Jul 112018
 
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Sam Beal, Western Michigan Broncos (September 2, 2017)

Sam Beal – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS DRAFT SAM BEAL IN SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT…
The New York Giants have drafted cornerback Sam Beal (Western Michigan) in the 3rd-round of the Supplemental Draft. By drafting Beal now, the Giants forfeit their 3rd-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. This is the first time the Giants have selected a player in the Supplemental Draft since safety Tito Wooten in 1994.

Beal was widely considered the best player available in the Supplemental Draft since wide receiver Josh Gordon was selected by the Browns in 2012. He was also projected by some to be a top-five corner in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Beal combines good body length (6’1”, 185 pounds) and overall athleticism (4.5 in the 40-yard dash). He’s a smooth, natural cover corner who can flip his hips and has quick feet. Beal does need to improve his run defense.

“We feel like we’re getting our third-round pick now,” said General Manager Dave Gettleman. “We discussed it at length yesterday, and had a great conversation. We basically had a draft meeting in the office, with people on the speaker phone who had seen him. It was a very thorough conversation.

“We’re very, very excited about getting Sam in the draft. He’s long, he’s very athletic for a corner, he has all the physical skills, he can carry the vertical, he has very good play speed, he shows instincts out there, he has ball awareness, he doesn’t panic when the ball is thrown at his guy, and he is a very willing tackler. We just feel it gives us a really talented young kid with the ability to ascend.”

To make room for Beal, the Giants waived cornerback Kenneth Durden. The Giants signed Durden in June 2018. He was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Raiders’ Practice Squad before being cut in September 2017. The Tennessee Titans then signed him to their Practice Squad and cut him in October 2017.

ARTICLES…

Jun 182018
 
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Alex Tanney, Davis Webb, Eli Manning, and Kyle Lauletta; New York Giants (June 12, 2018)

Alex Tanney, Davis Webb, Eli Manning, and Kyle Lauletta – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Quarterbacks

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: 2017 was one of the worst seasons in the almost 100-year history of the New York Giants. No one escaped the carnage, including arguably the best quarterback in franchise history. Regardless of the extenuating factors, Eli Manning saw his numbers decline for the second year in a row. In comparison with his 2015 statistics, Manning saw a precipitous fall in passing yards (from 4,432 to 3,468), touchdowns (from 35 to 19), and QB rating (from 93.6 to 80.4). The Giants offense was 21st in yardage, 19th in passing yardage, and 31st in scoring. And it just wasn’t the numbers. Manning seemed off. Saddled with a poor supporting cast, he was jumpy in the pocket and missed too many open receivers.

But as bad as all of that was, 2017 will always be remembered for the year that Eli Manning got benched by his since-fired head coach who never really seemed to have his back. It was not so much the decision to sit Manning for an early December game when the team was 2-9, but the way he was benched. Ben McAdoo announced the decision matter-of-factly while John Mara and Jerry Reese hid. And a tearful Manning was left to address a frenzied New York press corps in front of his locker with teammates laughing in the background. Worse, the Giants did not use the benching to evaluate their 3rd-round draft pick, Davis Webb, but handed over the reins to persona non grata Geno Smith. Predictably, a pissed-off fan base erupted. What was astonishing was this reaction seemed to shock team brass who quickly kowtowed by firing Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese and re-inserting Manning as starter right after the Geno Smith-led Giants lost to the Oakland Raiders. The Giants then proceeded to lose three of their last four games and finish the year 3-13. In summary, the season was a shit show.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Unsurprisingly, the Giants made no effort to re-sign Geno Smith. The Giants passed on Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. But they did select Kyle Lauletta in the 4th round. The Giants also signed free agent Alex Tanney after the draft.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: For better or worse, ownership, the new general manager, and the new head coach have made it clear over and over again that the 37-year old Eli Manning is not only the established starter heading into 2018, but possibly beyond. So in a matter of a few months, Manning went from the bench to being untouchable. If one were being truly objective, it appears a bit odd that the New York Giants believe so strongly that a clearly declining, 37-year old quarterback on a 3-13 team has another Super Bowl run in him. Their evidence? The December 17th loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The pressure is on Manning. The Giants have changed an offensively-minded head coach for the second time in three years. They fired the GM. They brought in three new starters on the offensive line. They added a premier running back with the #2 pick in the draft to go along with Odell Beckham, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard on offense. The excuses are running out. Eli is a $22 million per year QB who hasn’t played like one in quite some time.

