New York Giants Rumors & News

Extra Points: Forte, Raji, Cowboys, Bears, Bucs

Soon-to-be ex-Bears running back Matt Forte will be “lucky” to get more than $4MM annually on his next contract, sources tell Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Forte, 30, was informed earlier today that he won’t be re-signed by Chicago, so he’ll be looking for a new club when free agency begins month.

That new club could be in New York, writes Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, as either the Jets or Giants could show interest in Forte. The Jets have far less cap space (as Seth Walder of the New York Daily News noted earlier today), but more of a need at running back, as Chris Ivory is expected to move on. The Giants, meanwhile, possess a great deal of cap room, but aren’t as good a fit for Forte.

Let’s take a look at more from around the league:

  • Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji called the new three-year deal signed by teammate Letroy Guion “well-deserved,” but admitted he’s not sure if – or how – it affects his potential future with the team, writes Ryan Wood of PackersNews.com. Green Bay has not yet initiated contract talks for Raji, the free-agent-to-be tells Wood.
  • The Cowboys‘ extensive search for Jerome Henderson‘s replacement continues, as Alex Marvez of FOX Sports tweets that Dallas interviewed Buccaneers cornerbacks coach Gill Byrd for the team’s defensive backs coach position. Byrd joins Mike Gillhamer, Steve Brown, Joe Baker, Tim Lewis, and Mike Nolan as candidates who have spoken to the Cowboys about the secondary coach job.
  • Former Rutgers offensive coordinator Ben McDaniels is headed back to the NFL, as he’ll join the Bears‘ offensive staff, per Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated (no word on McDaniels’ official title). McDaniels, the brother of Patriots play-caller Josh McDaniels, had previously worked with both the Buccaneers and the Broncos.
  • The Buccaneers seem intent on bringing in competition for kicker Connor Barth, as Tampa worked out Josh Scobee, Nate Freese, Mike Meyer, and Cameron Starke today, tweets Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. Barth converted 23-of-28 field goal attempts in 2015, with two of those misses coming from beyond 50 yards.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Giants’ Jay Bromley Won’t Face Charges

FEBRUARY 12: Bromley’s attorney Alex Spiro said today that his client “has been officially cleared of all wrongdoing,” according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (via Twitter). A high-ranking police official confirmed to Rocco Parascandola and Shayna Jacobs of the New York Daily News that Bromley won’t face charges: “He’s not going to be charged. There’s no criminality.”

The Giants defensive tackle steadfastly denied his accuser’s allegations throughout the investigation, and a report last week suggested investigators uncovered “significant discrepancies” in the story told by the accuser. The NFL could still conduct its own investigation into the incident, but if Bromley is formally cleared of all wrongdoing by police, he should avoid discipline from the league.

JANUARY 30: Police are looking into a claim made by a woman alleging Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley attempted to rape her early Saturday at a hotel in New York, Thomas Tracy of the New York Daily News reports.

The 23-year-old Bromley picked up a woman he’d met on Instagram before they checked into a Midtown hotel room. After the woman performed oral sex on Bromley, sources within the police department told Tracy “something took place that she didn’t want to take place.”

The 26-year-old woman claimed Bromley, a third-round draft choice who finished his second year with the Giants, tried to rape her. Bromley hasn’t been charged.

A Giants spokesman said the team is aware of the situation.

We have notified the league office per the league’s protocol,” a Giants spokesman said in a statement. “We will have no further comment as we understand this is an ongoing investigation.”

Sources also indicate the woman, after Bromley refused to comply with her demand to drive her home, jumped on the hood of his car as he drove before falling off shortly after and injuring her knees and legs. She was admitted to an area hospital around 4 a.m., Tracy reports.

A Syracuse product, Bromley started four games for the Giants this season and appeared in all 16, making 19 total tackles.

