Jan 042021
 
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Xavier McKinney, New York Giants (January 3, 2021)

Xavier McKinney – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 2021 OPPONENTS SET…
The New York Giants’ 2021 opponents have been mostly set:

Home:

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

Away:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • Chicago Bears

The NFL will reportedly add a 17th regular-season game. If so, the Giants are expected to play a team from the AFC East. If the match-up is determined by division ranking, it will be the Miami Dolphins.

The league’s 2021 schedule will be announced in the spring.

NEW YORK GIANTS TO PICK 11TH IN 2021 NFL DRAFT…
The New York Giants now hold the 11th pick in the 1st round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

GIANTS RE-SIGN 15 PLAYERS…
The Giants have re-signed two exclusive rights free agents and 13 players to reserve/future contracts.

The two exclusive rights free agents are OT Jackson Barton and CB Madre Harper. Barton spent the entire year on the 53-man roster, but was only active for one game. Harper played in nine games for the Giants this year.

The 13 reserve/future players are:

  • QB Clayton Thorson
  • QB Alex Tanney
  • RB Taquan Mizzell
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • TE Rysen John
  • OG Chad Slade
  • OG Kenny Wiggins
  • DT David Moa
  • LB Trent Harris
  • CB Jarren Williams
  • CB Quincy Wilson
  • S Montre Hartage
  • LS Carson Tinker

All 13 of these players finished the year on the team’s Practice Squad.

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:

Dec 222020
 
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James Bradberry, New York Giants (October 22, 2020)

James Bradberry – © USA TODAY Sports

JAMES BRADBERRY AND EVAN ENGRAM VOTED TO PRO BOWL…
New York Giants cornerback James Bradberry and tight end Evan Engram have been selected to the Pro Bowl. This is the first time either player has received this honor. The actual game will not be played due COVID-19.

Bradberrry, who joined the Giants as a free agent in the offseason, has started 13 games this year, missing last week’s game due to his exposure to someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. He has been credited with 48 tackles, 17 pass defenses, and three interceptions.

“It’s a surreal feeling,” Bradberry said. “That’s on everyone’s, I wouldn’t call it a bucket list, but it’s on their goal list, to be Pro Bowl, to be All-Pro, just be the best in the game. I try not to think about it too much. I just try to go out there and play my best and just let the chips fall where they may.

“It definitely means a lot that I made it. I try not to put too much emphasis on it beforehand because I just felt like it was something I couldn’t control. The one thing I can control is how I play on the field, and that’s what I try to control. But, of course, I wanted to be a Pro Bowler, so it feels good to be recognized as one.”

Engram was drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Giants. This year, he has started 12 of the 14 games he has played in, being credited with 54 catches for 572 yards and one touchdown.

“I’m really just truly thankful,” Engram said. “Just blessed and thankful for just the whole process that I’ve been through. This past year has been hard for literally everybody. Me and my mom were talking about it this weekend.”

ROSTER MOVES…
New York Giants cornerback James Bradberry has been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 List. He missed last Sunday’s game due to his exposure to someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Giants have also re-signed safety Montre Hartage to the Practice Squad. Hartage has alternated between the Giants’ Practice Squad and the 53-man roster a couple of times this year. Hartage originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Hartage off of waivers from the Dolphins in April 2020.

Dec 192020
 
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Bret Bielema, New England Patriots (November 3, 2019)

Bret Bielema – © USA TODAY Sports

BRET BIELEMA LEAVES GIANTS FOR ILLINOIS…
New York Giants Outside Linebackers Coach Brett Bielema has left the coaching staff to accept a position as head coach of the University of Illinois. Inside Linebackers Coach Kevin Sherrer will assume Bielema’s responsibilities and will be assisted by defensive assistant Jody Wright.

“We always want to be supportive of our coaches and players in terms of advancing their careers,” said Head Coach Joe Joe Judge. “We appreciate everything Bret did for this organization and our coaching staff. He did he a great job with our outside linebackers and made a significant impact on our overall defensive effort. Bret is a great teacher, and he brings great perspective on how he sees the game. We wish him all the best at the University of Illinois. The Illini program is in great hands.”