While Pat Shurmur is a West Coast Offense guy, his offense will be more vertical and use more play-action than his predecessor. The Giants will run the football more. All of this should help. Yet, in an era where teams are moving more and more to athletic quarterbacks, Eli remains a bit of an old-school dinosaur whose lack of mobility clearly impacts the overall offense. Manning must compensate with better toughness, pocket awareness, decision-making under duress, and accuracy. Can he shake off the gun-shyness and inaccuracy that plagued him in 2017? Can he get his mojo back?

With an inevitable transition looming – whether it be in one, two, or three years – comes the second major storyline: is the heir apparent currently on the roster? The contenders are Davis Webb and Kyle Lauletta. Webb has the arm, frame, and work ethic teams look for. Lauletta lacks the arm and ideal height, but may have a better feel for the game. He also had the inherent advantage that he was drafted by the team’s new general manager and head coach. Both, one, or neither may have an NFL future. Can either really replace a living legend when the time comes? Or will the Giants rue the day they passed on Darnold, Rosen, or Allen?

ON THE BUBBLE: Barring and injury or the unlikely event the Giants trade Davis Webb, the Giants will go into 2018 with Manning, Webb, and Lauletta as the quarterbacks. Alex Tanney is simply a camp arm.

FROM THE COACHES: Pat Shurmur on Eli Manning: “He looks great. He’s doing great…He is a joy to coach… I’m always surprised at how smart he is and at how things, I don’t want to say come easy to him because he studies, but he has a great feel for the game and that great feel for the game is backed up by a heck of a lot of work, and so when you have that combination, a guy that can really see the game and then a guy that really works at it, then I think the sky is the limit.”

Shurmur on Davis Webb: “I think he has improved every day. I think he’s got an outstanding skillset. I mean, big, strong, can throw… He can run around and he’s gotten more and more comfortable with what we’re doing. So, he’s made steady improvements through this spring.”

Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula on Kyle Lauletta: “He has a nice calmness about himself that if things don’t go exactly how they are drawn out on the board, his mind works pretty fast so far and he finds the next guy, gets through his progressions. He has a good feel for anticipation and touch and things like that, so I think he’s off to a good start. ”

PREDICTIONS: Eli Manning will always be a controversial sports figure. He’s a legitimate two-time Super Bowl MVP who played at an elite level during two miraculous playoff runs. But take away those two runs, and his career looks more mundane and based on longevity. Most Giants fans will long wonder what could have been had the Giants personnel department (exacerbated by a series of career-impacting injuries to key players) not squandered his years after 2011. But Eli is responsible for half of the team’s Super Bowl hardware. Period. And for better or worse, and whether or not the motivation is based on guilt or fear of fan reaction, the Giants hierarchy is going to give him another chance in 2018 and probably 2019, the latter being the final year of his current contract.

My best guess is that Eli rebounds with a strong season in 2018, but one that still causes fans to debate whether the team is foolishly postponing the inevitable by not making the quarterback transition sooner. My wish is that he proves us all wrong and has one more magical run in him with the Giants. At the very least, he will have an opportunity to finish his Giants career on better terms than 2017.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Eli Manning, Davis Webb, Kyle Lauletta

Jun 122018
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (May 29, 2018)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

JUNE 12, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The first day of the New York Giants 3-day mandatory mini-camp was held on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. All 90 players on the current roster were present.