NFC Notes: Mathieu, Lions, Panthers

A January report indicated that getting an extension done with Tyrann Mathieu will be a top priority for the Cardinals this offseason, and GM Steve Keim confirmed as much during an appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7FM on Thursday (link via Adam Green of ArizonaSports.com).

It’s hard to say that that we’ll be able to get something done for sure, but we certainly have that goal in mind and there’s no doubt that this organization wants Tyrann Mathieu to be a fixture here for years, Keim said.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • The Lions are set to hire Broncos offensive assistant Brian Callahan as their new quarterbacks coach, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (via Twitter). With Jim Bob Cooter having been promoted from QBs coach to offensive coordinator in the fall, Detroit needed someone to fill his old role.
  • The Panthers are making some changes to their special teams staff, with Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer tweeting that the club has parted ways with assistant ST coach Russ Purnell, and Marvez tweeting that Curtis Fuller will return to a defensive role rather than helping out with special teams in 2016. According to Person and Marvez (Twitter links), Buccaneers ST coach Kevin O’Dea, 49ers ST coach Thomas McGaughey, and former Panthers linebacker Chase Blackburn are getting interviews for spots on Carolina’s special teams staff.
  • Marvez also reports (via Twitter) that the Giants are hiring Jeff Zgonina as their assistant defensive line coach, which should complete Ben McAdoo‘s staff.
  • The Panthers were one game away from a championship this past season, but GM Dave Gettleman vows he’ll remain patient this winter when it comes to making roster decisions, and won’t force any moves in an effort to get the team over the top. Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review has the details and the quotes from Gettleman.
  • Despite one report suggesting he hopes to land a $5MM annual salary, it would be an upset if tight end Zach Miller leaves the Bears this offseason, says Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com. Dickerson doesn’t predict a potential price tag for Miller, but suggests he’d be next in line for a larger role if the team trades or cuts Martellus Bennett.

NFC Notes: Lynch, Seahawks, Packers, Giants

Let’s take a quick spin around the NFC:

  • Despite Marshawn Lynch‘s indication on Twitter that he is planning to retire — and his agent’s subsequent confirmation — some Seahawks don’t believe that the veteran running back intends to hang up his cleats, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), who reports that some Seattle players believe that Lynch will have interest in returning to the field after he presumably skips offseason work. Of course, if Lynch doesn’t officially file retirement papers, the Seahawks are likely to release him, so staying with Seattle might not be an option.
  • The Packers might need to revamp their offensive line in the coming calendar year, as three starters — guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang, and left tackle David Bakhtiari — as well as key reserve J.C. Tretter, are all set to hit unrestricted free agency after the upcoming season, as Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes. With the group’s impending free agent status in mind, general manager Ted Thompson was “glued” to offensive line drills at the Senior Bowl, a source tells Silverstein, who notes that besides finding potential future starters, Green Bay need to bring in offensive line depth after injuries depleted the front five last season.
  • After the Giants released a trio of veteran players — tackle Will Beatty, guard Geoff Schwartz, and linebacker Jon Beason (who subsequently announced his retirement) — Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News takes a look at who could replace each of the departed. The club is probably set at left tackle, where 2015 first-rounder Ereck Flowers played all last season, and figures to do again in 2016. But at guard, Vacchiano points to Kansas City’s Jeff Allen as a free agent who cold intrigue Big Blue, while at linebacker, Denver’s Danny Trevathan (and his expensive price tag) might be on the Giants’ radar.

Justin Tuck Announces Retirement

FEBRUARY 11: During an appearance on Big Blue Kickoff Live, Tuck said he plans to sign a one-day contract to retire as a Giant, tweets Lance Medow of the Giants’ Radio Network.

FEBRUARY 1: After playing 11 NFL seasons, veteran defensive end Justin Tuck has decided to call it a career, according to Mike Garafaolo of FOX Sports, who reports that Tuck will be retiring. The 32-year-old confirmed his decision on Facebook, and in comments to Garafolo.Justin Tuck

“It’s been like a tug of war, and finally the rope broke,” Tuck said of his decision on whether or not to end his playing career. “And where I fell was retirement.”

