Oct 062021
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (October 3, 2021)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

OCTOBER 6, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants held a light, walk-thru practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Not practicing were LT Andrew Thomas (foot), WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring), WR Darius Slayton (hamstring), TE Kaden Smith (knee), DE Leonard Williams (knee), and S Jabrill Peppers (hamstring).

Limited in practice were RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kenny Golladay (groin), OG Ben Bredeson (hand), and S Nate Ebner (quad).

WR C.J. Board (clavicle) fully practiced.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed CB Ka’dar Hollman to the Practice Squad. The 27-year old, 6’0”, 196-pound Hollman was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. Hollman has spent time with the Packers (2019-2021), Houston Texans (2021), and New Orleans Saints (2021). He has played in 18 regular season games with one start.

The Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of OG Sam Jones. The Giants also terminated the Practice Squad contract of S Steven Parker on Tuesday, but re-signed him to the Practice Squad today.

DANIEL JONES NAMED “NFC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
QB Daniel Jones has been named “NFC Offensive Player of the Week” for his performance against the New Orleans Saints last Sunday. In that game, Jones led the Giants in a come-from-behind victory as the team scored 17 unanswered points late in the 4th quarter and overtime to win 27-21. Jones completed 28-of-40 passes for a career-high 402 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception for a passer rating of 108.5. He also rushed the ball four times for 27 yards and ran for a 2-point conversion.

Jones also won this award in his first start as a rookie in Week 3 of the 2019 season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Thursday. The coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Sep 262021
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 26, 2021)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA FALCONS 17 – NEW YORK GIANTS 14…
The Atlanta Falcons defeated the New York Giants 17-14 on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Atlanta secured the game on a 40-yard field goal as time expired. The Giants are now 0-3 on the season, and have lost two games in a row on a walk-off, game-winning field goal by the opponent.

At halftime, former Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning had his #10 jersey retired and was inducted into the team’s “Ring of Honor.”

The Giants out-gained the Falcons in first downs (21 to 18), total net yards (346 to 296), net yards rushing (100 to 69), net yards passing (246 to 227), and time of possession (31:51 to 28:09). The turnover battle was tied with each team losing a fumble that did not lead to points. The Giants were flagged eight times for 53 yards in penalties, however.

The Giants’ defense played well for most of the contest except for the now predictable late collapses at the end of the first half and at the end of the game. The Falcons had six possessions in the first half, with the first four resulting in a total of four first downs and four punts. However, their fifth drive started with 2:09 left in the first half, and the Falcons were able to drive 44 yards in six plays and 36 seconds to score a go-ahead touchdown. The Falcons got the ball one more time before intermission after a turnover, but the Giants defense forced a turnover of its own when linebacker Azeez Ojulari sacked the quarterback and forced a fumble that linebacker Lorenzo Carter recovered.

Not counting the kneel down at the end of the first half, the Giants had five first-half possessions of their own. Two were very long drives. The Giants’ first possession of the game picked up 73 yards on 11 plays; the Giants’ third possession gained 73 yards on 15 plays. The problem was New York settled for two short field goals with both possessions stalling inside the red zone. This gave the Giants a 6-0 lead that they held until the Falcons scored a touchdown late in the half. Then tight end Evan Engram fumbled the ball away at the New York 38-yard line after a 13-yard catch late in the half.

At the break, the Falcons led 7-6.

Neither team scored in the 3rd quarter with both teams punting twice. However, late in this quarter, the Giants did begin a 10-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a go-ahead touchdown by running back Saquon Barkley from one yard out. Quarterback Daniel Jones then ran for a score on the 2-point conversion and the Giants were up 14-7 with just under 13 minutes to play in the game.

Unfortunately, the New York defense could not hold the lead and immediately gave up a 15-play, 72-yard drive to the Falcons that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 14-14 with just over four minutes to play.