“All right, so first day of mandatory mini camp,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “I told the players this and really it’s the case, it’s really OTA 11 in my mind because anytime they come on the field with their helmets on, it’s about the ball, it’s about the ground and it’s about getting yourself better. They handled today just like they have the other OTAs, so good work, was very competitive. You saw at the end there – everyday we do a situation and today was the two-point play and the defense did a good job with those two-point plays today.”

The mini-camp will continue with practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (recovering from ankle surgery) has been cleared to practice. On Tuesday, he participated in individual and walk-thru drills, but not team drills. He also fielded punts after practice.

“He ran maybe three or four routes, but he looks good coming out of his breaks,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “From what I have seen, he looks sharp and ready to go.”

Safety Landon Collins (recovering from offseason arm surgery) wore a non-contact jersey and did not participate in full-team drills.

Defensive linemen Josh Mauro (unknown) and R.J. McIntosh (unknown) and linebacker Avery Moss (unknown) did not practice.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The first-team offensive line was left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Will Hernandez, center Jon Halapio, right guard Patrick Omameh, and right tackle Ereck Flowers.
  • The second-team offensive line was left tackle Nick Becton, left guard John Greco, center Brett Jones, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Chad Wheeler.
  • The starting safeties were Andrew Adams and Curtis Riley.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Cody Latimer for a redzone touchdown against cornerback Janoris Jenkins and safety Curtis Riley.
  • Fullback Shane Smith made a nice catch in the flat, tipping the ball to himself and then heading up-field.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb overthrew wide receiver Roger Lewis, Jr. but then came back with a nice throws to wide receivers Travis Rudolph and Kalif Raymond.
  • Wide receiver Marquis Bundy made a nice play on an underthrown pass by quarterback Kyle Lauletta.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas went 8-for-8 on field goal attempts, many of them from long distance.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley toasted linebacker B.J. Goodson on a wheel route and quarterback Eli Manning hit him downfield for the touchdown.
  • Wide receiver Sterling Shepard beat cornerback Eli Apple along the sideline and made a nice catch on a pass from quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple, cornerback Donte Deayon, linebacker Mark Herzlich, and defensive lineman D.J. Hill all broke up passes. Late in practice, safety Curtis Riley, safety Orion Stewart, and linebacker Thurston Armbrister broke up 2-point conversion attempts.
  • Defensive back Curtis Riley made a nice break-up of a sideline pass intended for wide receiver Hunter Sharp.
  • Wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo made a number of nice plays, including beating cornerback Eli Apple.
  • Notes and observations from minicamp practice (6/12) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com
  • Who stood out at Giants minicamp? (6/12) by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

B.J. HILL SIGNED…
The New York Giants have signed defensive lineman B.J. Hill, one of their two 3rd-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, to a 4-year contract. The only two remaining unsigned draft picks are running back Saquon Barkley (1st round) and defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (5th round).

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed free agents tight end Scott Simonson, offensive tackle Jarron Jones, and cornerback Kenneth Durden. The team also waived offensive tackle Tyler Howell and waived/injured cornerback Aaron Davis (hamstring) both rookie free agents who were signed after the 2018 NFL Draft.

The 26-year old, 6’5”, 255-pound Simonson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2014 NFL Draft. The Raiders waived him in June 2015 and he was then signed by the Carolina Panthers. He spent all of 2017 on Injured Reserve with a back injury. Simonson has played in 18 regular-season games with one start. He has one catch in his NFL career.

The 24-year old, 6’6”, 320-pound Jones was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. A collegiate defensive tackle, the Giants moved him to offensive tackle, but cut him in early September 2017. Jones then spent time on the Practice Squads of the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys in 2017. The Cowboys waived him in May 2018.

The 26-year old, 6’1”, 180-pound Durden was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Raiders’ Practice Squad before being cut in September 2017. The Tennessee Titans then signed him to their Practice Squad and cut him in October 2017. Durden has not played in a regular-season game.