NEW YORK GIANTS MAKE SIX ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have made the following six roster moves:

  • Safety Montre Hartage was waived.
  • Safety Adrian Colbert was activated from Injured Reserve.
  • Quarterback Joe Webb was signed to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.
  • Quarterback Clayton Thorson was activated from the Practice Squad as a COVID-19 (temporary) replacement for cornerback James Bradberry.
  • Cornerbacks Jarren Williams and Quincy Wilson were activated from the Practice Squad as standard (temporary) elevations.

Hartage has alternated between the Giants’ Practice Squad and the 53-man roster a couple of times this year. Hartage originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Hartage off of waivers from the Dolphins in April 2020.

The Giants placed Colbert on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury in early November 2020. Colbert was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Colbert has spent time with the 49ers (2017-2019), Seattle Seahawks (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Kansas City Chiefs (2020). The Giants claimed Colbert off of waivers from the Chiefs in early September 2020. He has played in 30 regular-season games with 19 starts, accruing 74 tackles and eight pass defenses.

Webb was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He has spent time with the Vikings (2010-2013), Carolina Panthers (2014-2016), Buffalo Bills (2017), Houston Texans (2018-2019), and Detroit Lions (2020). Webb has played in 102 regular-season games with four starts, completing 90-of-159 passes (56.6 percent) for 888 yards, three touchdowns, and six interceptions. He also has caught 10 passes in his career and returned 18 kickoffs.

The Giants signed Thorson to the Practice Squad in late September 2020. Thorson was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles cut him in August 2019 and he was then signed to the Practice Squad of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys cut him in early September 2020.

The Giants signed Williams in early August 2020 after he was waived by the Arizona Cardinals and signed him to the Practice Squad in early September 2020. Williams was signed by the Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Giants signed Wilson to the Practice Squad in November 2020. Wilson was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He has spent time with Colts (2017-2019) and New York Jets (2020). Wilson has played in 32 regular-season games with 11 starts, accruing 59 tackles, 8 pass defenses, and 2 interceptions.

SECOND GIANTS COACH TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19…
The New York Giants have announced that offensive assistant Stephen Brown has tested positive for COVID-19. Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett tested positive earlier this week and will miss Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

Dec 132020
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (December 13, 2020)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

ARIZONA CARDINALS 26 – NEW YORK GIANTS 7…
The New York Giants got their collective asses kicked by the Arizona Cardinals 26-7 on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the loss, the Giants fell to 5-8 on the season.

The statistical domination was total. The Cardinals out-gained the Giants in first downs (22 to 10), total net yards (390 to 159), net yards rushing (159 to 78), net yards passing (231 to 81), and time of possession (37:52 to 22:08). The Giants also lost the turnover battle 3 to nothing.

To say the Giants’ offense struggled would be an understatement. Quarterback Daniel Jones returned to the starting lineup after missing a game due to a hamstring injury, but he clearly was not healthy. Jones only completed 11 of 21 passes for 127 yards. He was sacked six times, losing 52  yards in the process. His back-up, Colt McCoy, was also sacked twice. No-name Cardinals linebacker Hasson Reddick set a single-game franchise record with five sacks and forcing three fumbles.

The tone was set on New York’s first drive. After picking up two first downs and reaching midfield, Jones was sacked by former Giants linebacker Markus Golden on 2nd-and-10. Jones fumbled on the play and Golden recovered the football and returned it 30 yards to the New York 9-yard line. The Giants’ defense did stop the Cardinals on 4th-and-goal. That was the high point of the game for New York.

New York went three-and-out on their second drive, but the Giants’ special teams gave up a 24-yard punt return to the Giants’ 38-yard line. The Cardinals gained 22 yards in six plays to set up a 34-yard field goal. Cardinals 3 – Giants 0.

After two punts by the Giants and one by the Cardinals, Arizona extended their lead to 6-0 after driving 34 yards in 11 plays to up a 34-yard field goal. Matters got quickly worse when running back Dion Lewis fumbled on the ensuing kickoff return. The Cardinals recovered at the New York 21-yard line. Quarterback Kyler Murray threw a 7-yard touchdown pass on 3rd-and-goal to give Arizona a 13-0 advantage.

Both teams had two more possessions before intermission, but neither scored. The Cardinals continued to lead 13-0 at halftime.