With the game on the line, the New York offense picked up two first downs, but stalled at mid-field when Jones was sacked for nine yards on 2nd-and-10. With less than two minutes to play, the Giants punted the ball back to Atlanta.

The result was predictable. Starting at their own 20-yard line, Atlanta easily drove into field goal range with pass completions of 28 and 25 yards on two of their first three plays. The Falcons gained three more yards before kicking the game-winning, 40-yard field goal with no time left on the clock.

Jones completed 24-of-35 passes for 266 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. He also ran the ball eight times for 39 yards and was sacked twice. His leading receiver was Barkley, who caught six passes for 43 yards. Wide receiver Collin Johnson caught five passes for 51 yards and wide receiver Kenny Golladay caught four passes for 64 yards. Barkley carried the ball 16 times for just 51 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, the Falcons were held to 296 total yards and 69 yards rushing. Defensive linemen Austin Johnson and Leonard Williams each had sacks in addition to Ojulari, who forced the fumble that Carter recovered.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

Video of quarterback Eli Manning’s #10 jersey retirement and “Ring of Honor” induction at halftime is also available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants signed WR C.J. Board and OC Jonotthan Harrison to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. The team also placed LB Cam Brown (hamstring) on Injured Reserve.

Inactive for the game were RB Devontae Booker, LB Justin Hilliard, CB Sam Beal, CB Josh Jackson, and Nate Ebner (quad).

LB Blake Martinez (knee), WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring), and WR Darius Slayton (hamstring) all left the game in the first half with injuries and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Joe Judge and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

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

Sep 082021
 
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Nick Gates, New York Giants (August 29, 2021)

Nick Gates – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 8, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants practiced on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Today was the first time the Giants were mandated by the NFL to issue an official injury report.

TE Evan Engram (calf) is the only player who did not practice.

RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), TE Kaden Smith (knee), LT Andrew Thomas (ankle), NT Danny Shelton (neck), LB Justin Hilliard (foot), CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle), and CB Josh Jackson (calf) were limited in practice.

GIANTS RE-SIGN NATE EBNER, OTHER ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have re-signed special teams player/safety Nate Ebner. To make room for Ebner, the team terminated the contract of wide receiver C.J. Board.

The Giants then re-signed Board to the Practice Squad, as well as signing offensive tackle Korey Cunningham to the Practice Squad. To make room for Board and Cunningham, the team terminated the Practice Squad contracts of guard Kenny Wiggins and safety Jordyn Peters.

The 6’0”, 215-pound Ebner was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. In eight seasons in New England, Ebner played in 111 regular-season games with no starts. The Giants signed Ebner as an unrestricted free agent from the Patriots in March 2020. Almost exclusively a special teams player, Ebner only saw limited snaps on defense in five games, finishing with eight tackles and one pass defense.

The 26-year old, 6’6”, 311-pound Cunningham was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He was traded to the New England Patriots in August 2019. The Patriots cut Cunningham in late August 2021. In three NFL seasons, Cunningham has played in 18 regular-season games, with six starts, all with the Cardinals in 2018. He has experience at both tackle positions.

The Giants also waived wide receiver Austin Mack from Injured Reserve with an injury settlement.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Thursday afternoon (12:30-2:30PM). The coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Aug 122021
 
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Niko Lalos and Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (July 29,2021)

Niko Lalos and Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 12, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their 14th full-team summer training camp practice on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

First of all, I appreciate all the fans that came out for Fan Fest last night,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “It was a great experience for our players and as much of a learning experience as well in terms of communication on the field, managing the atmosphere that comes up throughout the game. It’ll be a lesson that we can tie into this week’s preseason game against the Jets. Something we need to build on day in and day out, and even in the regular season, as well. That being said, today is going to be more of a recovery day for our players, back them off after three hard days. We’re going to do more of a situational walkthrough getting ready for playing, end of game situations, as well as things that may come up. Tomorrow, we’ll transition a little more back into a practice, a little lighter than what we’ve had earlier in the week and then we’ll get ready for the game on Saturday.”

