Apr 202021
 
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Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (February 25, 2020)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

DAVE GETTLEMAN AND KEVIN ABRAMS ADDRESS THE MEDIA…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman and Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams addressed the media on Tuesday (video):

Gettleman: Good afternoon, everybody. Good to see you, I’m looking at little tiny screens. Trust you’re all well. Kevin and I are here to talk about free agency and then on Thursday I’m going to be with [Director of Pro Scouting] Chris Pettit and we’ll talk about the upcoming college draft. Let’s go.

Q: Dave, you’ve always kind of avoided guys with injury histories it seems like in free agency, you’ve spoken about that. What’s different this year with guys like [Wide Receiver] Kenny [Golladay] and [Cornerback] Adoree’ [Jackson] who have some injury histories in their past and you felt comfortable paying them big money?

Gettleman: I tell you what, we had them come in. It was a little different with free agency this year, we actually had them come in first, so we really – all three guys, Kenny, Adoree’ and [Tight End] Kyle [Rudolph] – we had them in here and it was an old school free agency. We got to talk, a chance to visit with them, they went out to dinner with various people in the organization, they were here a couple of nights, our doctors were able to put their hands on them. It was an old-fashioned free agency. [Head Athletic Trainer] Ronnie [Barnes] and Head Team Physician] Doctor [Scott] Rodeo felt very comfortable with us moving with the signing of those three guys.

Q: What are your expectations for the cap next year and how much did an expected increase play into how aggressive you guys were this year?

Abrams: Well, we don’t know what next year is going to look like yet, so we’re making some conservative assumptions. We were aggressive this year, we had to do probably a few practices that we normally, typically try to avoid, but with a lower cap number and some plans to be aggressive we had to do some of those things. We know that next year’s number could be a low one again and we’re prepared for whatever the outcome is.

Q: Kevin, at the start of this, I mean you know the budget and the numbers better than anybody going into this process probably to the penny I would guess or certainly to the pennies. If I would have taken you back to the start of free agency and said, ‘I’m pretty confident you guys are going to get the top receiver Kenny Golladay for big money and perhaps the top cornerback for big money,’ would you have been surprised, not surprised, or not so sure you’d be able to do that with the cap?

Abrams: There were no surprises. I mean, it’s always a bit of an unknown who the players are that you’ll be able to target and who you’ll be able to attract, but we knew we were going to be aggressive.

Q: And as far as being aggressive, you can’t be aggressive unless there’s money to do that obviously. There’s this whole, the Giants went into this with however many millions in the cap and you knew you could manipulate it some way, shape or form. Did you know that you could give 100 million dollars in salaries or guarantees to just a couple of players? Did you know beforehand that was possible?

Abrams: We did, yes.

Q: Dave, when you go into free agency, how much does what you do in free agency reflect on the draft? I mean, do you evaluate all of the college players and say, ‘We need to fill holes. We need to do this in free agency?’

Gettleman: What we do is we have this space we call our Football Ops Center. By the time we get deep into free agency conversations, we’ve had our February draft readings. So in our Ops Center, we have our draft on one board and our unrestricted free agency board on the other. And what we do is we actually do it by color, we take a look at the positions and see where if I need a kicker, is it heavy in free agency or am I going to have to go to the draft? So we marry up both, to answer your question, and then we just move forward and make decisions on which way we’re going to go because maybe free agency is thick with a position and the draft isn’t or vice-versa. So we do marry it up.

Q: Kevin, we all like to think that we’re experts in what a guy is worth, but you’re an expert in the building at negotiating these contracts. Do you believe that you can overpay for a player? Is there such a thing? Is it a more complicated equation than just saying a player is worth a certain amount in the current market or in the market of this position? How do you evaluate that?

Abrams: I mean, certainly you can overpay a player. In free agency, the danger of free agency is that it’s more auction than it is negotiation, but we know what we think the market is for a position and we know where we think players fit into that market and we’ll set those parameters of where we’re willing to go to get a player well in advance of free agency. Ideally, you come in lower obviously than what you think your ceiling of comfort is, but we do identify what those parameters are before we even begin the process.

Q: Dave, a question about [Running Back Devontae] Booker, you guys were pretty aggressive right out of the gate about going after him for some depth at running back. Did you go after him so aggressively because you believe – like, say if hypothetically [Running Back] Saquon [Barkley] were not on the field for some reason, knock on wood, do you feel confident that Booker would be able to handle that position and the workload and is that why you prioritized him as a player?

Gettleman: Well, one of the reasons we prioritized Devontae is you can never have too many good players at any position, I don’t care what anybody says. One of the things that made Devontae so attractive was the fact that we felt he was a legitimate three-down running back. It’s always a group decision here, everything’s in the best interest of the Giants, so obviously he can be a good part of our solution at running back.

Q: Hey Dave and Kevin, in terms of the league, there was so much talk about the cap going down and that there would be a depressed market and that teams would look for value under market. I’m curious if you guys identified a situation where you could be aggressive, kind of go counter to what maybe the league was expecting to do and maybe that’s how some of your deals with Golladay and then obviously Adoree’, which came up later, was kind of a counter-thinking when the market is supposed to be as depressed as a lot of people thought it would be.

Abrams: I think that was a small part of our thought process. I mean, we identified, like everyone had, that this year was going to be a little different – cap going down impacts everybody and so I think we thought that there would be some opportunities because there might be fewer buyers out there. Our plan was to be aggressive from the beginning though and we knew that we had ownership support, which was probably uncommon this year to be as aggressive as we were. And we had our targets and as the market played out it became apparent to us that of the targets that we wanted to go and pursue who was going to be available at the right price for us.