Arizona received the football to start the 3rd quarter. They immediately drove 77 yards in 11 plays to go up 20-0. The Giants responded with their only scoring drive of the game. After a 39-yard pass from Jones to wide receiver Golden Tate, Lewis scored from one yard out to make it 20-7.

After that, it was all Cardinals. The Giants only gained two first downs for the rest of game, punting three more times and fumbling the ball away again on their last possession. While the Cardinals also punted twice, they added two more field goals to comfortably extend their lead to 26-7. The game was never in doubt.

Video lowlights are available on Giants.com.

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
On Friday, the New York Giants placed cornerback Madre Harper on Injured Reserve with a knee injury. To fill that roster spot, the Giants signed safety Montre Hartage from the Practice Squad.

The Giants signed Harper off of the Practice Squad of the Las Vegas Raiders in late September 2020. This year, he has played in nine games, mainly on special teams.

After spending time with the Giants in training camp, the Giants re-signed Hartage to the Practice Squad in late October 2020. He was signed to the 53-man roster in November and moved back to the Practice Squad earlier this month. Hartage originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATION, INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
CB Jarren Williams was activated from the Practice Squad for this game.

Inactive for the game were CB Darnay Holmes (knee), WR Dante Pettis, OT Jackson Barton, OL Kyle Murphy, DE R.J. McIntosh, and LB T.J. Brunson.

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.

Dec 022020
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (November 29, 2020)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

DECEMBER 2, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
QB Daniel Jones (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday.

“Really, we’re waiting to hear a lot of feedback from the trainers, to be honest with you,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “(Jones) came in today, deep in the playbook and ready to work. We’ll see some stuff with the trainers today. Today is going to be kind of a practice work hybrid structure. Some early practice, individual and group periods. Then we’re going to have kind of a team walk-thru on the back-end today after some conditioning. We’ll kind of see what he’s able to do, and that will really help us plan out more tomorrow and Friday going forward.”

“I’m not sure (if I could play today),” said Jones. “I think, luckily, there’s not a game today and to think of a hypothetical here, I’m sure we all use the week to prepare our bodies to play on Sundays. That’s part of the schedule and the way it works for all of us, so I’m not sure. My goal is to continue to improve throughout the week.”

WR Darius Slayton (shoulder/foot), WR Sterling Shepard (toe/shoulder), LB David Mayo (knee), and S Nate Ebner (knee) were limited in practice.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have re-signed safety Montre Hartage and place kicker/punter Ryan Santoso the Practice Squad. Both were waived from the 53-man roster on Tuesday.

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 New York Giants practice on Thursday afternoon (12:15-1:45PM). Head Coach Joe Judge, the team’s coordinators, and select players will also address the media.

Dec 012020
 
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Kyler Fackrell, New York Giants (October 11, 2020)

Kyler Fackrell – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have placed linebacker Kyler Fackrell on Injured Reserve with a calf injury that he suffered in Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Fackrell had played in all 11 games this year, with eight starts. He had accrued 30 tackles, three sacks, and one interception that he returned for a touchdown. Fackrell will have to miss at least three games before he is eligible to return to the 53-man roster.

Tight end Kaden Smith, offensive tackle Matt Peart, and wide receiver/return specialist Dante Pettis were activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 List. They are eligible to return to practice on Wednesday. All three were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List on November 20th.

The Giants waived safety Montre Hartage and kicker/punter Ryan Santoso. Hartage has been on both the 53-man roster and Practice Squad this season, playing in one game. Santoso was signed last week off the Practice Squad as insurance in case place kicker Graham Gano was unavailable for the Cincinnati game. Gano was on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, but was activated Saturday.

Rookie free agents wide receiver Derrick Dillon and tight end Nate Wieting were terminated from the Practice Squad.