GIANTS AND LIONS TO HOLD JOINT PRACTICES IN AUGUST…
The New York Giants and Detroit Lions will hold joint training camp practices at Detroit’s headquarters and training facility in Allen Park, Michigan on August 14-16. The two teams play a preseason game on Friday, August 17 at Ford Field.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Tuesday 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:

ARTICLES…

May 312018
 
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Saquon Barkley and Eli Apple, New York Giants (May 29, 2018)

Saquon Barkley and Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICES #5 AND #6…
The Giants held their fifth and sixth voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practices on Wednesday and Thursday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

The practices were not open to the media, but Giants.com provided the following summaries of the action:

The four remaining OTA practices will be held on June 4-7. There will be media availability for the June 4th practice. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 12-14.

ARTICLES…

May 102018
 
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Paul Perkins, New York Giants (October 3, 2016)

Paul Perkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS WAIVE PAUL PERKINS…
The New York Giants have waived running back Paul Perkins with a non-football injury. The team says Perkins suffered a pectoral injury prior to the start of the team’s offseason strength and conditioning program. The injury required surgery.

Perkins was drafted by the Giants in the 5th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. After a respectable rookie season, Perkins had a very disappointing sophomore season in 2017. Perkins saw both his playing time and productivity markedly decline.

In 2016, Perkins played in 14 regular-season games with one start (regular-season finale). He also started the playoff game. Perkins finished the 2016 regular season with 112 carries for 456 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and 15 catches for 162 yards (10.8 yards per catch).

In 2017, Perkins started the first four games, but then suffered a rib injury and lost his starting job to Orleans Darkwa. He played in 11 games and finished the year with 41 carries for 90 yards (2.2 yards per carry). He also caught eight passes for 46 yards.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Exclusive Giants.com interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • TE Rhett Ellison (Video)
  • DL Dalvin Tomlinson (Video)
  • LB Avery Moss (Video)

ARTICLES…

May 072018
 
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Ryan Murphy, New York Giants (December 24, 2017)

Ryan Murphy – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS WAIVE FIVE PLAYERS…
The New York Giants have officially waived the following players:

  • RB Terrell Watson
  • WR Canaan Severin
  • OG Damien Mama
  • S Ryan Murphy
  • P Austin Rehkow

The Giants signed Watson to a reserve/futures contract in January 2018. Watson originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with Bengals (2015), Cleveland Browns (2016), Denver Broncos (2016), Philadelphia Eagles (2016), and Pittsburgh Steelers (2017).

The Giants signed Severin in August 2017 after he was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers, waived him before the season started in September, and then re-signed him to the Practice Squad in late December. Severin was originally signed by the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Giants signed Mama off of the Practice Squad of the Kansas City Chiefs in December 2017. He did not play in a regular-season game. Mama was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Chiefs after the 2017 NFL Draft. The Chiefs waived him in their final round of cuts in early September and then signed him to the Practice Squad.

Murphy was signed to the Practice Squad in September and the 53-man roster in December 2017. He played in the last three games of the season as a back-up and was credited with just one tackle. Murphy was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks waived him in their final round of cuts in September 2015. He spent time on the Practice Squad of the Denver Broncos in both 2015 and 2016. The Giants signed Murphy to the Practice Squad in late December 2016.

The Giants signed Rehkow to a reserve/futures contract in January 2018. Rehkow was signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. The Bills waived him in August that year.

ARTICLES…

May 022018
 
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Alex Tanney, Tennessee Titans (August 12, 2017)

Alex Tanney – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN ALEX TANNEY AND A.J. FRANCIS…
The New York Giants have officially signed free agent quarterback Alex Tanney, who was cut by the Tennessee Titans on Monday. The 30-year old, 6’4”, 220-pound Tanney was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2012 NFL Draft. The well-traveled Tanney has spent time with the Chiefs (2012), Dallas Cowboys (2013), Cleveland Browns (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Titans (2014), Buffalo Bills (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), and Titans again (2015–2017). Tanney has only played in one regular-season game, coming off the bench for the Titans in 2015.