Gettleman: Just to supplement that, we feel like we got three or four, really – have to count [DL] Leonard [Williams], spent money on him – we got four high-dollar guys at very good value for their positions, for the whole nine yards. We feel very good about what we’ve done.

Q: Kyle Rudolph, obviously, it seemed like from the reporting that he agreed to a contract, then he came in for a physical and some stuff came up. Seemed like a kind of point where you guys might have had some leverage to make his contact more incentive-based or make him earn it or lower the guarantees. From an organizational standpoint, why stick with the original handshake agreement there?

Abrams: Once he went through all the medical evaluations, we didn’t think that it was necessary.

Gettleman: We are the Giants, we’re going to do everything with class. We had an agreement, Ronnie signed off on it, Doc Rodeo signed off on it, so we were fine.

Q: Dave, you mentioned the Leonard Williams contract. How tough was that negotiation relatively? Kevin, there was a report that you actually stepped in there at the eleventh hour. If you could discuss your role.

Abrams: It was a good negotiation. The agents were very good to work with, they were interactive, which isn’t always the case as players get closer and closer to free agency. Sometimes they become a little harder to reach as they get closer to free agency, but these guys remained involved. Leonard clearly wanted to be here and we clearly wanted him here. It took a while to establish what was a fair spot within the market from both perspectives, but eventually we got there.

Gettleman: Just to be clear, Kevin’s the negotiator here. What we all do is we all sit down and say, ‘Okay, Ryan Dunleavy is our wide receiver. We like his talents and we like his skill. What’s Ryan’s value compared to the rest of the league, the rest of the wide receivers that are out there? What wide receivers got paid in the past year or so?’ because you don’t want to go back three years or so because deals are old. It’s a group effort with Kevin doing the negotiating. It’s about value and being comfortable with the end result, which we were very comfortable with the end results.

Q: Hey Dave, when you look at the moves you’ve made so far and the ones you’ll continue to make obviously with the draft upcoming and even beyond that, how much of it is designed to make sure [Quarterback] Daniel Jones has every opportunity to be the quarterback you’ve always believed he can be?

Gettleman: You know, my job is to put everybody in a position where they’re successful, plain and simple, that’s my job, both on the field and off the field. Of course, I’ve always believed that you draft the guy that you feel is going to be your franchise quarterback, first thing you’ve got to do is get people around him to keep him upright and then you’ve got to get him playmakers. You help him by doing a variety of things. Obviously, when we make moves on the offensive side and the defensive side – because I’ve said to you folks before, offense scores points, defense wins championships – so the point is every move you make is obviously to help each side of the ball, and again special teams are critical as well. So, everything is made with a broad view of how we’re going to put the finishing touches on this and make it right. Obviously, we felt like we’d like to get a bigger wide receiver, Kenny was available, we make the deal that’s obviously going to help Daniel. Kyle Rudolph is a professional tight end, he’s been in the league ten years, he knows all the ins and outs, he’s still a good player, of course that helps Daniel, but it also helps our running game too and it helps Saquon.

Q: Kevin, for you, at what point will, or perhaps already has the idea entered your mind about Saquon’s extension and obviously a little bit beyond that you hope to be extending Daniel because you hope that he plays great in the meantime, obviously?

Abrams: Those will be collective decisions. Ownership will be involved, obviously Dave will lead the charge and when the time is right, we’ll attack those two.

Q: With everything that you did this year, was whatever in your mind (regarding player extensions) as you spent this year?

Abrams: Always. Everything we do has an immediate and a one-, two-, three-year horizon and we’re always mindful of how things impact both us today and how it impacts us next year and beyond, so we’re very cognizant of all of those variables.

Gettleman: I think the best way I can say it is really you can’t do anything in a vacuum. It’s all going to be interconnected and interrelated, and that’s how we operate.

Q: I know there were reports that you were interested in [Rams Outside Linebacker] Leonard Floyd. He obviously ended up going back to the Rams. I’m just curious, how you feel about your edge rusher group that you have right now?

Gettleman: Listen, [LB] Lorenzo [Carter] and [LB Oshane Ximines] are rehabbing, they’re coming along well, I feel good about those two guys. You feel good about [LB] Cam Brown getting better, [LB] Carter Coughlin’s going to be better. You’re growing them up and then you’re looking at the draft as well. You’re always looking to get better. Like I said, you can never have too many good players at one position, so you’re always going to look to improve. Those guys, I wish that Lorenzo and X had been able to play the whole season last year, but you know what, they couldn’t, so we filled in with some guys and did the best we could. We’re going to do better.

Q: Dave, just to build off that for one second. He asked about the edge group. [Defensive End Ifeadi] Odenigbo that you signed, you didn’t mention him. Is he part of that group? I’m just wondering where you guys kind of view him.

Gettleman: Believe it or not, he’s got some inside pass rush to him. He’s got some inside, sub pass rush to him. They’re all part of the group, they’re all part of the group.

Q: I was just curious if you viewed him as an outside linebacker or if you viewed him as a defensive end in a 3-4 more as a primary.

Gettleman: He’ll play outside and he’ll also do some sub, inside sub pass rush stuff.

Q: Dave, you mentioned the whole bringing Kenny in and the guys in for a visit. With Kenny in particular, what was it you needed answered and part of the reason you guys brought him in?

Gettleman: Well, you bring him in because you want to get a physical on him. That was the biggest reason, get a physical on him. But it was nice for a change to get to know a guy and have that opportunity to do that. Like I said, it was like the old days. The biggest reason was the physical.

Abrams: It wasn’t just our decision, the players wanted to come in as well. Both parties wanted to have the visit.

Q: Kevin, you mentioned also that you had to do some things that normally you don’t do in regards to contracts and money, future money down the line, void years and that kind of stuff. How would you categorize where you stand financially moving forward for the future, for the next year or two let’s say?

