back it up in terms of the way he played, I’m not surprised by it…It was always realistic (to keep him). It was realistic for sure, but it didn’t work. There are 31 other teams. The Raiders have a tremendous amount of money to spend.”’
  • On WR Hakeem Nicks, who signed with the Indianapolis Colts: “I don’t know if it went awry. The entire process of production continued to be not what it was a couple of years ago…I want everybody to know we wish Hakeem nothing but success, to return to the player that we really do believe and know that he is with consistency. Maybe this is something that had to take place for Hakeem. Maybe he will deal with exactly where he is and once again return to the quality of player that he is. I wish him nothing but the best.”
  • On continuing to coach: “What else am I going to do?..I feel good, I’m healthy, (my wife) Judy is really good towards it, the family is positive and supporting. As long as I feel good, productive, energetic, and of course the players respond, I’d like to think I can keep going…I’d like to think that the seasons are all good and at some point in time the decision (when to retire) becomes mine and not somebody else’s. It’s not the paramount thought. Being the best we can be is what I’m all about … I want to coach and I want to get it right and I want to see us start to play like I think we’re capable of.”

Article on the New York Giants and 2014 Free Agency and Draft: Giants’ signings give Reese free reign in draft by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on the New Free Agent Giants: Coaches dish on ex-players signed by the Giants as free agents by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Mar 252014
 
Adrien Robinson, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Adrien Robinson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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Jerry Reese Talks Tight Ends: New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese spoke briefly to the press at the NFL owners meetings in Florida. Reese was asked about the tight end position since the only tight ends currently under contract on the team’s roster are Larry Donnell, Adrien Robinson, and Daniel Fells.

“(Tight end) still might present itself to us,” Reese said. “œIf there is somebody available, we’™ll look at it and if something happens in the draft, we’ll look at that way as well. There is a long way to go.”

There has been speculation since before free agency started that the Giants may be interested in unrestricted free agent tight Jermichael Finley (Green Bay Packers) given Finley’s ability and connection with new Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. McAdoo once coach Finley as his position coach in Green Bay. However, Finley is still recovering from a spinal injury and has not yet been cleared by doctors.

After signing 10 new players in free agency and re-signing nine, the Giants appear to be mostly done in free agency. The 2014 NFL Draft will take place on May 8-10.

“œWe’™ll see,” said Reese. “œWe’™re always trying to create competition at every position. We still have work to do.”

Article on the 2013 New York Giants and Performance-Based Pay: Will Hill tops Giants list of ‘Performance-Based Pay’ for 2013 by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Mar 242014
 
Marvin Austin, New York Giants (August 24, 2013)

Marvin Austin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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New York Giants Awarded 5th Round Compensatory Pick in 2014 NFL Draft: The New York Giants have been awarded a 5th round compensatory pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The additional pick in the 5th round will be the 174th overall selection.

“I’m excited about this fifth-round comp pick we got. That’s huge,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “We thought we’d get a seventh. It’s a complicated formula. I’m not sure all the math but we’re happy about it. That’s awesome. That is the best thing that happened today in all these long meetings. It was worth the wait. It was worth the wait.”

Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. According to an NFL press release, the players who factored into the equation were:

  • Free Agent Losses: TE Martellus Bennett, DE Osi Umenyiora, LB Chase Blackburn, and WR Domenick Hixon
  • Free Agent Signings: PK Josh Brown, TE Brandon Myers, and S Ryan Mundy

The Giants have all of their own picks in the upcoming draft except for their 7th rounder, which they traded to the Carolina Panthers for Jon Beason last season. The Giants now have seven picks once again.

For a listing of previous compensatory picks awarded to the Giants from 1995 to 2013, see this article at Giants.com.

John Mara Talks More About Offseason Moves: For the second day in a row, New York Giants President and CEO John Mara talked to the press about his team’s offseason moves.

“We think we improved our team,” Mara said on SiriusXM Radio. “We obviously had a lot of holes to fill. On paper we look a little better right now. We still have some more holes we need to fill. We’ve got to have a good draft. Hopefully we’ll be a better team next year.”

Mara was asked why the Giants were more aggressive in free agency this offseason.

“There were really a couple of things,” Mara said. “One is we went into this offseason in the best cap situation we’ve ever been in , with the most room we’ve ever had. And we had a lot of holes we had to fill. There were players out there we thought could help us, so we were a little more aggressive this year than we had been in the past.”

“We’re still in pretty decent cap situation, but I think we’re just about done in terms of free agency,” said Mara. “But we’ll see what happens. If the right player presents himself, you never know.”

New York Giants Deny Serious Interest in QB Mark Sanchez: NFL.com reported on Monday that the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants were both interested in quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was released by the New York Jets last week. However, according to NJ.com, a source said the Giants have “no real interest” in Sanchez.

“We investigate everything,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “Never say never…I haven’t really studied (Sanchez) since he was a college player. It’s not fair for me to evaluate someone I haven’t studied, or give an opinion on him. I really can’t make a comment on that.”

The Giants current have three quarterbacks on under contract: Eli Manning, Curtis Painter, and last year’s 4th round selection Ryan Nassib.