Tuck’s final NFL season in 2015 was cut short due a torn right pectoral muscle, which landed him on the injured reserve list last October. Unlike Ravens wideout Steve Smith, who reconsidered his plan to retire once he suffered a season-ending surgery, Tuck isn’t determined to play one more healthy season before moving on to the next stage of his career — even though he thinks he’s capable of doing it.

“Physically, I feel like I can play with the best of them,” Tuck said. “It’s hilarious I got hurt on the most fluky play ever, but it’s part of it and maybe that was God trying to tell me something. I’m looking forward to being able to do something else.”

A third-round pick back in 2005, Tuck didn’t play much for the Giants during his first two seasons, but racked up 10 sacks as a part-time player in 2007, and then earned All-Pro honors in 2008, when he recorded 12 sacks and three forced fumbles. The Notre Dame product, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants, contributing to a pass rush that helped limit Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense during those games, spent nine years in New York before spending the last two with the Raiders.

For his career, Tuck appeared in 147 total regular-season games, including 127 for the Giants. He totaled 66.5 career sacks, getting into double-digits in four separate seasons, including his final year with the Giants in 2013. The two-time Pro Bowler also picked up 5.5 sacks in the postseason, with four of those sacks coming in Super Bowls against the Pats.

Despite enjoying his time in Oakland, Tuck, who would have been a free agent this offseason, admitted that a return to the Giants might have been the only scenario in which he continued his career in 2016. However, the Giants made his decision easier when they made a coaching change at season’s end.

“If Coach (Tom) Coughlin would’ve come back another year, I probably would’ve (considered) coming back,” Tuck told Garafolo. “I didn’t even venture down that road. I think I would’ve given a lot of consideration to it.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Hire Ex-Lions GM Martin Mayhew

The Giants have added a former general manager to their front office today, announcing in a press release that they’ve hired Martin Mayhew as their director of football operations/special projects. It’s Mayhew’s first job since the Lions let him go from his GM position in November.Martin Mayhew

According to the Giants’ announcement, Mayhew will work closely with assistant general manager Kevin Abrams on cap issues and contract negotiations. Mayhew will also handle special projects assigned by GM Jerry Reese.

The Lions and Giants essentially completed a swap of front office executives, since Mayhew is replacing former Giants director of football operations Matt Harriss. The Lions signed Harris, who is expected to play a significant role in managing the team’s salary cap, as their VP of football administration last month.

Mayhew, who was named the Lions’ permanent GM in 2008, spent 15 years in total with the franchise, and had his ups and downs during his time in Detroit. The team earned postseason berths in 2011 and 2014, but never made it out of the first round during Mayhew’s tenure as GM, and finished below .500 in all of his non-playoff seasons.

Before he was hired by the Giants, Mayhew also interviewed for the Titans’ general manager job in January, and was reportedly considered for a football operations job in the Browns’ front office.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Rumors: Spence, Jack, Cowboys

Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence is an interesting prospect with one of the more unique “red flag” situations in this year’s class. Spence, a former star at Ohio State, was dismissed from the Buckeyes after two positive tests for ecstasy. In 2015, Spence shined for the Colonels, but he’ll now have to answer questions about his history. They say that honesty is the best policy, and that’s exactly the approach that the defensive end will be taking heading into the draft, as Tony Pauline writes for PhiladelphiaEagles.com.

Last year, cornerback Marcus Peters wound up being a first-round pick of the Chiefs despite his own off-the-field issues. Peters’ strategy was to accept just about every interview and visit request from NFL teams and Spence will be taking a page out of his book. It’s probably not a coincidence that Peters and Spence share the same agent.