Abrams: I think 2022 could be a little bit of a challenge depending on where the cap goes to. Beyond, I’m more optimistic that nothing that we’ve done last year or this year puts us in any kind of precarious position. Next year could be a little bit of a challenge, we’ll see. It’s going to depend on science and state legislatures and fans in stands and a lot of other variables and we’ll see where it goes. I don’t think we’re in a bad spot cap-wise, but next year could be a little more challenging than probably the years after that.

Q: Dave, we always talk about weapons, you always tease us about it and you got a nice one in Kenny Golladay. Do you feel you have a solid arsenal right now for this year? We’re talking weapons again, Dave.

Gettleman: You know, yes. To answer your question, we’re better, and the other guy that’s going to be interesting is [WR] John Ross when he walks in the door because he gives you the take-off-the-top, oh my gosh speed. Yes, again, you want touchdown-makers, it’s what you’re looking for on offense and we feel like we added them.

Q: Kevin, how do you balance free agency with the draft in terms of filling needs, but at the same time selecting the best available talent? It seems to be a delicate and challenging combination.

Abrams: As Dave mentioned before, we begin the offseason identifying where we feel like we have needs. Free agency comes first, so we’ll set that board up, find where the value is, where the consensus is between our personnel people and our coaching staff, identify the targets we think best fit the Giants, and then we’ll incorporate what the early view of our draft board looks like and understand where are our needs and our fits in free agency that also are redundant with where the draft is strong and vice-versa. Where the draft is weak, that might be a difference-maker when deciding between who to approach in free agency.

Q: Dave, just going back to Leonard Williams really quick, what was the calculus between resigning Leonard and possibly bringing back [Vikings Defensive Tackle] Dalvin Tomlinson. In hindsight, was there any regret with how you guys handled Tomlinson over the last year, be it maybe not resigning him early or trading him when you might have had the chance to?

Gettleman: Dalvin is a wonderful young man and he was a captain, so obviously there’s regret. But at the end of the day, you only have so much money and you’ve got to make decisions, that’s just the way it is. We’ll miss Dalvin and I’m thrilled that he got what he wanted and Minnesota is a fine organization, so for what it’s worth, sure it’s hard, but unfortunately because of what happened you have to make decisions.

Q: As far as Leonard goes, what kind of separated him and made him a priority to try and bring back and ultimately resign at that number?

Gettleman: Well, maybe 11.5 sacks, maybe that was part of it. You know, he’s very versatile, he’s a legitimate inside pass rusher and he really blossomed. He loves being here and we love having him, so that was part of the decision.

Q: We count the hundreds of millions of dollars that were spent and the number of people who are coming in. How do you guys quantify how much better this team has gotten in your mind, how much closer you are to the team you think can contend in the last six weeks? Do you feel like you’ve made large strides? Do you feel like you’ve made small strides? Is it more of an immediate impact that you’re looking for?

Abrams: From my opinion, and I think Dave would agree, I think our roster is a lot better now than it was at the end of the season and the offseason is not over yet, so we’ll still have more opportunities to add players. So I think we feel good with what we’ve done. I think we’re a deeper, more talented team. Hope that answers the question.

Gettleman: You know, you can’t quantify it. It’s not going to be quantified until the fall and we start playing in September. But we feel very good about what we’ve done, we feel very good about the direction the team is taking with getting Kenny signed and Kyle Rudolph and Devontae Booker and Adoree’ Jackson and Leo. We feel really great about that and we really feel we’re building a solid football team that the fans can be proud of.

Q: Hey Dave, regarding the Adoree’ Jackson deal, Mike Sando from the Athletic talked to a few of your colleagues, executive-wise, around the league and a few of them were very critical of the contract. They said it was inexcusable, high potential for disaster, so a couple of those guys around the league kind of hammered you on that deal. What is your reaction to that and why do you think Adoree’ is worth that when you look at him skill-wise and injury-wise?

Gettleman: Well, my reaction to that is one of the things that makes America a great place is everyone is entitled to an opinion. Time will tell.

Q: What do you think of him as a player and why did you think he was worth that money when you looked at him? Obviously, you guys felt like he was worth the money. Why is that when you look at him?

Gettleman: Why was that? He’s got inside-outside flex, he’s a legitimate cover guy, he can run and he’s a very smart football player and he’s got ball skills. All of that stuff made him worth that.

GIANTS CUT RYAN LEWIS…
The New York Giants have officially waived cornerback Ryan Lewis, who was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2017), New England Patriots (2017-2018), Buffalo Bills (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2019), Philadelphia Eagles (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Washington Football Team (2020). The Giants signed Lewis to the Practice Squad in early September 2020 and to the 53-man roster two weeks later. He played in five games for the Giants, starting three (25 percent of defensive snaps). Lewis finished the year with 13 tackles and one pass defense. The Giants placed Lewis on Injured Reserve in early November 2020 with a hamstring injury.

GIANTS RE-SIGN SANDRO PLATZGUMMER…
The Giants have re-signed running back Sandro Platzgummer, who was allocated to the team in April 2020 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. As part of that program, Platzgummer was allowed him to remain on the Giants’ Practice Squad last season without counting towards the Practice Squad limit. Platzgummer played for the Swarco Raiders Tirol of the Austrian Football League.

Apr 082021
 
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New York Giants Helmets (September 22, 2019)

© USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have officially announced that they have hired Russ Callaway as an offensive quality control coach, and Ryan Anderson and Carter Blount as defensive quality control coaches. Earlier this offseason, the Giants also promoted Nick Williams from offensive assistant to offensive quality control coach.