NEW YORK GIANTS ASSISTANT COACHES ADDRESS THE MEDIA…
A video clip compilation of the media sessions with the following New York Giants assistant coaches on Tuesday is available at Giants.com:

  • Quarterback Coach Jerry Schuplinski
  • Running Backs Coach Burton Burns
  • Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert
  • Tight Ends Coach Freddie Kitchens
  • Offensive Line Coach Dave DeGuglielmo
  • Defensive Line Coach Sean Spencer
  • Outside Linebackers Coach/Senior Assistant Bret Bielema
  • Inside Linebackers Coach Coach Kevin Sherrer
  • Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Wednesday afternoon (12:30-2:10PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Nov 132020
 
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Devonta Freeman, New York Giants (October 4, 2020)

Devonta Freeman – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS MAKE SIX ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed running back Alfred Morris, offensive lineman Kyle Murphy, and defensive back Montre Hartage from the team’s Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

The Giants signed Morris to the Practice Squad in late September 2020. He’s played in the last two games for the Giants, carrying the ball 17 times for 95 yards. Morris was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with the Redskins (2012-2015), Dallas Cowboys (2016-2017, 2019), San Francisco 49ers (2018), and Arizona Cardinals (2019).

The Giants signed Murphy as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. Murphy was a 3-year starter in college with experience all along the offensive line.

Hartage originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Hartage off of waivers from the Dolphins in April 2020 and waived/injured Hartage in early September 2020 with a hamstring injury. The Giants re-signed him to the Practice Squad in late October.

The Giants placed running back Devonta Freeman on Injured Reserve with ankle and hamstring injuries. The Giants signed Freeman in late September 2020. He played in five games for the Giants with four starts, carrying the ball 54 times for 172 yards and one touchdown. Freeman also caught seven passes for 58 yards. Freeman was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons cut Freeman in March 2020.

The Giants have also waived tight end Eric Tomlinson and offensive guard Kenny Wiggins.

The Giants signed Tomlinson as an unrestricted free agent from the Las Vegas Raiders in March 2020. He has spent time both on the 53-man roster and Practice Squad this year, playing in only one game. Tomlinson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Eagles (2015), Houston Texans (2015-2016), New York Jets (2016-2018), Giants (2019), New England Patriots (2019), and Raiders (2019).

The Giants signed Wiggins in early November 2020 after he was cut by the Detroit Lions. The 6’6”, 315-pound Wiggins was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2011), San Francisco 49ers (2012-2013), San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2013-2017), and Lions (2018-2020).

NOVEMBER 13, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
RB Devonta Freeman (ankle/hamstring) did not practice on Friday. He was placed on Injured Reserve soon after.

WR Sterling Shepard (toe/hip), WR Golden Tate (knee), and CB Isaac Yiadom (calf) were limited in practice. Golden and Yiadom are “questionable” for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Shepard is expected to play.

TE Kaden Smith (concussion) fully practiced.

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…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The team plays the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Oct 272020
 
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Corey Coleman, New York Giants (November 18, 2018)

Corey Coleman – © USA TODAY Sports

OCTOBER 27, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Although an official injury report was not issued, RB Devonta Freeman (ankle) and WR C.J. Board (concussion) did not practice on Tuesday.

CB Darnay Holmes (neck) and S Adrian Colbert (shoulder) were limited, wearing red non-contact jerseys.

CB Brandon Williams , who was placed on Injured Reserve in late September with a groin injury, returned to practice. Williams was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. In four seasons with the Cardinals, Williams played in 45 regular-season games with three starts, accruing 38 tackles and five pass defenses. He missed all of 2019 with a shoulder injury. The Giants signed him in late August 2020 and he played in two games for the team in September. He is primarily a special teams player.

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The Giants have signed linebacker Trent Harris from the team’s Practice Squad to the 53-man roster. Harris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Practice Squad of the Patriots. The Miami Dolphins claimed Harris off of waivers in September 2019. He played in 11 games with three starts with the Dolphins, accruing 20 tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Dolphins cut him in early September 2020 and the Giants signed him to the Practice Squad on October 14th.

The Giants also terminated the Practice Squad contract of center Javon Patterson, who was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL  Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts waived him on September 5th.

The Giants re-signed wide receiver Corey Coleman, tight end Rysen John, and safety Montre Hartage to the Practice Squad.

Coleman was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He had brief stints with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots in 2018 before signing with the Giants in October of that year. The Giants placed Corey Coleman on Injured Reserve in July 2019 with a torn ACL knee injury and cut him in early September 2020.

John and Hartage were waived/injured in early September with hamstring injuries. John was an undrafted rookie free agent signed by the Giants after the 2020 NFL Draft. Hartage originally signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft and the Giants claimed him off of waivers in April 2020.

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

Coach Judge also broke down game film for fans. See video on YouTube.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Wednesday and return to practice on Thursday. The assistant coaches will be available to the media on Wednesday.

