James Jones – © USA TODAY Sports Images
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Giants Agree to Terms with James Jones as Players Report to Training Camp: All New York Giants players under contract reported to summer training camp on Thursday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. As expected, the only no-show was defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who suffered serious hand and arm injuries from a July 4th fireworks accident and who has yet to sign his 1-year Franchise tender.
According to press reports, the Giants have agreed to terms on a 1-year deal with unrestricted free agent wide receiver James Jones. The 31-year old Jones has played eight seasons in the NFL, seven with the Green Bay Packers (2007-2013) and one with the Oakland Raiders (2014). He has 383 career regular-season receptions for 4,971 yards and 43 touchdowns. Last season, Jones caught 73 passes for 666 yards and six touchdowns.
The first training camp practice will be held on Friday from 2:30-4:30PM. For a complete listing of training camp practices as well as a handy fan Q&A about training camp, see our Training Camp section of the website. Only nine training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:
- Friday, July 31: 2:30 – 4:30PM
- Saturday, August 1: 2:30 – 4:30PM
- Sunday, August 2: 2:30 – 4:30PM
- Monday, August 3: 2:30 – 4:30PM
- Thursday, August 6: 2:30 – 4:30PM
- Sunday, August 16: 5:50 – 7:50PM
- Wednesday, August 19: 5:50 – 7:50PM
- Thursday, August 20: 5:50 – 7:50PM
- Tuesday, August 25: 2:30 – 4:30PM
Giants Place Two Players on PUP List: The Giants have placed offensive tackle Will Beatty (recovering from torn pectoral muscle) and wide receiver Ben Edwards (hamstring) on the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.
July 30, 2015 Giants President/CEO John Mara Press Conference: Giants President/CEO John Mara addressed the media on Thursday (video is available at Giants.com):
Q: Obviously Jason Pierre-Paul is not here, and I would imagine you’re not too thrilled with the circumstances. Can you just give us your feelings on that?
A: I’m disappointed he’s not here. I think this would be the best place for him to be for a number of different reasons. He would have the opportunity to learn the defense, but more importantly, we have the best training staff in the league here. We have access to some of the best doctors in the world, and I think it would be in his best interest to be here for those reasons. As I said the other day, it’s unfortunate he’s not here. I don’t think he’s receiving the best advice. That’s sad as far as I am concerned.
Q: Do you know exactly what his condition is. Have you been allowed to examine him?
A: None of our people have been able to see him or examine him, so we have no idea what type of condition he is in. All we know is what some of his people have told us, but until we see him for ourselves, that doesn’t give us any comfort.
Q: Have you been told that he has an amputated finger?
A: We have been told exactly what you have been told. We don’t know anything more than you know.
Q: The people who you are talking about, is that the agent?
A: I assume that’s the people he is listening to, but I am not sure.
Q: I mean the people that have been in communication with the organization.
A: Yes, that’s correct.
Q: Has anybody spoken to him, or has the conversation all been exchanged via text message?
A: I believe Ronnie (Barnes) spoke with him on the phone. I have exchanged text messages with him. I know Robert Nunn has exchanged texts with him. I don’t know if he has spoken to him personally or not. Tom [Coughlin] (sent) texts, Jerry [Reese], but it has predominantly been text messages.
Q: John, do you have any idea when he will show up here?
Q: How unusual is this?
A: It is pretty unusual. I think, again, I have a lot confidence in our medical staff and our training staff here. I just don’t know why you wouldn’t take advantage of that.
Q: Could he or his camp play his way into you rescinding the tender? By play, I mean not communicating.
A: I don’t think we are going to do anything until we actually see what type of condition he is in.
Q: What makes you believe that he could be worth 15 million dollars for this season considering the physical damage that has been done?
A: He has obviously played at a very high level in the past. He is a rare athlete. Again, until we see him, and see the damage, we are just not going to know that.
Q: John, have you ever been in this situation before. Does this feel different for even you?
A: I can’t recall being in a similar situation.
Q: Do you think it would color your impressions of dealing with him going forward in negotiations?
A: I don’t think so. Listen, he is a great kid, and we love having him around here. He fits in very well, he’s very cooperative. I just don’t know what is going on here. Again, I can only surmise that he is not receiving very good advice.
Q: How do go about planning with so much uncertainty? Do you just have to assume that he is not going to be a part of this team?