Bobby Blick, who served as the team’s sole offensive quality control coach last season no longer appears on the team’s website. It is not known if he still on the staff. Same with Offensive Assistant Stephen Brown. Earlier in the offseason, the Giants shifted Jody Wright from defensive to offensive assistant.

Mike Treier, who served as the team’s sole defensive quality control coach last season, was promoted to assistant defensive backs coach earlier this offseason.

Offensive Quality Control Coach Russ Callaway

  • 2021-Present: Offensive Quality Control Coach, New York Giants
  • 2020: Senior Offensive Analyst, LSU
  • 2017-2019: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach, Samford University
  • 2016: Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach, Samford University
  • 2015: Wide Receivers Coach, Samford University
  • 2013-2014: Wide Receivers Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Murray State University
  • 2011-2012: Defensive Analyst, University of Alabama
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: Quarterback, Valdosta State University (2007-2010)

Defensive Quality Control Coach Carter Blount

  • 2021-Present: Defensive Quality Control Coach, New York Giants
  • 2018-2020: Special Teams Quality Control Analyst, University of Tennessee
  • 2017: Special Teams Quality Control Analyst, University of Alabama
  • 2016: Graduate Assistant, LSU
  • 2014-2015: Special Teams Quality Control Coach, University of Georgia
  • 2014: Cornerbacks Coach, Birmingham-Southern College
  • 2013: Defensive Graduate Assistant-Defense, University of South Alabama
  • 2011-2012: Special Teams Graduate Assistant, University of South Alabama
  • 2010: Associate Head Strength and Conditioning Coach/Linebackers Coach, Tuscaloosa County High School (AL)
  • 2009: Special Teams Intern, University of Alabama
  • 2008: Strength and Conditioning Intern, University of Alabama
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: None

Defensive Quality Control Coach Ryan Anderson

  • 2021-Present: Defensive Quality Control Coach, New York Giants
  • 2019-2020: Safeties Coach, Elon University
  • 2018: Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Coach, Hampton University
  • 2016-2017: Inside Linebackers Coach, East Carolina University
  • 2013-2015: Defensive Graduate Assistant, Vanderbilt University
  • 2012: Defensive Line Coach, Reinhardt University
  • 2011: Linebackers Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Cumberland University
  • 2009: Tight Ends Coach/Linebackers Coach, E.C. Glass High School (VA)
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: Linebacker, Presbyterian College (2006-2008)

A complete listing of the team’s coaching staff is available in the Coaching Staff section of the website.

 

Apr 062021
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (August 6, 2020)

Daniel Jones – Courtesy of New York Giants

DANIEL JONES ORGANIZES UNOFFICIAL PRACTICES…
According to multiple media outlets, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has organized unofficial practices or throwing sessions for a number of his teammates in Arizona this week. The workouts reportedly will run from Monday through to Friday. Others supposedly who will attend include wide receiver Kenny Golladay, wide receiver Darius Slayton, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, wide receiver Austin Mack, center Nick Gates, guard Will Hernandez, guard Chad Slade among others. Running back Saquon Barkley will attend, but not participate as he is still rehabbing his torn ACL.

GIANTS HIRE ANOTHER OFFENSIVE COACH…
Although not officially announced yet, the New York Giants have hired Russ Callaway, who was an offensive analyst with LSU in 2020, to serve as an offensive assistant or offensive quality control coach. Callaway also served as offensive coordinator at Samford University for four seasons (2016-2019), while also coaching quarterbacks and wide receivers at that school for a total of five seasons. Before that, Callaway coached wide receivers at Murray State (2013-2014) and was a defensive analyst at the University of Alabama (2011-2012).

LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron was effusive in his praise for Callaway. “I do believe the guy’s going to be a coordinator and a head coach, and it won’t be long because he’s one of those type minds. He’s a great worker. Has a bright future ahead for him.”

Mar 312021
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (December 13, 2020)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

JOHN MARA ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara addressed the media on Wednesday (video):

Q: I know we talked before the season last year about off the field issues and how do you evaluate prospects and what have you moving forward. I’m curious about the challenges in draft season under these circumstances when you’re not getting the time that you’d like to vet prospects face to face. From your perspective, how do you guide the personnel department, the coaching staff, in terms of taking chances on players that may have red flags?

A: It’s a little more of a challenge for sure, but you’re still allowed the Zoom interviews and those are helpful, and you can certainly do your own background work on these guys – you can do your research, you can talk to their college coaches, to people that are on the football staff. All of our scouts have connections at different schools, so there’s still a lot of research you can do with these guys. It’s certainly not as good as talking to them face to face in your building, but it’s something that all the teams have to deal with, so it’s doable. I thought last year we did a good job with it and we got some really quality people.

Q: What is your expectation for the cap in 2022?

A: Not sure yet. That’s going to depend on a lot of things – certainly will be higher – but that’s going to depend on a lot of factors including whether we’re going to have a significant number of people in the building this year and in all of the buildings around the league. It’s too early to make any projections on that.

Q: How much did the spending this offseason kind of bake in the fact that you are expecting a jump if not next year, then in the future?

A: Well, we’re desperately hoping that we’re going to have more revenue to work with and that the cap will be a little bit higher because, yes, we did obviously spend a lot of money and we pushed some money into future years to be sure to create some additional space. Certainly, we’re hoping that our revenues will be up and we believe that they will be, given the rollout of the vaccines and whatnot, but we’re certainly a long way from making any predictions on that yet.

Q: You saw [Head Coach] Joe Judge up close this recruiting cycle. What did you sense? You guys really wanted to get these big players in the building, which is kind of like a throwback to years ago. What did you see from your whole operation, especially from Joe, once you got these guys in the building? You know what he is in certain things, but maybe not as a recruiter. Kind of assess his recruiting style a little bit.