Sep 052020
 
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Ryan Connelly, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Ryan Connelly – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53 PLAYERS…
On Saturday, in order to meet the NFL’s 53-man roster limit, the New York Giants made the following 29 roster moves:

Waived or contracts terminated:

  • QB Cooper Rush
  • QB Alex Tanney
  • RB Tavien Feaster
  • RB Sandro Platzgummer
  • WR Johnny Holton
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • WR Derrick Dillon
  • WR Austin Mack
  • WR Binjimen Victor
  • TE Eric Tomlinson
  • TE Garrett Dickerson
  • OL Jon Halapio
  • OL Eric Smith
  • OL Tyler Haycraft
  • OL Kyle Murphy
  • DL Chris Slayton (2019 7th-round pick)
  • DL Daylon Mack
  • DL Niko Lalos
  • LB Ryan Connelly (2019 5th-round pick)
  • LB Josiah Tauaefa
  • CB Grant Haley
  • CB Brandon Williams
  • CB Dravon Askew-Henry
  • CB KeiVarae Russell
  • CB Jarren Williams
  • CB Prince Smith
  • CB/S Chris Williamson (2020 7th-round pick)
  • S Montre Hartage (waived/injured with hamstring injury)
  • LS Carson Tinker

On Friday, the Giants also placed WR David Sills (fractured right foot) on Injured Reserve. Players placed on Injured Reserve before the cut-down date are done for the season.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will establish their 16-man Practice Squad on Sunday. The players are off on Sunday and return to practice on Monday.

Jun 152020
 
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Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants (September 29, 2019)

Jabrill Peppers – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp hopefully 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. Keep in mind that some of the players discussed may be cut as the 2020 NFL draft class signs their rookie contracts.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Backs

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW: Heading into 2019, fans were generally upbeat about a secondary that was clearly in transition. The Giants had heavily invested in the position by drafting corners Deandre Baker (1st round), Julian Love (4th round), and Corey Ballentine (6th round) in the 2019 NFL Draft. At safety, the team had effectively swapped out Landon Collins (signed by Washington Redskins) and Curtis Riley (signed by Oakland Raiders) for Jabrill Peppers (part of Odell Beckham trade) and Antoine Bethea (signed after he was cut by the Arizona Cardinals). It was expected that Janoris Jenkins would rebound from a somewhat disappointing 2018 season and that Sam Beal (who missed his rookie season due to a shoulder injury) and Grant Haley (who started nine games as an undrafted rookie) would develop and improve. Michael Thomas provided depth and special teams value.

But it was a case of the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. Once again, the Giants were one of the NFL’s worst in pass defense, finishing 28th. In the “you can’t make this shit up” category, the team’s best defensive back, Jenkins, was cut in December after calling a fan a “retard” on Twitter. Baker started 15-of-16 games as a rookie, but was very inconsistent with his work ethic being questioned. Nickel corner Haley regressed and was eventually benched. The injury-prone Beal was placed on IR in September with hamstring and groin injuries, added to the 53-man roster in early November, and missed the last game with another shoulder issue. Ballentine had to deal with being shot right after he was drafted and then being thrust into a nickel corner spot that he was clearly ill-suited to play.

At safety, despite being told by team officials that Bethea still had it, he clearly did not and was a significant liability at free safety both against the pass and the run. Peppers did not make much of impact and was lost for the season in November as his overall play was improving. Michael Thomas played in all 16 games with two starts but clearly wasn’t the answer. Julian Love was moved from cornerback to safety early. He ended up starting five games late in the season, flashing at times but also experiencing growing pains as a rookie.

Overall, the unit was a collective disappointment and a major reason the overall defense finished 25th in yards and 30th in points allowed.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: As mentioned, Janoris Jenkins was waived in December. S Michael Thomas was signed by the Texans and CB Antonio Hamilton was signed by the Chiefs. Safety Antoine Bethea remains an unsigned unrestricted free agent.

Grant Haley was re-signed as an exclusive rights free agent in January. The first player the Giants signed in free agency in March was CB James Bradberry (3-year, $43.5 million contract). S/special teams player Nate Ebner (UFA from Patriots) and CB Dravon Askew-Henry (cut by Steelers last year) were also signed.