A: I think we have to plan on moving ahead without him at this point. Until we see him and make some sort of determination on the condition he is in, I don’t see how we can count on him, certainly not for the opening of the season.
Q: I guess when we looked into how this could possibly play out, apparently at some point you can negotiate the terms of a franchise tag and agree not to put him on NFI [Non-Football Injury]. Has there been any approach by them. Have they said “can we talk” or anything?
A: No. We have no idea what their intention is at this point.
Q: Well, I assume you would be open to–
A: We would be open to discussing anything, but we first need to see him.
Q: Have you guys done any research on this kind of injury, and how do you prepare? You guys obviously have to do what you can to get ready when he comes.
A: You say ‘this kind of injury.’ we don’t how extensive the damage is—that’s the problem. I don’t know how many fingers he has. We know what we have read and what we have been told, but until we actually see the extent of the damage, it is hard to make any type of prediction as to what type of condition he is going to be in.
Q: Have they told you why you can’t get in there to see him?
A: Not as far as I know.
Q: It has got to be all financial, right? He doesn’t have a contract. There has got to be some negotiations going on here. He is a guy without a contract right now.
A: I don’t know, there have been no negotiations with us since this happened, so I don’t know what their thinking is.
Q: Was there an offer on the table beforehand? Is that no longer available to him at this point?
A: We had made an offer to him some time ago, which we never really got a response to. Obviously, that is not on the table right now. Nothing is on the table until we see him.
Q: There is some suggestion that he would be worried about signing the tender and then being put on NFI and being docked pay. Would you be willing to say “show up, and we will pay you”?
A: All of that is negotiable, depending on what the condition of his hand is.
Q: Do you hope that they [Pierre-Paul’s representatives] are hearing what you are saying here since you do not seem to have any other avenue of communication?
A: Yes. Those are the reasons that I am here, other than the fact that I have missed all you so much.
Q: How much does the timing of this hurt you? It was in July. The fact that free agency, there are not those guys out there. How much does it limit what your options are here?
A: It was 14.8 million dollars or whatever it is. It could have arguably been used elsewhere. But listen, our priority and our hope is still that he is going to be able to play, and we will spend that money on him. That is our first wish.
Q: Has it been exclusively Jerry Reese talking to the agent?
A: I believe so. Kevin Abrams may have spoken to him at some point, I’m not sure. It has been mostly Jerry.
Q: Would ownership ever get involved? Would you ever reach out?
A: Possibly, at some point, but I have not done that yet. Jerry has been carrying the message for us.
Q: Have you done that in the past yourself in any other contract situations?
A: Probably on a few occasions, yes.
Q: Have you had any personal contact with Jason?
A: I exchanged texts with him, I would say, within a few days after the accident. I just asked him how he was doing, is there anything we can do for you? He responded almost immediately and said that he is going to be fine. I think the term he used was that it is just a little bump in the road and I will be back as good as ever. He even put a smiley face on there.
Q: Have you expressed your disappointment to him that he hasn’t been here?
A: I have not personally expressed that to him. Our first concern is for his well-being. Is he getting the right amount of medical care and proper therapy? I know he will get that here. I assume he is getting it down there, but I don’t know that for sure.
Q: There has been a lot of talk about the commissioner’s ruling on [Tom] Brady, and that it was upheld. What are your thoughts on the whole thing?
A: I am saddened that it has come to this. We went the two weeks going into the Super Bowl, all we talked about was Deflategate. Now coming into training camp, it is all we are talking about. The commissioner had a very difficult job to do here. At the end of the day, I think he made a decision based on the evidence and the facts that were put before him and without regard to the profile of the player or his personal relationship with the owner. That is what he is paid to do. He did his job here, and you can argue about whether it was fair or unfair, but he had to make a very tough decision under very difficult circumstances and he did it. That is what he is paid to do.
Q: Do you support the commissioner in this?
A: Yes. I have been around him enough to know that his intention is always to try and do the right thing. I don’t always agree with the decisions that he makes, but I know that he tries to do the right thing. I know this was a very unpleasant situation for him here. You are dealing with the best player in the league, you are dealing with an owner who has been as good as any other owner in the league and somebody that he has a close personal relationship with. He had to make a tough decision.Q: And the fact that this player is suing the league has got to be difficult for all the owners.
A: Well, it is. It is just going to drag this thing out into the fall, and that is not good for anybody.