A: I think the word I would use is ‘thorough.’ I mean, even before guys came into the building he did a lot of background checks with former colleagues of his, other coaches around the league or college coaches that he has a relationship with, so he knew a lot about these players before they walked in the building. [WR] Kenny Golladay, for example, I mean Joe went to dinner with him the night before and then had him in the office the next day for an extended period of time, really got to know him, so I think it was a very thorough process. We had a number of people in the building sit with these players, specifically with Golladay and [CB] Adoree’ Jackson, so we got a pretty good understanding of what they’re about and that, to me, was a big advantage. It’s much more difficult to do this when you can’t get the guys in the building and you have to make a commitment to a large amount of money without getting a chance to eye them up and talk to them and get a feel for them. I was happy that we were able to do that this year. It made it easier to give the final okay to say, ‘Yeah, go ahead, get the thing signed.’

Q: Last year, there was a lot of preaching about patience, rebuilding, the process here kind of with a long-term view, but the kind of spending you guys did recently in free agency puts a lot of pressure on this year. Do you expect to make the playoffs this year like spending this kind of money would seem to indicate? And what accounts for maybe the shift from a long-term, rebuild view to so much emphasis on 2021?

A: You know, I think you have to seize the opportunities when they present themselves to you. The big money that we spent recently were on two young players that we think can be here for a while. And in terms of whether I expect to make the playoffs – look, I go into every season expecting to make the playoffs. Unfortunately, I’ve been wrong the last five years, but I always expect us to make the playoffs and expect us to be in contention at some point. In terms of the money we spent this year, I mean, there were opportunities that presented themselves, particularly at positions of need with quality players and guys that we did a lot of research on, so we took advantage of the opportunities and hopefully they’ll pay off.

Q: How involved has Steve Tisch been recently? Has he been involved in these owners’ meetings? How has he been involved in this free agency cycle, this offseason, etc.?

A: He’s been involved in the owners’ meetings and I’ve had a number of conversations with him, as have other people in the building, so he’s been fully aware of what’s been going on and has given his opinion. He has continued to be involved, yes.

Q: Hey John, you’ve mentioned a few times in the past, talking at the end of the season about telling fans to be patient. What message does this free agency spending spree send to your fan base?

A: Well, I think it’s just that we’re committed to doing whatever we have to do to put a winning team on the field. As I’ve said before, there were opportunities that presented themselves to add quality young players that were highly regarded, that we think can make an impact and also were positions of need, so we took advantage of them. I think you can’t do that every year, but when the opportunity presents itself I think you have to seize it and I think that’s what we did this year. We think it will pay off, but time will tell. We’re certainly not a finished product by any stretch of imagination. We need to add some more pieces in the draft, but I do like the direction that we’re going in.

Q: The media kicker comes into effect with the adding of the 17th game for next year’s salary cap, correct?

A: That’s correct.

Q: On the international marketing plan that you all just approved, what is your general sense of what that opportunity is? Is that more appropriately characterized as sort of an incremental, experimental thing or do you think there’s real revenue in the short term for the league and teams in this plan? And then also, where are the Giants looking, if anywhere, overseas?

A: We’re having some discussions about that. I don’t see us jumping into that right now – we’re more focused on the opportunities in our local market – but I do think it is a long-term revenue opportunity for the league and for clubs, no question about it. Our focus right now is on our local market, on getting people into the building, getting our inventory sold and improving the team. Will we look at that at some point in the future? Yeah, I would say that’s possible, but that’s not our focus right now.

Q: What are the benchmarks you need to see from [Quarterback] Daniel Jones this coming year and how tied is [General Manager] Dave Gettleman’s future to the future of Daniel Jones and his development?

A: Well, I think they’re kind of two separate questions. Listen, we think the world of Daniel in this building, I think I’ve said that publicly before, I know our coaches feel very strongly about him. We want to see him take the next step. I don’t have any specific benchmarks other than let’s win some more games. I think he will have a better team around him this year than he’s had in previous years, so we certainly expect him to take the next step, but I’m not going to put any specific benchmarks on him right now. I just want to see him continue to improve because I do think he has what it takes to be a long-term winner in this league.

Q: How much of the spending, especially on Kenny Golladay and then bringing in [Wide Receiver] John Ross, was motivated around facilitating him taking that next step?

A: Well, I think that’s part of it, for sure, but you have two guys – Golladay has obviously put up some great numbers in this league and John Ross is somebody who has some unique speed and we think maybe we might hit on him as well. So I think surrounding Daniel with more weapons was certainly a priority coming into this offseason, but that would be true no matter who the quarterback is. You always want to put as many weapons on the field as possible. It’s becoming more and more of a passing league, and we saw an opportunity to add some guys who have some unique talent and hopefully it’ll pay off for us.

Q: I know this team means everything to you, it’s been in your blood for your entire life. What would it mean to you personally to turn this thing around in a meaningful way and to get this team headed back for a Super Bowl?

A: Obviously, it would mean the world to me. It’s been a very difficult four or five year period for us and I’m tired of the losing and of having the postseason press conference trying to explain what went wrong and why I think we’re making progress. It’s time for us to start winning some more and that’s one of the reasons we spent the money we did. I do think we’re making progress here. We’ve added more players, it’s definitely a better locker room than we’ve had in a while and I think Joe has done a terrific job instilling a certain culture here. The players believe in him and the fans seem to believe in him, too, so I think we’re moving in the right direction. But, obviously, it’s been brutal the last few years and we’re looking forward to turning it around and not having to make excuses for why we haven’t done it.

Q: Your personal belief in Joe as the best coach for this team?