The Giants drafted S Xavier McKinney (2nd round), CB Darnay Holmes (4th round), and CB/S Chris Williamson (7th round) in the 2020 NFL Draft. After the draft, rookie free agent additions included CB Christian Angulo, CB Malcolm Elmore, and S Jaquarius Landrews. S Montre Hartage was claimed off of waivers from the Dolphins after the draft as well.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: There is a lot going on here and thus each fan probably has their own top story line. Clearly, one is the offseason drama surrounding 2019 1st-round draft pick Deandre Baker, who may or may not make it to training camp depending on the outcome of his offseason legal troubles (four counts of armed robbery and four counts of armed aggravated assault with a firearm from a bizarre incident in Florida). My personal belief is that the Giants were counting on Baker to form a solid starting CB duo alongside high-priced James Bradberry. Will Baker even be a Giant in 2020? If he is, will he be suspended by the team or the NFL? Did he get scared straight and will he commit himself to the game? If Baker is not part of the equation, the pressure increases to find his replacement among Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, Darnay Holmes, and possibly Julian Love. Are they up to the task? Can Beal stay healthy? Is Love athletic enough to handle corner at the NFL level? Will Ballentine shine more at outside corner rather than inside at nickel?

Speaking of the nickel spot, one would think the Giants would want Holmes to nail down the position if the rookie can handle it. But there are others possibly in the equation, including Love and maybe Williamson.

At safety, it would appear that Jabrill Peppers and Xavier McKinney will have the inside shot at starting, but the coaches may want to configure packages to get Love on the field as either a third safety or additional corner. Depth is still needed here with Sean Chandler (holdover from 2018/2019), Rashaan Gaulden (added late in 2019), Montre Hartage, Chris Williamson, and Jaquarius Landrews all competing to make the roster.

Big picture is this: for the past three seasons, the Giants have invested a tremendous amount of resources into the defensive backfield, including a trading for a former 1st-round pick (Peppers); spending $43 million on a corner in free agency (Bradberry); and drafting players in the 1st (Baker), 2nd (McKinney), 3rd (Beal),  4th (Love, Holmes), 6th (Ballentine), and 7th (Williamson) rounds. It’s time for the investment to deliver returns and for the Giants to get out of the NFL basement in pass defense.

ON THE BUBBLE: There are currently 18 defensive backs on the roster. Probably only nine or ten will make the final roster. The only sure bets are probably Bradberry, Holmes, Peppers, Love, and McKinney. Baker obviously isn’t safe. Beal has to prove he can be a reliable player.

PREDICTIONS: So much here depends on the new coaching staff, not just Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham but Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson, the latter coming from Atlanta where his unit struggled at times. It’s also interesting to note that Pat Shurmur holdover Anthony Blevins was moved from assistant special teams coach to assistant defensive backs coach. These three men have to develop all of the talent that been acquired in recent years.

In addition, so much depends on the legal and emotional status of Deandre Baker. He was (and still may be) and important piece of the puzzle. The expectation is that versatile Xavier McKinney, who many felt was the best safety in the draft, will be able to handle the starting free safety spot as a rookie.

My prediction is that if Baker is available and truly focused (two big ifs), this unit could be poised for a big turnaround. There were games last year where Baker did shut down his opponent. He can do it. But how important is the game to him? Usually you can’t count on a person to change their ways, but if anything was going to scare Baker straight, facing a long prison sentence might do the trick. Bradberry should be able to more than adequately handle the other corner spot, replacing Jenkins with less drama. The nickel corner should improve with Holmes, Love, or maybe Williamson an improvement over Haley and Ballentine.

At safety, the closer Peppers plays to the line of scrimmage, the more impact he makes. The drafting of McKinney should enable the coaching staff to play Peppers in a role best suited to his skills. I would not be shocked to see packages that get Peppers, McKinney, and Love all on the field together.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: James Bradberry, Deandre Baker, Sam Beal, Darnay Holmes, Corey Ballentine, Jabrill Peppers, Xavier McKinney, Julian Love, Nate Ebner, Chris Williamson

I’m making some bold assumptions here: Baker being a Giant, Beal staying healthy, and Ballentine and Williamson showing enough to stick. Ebner is strictly a core special teams player who Joe Judge obviously targeted in free agency to lead his unit.