The Giants have also officially signed defensive tackle A.J. Francis, who was cut by the Washington Redskins on Monday. The 27-year old, 6’5”, 327-pound Francis was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Miami Dolphins after the 2013 NFL Draft. Francis has spent time with the Dolphins (2013), New England Patriots (2013), Dolphins again (2013–2015), Seattle Seahawks (2015), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2016), and Redskins (2016–2017). Francis has played in nine regular-season games with no starts.

ARTICLES…

Apr 252018
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (May 6, 2016)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports Images

APRIL 25, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The second day of the New York Giants 3-day “voluntary” mini-camp was held on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Like on Tuesday, the only players under contract who appeared to be missing were offensive tackle Ereck Flowers, defensive tackle Damon Harrison, and safety Landon Collins (who had surgery on Monday), and offensive lineman Laurence Gibson. The mini-camp will conclude on Thursday.

“I thought, for the most part, the guys competed (yesterday),” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur before Wednesday’s practice. “There were some good plays, there’s some bad plays. I thought their attention to detail was pretty good. We did some good things throwing and catching. I thought the defense defended and stripped a couple of balls, which was good. When you watch a practice, I think sometimes you’ve got to be careful assigning blame to the good, the bad and the ugly because as you go through practice, there are mistakes that get made and there are reasons for it and that’s why you practice. So that you can go back in and clean them up and attempt to get better the next day. So, a good first day. As you just watched, we had our walk-through. The attention to detail has been good and we’ll try to add to it a little bit today. We’re going to add some high red zone stuff. The red zone is certainly, in my opinion, the most important part of the field. So, we get it going and all of the preparation early, so we’ll do it today and tomorrow.”

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Wednesday were wide receiver Odell Beckham (recovering from ankle surgery), safety Landon Collins (recovering from arm surgery), running back Paul Perkins (arm in a sling), and linebacker/defensive end Avery Moss (unknown).

“(Perkins has) got a sore arm,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Cody Latimer received first-team reps at wide receiver.
  • Michael Thomas and Curtis Riley started at safety. Darian Thompson and Andrew Adams were the second-team safeties.
  • Wide receiver Sterling Shepard made a nice catch between defenders on a strike from Eli Manning.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb rolled out and connected with wide receiver Keeon Johnson on a nice sideline catch.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon made a diving attempt at an interception on a pass from Davis Webb, but the ball passed through his hands.
  • Running backs Jonathan Stewart and Wayne Gallman dropped passes.
  • Davis Webb continues to have accuracy issues on deep passes, but he also threw three red zone TD passes, two to tight end Jerell Adams and a third to wide receiver Travis Rudolph.
  • Linebacker Alec Ogletree intercepted a tipped pass from Eli Manning.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Cody Latimer in the corner of the end zone. Apple had a good practice.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’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:

DEE HARDISON PASSES AWAY…
Dee Hardison, who played defensive end for the New York Giants from 1982 to 1985, passed away on Saturday of heart failure at the age of 61.

ARTICLES…

Apr 112018
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (August 26, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS PRESEASON OPPONENTS ANNOUNCED…
The 2018 preseason opponents for the New York Giants have been announced. Specific times have not yet been released.

  • August 9-13: Cleveland Browns
  • August 16-20: at Detroit Lions
  • August 23-26: at New York Jets
  • Thursday, August 30: New England Patriots

The team’s 2018 regular-season opponents are listed in the Schedule section of the website.