INJURY REPORT…
TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR John Ross (hamstring?), and WR Austin Mack (hamstring) did not practice on Thursday.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Today’s practice was light walk-thru in advance of Saturday’s game against the New York Jets.
  • LB Lorenzo Carter was back at practice today with the first-string defense.
  • LB Elerson Smith received his first practice reps of training camp.
  • Former Giants DE George Martin spoke to the team after practice.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media access to the team on Friday. The Giants plays the New York Jets on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium.

Jul 302021
 
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Azeez Ojulari, New York Giants (July 29, 2021)

Azeez Ojulari – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 30, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their third full-team summer training camp practice on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Practices are not open to the public this year.

We’ll work on some third down and some calls,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “Really, our focus still remains on including the foundational base and the fundamentals, building our communication and the chemistry of the units. This is critical as we go to pads next week. We’ve got to make sure that we start this week with a big strong base on fundamentals and keep building our conditioning. We’ll actually peel back the time a little bit today. We are going to try to mirror this as much as we can in terms of the pattern we have in the regular season. We’ve been two hours on the field the first two days. Today, we’ll be about an hour and a half. That generally patterns what we do in the regular season.

“After this, we’ll have a day tomorrow where we’ll actually tone it down a little bit and focus more on teamwork. We’re going to be more at a lesser pace. We call it the ‘Pro Bowl Jog,’ which is what the league officially calls it, but it’s more of a spirited jog through, if you would. A lot of focus tomorrow on review we put in already, what we’re going to put in next week, our communication across the units, and then just trying to build a team operation, breaking a huddle, no huddle, or whatever may come up in that situation.”

INJURY REPORT – UPDATE ON SHANE LEMIEUX…
Starting left guard Shane Lemieux was carted off of the field during practice on Thursday after injury one of his knees. He did not practice on Friday and will continue to be evaluated. “I’d say for the next, call it 24-48 hours, we’ll really kind of understand where he’s at,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “I will say this, I’d say the worst-case scenario looks to have been avoided, we’re happy about that. But, in terms of trying to come out here and try to make a diagnosis on Shane, we’ve got to see where he’s at. But, one thing I take for Shane, he’s kind of like a wild animal. He’d cut his leg off to get through a bear trap if he had to, so him not being out there is kind of driving him nuts. He’s already been in my office today talking about the fastest way to get back and, look, my message to him is always when the trainers say you’re 100 percent healthy to go on the field, we’ll put you on the field.”

In addition, LB Lorenzo Carter (unkown), LB Elerson Smith (unknown), WR Kadarius Toney (COVID), WR Derrick Dillon (unknown), and TE Levine Toilolo (unknown) did not practice on Friday. OL Chad Slade (personal excuse) also did not practice.

WR Austin Mack appeared to pull his left hamstring during practice.

The following players remain on various PUP and reserve lists:

  • Reserve/COVID-19 List: LB Blake MartinezS Joshua Kalu, and TE Rysen John
  • Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), RT Matt Peart (back), OC Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), LB Oshane Ximines (hamstring), and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)
  • Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List: LB Reggie Ragland (hamstring) and LB Ryan Anderson (back)

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Kenny Wiggins continued to start at left guard in absence of Shane Lemieux.
  • The offense and QB Daniel Jones had difficulty completing passes down the field; most completions were underneath routes. (John Schmeelk of Giants.com said this could be by design since the focus last year early in camp was the short passing game).
  • WR Sterling Shepard knocked over CB Adoree’ Jackson on a bubble screen. Jackson did recover a fumble and may have scored on the play in a live game situation.
  • S Logan Ryan picked off a fade pass from QB Daniel Jones to TE Evan Engram in the end zone.
  • LB T.J. Brunson smashed WR Kenny Golladay coming over the middle of the defense.
  • CB Rodarius Williams intercepted a pass in the end zone from QB Clayton Thorson.
  • DB Julian Love, DL R.J. McIntosh, S Montre Hartage, and LB Tae Crowder all broke up passes.
  • Wide receivers C.J. Board and John Ross made some nice catches. Both had touchdown receptions as did WR David Sills from QB Daniel Jones.
  • QB Mike Glennon threw a TD pass to Alex Bachman for a touchdown.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants will hold a walk-thru practice Saturday night (6:30-7:30 PM) at Eddie Moraes Stadium in Newark, NJ. Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media earlier in the day.