Here’s more on the NFL Draft, courtesy of Pauline:

  • Decision makers have indicated to Pauline that UCLA’s Myles Jack will go “very early” in the draft. Pauline admits that he, personally, is not a fan of the linebacker, but NFL decision makers are referring to Jack as a “rare athlete.” There are concerns about his size, but scouts are quick to point to Shaq Thompson, the Panthers first round pick in 2015, as an example of a player who was not held back by his statue. Jack, they say, is also a much better prospect than Thompson.
  • In an informal survey of NFL execs, Pauline says that this is the consensus for how the first five picks will go: 1. Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss, left tackle), 2. Jalen Ramsey (Florida State, defensive back) 3. Jared Goff (Cal, quarterback), 4. Jack, 5) Joey Bosa (Ohio State, defensive end).
  • Ramsey going that early would be disappointing to the Cowboys as Pauline hears that the FSU star sits atop their wish list. Dallas owns the No. 4 pick in the draft. Ramsey, a former top ten recruit out of high school, shows promise at both the cornerback and safety positions. Last season, he tallied 3.5 tackles for loss and 10 pass break-ups. In 2014, he had a gaudy stat line of 79 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, and12 pass break-ups.
  • Former LSU cornerback Rashard Robinson is drawing a lot of interest and the Raiders and Giants are among the teams impressed by him. Robinson played at LSU in the 2013 season, but a series of issues led to him being jettisoned from the program. Robinson was suspended indefinitely in 2014 and was denied reinstatement to the program in 2015. Robinson has red flags, but he’s also a 6’2″ corner with talent.
  • Safety Keanu Neal (Florida) is getting late first-round consideration from teams. In fact, several teams view Neal as the “best-looking safety in the draft” thanks in no small part to his explosive play. A leg injury slowed him down somewhat in 2015, but scouts are putting more stock into film from the 2014 season when he was healthy.
  • Indiana defensive tackle Darius Latham has promise and, talent-wise, projects as a second/third round talent. However, like Spence, he has some off-the-field issues that need to be addressed. Latham was suspended back in September for a student ethics violation – the second suspension of his collegiate career. The Indiana standout measures at 6’4″, 310 pounds and finished his IU career with 81 tackles, 31 solo, 7.5 sacks (42 yards), 18.5 tackles for loss (66 yards), two fumble recoveries, one interception, seven pass breakups, and two blocked extra points.
  • Stanford linebacker Blake Martinez is generating buzz after he tallied six tackles in the Senior Bowl, Pauline writes.

Giants Cut Schwartz, Beatty; Beason Retires

1:55pm: The Giants have officially announced Beason’s retirement, and confirmed the release of Schwartz and Beatty. Beason said that he wanted to continue playing, but after consulting with numerous doctors, those experts unanimously recommending that he retire because of his injured knee.

11:04am: Beason could end up announcing his retirement, tweets Graziano. As noted below, a report last month suggested the veteran linebacker was considering retirement due to ongoing injury issues. It probably makes sense for Beason to wait until after the Giants cut him though, to ensure there’s no risk of losing a portion of his signing bonus.

10:53am: In addition to releasing Schwartz and Beason, the Giants are also cutting veteran tackle Will Beatty, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. Like his two teammates, Beatty has had to deal with health problems as of late — he missed the entire 2015 campaign due to pectoral and rotator cuff injuries.

Releasing Beatty will leave $5MM in dead money on the Giants’ 2015 cap, but the move will also clear $4.175MM in space. Overall, the three cuts will create more than $12.2MM in cap savings for GM Jerry Reese and the Giants.

10:37am: The Giants are releasing a veteran player on either side of the ball, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (Twitter links), who reports that the team is parting ways with offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz and linebacker Jon Beason.Jon Beason

Both Schwartz and Beason signed contracts with the Giants in March of 2014, with Schwartz inking a four-year pact while Beason agreed to a three-year deal. Since then, injuries have plagued both players, with Schwartz appearing in 13 games over the last two seasons for New York, while Beason has played in just nine.