ARTICLES…

Apr 092018
 
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New York Giants Helmet (October 15, 2017)

© USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS OFFSEASON PROGRAM BEGINS…
The New York Giants offseason program began on Monday, April 9th, kicking off the 9-week “voluntary” program that by NFL rules is broken into three phases:

  • Phase One (Two Weeks): Consists of activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
  • Phase Two (Three Weeks): Consists of on-field workouts that may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
  • Phase Three (Four Weeks): Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s OTAs will be held on May 21-22, May 24, May 29-31, and June 4-7. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 12-14.

GIANTS RE-SIGN BRETT JONES…
New York Giants center/guard Brett Jones has signed his 1-year, $2.914 million restricted free agent tender. Jones took over the starting center spot for 12 games in 2017 after Weston Richburg was lost for the season.

Jones was originally drafted by the CFL Calgary Stampeders in 2013 and named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Rookie” after that season. Jones was also named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman” in 2014. He signed by the Giants in February 2015 and placed on Injured Reserve in September 2015 after spraining the MCL in his knee on the preseason finale. In 2016, Jones was on the active roster for 14 regular-season games and made one start at left guard, but left the game very early with an injury.

ORLEANS DARKWA VISITS PATRIOTS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent running back Orleans Darkwa is visiting the New England Patriots. The somewhat injury-prone Darkwa only missed one game in 2017 with a back issue and had his best season as a pro, starting 11 games and finishing with 171 carries for 751 yards (4.4 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 116 yards. In his previous three seasons, Darkwa had started only two games carried the ball just 75 times for 287 yards and four touchdowns.

Darkwa was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in four games in September before being waived in October and signed to the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants signed him off of Miami’s Practice Squad in November 2014.

PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Monday:

Opening Statement: We’re looking forward to having the guys back. I can only speak for us as coaches, it just gives us an opportunity to work with the players again and set a new direction heading into 2018. As you know, the first couple weeks here is basically strength training for the players, although we also will be able to meet with them. We are going to meet with them obviously as a team and then offensively, defensively, in terms of special teams and try to just kind of set a foundation and get going as we approach our first extra mini camp, which will be the three days leading up to the draft. It’s exciting to get back to work, it’s obviously great to see the players back in the building. I have my first team meeting with the players here at 9:15. We kind of schedule it where we have a lifting group, we sort of meet in the middle and then we have another lifting group, so at 9:15 will be my first time to address the team. I’m looking forward to it and I’ll try and answer some of your questions.

Q: You said before that the mini camp before the draft would be a showcase for Davis Webb. How are the reps going to work out between him and Eli Manning?

A: We’re working on that. Obviously Davis, with only two quarterbacks in the building, they’re obviously going to share the reps.

Q: What is the overall gist of the message you will send to the team when you address them this morning?

A: The idea is and, again, I’ll save it for when I talk to the team. But for the most part, we’re trying to get things started, take advantage of the extra time we have and we want to grow away from basically what happened a year ago, the 3-13 season. We want to grow away from that and try to grow into a team that’s competing to win a division, compete in the playoffs, and then hopefully hold up that fifth Lombardi trophy. That’s what we’re trying to do and just try to get better one day at a time, and I think it’s important for all the players to understand that getting better by themselves, it’s just as important for us to get better together, and I think that’s the beauty of being able to work together here.

Q: How important is it for all of the guys to be in the building for the entire offseason program?

A: We understand how this is structured here in the offseason, but it’s certainly important. In my mind, it’s important for everybody to be around so they can hear it, learn it and then do it together. This is the ultimate team game and we need to work together because it’s important that we are all on the same page as we move toward the fall.

Q: How important is it for Odell Beckham to be there for the duration of the program?

A: I think it’s all players. All players, it’s good and I think it’s important that they’re here working together.

Q: Have you seen Odell yet?

A: He is in the building. I have not seen him yet, but I know he’s in the building.

Q: Did you get a chance to talk to Odell after everything that came out of the meetings in Orlando and what was your message there?

A: Yeah, I’ve communicated with him and certainly that communication is between me and him.