Jun 102021
 
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Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (June 8, 2021)

Kadarius Toney – © USA TODAY Sports

JUNE 10, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The third and final day of the New York Giants 3-day mandatory mini-camp was held on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. No live contact is permitted during the mini-camp.

The two remaining Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices will be held on June 14-15, without media access. The players will then be off until reporting to summer training on July 27.

There are going to be a lot of things we talk about today logistically, getting ready for camp,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “Generally speaking, we are going to talk to the team about training, being in shape, making the right decisions off the field. There are a lot of resources for us in this building and it is important for us to stay connected throughout the summer. When they need something, we are always available. Generally that’s the message. We will meet individually with our players by position and find out what their plans for the summer are. We will close out with summer goals, training camp goals. This won’t be the last time we see everybody. We’ll still have OTAs next week on Monday and Tuesday and we will be able to meet extensively with some of the guys here as well.”

GIANTS PLANNING TO HOLD JOINT PRACTICES WITH BROWNS AND PATRIOTS…
Although not officially announced by the team, the New York Giants are planning to hold joint summer training camp practices with two of their preseason opponents: the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots. The joint practices are not expected to take place in New Jersey but at the Cleveland and New England team facilities.

“I am a big fan of (joint practices),” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “I think it’s a great time in training camp to break the monotony, to get some competition against a friendly opponent. With both programs, the Browns and the Patriots, I’ve got great relationships with both coaches, known them both for a sustained period of time. In all of our conversations, I think one of the things you try to find in this are not only teams that are going to schematically help you with some of the things you are going to see throughout the season but most importantly you want to make sure you go out there and have a good, quality practice. The guys are going to compete. You want to make sure you keep it between the lines, the guys are not doing anything dirty, outside the whistle. So it’s important you know the coaches and what kind of program you are going against.

“I think it’s great for the team, it helps you get exposure to different schemes you may not see from your own team in training camp outside having to draw cards or scout teams. It is actually a way to take something off your players at a certain time. You kind of ramp them up and build them the first few weeks of training camp and then when you go ahead and do a cooperative practice with another team, you’ve got to figure it’s no longer the offense is always going, the defense is always going. When our offense is on the field, our defense is on the sideline resting, making adjustments, talking to the coaches and then vice versa, so actually, it breaks it up for them a little.

There are some things that aren’t finalized for training camp. The thought process is it’s a opportunity to get our team on the road through training camp, stay together, but also with the change in the preseason schedule, both organizations thought it would be a good idea to exchange a little bit year by year and that way the fans would have two exposures to really deal with each team. We’ve got two home games this year. We’re fortunate. New England has got the one. Next year it will flip. This will give us an opportunity, especially when we have fans, for our fans to see us exposed against another opponent.”

ABSENTEES AND INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing were WR Kadarius Toney (excused absence due to family emergency), RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), LB Cam Brown (unknown), LB Ryan Anderson (unknown), and RB Taquan Mizzell (unknown).

(Rudolph, Brown, and Anderson) are working on different things right now,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “Kyle is making progress every day and this guy works really, really hard. You can tell he’s a vet. He has a lot of experience. He knows his body very well. He’s in there and he’s opening up the door with the coaches every morning bright and early. He’s an early morning guy. But Kyle has done a great job for us in terms of classes and everything he can do and he’s done a great job right now with our medical staff doing everything to get ready to get back on the field as soon as he can. We’ll see what kind of ground he makes up the next few weeks leading up to training camp but like all our players, we won’t put him on the field until we know he’s fully ready to go out there and play 100 percent… Kyle obviously had the off-season surgery and we have to check with the doctors where they feel he is at a certain point. In terms of the rehab and where he’s going to be, we have to make sure they can build the conditioning and football movement and not just be pain free and make sure he’s structurally safe.”