Schwartz, 29, started 11 games for the Giants in 2015, but his seasons was cut short when he fractured a bone in his left leg in late November, forcing the team to place him on injured reserve. By releasing him, the Giants will avoid paying him $3.925MM annual salaries this year and next year, taking on a hit of about $1.917MM in dead money for 2016. The move creates nearly $3MM in cap savings for the club, while Schwartz – like his brother Mitchell Schwartz – could be on the lookout for a new home.

As for Beason, according to Over the Cap, he would have been owed a $1MM roster bonus if he were still on the Giants’ roster on the fifth day of the 2016 league year. Instead, the Giants’ will clear that bonus, $1.2MM in per-game roster bonuses, a $100K workout bonus, and his $2.8MM base salary from their cap, creating a total of $5.1MM in cap savings.

While Schwartz and Beason didn’t provide the Giants with much value over the last two years, both players were effective for other teams earlier in their careers. Schwartz started 26 total games for the Panthers and Chiefs, and Beason was even more impressive, earning three Pro Bowl nods during his years in Carolina.

If the two veterans show they’re healthy heading into 2016, they could be intriguing buy-low candidates. However, that depends on whether they both want to continue their careers. A report last month indicated that Beason was considering retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Tannehill, Patriots, Kap

Ryan Tannehill asked former Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor for more audible latitude last season prior to Lazor’s dismissal, but the then-OC dismissed the notion, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

In Adam Gase, Tannehill will find a more innovative offensive coach, at least judging by his 2010s work in Denver and Chicago, but may not enjoy the kind of freedom he covets, Jackson notes. Gase’s work with Peyton Manning in 2013-14 notwithstanding, the Bears, per CSNChicago.com, were not an audible-heavy team under his direction last season, even as Jay Cutler progressed.

I’m going to speak for Ryan right now, which I typically don’t do,” Greg Jennings told Finsiders.com. “He wants some more freedom. … He’s been hand-held his entire career.”

Here’s the latest from the NFL’s Eastern divisions on Day 1 of the offseason.

  • Jennings is no lock to be employed by the Dolphins next season after he caught just 19 passes for 208 yards — both well below his previous career-low marks. The 32-year-old wideout’s entering the second season of a two-year, $8MM contract, and the Dolphins, per Pro Football Talk (via Jackson), haven’t told him he’ll be back. Jennings is due to occupy a $5.5MM cap number for the currently over-the-cap Fins, who can save $4MM by cutting the backup target. Jennings is currently Miami’s highest-paid receiver.
  • The Patriots are in discussions with retired coach Dante Scarnecchia about a return to the coaching staff to fix their ailing offensive line, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. Scarnecchia retired after the 2013 season but he has remained around the Pats, particularly to help with evaluating offensive line prospects in the draft. One source told Reiss that it would be a surprise if the coach wasn’t back on the sidelines for the Pats in 2016. Scarnecchia had retired after 32 seasons in the NFL, 30 of which came in New England.
  • There has been a lot of debate as to whether the Jets should pursue 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and, over the weekend, Hall of Famer Joe Namath weighed in. “I think he should consider that a little more,” Namath told ESPN radio (via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News) when asked about Brandon Marshall‘s opposition to the idea. “I know that [Ryan] Fitzpatrick did a wonderful job this year. Whenever I’m asked to critique what I’ve seen and what I feel, I know that he would like to throw the ball more accurately given the chance. You need more than one quarterback on a team. If Kaepernick were available, I’d certainly consider bringing him in, yes.
  • During an appearance on the Fox News show Fox & Friends, Tom Coughlin reiterated he has no plans to retire, via Tom Rock of Newsday. “I’m not. … I don’t like that word, you know, the retired word,” Coughlin said. “I’m way too young for that, you know what I mean?” Coughlin will also discuss a potential advisory role with the Giants with John Mara soon, Rock reports. Coughlin’s coached in the NFL for 20 of the past 21 seasons, eight with the Jaguars before sitting out 2003.