Article on OT John Jerry: John Jerry faces medical evaluation before taking field for Giants by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Mar 242014
 
Eli Manning and Steve Tisch, New York Giants (October 21, 2013)

Eli Manning and Steve Tisch – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Steve Tisch Comments on the State of the New York Giants: New York Giants Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch spoke to media on Monday at the NFL owners meetings in Florida. Some tidbits from Tisch:

  • On the team’s approach to the offseason: “When something is a little broken, you have an opportunity to fix it. Everybody at the top levels of ownership, coaching staff and our GM realized we have to go for it. This is an opportunity. Let’s take advantage of it and refocus. Do some restructuring, make changes, some of the changes aren’t always going to be popular, but I think we have created a tremendous sense of excitement and anticipating what this team will be and how well they will perform this season.”
  • On free agency: “I think the way Jerry Reese has performed during free agency is he’s always looking for value. I think he has a great eye for matching free agents, their talent, and the needs of the New York Giants. I think this season has been an unusually strong example of that because of the amount of players we’ve brought in at this point.”
  • On Head Coach Tom Coughlin: “(With) a lot of new faces and a lot of new players and a new locker room, I think Tom Coughlin is the guy to get some rookies and some of our new players to really understand how the New York Giants perform as a team, how he wants his locker room to operate, and I think he is the best guy to accept this challenge.”
  • On what still needs to be done: “With the draft coming up in May, it’s going to be the next wave of how to build the Giants to become even stronger this season and going forward.”
  • On the departure of so many important players from the Super Bowl teams: “It’s the nature of the business. It’s the way business is run and things change, you have to move on, you can’t look back, you have to look forward. I think this is the season we’re certainly doing that.”
  • On DE Justin Tuck, who signed with the Oakland Raiders: “It’s not goodbye, I think, and this is me, I think it’s see you soon. You can’t separate New York from Justin Tuck and I don’t think Justin Tuck will separate Justin Tuck from New York…He will definitely come back to the New York-New Jersey area and I think continue to be involved in football. He’s a great guy. His contributions on and off the field are wonderful. The memories he has of his years at the Giants and that John Mara and I have and all the fans have, all the coaches have, are of an exceptional, exceptional player and human being.”

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: Giants depth chart: Rashad Jennings can be the power back Tom Coughlin wants by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on the New York Giants Offensive Line: Offensive line: Have Giants done enough? by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

New York Giants and 2014 Compensatory Picks: Projecting the Giants’ compensatory picks by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on Former Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck: Justin Tuck thanks fans in newspaper ad by Giants.com

Giants.com Inside the Film Room: Video breakdowns of the following Giants players are available at Giants.com:

  • Wide Receiver Victor Cruz (Video)
  • Tight End Bear Pascoe (Video)
Mar 232014
 
John Mara, New York Giants (January 28, 2014)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

John Mara Talks New York Giants Personnel: New York Giants President and CEO John Mara spoke to the media at the NFL owners meetings in Florida on Sunday. Some of the topics discussed included:

  • On any future free agent moves: “(We are) pretty close to done…I think we’ve improved the team. Time will tell, but we all feel good about the players we’ve added. I would say we’re pretty close to done (signing veterans). Certainly, if the opportunity presented itself with another player, we’d look at it. But I don’t anticipate there being any big-money players being signed at this point.”
  • Mara said they would not rule out re-structuring QB Eli Manning’s contract to create more cap room. However, he said, “That’s not been something we’ve discussed.”
  • The emphasis on defense by the Giants in free agency: “I think that’s more a case of that’s where the opportunities have presented themselves. There were defensive players who were available that we thought could really help us. We did add some offensive players, but we have the draft coming up, so that will be another opportunity.”
  • The focus on improving the secondary: “There were good players that were available, and obviously, if you have a real strong secondary, it allows you to do a lot of other things. I think that was an area where we felt we had to improve a little bit. It wasn’t our number one priority, but those were the players who were available. I think they should help us.”
  • On signing OT John Jerry, who was involved in the bullying controversy of Jonathan Martin: “We were certainly aware of that and did some research into him, and we’re satisfied that he’s going to be a good citizen for us. We did not talk to the league about him, but we did talk to a number of people. We did do our due diligence on him.”
  • The loss of DE Justin Tuck to the Oakland Raiders: “You expect decisions like that in this business but there are some that affect you a little bit more than others…That was very hard. He was and still is very special to us. I’m happy for him that he got that kind of contract. It will be tough to walk into that locker room and not see him there.”
  • On the need for a new defensive leader: “Somebody is going to have to step up and be a leader…Hopefully between (Jon Beason) and Antrel Rolle, and there are other guys who are capable of doing that…but we’re obviously going to miss Justin quite a bit.”
  • On the fact that there are only four players remaining from the Super Bowl XLII team still on the roster (Eli Manning, Chris Snee, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Zak DeOssie): “It is pretty hard to believe, but that’s the nature of the business. Players come and go. It’s an unfortunate part of the business, but it is what it is.”
  • On what still needs to be done: “We feel like we’ve improved the team, but we also need to have a really great draft. And we’re going too have to count on some guys to come through for us – guys that we drafted last year and the year before.”