CB Aaron Robinson (unknown) was limited, being kept out of team drills.

WR John Ross (unknown) and S Josh Kalu (unknown) left practice early.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • There was a heavy emphasis on red-zone passing drills on Thursday.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/1402785080267923461

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

Mar 292021
 
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Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (November 28, 2019)

Kenny Golladay – © USA TODAY Sports

Teams were officially able to begin negotiating with free agents from other teams on March 15. So although it seems as if free agency has been going on for quite some time, we’re only still at the 2-week mark since it began. More signings will continue through the spring and summer, especially as players are cut. That said, the initial free agency rush is over and we can start to make some snap opinions on what the New York Giants have and have not accomplished.

The “need” level I reference was addressed in my March 12th Free Agency Preview for the team.

QUARTERBACKS (Previous Need Level – Medium): For at least one more season, Daniel Jones is the unquestioned starter. The expectation was that the team would re-sign Colt McCoy. However, the Giants surprisingly went in another direction by signing the well-traveled Mike Glennon as Jones’ back-up. Glennon is much bigger (half a foot taller) than McCoy with a much stronger arm. Both complete around 61 percent of their passes and both have started roughly the same number of NFL games. There were media whispers too that McCoy wanted more money than the Giants were willing to pay. On the surface, this appears to be a wash, although the coaches said McCoy was a very good influence on Jones in the meeting rooms. (Mike Glennon YouTube Highlights)

RUNNING BACKS (Previous Need Level – High to Desperate): Some chided my prediction that all three running backs behind Saquon Barkley may not return in 2021, but that appears in fact to be the case. As of this moment, Wayne Gallman, Alfred Morris, and Dion Lewis remain unsigned. So much of the team’s upcoming success will depend on how well Barkley returns from a major knee injury and whether he can stay healthy for a full season. It’s quite telling that the very first player the Giants signed in free agency was the relatively-unknown Devontae Booker to a 2-year, $5.5 million contract. Fan reaction was immediately negative. But it appears the coaching staff simply wanted a veteran back who was a more reliable blocker and receiver than Gallman. Depth behind Barkley still remains shaky as the only other halfbacks on the roster are NFL cast-offs Taquan Mizzell and Jordan Chunn. The Giants also added another fullback/special teams player in Cullen Gillaspia to compete with Eli Penny. (Devontae Booker YouTube Highlights)

WIDE RECEIVERS (Previous Need Level – Desperate): The Giants have significantly upgraded this position with the addition of one player to the tune of a 4-year, $72 million contract. Kenny Golladay is not only a true #1 receiver, but he fills a desperate need that this team had for a physical receiver with size. His presence also allows Darius Slayton to become the #2 and Sterling Shepard the slot receiver, roles that both are far better suited for. From Golladay’s style of play to the team’s extended wooing period to satisfy personality issues, this signing is highly reminiscent of the Giants’ signing of Plaxico Burress in 2005. And Golladay is quite capable of having a Plaxico-type impact on this team. In addition, before the Giants signed Golladay, they signed the 9th overall player taken in the 2017 NFL Draft, John Ross. While Ross did not live up to expectations in Cincinnati, he brings true deep speed to a team that desperately needs it. It would not be shocking to see Ross get cut, but it also would not be shocking for him to press for a starting job opposite of Golladay. In addition to wanting to prove doubters wrong, Ross will rejoin his old college receiving teammate, Dante Pettis, on what had been an explosive University of Washington receiving corps. Overall, the make-up of this unit is far different now than it was just two weeks ago. (John Ross YouTube Highlights)