Zach Links contributed to this report

Extra Points: Manziel, Schwartz, London

Long thought to be Johnny Manziel‘s career lifeline, the Cowboys may not have been interested in the embattled quarterback at all, Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Team sources told Hill the Browns quarterback who could be facing legal action for his potential role in a domestic assault wasn’t on the Cowboys’ radar even before the ex-Heisman Trophy winner’s latest off-the-field occurrence.

Hill writes the same personnel who advised Jerry Jones to pass on the polarizing Texas A&M quarterback in favor of Zack Martin are still in place. The Cowboys remain very much in search of a quality backup quarterback, but Manziel doesn’t fit that profile and appears to be a non-starter in Dallas.

The Browns are expected to cut Manziel before the new league year begins.

Here’s the latest from around the league.

  • The NFL’s tri-annual showcases in London continue to generate buzz on a franchise spawning in the United Kingdom’s biggest city, and Roger Goodell isn’t doing anything to squelch that notion. “We are considering playing more games in the U.K. It’s a balancing act with our schedule. … As far as a franchise, let’s continue to grow. Let’s continue to see that excitement and enthusiasm, passion and support continue to develop. If it does, I think that’s a realistic possibility,” Goodell told media, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. The obvious logistical issues remain, as London is an eight hours ahead of the Pacific Time Zone, and such an expansion would be the most daring step among the four major American sports leagues.
  • Goodell stands in favor of the league pursuing a policy that will automatically eject players after they receive their second personal foul in a game, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports. “I believe that that’s consistent with what we believe are safety issues,” the commissioner told media at his yearly address, “but I also believe it’s consistent with what we believe are the standards of sportsmanship that we’ve emphasized. We should take that out of the hands of the officials.” Any rule change must be approved by at least 24 of the 32 owners. John Mara wants such a rule to be clear as opposed to a gray area regarding low-end personal fouls. “To me, it’d have to be severe enough personal fouls as opposed to something like an incidental facemask,” Mara told Maske. Following the actions of Odell Beckham Jr. and Vontaze Burfict within a span of three weeks, the league would appear to have momentum to pass legislation of this sort.
  • Geoff Schwartz would be hesitant if the Giants were to pursue his free agent brother Mitchell Schwartz, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports. The Giants are in need of a right tackle after turning to journeyman Marshall Newhouse last season, and the 26-year-old Mitchell Schwartz is arguably the best available. The Browns’ right-edge presence graded as Pro Football Focus’ sixth-best tackle this season. “I don’t know if we would get along too well playing next to each other for a while, just because of our personalities,” Geoff Schwartz said. “Maybe after a week or so, we’d kind of get tired of each other. He’s a great player, don’t get me wrong. He’s the best right tackle this year, I hope he goes somewhere and gets every cent he can get. I just don’t know if the Giants are in position to pay a right tackle eight-and-a-half-, nine-million dollars.” Geoff Schwartz stands to make $3.9MM in base salary if the Giants bring the injury-prone guard/tackle back for a third season. He does not, however, want his brother to re-sign with the rebuilding Browns. “Obviously, you want to get your money, but you want to win. You don’t want to be on a losing team. He’s had four offensive coordinators in four years. He’s had three or four GMs, three head coaches. I mean, you can’t win that way,” Schwartz said.
  • Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman did not activate the brakes when his Dodge Ram collided with a Honda Civic in October, injuring the other driver, according to the Seattle Times’ Lynn Thompson. Coleman, who played in a career-most 14 games for the Seahawks this season, was going 60 mph in 35-mph zone at the time of the crash, one that left the driver of the Honda Civic with a concussion and a broken collarbone. Coleman suffered a concussion in the accident while losing his hearing aid. Coleman told police he’d smoked a form of synthetic marijuana, not illegal in Washington, an hour before the collision.