Q: You said that you talked to him about all things non-football related. Did you ask him if there were drugs in the video?

A: Again, that’s private between Odell and myself, but we talked about the video.

Q: Were you worried about how all of the trade rumors might affect Odell?

A: I’m not worried about it. I really believe that Odell is a professional and he wants to be great. He understands the importance of the offseason and he’s a competitive guy and, again, we had already started communicating before all that information kind of got out there and was talked about a great deal. He’s a professional and I’m glad he’s here today.

Q: Do you have any idea where Odell is physically?

A: With the players back in town, certainly we are going to assess where they all are in terms of physically and medically, and I’ll have more information as we approach the end of the week.

Q: What have been your impressions of the potential offers for Odell Beckham in the trade market?

A: Yeah, that’s the business. I’m the coach, so I’m just going to worry about trying to get each and every player and each and every coach as good as they can be, and I’ll focus on that part of it.

Q: How anxious are you to finally be able to talk football with the guys and specifically talking with Odell about your vision of what he can do in your offense?

A: It’s exciting, and obviously being this is the first opportunity to visit with the players, we just start to formulate our systems and our plans and really our vision for what we want our players to do. I would say this, this is what we as coaches look forward to. I can see as I look out my window here that the grass is starting to green up and the players are around and this is just naturally the time of year where we get back to work. It’s an exciting time for coaches and players, and we’re just looking forward to getting it started.

Q: What are some of the biggest changes that the players will notice when they arrive and see the Pat Shurmur Giants here in the building for the first time?

A: That’s probably a better question for them. I certainly have learned in the last couple of months how things were done in the past and there are some changes that I’ll let them discuss those with you. But, I think what’s important is — listen, this is a game that we all love to play, most great players love the training aspect of the game and getting better and being a little bit uncomfortable and working through that, and I think that’s part of where we’re at. I think anybody, when there is a new coach and a new general manager and some new players, there are some changes that they expect to see, but I think that is probably a better question for them as they move forward. I just think it’s very important that we’re very professional, we communicate well together and then there is going to be a transfer of information. I think we as coaches need to listen to the players, but also teach what we want them to know and then let them tell us what they’re seeing so that we know how we have to teach it further. That’s what we’re looking forward to, is the communication and then watch these guys develop also physically as they go through the weight lifting and the running.

Q: What has Odell told you about his attendance going forward after today?

A: Yeah again, I know he’s in the building. We haven’t had a chance to speak. I’ll speak to him a little bit more later, probably this afternoon. But we haven’t discussed that.

Q: Do you view Odell showing up today as a commitment by him showing that he wants to be a Giant long term? And in addition, would you like to see management use this as an opportunity to get a contract done with him soon, so that it doesn’t remain a distraction?

A: I’m not overthinking this. This is the first day of work, this is the first opportunity for all of us to be here together and I think it’s important that Odell is here and I’m looking forward to him getting one day better by being here and I’m looking forward to him inspiring some of his teammates to get better because he’s here and he’s a terrific player and I think we can all learn from one another. Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to the players challenging me to grow, so that we can grow towards some of the things that we were talking about earlier.

Q: You have a couple of former players that are on your coaching staff. What will they bring to the table in terms of relating with the players?

A: Well, we all have playing backgrounds. Obviously guys that have played in the NFL that are now career coaches, I think they bring some credibility to the room that the players can really, I guess, hang on to a little bit. The important thing though for an ex-player is they have to decide, they have to cross that bridge between player and coach, and I’m very fortunate that I have some guys here that are now really developed into career coaches, so I’m looking forward to really them working with our players. I think obviously if you coach this game and you’ve developed some credibility as a coach, certainly some of it comes from your days as a player and then it obviously continues your days as you coach through the profession. It’s important and staffs tend to be diverse. We all have different backgrounds and I think it’s important to put together a staff of guys that all come from different places.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

ARTICLES…