TIGHT ENDS (Previous Need Level – Desperate): Right or wrong, the front office and coaching staff appear willing to continue to hope Evan Engram develops into the player hoped for when he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft. But the team decided to team him with a mentor. Kyle Rudolph has been one of the NFL’s best tight ends for the past 10 years. While not an explosive player, he can catch and block. Just as importantly, he is reliable, something Engram is not. The downside is that Rudolph turns 32 in November and is coming off a foot injury (The Athletic is reporting it is a Lisfranc injury) that required surgery AFTER the Giants signed him. Much depends on how well he recovers. On paper, if he is healthy, this looks like a major addition both in terms of helping out Daniel Jones and the offensive line. (Kyle Rudolph YouTube Highlights)

OFFENSIVE LINE (Previous Need Level – Medium): This is one area where it is debatable if the team has improved in free agency. The Giants were able to force Nate Solder to take a big pay cut to remain with the team. He will now compete against Matt Peart for the starting tackle spot opposite of Andrew Thomas. The Giants somewhat surprisingly simply cut Kevin Zeitler without approaching him about a pay cut. To fill that void, they signed right guard Zach Fulton, who had an inconsistent stay with the Houston Texans. Fulton will compete with Will Hernandez and Shane Lemieux for a starting spot. Fulton does not feel like an upgrade over Zeitler. Where the team probably did get better is at back-up center with the signing of Jonotthan Harrison back in January. He is a better player than Spencer Pulley. Look for the team to continue to address the offensive line in the upcoming draft.

DEFENSIVE LINE (Previous Need Level – Low to High Depending on Tomlinson): Undoubtedly, the biggest loss the team suffered in free agency was losing nose tackle Davlin Tomlinson to the Minnesota Vikings for what appeared to be a reasonable 2-year, $22 million contract. The Giants re-signed back-up nose tackle Austin Johnson to a 1-year, $3 million deal in anticipation of the loss. Johnson will now have to start at nose tackle or the team will be forced to move Dexter Lawrence from end, or sign a veteran or draft a player. Moving Lawrence seems like an obvious option, but that would have a domino effect in that B.J. Hill would probably then become the new starter at end opposite of Leonard Williams. Thus, what had been a somewhat shaky depth situation becomes even more dubious. The team was extremely fortunate in 2020 that no one got hurt up front. The only back-ups on the roster right now are R.J. McIntosh, David Moa, and Breeland Speaks, the latter signed by the Giants in January. Speaking of Williams, the Giants were able to re-sign him to a 3-year, $63 million deal. There will be tremendous pressure on him to live up to that contract.

(Late Note: The Giants signed 6’2”, 335-pound nose tackle Danny Shelton today. Drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, Shelton was cut by the Detroit Lions and will help fill the void created by the departure of Tomlinson).

LINEBACKERS (Previous Need Level – High): On paper, the Giants lost one free agent (Kyler Fackrell) and signed three (Ifeadi Odenigbo, Reggie Ragland, Ryan Anderson). All three newcomers were relatively inexpensive, 1-year deals. Ragland will likely compete with Tae Crowder for the inside linebacker spot next to Blake Martinez. He has started 38 regular-season games in the NFL and is a former 2nd-round pick so he has a good shot to win that job. Anderson is another former 2nd-round pick who was stuck behind a plethora of outstanding outside linebackers in Washington. He is known more as an overachiever who saw most of his playing time on special teams, but he could surprise as his competition will be Lorenzo Carter (coming off of a torn Achilles), Oshane Ximines (coming off of shoulder surgery), and last year’s rookies (Carter Coughlin, Cam Brown, Niko Lalos). What about Odenigbo? Good question. He was the first defensive player the Giants signed in free agency. He played exclusively on the defensive line in Minnesota, primarily at end, but also shifting inside in pass-rush packages. However, his lack of size (6’3”, 258 pounds) strongly suggests he will be used like “linebacker” Jabaal Sheard was used by the Giants last year, that is, an edge rusher in 4-man pass rush packages. The Giants could also push him inside like the Vikings did in obvious passing situations in 4-man fronts. It is doubtful that he should be considered a true outside linebacker because he simply does not have experience dropping into coverage. Because of that, one could actually argue he should be included in the defensive line review. Also, the Giants did re-sign inside linebacker Devonta Downs, who started at inside linebacker for the Giants in 2020 until Tae Crowder beat him out. He will have to fight just to make the team however.