Q: Were you as taken aback as the public was over that particular phrase “I was wrong to put my faith in the league”?
A: I have nothing but the utmost respect for Robert Kraft. I understand he is very emotional about this, and he feels very strongly about it. He is trying to protect his player, and I get that. As I said, I am saddened that it has come to this.
Q: Is it concerning that almost every decision the commissioner has made in the last year has been challenged in federal court?
A: It is. I don’t recall it ever being that way in prior years, but it seems like we’ve come to that now, but so be it.
Q: Have the expectations for this team been altered with injuries to two starters?
A: We’ve lost two starters and we’re not in training camp yet and I don’t remember being in that situation before. I do think we have enough talent here to have a team that can be in the playoffs and we can contend for a championship. That’s what I still believe and that’s what my expectations are.
Q: Do you still believe this is a “win or else” season?
A: You can make that statement every year, this is the NFL. People have expectations, our fans have expectations, and I have expectations. We’ve been out of the playoffs three years in a row, and it’s time to put stop to it.
Q: Has your level of optimism changed in regards to an extension for QB Eli Manning?
A: I think we’ll get it done at some point in time. We’re just going through the usual things that you go through. The agent asks for the moon, we make a reasonable offer, and at some point he’ll come to his senses and we’ll reach an agreement. There’s nothing unusual about this.
Q: Is there any concern from your perspective about getting a Manning deal done before the season starts?
A: I think ideally we would like to have that done, but if it doesn’t, I don’t think that’s going to affect our relationship with him or the fact that we will eventually get it done.
Q: Does it make a difference if the Manning deal doesn’t get done before the season ends?
A: We’d like to have it done before the season is over, but if it doesn’t happen, then I ‘m still confident it’ll get done at some point. We want him to be here and finish his career as a Giant. I’m sure he wants the same thing.
Q: Can you characterize your level of hope for WR Odell Beckham and WR Victor Cruz being healthy?
A: That obviously is an exciting prospect and something we haven’t been able to witness really to a great degree. Victor looks good and I’m hoping that he adds something to this offense and Beckham, the sky’s the limit for him.
Q: Several of your players live in south Florida. With them reporting today, have you been made aware of any having contact with Pierre-Paul?
A: Not to my knowledge.
Q: Do you have any worries about the maturity of Beckham?
A: I think he’s going to be fine. In fact, I understand that he addressed all of our (training camp operations) interns today, so that was a very positive step on his part. He and Victor both did, and I think he’s going to be fine. He’s had a lot of success very early on, so sometimes that does give you cause for concern, but I think he’s smart enough and mature enough to handle it.
Q: Did he address the interns?
A: That’s what I understand. He talked with our (camp operations) interns.
Q: Is there a level of anticipation for you to see Cruz?
A: Sure, I mean you never know for sure until he gets out on the field, and he’s running full speed, and there’s a little bit of contact involved. So yeah, there’s always going to be that but I know he’s very confident in our medical team, he’s very confident about them, so I think he’s going to be back good as ever.
Q: How much have past injuries played a part into you looking at medical advancements and have you done any research?
A: I’ve certainly voiced my concern about the fact that we led the league in injuries the last two years. Nobody likes that around here and we’ve made some adjustments to the off-season program. We’ve got these GPS trackers now. We’re trying to pay as much attention to that as possible, Tom has made certain adjustments to his schedule, and we’ve made some adjustments to the weight room and what they’re doing in there. Hopefully all that will pay off, but we’ll have to see.
Q: Does Coach Coughlin still embrace the old school way of coaching and not sports science?
A: I don’t really think that’s true. I think he’ll be able to tell you more specifically than I can. We have made changes. Tom does see we need to do that. I think in a perfect world for him, we’d be back to two-a-days and all sorts of contact, and everything, but that was a different world back then. We’re not in that world anymore. I believe he has embraced that and does see that we need to make changes going forward, because he’s not happy about the fact that we had so many injuries the last two years.
Q: Do you view your recent changes with sports science as catching up to the competition because some teams may have gone to it earlier?
A: I don’t know how much earlier, maybe a few teams may have done that. One thing about Tom is that he is more flexible than he’s given credit for. When he see’s something that’s out there that’s working, he wants to investigate it. Again, nobody is happy about the number of injuries that we’ve had, and we’re trying to do something to stop it. I think some of it has been bad luck with the broken bones and things. I don’t know what you do to prevent that, but sometimes injuries are going to happen in this sport. Some of the soft tissue injuries that I think that maybe are a little more avoidable, we’ve taken some steps to address that. We’ll see if they work or not.