A: I think I said it at the end of the year. What he was able to do last year as a brand new head coach in this league at his age and not having any offseason program or any on-field activity, no preseason games, you just jump right into Week One, and we only won six games, but I just sense a different feeling from the players. They believe in his message and in his program. You can see that in team meetings, you can see that on the practice field, you could see that in their effort, so now is the time to just start winning more games. I think he showed us a lot last year, so now it’s time to take the next step.

Q: Hey John, the last time you guys spent like this in free agency obviously was 2016, which led to a playoff berth, but obviously didn’t work out great in the long term. Why do you believe this is different this year? And because of that 2016 experience, did you have to be convinced to be big players in free agency?

A: My feeling whenever we go into a free agency period – and I tell our people this – I don’t care how much money we spend or how much cash we spend, just make sure it’s the right guys that we’re bringing into the building. Make sure it’s the right guys and that’s why being able to bring Kenny Golladay and Adoree’ Jackson into the building and for our people to have that much access to them and to do the research on them was so vitally important. It made it, quite frankly, an easy decision to me. My only concern is, what’s the cap effect and how is it going to hamstring us in the future? We think we’ll be able to manage that going forward, but the critical thing for me was bringing them into the building, having the thorough process that we had, all the research that was done on them and then having the conviction of so many people in the building about those two individuals, and [Tight End] Kyle Rudolph as well and also the other guys that we signed.

Q: You guys have been known to be one of the more traditionally conservative teams medically with guys. A lot of the guys you signed this offseason, they missed a lot of games the last couple of years. How did that factor into your decision this offseason to make all those splashes and do it with guys that, quite frankly, missed a ton of games last year?

A: That was certainly an important factor and that’s why it was so critical that they take complete physicals and that we have our medical people take a good look at them and make sure that they were over whatever injuries they had and were able to be healthy players for us in 2021. I was satisfied at the end of the day that we had done that. I was convinced, particularly in Kenny’s case and also in Adoree’s case, that they were healthy and would be expected to contribute fully in 2021, but that’s a huge thing when you’re laying out that kind of money. You have to make sure that these guys are healthy. We believe that they are and time will tell.

Q: Was this your plan? You had three big-money signings, over $100 million in guarantees. Was that the plan going in or did you sort of pivot at some point?

A: It wasn’t necessarily the plan coming in. We knew we had some room to operate with, we knew we had some needs. We wanted to see who was going to be available. If the right opportunity presented itself, then we’ll spend the money. If not – the one thing we said at the beginning of the process is we’re not going to spend just for the sake of spending, it has to be the right opportunity, it has to be the right individual. I think in all the cases, they were the right individual, so it made it a much easier decision to give the okay to go ahead and spend the money. But I can’t say we came in expecting to spend $100 million or whatever the final figure was. I say it in every year, just make sure it’s the right guy, it’s the right individual, it’s the right fit, they’re healthy and that we can manage the cap situation going forward, and I think we’ll be able to do all those things.

Q: Would you like to get something done contract-wise, ideally with [Running Back] Saquon [Barkley] this offseason or do you want to see how he responds from his knee injury first?

A: I certainly think we’re not in any hurry to do that. We fully expect him to be as good as new. I mean, if anybody is going to spend 100 percent of his efforts to rehab, it will be Saquon just knowing what type of motivation he has and desire he has. But we’re not in any hurry to do that at this point in time, particularly after the money we just spent. But listen, I said it at the end of the season and I’ll say it again, we hope he’s going to be a Giant for life and at the appropriate time we’ll start those discussions.

Q: You talk about wanting to win and you’re expecting to win more. If this team does not produce more in 2021, will Dave Gettleman be your GM in 2022?

A: I’m not going to speculate on that right now, let’s just see how the season plays out. I have more confidence going into this season than I’ve had in previous years, so hopefully given the money that we spent, given the draft we expect to have, we’ll have a better team on the field this year.

Q: [Minnesota Vikings Defensive Lineman] Dalvin Tomlinson obviously left, homegrown guy, captain. [Washington Football Team Safety] Landon Collins left a couple years ago, homegrown guy, captain. Do you worry about what that sends the locker room about guys doing things right and not getting extensions? To that end, [Safety] Jabrill [Peppers], [Tight End Evan] Engram, Saquon are up for extensions. Do you need to be proactive about getting those guys signed?

A: I do worry about that, I really do. I loved Landon Collins and Dalvin Tomlinson, those were two great players and they were great people in the building. It broke my heart to see them go, but at the end of the day you have to make a cold hard business decision, can you afford to devote that much cap space to this particular player? But I am very cognizant of the message that it sends out, but you can’t pay everybody. We do have some important players that will be coming up for extensions pretty soon, so that is something that’s always in the back of my mind. Listen, that played into the decision not to trade those individuals either when the trade deadline came around and we’re still fighting to salvage the rest of our season. Maybe it would’ve been a better idea to try to trade one of them and pick up a draft pick. One of the things I was concerned about was the message that it sends, but I think players for the most part understand that you just can’t pay everybody and you have to make some very tough business decisions. But those two in particular were two of the toughest ones that we’ve had to make for many, many years and they were particularly upsetting to me because I hated to see those two guys walk out of the building.

Q: Hey John, you mentioned in the article with Ian [O’Connor] in the New York Post earlier this week that you were even on the phone with Kenny recruiting him a little bit. I’m curious as to how you would characterize your role this year in free agency versus years past.

A: I would say pretty much the same. I let the football people do the work on that, do the recruiting. One of the things we did a little bit different this year is we had some players involved in the recruiting effort as well, which I think was very effective. But I did call up Kenny and tell him how I thought he’d be a great fit for our organization. I talked to him about the resources that we have here to help him develop not only as a player, but as a man and I thought he could really be helpful to us. So, I did a little bit of recruiting with him, but I think by the time I got to him it sounded to me like his mind was already made up, so I’m not going to take any credit for that. I think our staff did a great job in that recruitment process and we were happy to get it done at the end of the day.

Q: Did you feel any more urgency once you made that decision that you were going to go to certain lengths to get a little bit more involved?

A: Actually, Joe had asked me at some point to make a call to Kenny in particular, which I was happy to do and would’ve done anyway probably, so I did feel some sense of urgency. We didn’t want to lose him. We thought he’d be a vital piece to what we want to accomplish going forward. To have a receiver with that skill set alongside the guys we already have we thought would be a huge piece for us. It also takes pressure off of us going into the draft. We don’t have to take a receiver in round one or round two, we can sit there and just take the best player available when it comes to our spot. I think that’s another reason why it was so important to us.

Q: Hey John, what do you and your organization need to do to have a full house of fans at games? I know Roger Goodell mentioned yesterday he’d like to see all teams with full houses next year?

A: I think we’ve been in close communication with the Governor’s office here. I’ve had a number of discussions with them and we’ll continue to work closely with them as the vaccinations continue to roll out. Hopefully, the positivity rate will decrease in future months, but we’ll be guided by certainly the Governor’s office. We’re hopeful of having a full stadium next year, that would be a huge plus for our players, for our fans and for our organization, and obviously that is something that we have to work with the Governor’s office on. As I said, we’ve been in close communication with them for the last year really, going back to last March.

Q: The owners voted unanimously to give [Washington Football Team Owner] Dan Snyder a debt waiver to buy out his limited partners. I assume no bank is going to loan him a lot of money if there’s a material judgement pending against him. How confident are you that the league won’t find any wrongdoing in his handling of the front office issues there?

A: I really don’t have an answer for that. I’ve not been involved in that process. I’m just glad it was settled between Dan and the minority partners so that they can move ahead, but I don’t have any comment on that investigation. I’ve not been a part of it and I don’t have any information on it.

CARDINALS SIGN COLT McCOY…
The Arizona Cardinals have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent quarterback Colt McCoy. The contract is reportedly a 1-year deal.

McCoy easily won the back-up quarterback spot for the Giants in 2020 and ended up playing in four games with two starts, completing 60.6 percent of his passes for 375 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The 6’1”, 212-pound McCoy was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He has spent time with the Browns (2010-2012), San Francisco 49ers (2013), and Washington Redskins (2014-2019). The Giants signed McCoy as an unrestricted free agent from the Redskins in March 2020. In 11 NFL seasons, McCoy has only started 30 games, 21 of which came with the Browns in 2010-2011. 

Mar 302021
 
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Chris Milton, Tennessee Titans (November 8, 2020)

Chris Milton – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN THREE MORE PLAYERS…
The New York Giants have officially signed free agents tight end Cole Hikutini, cornerback Chris Milton, and safety Joshua Kalu. Terms of the deals are not yet publicly known.

The 26-year old, 6’4”, 240-pound Hikutini was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Francisco 49ers after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the 49ers (2017-2018), Minnesota Vikings (2018-2019), and Dallas Cowboys (2019-2020). His only playing time came as a rookie when he played in four regular-season games, catching two passes for 15 yards for the 49ers. Hikutini has been a Practice Squad player for the past three seasons. The Cowboys cut him on March 19th.

The 28-year old, 5’11”, 190-pound Milton was originally signed as undrafted rookie free agent by the Indianapolis Colts after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent three seasons with the Colts before being signed by the Tennessee Titans after he was cut. In all, Milton has played in 55 regular-season games, with one start, accruing 35 tackles, two pass defenses, and recovering one fumble. The Titans cut him in February 2021.

The 25-year old, 6’0”, 203-pound Kalu was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Tennessee Titans after the 2018 NFL Draft. In his three seasons with Tennessee, Kalu played in 28 regular-season games with no starts, accruing 24 tackles, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. He also blocked a field goal. Kalu was not tendered as a potential restricted free agent, making him unrestricted.

For a complete listing of free agent comings and goings, see our New York Giants 2021 Free Agency Scorecard.

NEW YORK GIANTS 2021 OPPONENTS…
With the NFL deciding on a 17-game regular-season schedule, the 17th opponent the New York Giants will face in 2021 will be the Miami Dolphins. The Giants will be the visiting team and thus nine of the Giants’ 17 games will be road contests.

Home:

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

Away:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • Chicago Bears
  • Miami Dolphins
Mar 292021
 
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Danny Shelton, Detroit Lions (October 4, 2020)

Danny Shelton – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN DANNY SHELTON…
The New York Giants have officially signed free agent nose tackle Danny Shelton, who was cut by the Detroit Lions two weeks ago. The contract is reportedly a 1-year deal.

The 27-year old, 6’2”, 335-pound Shelton was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He has spent time with the Browns (2015-2017), New England Patriots (2018-2019), and Lions (2020). In all, Shelton has played in 87 regular-season games, starting 72, and accruing 247 tackles, 16 tackles for losses, 18 quarterback hits, and 5.5 sacks in six NFL seasons. Last year with Detroit, Shelton started 12 games, missing four contests with a knee injury. He also suffered a triceps injury in the finale. Shelton finished the year with 36 tackles and one sack, playing 44 percent of all defensive snaps. Shelton is big, strong run defender who does not make much noise as a pass rusher.

Mar 252021
 
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Zach Fulton, Houston Texans (January 5, 2019)

Zach Fulton – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS SIGN ZACH FULTON…
The New York Giants have officially signed free agent offensive guard Zach Fulton, who was cut by the Houston Texans last week. Terms of the deal are not yet publicly known.

The 29-year old, 6’5”, 321-pound Fulton was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He spent four seasons with the Chiefs before signing with the Texans in 2018. In all, Fulton has played in 107 regular-season games with 90 starts. Fulton started 44 games at right guard for the Texans, including all 16 games in 2020. He has also started games at center and left guard in his career.

KYLER FACKRELL SIGNS WITH CHARGERS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent linebacker Kyler Fackrell has signed with the Los Angeles Chargers. Terms of the deal are not yet publicly known.

The Giants signed Fackrell as an unrestricted free agent from the Green Bay Packers in March 2020. The team placed Fackrell on Injured Reserve in early December 2020 with a calf injury and activated him to the 53-man roster in early January 2021. In all, Fackrell played in 12 games with nine starts. He played in 56 percent of all defensive snaps and finished the season with 34 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, four sacks, 10 quarterback hits, two pass defenses, one interception that he returned for a touchdown, and one forced fumble. The 6’5”, 245-pound Fackrell was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

For a complete listing of free agent comings and goings, see the New York Giants 2021 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

Mar 242021
 
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Devante Downs, New York Giants (October 22, 2020)

Devante Downs – © USA TODAY Sports

KYLE RUDOLPH TO HAVE FOOT SURGERY…
Although free agent tight end Kyle Rudolph officially signed his contract today, multiple media outlets are reporting there was a delay in doing so because the New York Giants were concerned about a foot injury he suffered last year with the Minnesota Vikings. Rudolph reportedly took his physical yesterday and the team’s medical staff believes Rudolph needs surgery on his foot. The NFL Network initially reported that both sides were discussing how best to proceed, but based on the team’s press release, Rudolph will undergo foot surgery.

It was certainly an interesting 24 hours,” said Rudolph. “One that was unexpected… It’s kind of a blessing that we’re able to find this issue. It was an issue from the season, we can fix it in March, and I won’t miss any football. I’m extremely excited to be a New York Giant and I feel like it’s a blessing that I’m able to deal with it now in March and not be a New York Giant and something that we deal with during the season. Like anything in life, I attack it head-on and I’ll attack this rehab process head-on and I look forward to being out there with my teammates when we start playing football…this is 100 percent what happened during the season that caused me to miss the last four games of the season. Everyone expected it to heal on its own and it didn’t. It needs to be fixed and like I said, I’m just extremely grateful for the Giants’ medical staff, Dr. Rodeo, everyone that was involved in the process. I’m excited to get it fixed and move past it.”

Rudolph was cut by the Vikings early this month. The Giants and Rudolph agreed to terms to a 2-year, $12 million contract that includes $4.5 million in guaranteed money last week. The NFL Network is reporting that the deal was not altered based on the injury situation.

GIANTS RE-SIGN DEVANTE DOWNS…
The New York Giants have re-signed unrestricted free agent inside linebacker Devante Downs, who the team chose not to tender as a restricted free agent. Terms of the deal are not yet known.

Downs began the 2020 season as a starter, but saw his playing time give way to Tae Crowder. Downs played in all 16 games with eight starts (21 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished the season with 33 tackles, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery.

The 6’2”, 252-pound Downs was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings waived him in late September 2019 and he was then signed by the Giants to their Practice Squad and 53-man roster in October 2019. Downs played in seven games for the Giants in 2019 on special teams.

GIANTS RESTRUCTURE CONTRACTS OF JAMES BRADBERRY AND BLAKE MARTINEZ…
In order to create more immediate cap space to pay for the team’s current free agent spending spree, the New York Giants and cornerback James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez have agreed to restructured contracts. According to ESPN:

  • Bradberry had $8 million of his base salary converted into a signing bonus, creating $4 million in additional cap space.
  • Martinez had $7 million of his base salary converted into a signing bonus, creating $3.5 million in additional cap space.

The $7.5 million “saved” will now be tacked onto the 2022 NFL salary cap.

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

Mar 232021
 
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Ryan Anderson, Washington Football Team (November 8, 2020)

Ryan Anderson – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN RYAN ANDERSON…
Multiple media outlets are reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent outside linebacker Ryan Anderson (Washington Football Team) to a 1-year contract. The Bergen Record says his 2021 base salary is $990,000 and Anderson received a $137,000 signing bonus.

The 26-year old, 6’2”, 255-pound Anderson was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by Washington. In four seasons with Washington, Anderson played in 52 regular-season games with only four starts, accruing 78 tackles, six sacks, one pass defense, five forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Anderson missed seven games due to a knee injury in 2020 and finished the season with just nine tackles.

Some highlights of Anderson are available on YouTube.

Mar 222021
 
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Adoree' Jackson, Tennessee Titans  (January 4, 2020)

Adoree’ Jackson – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN ADOREE’ JACKSON…
Multiple media outlets are reporting that the New York Giants have signed free agent cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, who was cut by the Tennessee Titans last week. The contract is reportedly a 3-year, $39 million deal that includes $26.5 million in guaranteed money.

The 25-year old, 5’11”, 185-pound Jackson was drafted by the Titans in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In his four seasons with the Titans, Jackson played in 46 regular-season games, with 41 starts, accruing 189 tackles, 33 pass defenses, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles. He missed most of the 2020 NFL season with a knee injury, playing in just the last three games.

COACHING STAFF CHANGES…
According to Giants.com, the team has made a number of changes to the assistant coaching staff:

  • Anthony Blevins is now the assistant linebackers coach/special teams assistant (he was the assistant defensive backs coach).
  • Mike Treier is now the assistant defensive backs coach (he was the defensive quality control coach).
  • Nick Williams is now the offensive quality control coach (he was an offensive assistant).
  • Jody Wright is now a defensive assistant (he was an offensive assistant).

A complete listing of the coaching staff is available in our Coach Staff section of the website.