CORNERBACKS (Previous Need Level – Desperate): Like the wide receiving position, the make-up of this position completely changed with the addition of one free agent, adding Adoree’ Jackson to a 3-year, $39 million contract after he was cut by the Tennessee Titans. Opinions on his play vary, but Jackson is clearly a major upgrade over everyone else on the team’s roster with the exception of Pro Bowler James Bradberry. The former 1st rounder is a physical and aggressive press corner who plays with a lot of confidence. Depth is still a concern, but on paper, the Giants now look like they have one of the better secondaries in the NFL as long as Darnay Holmes continues to develop at slot corner.

SAFETIES (Previous Need Level – Low): While Adrian Colbert and Nate Ebner remain unsigned, the Giants still look to be in decent shape at this position with Jabrill Peppers, Xavier McKinney, Logan Ryan, and Julian Love – the latter two who can also play corner. Depth will be added later in free agency or the draft.

KICKERS/LONG SNAPPER (Previous Need Level – Low to Average Depending on Kreiter): When the Giants re-signed long snapper Casey Kreiter, this position was largely settled other than camp bodies. The only real question is are the Giants looking to upgrade at punter at some point.

SUMMARY: In my March 12th article, I argued this roster was a train wreck. Two weeks later, with the addition of 11 free agents and counting, it feels vastly different. It’s not just the quantity, but the quality. Keeping Leonard Williams was a big deal. Kenny Golladay and Adoree’ Jackson were two of the best, if not the very best, players available at desperate need positions.  If healthy, Kyle Rudolph could be a major addition as a security blanket for both Daniel Jones and the offensive line. Golladay and Jackson will start. Rudolph will be a quasi-starter. John Ross (1st rounder), Reggie Ragland (2nd rounder), Ryan Anderson (2nd rounder), and Zach Fulton might start. Devontae Booker is now the primary back-up behind Saquon Barkely, Ifeadi Odenigbo will add to the pass rush.

The risk? The money. While most of the deals were relatively cheap, the team did dole out $174 million on three players – Leonard Williams, Kenny Golladay, and Adoree’ Jackson. If they are wrong about any of these three, the team will be paying for it for years. We’ve seen that before and it’s one of the major reasons why the Giants have been mired in the basement of the NFL for a decade. One could also argue that the team should have allocated its resources a bit differently in order to keep Dalvin Tomlinson, extending his contract even last year.

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 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.

 

Mar 202021
 
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Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (November 24, 2019)

Kenny Golladay – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN KENNY GOLLADAY
Multiple media outlets are reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver Kenny Golladay (Detroit Lions). The NFL Network is reporting that the contract is a 4-year, $72 million deal that includes $40 million in guaranteed money.

The 27-year old, 6’4”, 214-pound Golladay was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Lions. After a nondescript rookie season, Golladay excelled his next two seasons, catching 70 passes for 1,063 yards and five touchdowns in 2018 and 65 catches for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2019. Golladay missed 11 games in 2020 with hamstring and hip injuries. He finished with just 20 catches for 338 yards and two touchdowns in five games. Golladay combines excellent size and speed and has a knack for beating defensive backs for contested 50/50 balls.

ADOREE’ JACKSON VISITING GIANTS ON SUNDAY…
Multiple media outlets are reporting that free agent cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, who was cut by the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday, will visit the New York Giants on Sunday. He is also scheduled to meet with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.

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.