Q: If you could boil your message down to one thing to Jason Pierre-Paul, what would it be?
A: Come home. We miss you.
July 30, 2015 Head Coach Tom Coughlin Press Conference: Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the media on Thursday (video is available at Giants.com):
Coughlin: Welcome to camp. Some of you don’t look in as good of shape as you should be. We’ll take care of that as we go along.
Q: No fines, I hope?
A: There will be. Shortly.
Q: Assume all your guys did alright in the conditioning test?
A: Their body weights were good and this test, which was simply to make sure that they had been doing what they were supposed to be doing. They looked fine.
Q: Was everybody here other than Jason Pierre-Paul?
Q: Looks like you changed up the conditioning drill this year.
A: We did.
Q: Was that part of the studies that they did?
A: That and a little bit more teeth into the drill. Little more emphasis on the conditioning part of it coming back.
Q: John Mara stated that the message he wants to send to Jason Pierre-Paul is ‘come home. We miss you.’ Do you echo his statement?
A: That’s been the message all along, really. It’s hard to believe that he couldn’t get here and take care of an awful lot of issues rather than what they’re doing. But, again, I’ve not spoken with him and very few people here have.
Q: Have you texted JPP?
A: I did. Right away, I did.
Q: Have you texted JPP recently?
A: Right away, I did.
Q: Could you right away and recently, also?
A: But I didn’t do it recently, I did it right away.
Q: Is there still no response?
A: No, there is no response.
Q: Has any of this—the injury or the aftermath—soured your relationship with JPP or will he be welcomed back if he ever does choose to return?
A: Well, I hope he chooses to return. Hey, we’re all concerned about the young man, first and foremost, but it is difficult to extend this concern when we feel like he should be here. But as far as souring, that’s not going to sour anything. I am concerned about him as a young man and anxious to know exactly what he’s dealing with, and then we will know what we’re dealing with.
Q: Other than Will Beatty, do you have anyone else going on PUP?
A: I think (Ben) Edwards, the young receiver, will have to go on.
Q: Victor Cruz does not?
Q: What kind of green light does Cruz have tomorrow?
A: I’m sure we will have to limit and build him up, but he’ll be out there.
Q: How about Odell Beckham Jr. in the same respect?
A: Same idea. Yep.
Q: What is your level of expectation for his team this year?
A: I expect them to work hard. I expect them to compete like heck. Hopefully, we will remain intact and be able to put on the field the team that we have assembled right now, and then if we can get everybody to buy into the team concept, and we can progress along those lines. I feel good about today, but we take it one day at a time.
Q: Will Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz be (limited) for all of training camp or do you need to see where they are and gauge before you have a plan?
A: I hope they can practice all the time. I’m sure there may be some time when they have to have some recognition in terms of number of snaps, but that’s probably going to be the way it goes anyways. We’ll monitor all the players under the existing system that we have and try to get a gauge on exactly where they should be for each style of practice that we present.
Q: Walter Thurmond commented that, ‘Tom Coughlin may not be as into sport science.’ What is your reaction to that?
A: I have no comment.
Q: Have you made any changes this year?
A: Sure, we have.
Q: Anything in particular?
A: You’ll see.
Q: Is the recovery stretch still something that we will see or the intermissions?
A: Sure. Recovery stretch, you’ll see.
Q: Were those changes hard to make given that you only have them on the field for a certain amount of minutes a day?
A: No. Again, coming from where I’m coming from, it’s not a question anymore about what we used to do. It has to be what’s best for the current times, and this seems the way to go.
Q: You brought in Jake Long recently for a second visit. What was your impression and where do you stand on that?
A: Well, he is obviously a player coming off of a very serious injury. He’s made progress and that’s where it stands
Q: Do you feel like you still need to make a move there?
A: We’re going to check every player that is available that may, in any way, help our team. Will be evaluated and, if so, brought in and given a physical and worked out. For every player that comes along that we think can help us, that would be the case.
Q: Marshall Newhouse played right tackle in the spring. Do you expect to see that here and moving forward?
A: Well, sure. To start out, for sure. Then see how the progress goes on his part and the other linemen that we have assembled.
July 30, 2015 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at BigBlueInteractive.com or Giants.com: