New York Giants

NFC East Links: Rolle, Smith, Cowboys, Cofield

Antrel Rolle is playing in a contract year for the Giants, and while he wants to stay with the team, he knows that anything can happen in an NFL offseason, writes Bob Glauber of Newsday.com.

“Staying here would definitely be ideal,” said Rolle. “I feel like there’s a lot of things that I would like to get accomplished with a new set of [teammates]. I feel like there’s a lot more to get done. Unfortunately, if you don’t have the opportunity to stay, you move on.”

The 32-year-old safety has been a stalwart of the Giants’ defense since coming over from Arizona in 2010.

Here are some other links from around the NFC East:

  • Eagles‘ first-round pick Marcus Smith has struggled to see the field as a rookie, but the team worries if he will ever develop into the player they had hoped when they drafted him, writes Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Smith has been compared to Danny Watkins, another failed first-round selection.
  • Cowboys‘ head coach Jason Garrett has been thought of as a puppet for Jerry Jones, but Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPNDallas.com thinks Garrett has wielded more power within the organization recently. He cites the team drafting Zack Martin, letting DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher leave in free agency, and holding off on extensions for Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray as all uncharacteristic moves for Jones, likely influenced by Garrett.
  • Martin has been excellent as a rookie, validating the Cowboys‘ decision not to draft Johnny Manziel. However, if the Browns decide to sign Hoyer to a long-term contract, Manziel could still be a fit for the Cowboys, writes Steven Mullenax of The LandryHat.com. With the struggles of Brandon Weeden and Tony Romo‘s injury issues, Manziel could be a good backup and eventual replacement in Dallas.
  • Given the choice between Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, or Murray this offseason, Jon Machota of DallasNews.com believes the Cowboys should place Peterson at the top of their wish list. He believes that signing Peterson behind this offensive line would be more dangerous even than the younger DeMarco Murray.
  • Washington defensive lineman Barry Cofield eased his way back into action last week against the Buccaneers, after returning from injury. Cofield should see his snaps increase starting this week, reports Tom Schad of the Washington Times.
  • Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has been in charge of an erratic defense during his tenure with the team, but despite scheme changes and coaching changes, he has survived, writes Mike Jones of the Washington Post. Jones paints the major problem in the consistency of the defense as a lack of talent on that side of the ball.
  • As the controversy with the Washington team name carries on, one devoted fan has decided to take a stand against the name, writes John Woodrow Cox of the Washington Post. He found a company to make strips of cloth that say “Washington” in which fans can use to patch over their old team apparel. Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News points to the name change for the University of Stanford as a precedent for the change, and the New Yorker has used their cover to mock the name in anticipation of Thanksgiving, according to Sports Illustrated.

Giants Waive Charles Brown

Offensive lineman Charles Brown didn’t even last one season in New York, as ESPN’s Adam Caplan tweets that the Giants have waived the 27-year-old. ESPN’s Josina Anderson adds (via Twitter) that the team has promoted linebacker Justin Anderson to take Brown’s place on the roster.

The former second-round pick signed a one-year deal with the Giants in April after having spent the first four years of his career with the Saints. The tackle wasn’t necessarily productive with New Orleans in 2013, but ProFootballFocus.com (subscription required) ranked him as an above-average run blocker.

Brown compiled nearly 1,000 snaps with New Orleans last season, but he’s barely seen the field in 2014. The lineman’s only seen 62 snaps on offense, and PFF’s advanced metrics ranked him among the least-productive players on the Giants.

Anderson, an undrafted rookie out of Louisiana-Lafayette, was cut by New York last week. He quickly rejoined the team’s practice squad only a couple of days later.

NFC East Notes: Bryant, Washington, Giants

The 7-3 Cowboys are playing well, but they won’t stop to pat themselves on the back, writes David Moore of The Dallas Morning News. “You know honestly what I love about our team is we understand we have a good record, but at the same time, it’s really nothing,’’ receiver Dez Bryant said. “We know that we haven’t gotten anywhere yet, and we know we have to work hard.” More out of the NFC East..

  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders if coach Jay Gruden could be one and done in Washington. The rift between Robert Griffin III and Gruden playing out in public would suggest that there’s much more dysfunction going on behind the scenes. A one-and-done arrangement would seem stunning on the surface, Florio notes, but it would be the fourth straight year and the fifth time in six seasons that an NFL coach loses his job after one year.
  • Earlier today, Bryant, a pending free agent, spoke glowingly of Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, writes Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News. “He seen a lot of potential in me, and I took that as he believed in me, so it was my job to show him what he wanted me to be or better, and I think he does an outstanding job with us. He don’t BS around with us. He lets us know the truth,” Bryant said.
  • In an interview with ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay (audio link), Adam Schefter said that he expects coach Tom Coughlin to leave the Giants on his own terms rather than get fired at season’s end. In the midst of a forgettable season, there has been a great deal of speculation about Coughlin’s job security. Recently, former running back Tiki Barber became the latest to pile on the Super Bowl winning coach.

New York Notes: Manning, Coughlin, Jets

As Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets, Giants quarterback Eli Manning said today that he wants to retire as a Giant, and it sounds as if the team has interest in extending the relationship as well. Giants owner John Mara believes Manning is still in his prime and “has a lot of good years left,” as he told Newsday’s Tom Rock last week. Even though Mara made his comments before Manning’s disastrous five-interception showing on Sunday, that one game is unlikely to significant alter the franchise’s perception of Eli as its quarterback of the future.

Here’s more on the NFL’s two New York teams:

  • Speaking of Manning, he was asked today about his former teammate Tiki Barber, who suggested earlier this week that the Giants should fire head coach Tom Coughlin. “It’s good to hear from old Tiki,” Manning quipped, according to Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record (Twitter links). Asked how it feels to hear a former player call for a coach to be fired, Manning replied, “I think it depends on your opinion of that player,” hinting that the Giants locker room probably isn’t taking Barber too seriously.
  • Much has been made of the potential departures of head coach Rex Ryan and GM John Idzik if the Jets’ season continues to head south, but Seth Walden of the New York Daily News points out that those aren’t the only notable names who could leave the team in the offseason. Walder identifies Percy Harvin, Geno Smith, Michael Vick, and coordinators Dennis Thurman and Marty Mornhinweg as others whose futures in New York are uncertain.
  • While the firing of Ryan at season’s end has seemed inevitable over the last few weeks, Brian Costello of the New York Post outlines a scenario in which it makes sense for the Jets to keep their head coach for at least one more year.

Practice Squad Updates: Wednesday

We’ll round up today’s practice squad signings and cuts in this space, with the latest moves added to the top of the list throughout the day….

  • The Packers have filled the lone opening on their practice squad by signing guard Rishaw Johnson, the team announced today. Johnson previously spent time this season on the Buccaneers’ active roster and the Cowboys’ practice squad.

Earlier updates:

  • The Steelers, who cut LeGarrette Blount and promoted running back Josh Harris to their roster yesterday, have added another back to the practice squad to replace Harris. LaDarius Perkins, an undrafted rookie out of Mississippi State who spent the summer with the Packers, is the newest member of the taxi squad, per Burt Lauten (via Twitter).
  • Defensive end George Uko, who spent three weeks on the Buccaneers‘ practice squad earlier this year, has been re-signed to the unit, the team announced today in a press release. Tampa Bay cut punter Jacob Schum to make room for Uko.
  • After cutting him earlier this week to accommodate the activation of guard Geoff Schwartz, the Giants have re-signed linebacker Justin Anderson to their practice squad, tweets Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.

Giants Activate Geoff Schwartz, Cut Anderson

The Giants have officially activated guard Geoff Schwartz from their injured reserve list, cutting linebacker Justin Anderson to make room on the 53-man roster, tweets Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun first reported earlier today that Schwartz would be added to New York’s active roster.

Schwartz, 28, signed a four-year deal with the Giants when he hit free agency in March, but has yet to make his regular-season debut for the club. Sidelined with a toe injury, Schwartz was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return prior to Week 1. The team had until today at 4:00pm eastern time to decide whether to place Schwartz on the 53-man roster or move him to long-term injured reserve, ending his season.

As for Anderson, he had been promoted from the Giants’ practice squad to the 53-man roster in advance of the team’s game against the 49ers. Assuming he clears waivers, Anderson appears to be a candidate to rejoin the taxi squad later this week.

NFC East Notes: Schwartz, Bryant, Melton

Let’s take a look at a few Monday items from out of the NFC East, where the Cowboys and Eagles are tied for first place at 7-3, with the 3-7 Giants tied with Washington in the cellar….

  • The Giants are expected to activate guard Geoff Schwartz today based on the progress he has made in his recovery from a toe injury, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Head coach Tom Coughlin has since confirmed that Schwartz will be added to the roster in advance of today’s deadline, per Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (via Twitter).
  • Taking an in-depth look into Dez Bryant‘s contract situation with the Cowboys, Bob Sturm of the Dallas Morning News concludes that something in the range of six years and $84MM, with $28MM in guaranteed money, could make sense for both the team and the wideout.
  • While the Cowboys have been known for their lavish spending in the past, the team’s recent deals have been more club-friendly, often offering protection against injuries or a decline in performance, writes Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com. That doesn’t mean that Bryant won’t get a long-term deal from the Cowboys, but it means that negotiations might be trickier than they would have been a few years ago.
  • In a separate ESPN.com piece, Archer takes a look at defensive lineman Henry Melton, whose deal includes an option that the Cowboys will have to exercise or turn down this winter. Based on Melton’s performance so far, it looks like a sure thing that Dallas will pick up the option, but Melton tells Archer that he’s not thinking about his future for now.
  • At OverTheCap.com, a pair of NFC East quarterbacks show up in Jason Fitzgerald’s weekly list of players whose stocks took a hit over the weekend. Fitzgerald identifies Giants QB Eli Manning and Washington signal-caller Robert Griffin III as players on the decline, suggesting Griffin’s “star hasn’t just dimmed, its completely burned out.”

NFC Notes: Cutler, Lynch, Ingram

Jay Cutler‘s future with the Bears has grown quite murky over the course of his shaky 2014 campaign, and David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune writes that the league’s highest-paid player this season also looks like its worst bargain. Haugh adds that if Chicago replaces head coach Marc Trestman or GM Phil Emery in 2015, Cutler’s stability vanishes completely. Furthermore, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes, the Bears could trade Cutler after this season and save $12.5MM. The team is therefore not financially tethered to the quarterback it hoped would be its franchise savior, and Schefter reports that there would be a fair amount of interest in Cutler if Chicago were to make him available via trade.

Now for some more links from the NFC:

Giants Notes: McAdoo, Coughlin, Pierre-Paul

There’s been speculation this could be Tom Coughlin’s last season with the Giants, and if that’s the case, the club could have a head coaching candidate on its current staff in the form of offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. “I had calls this off-season from teams looking for head coaches, asking me about…McAdoo,” ESPN’s Andrew Brandt told Armen and Levack on 104.5 The Team in New York. “He’s got a bright future.” McAdoo, 37, was on the Packers’ coaching staff when Brandt worked in Green Bay’s front office. Last night, Rob DiRe included McAdoo when asking which coordinator is most ready to make the transition to head coach. Here’s more from New York.

  • Though he’s only posted 3.5 sacks, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has had an excellent season, grading as the fifth-best 4-3 DE in the league according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). He’s a free agent after the season, leading Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News to wonder if JPP is worthy of the ~$100MM contracts signed by the likes of J.J. Watt and Gerald McCoy. For his part, Pierre-Paul seems ambivalent about remaining in New York. “If I’m here, I’m here. If I’m not, I’m not,” said the 2010 first-round pick. “There’s been ups and downs, but I love it here. But we’ve got to wait and see what happens at the end of the season.”
  • In his latest mailbag at ESPN.com, Dan Graziano tackles the McAdoo scenario and examines which Giants 2014 free agent signings will be around for the long-term. Like Vacchiano, he also looks at a potential Pierre-Paul extension, and opines that New York won’t be afraid to move on if JPP asks for too much money.
  • Earlier this afternoon, we learned the Giants have placed running back Peyton Hillis on season-ending injured reserve.

Giants Place Peyton Hillis On IR

The Giants will receive an offensive boost on Sunday when running back Rashad Jennings returns from an knee injury that forced him to miss four games. However, they’ll be without another veteran ball-carrier, as the club has placed Peyton Hillis on injured reserve (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports). Hillis suffered a concussion during last Sunday’s game against the Seahawks and hasn’t practiced since, and New York evidently felt his symptoms were severe enough to end his season. To replace Hillis on the 53-man roster, the Giants have promoted linebacker Justin Anderson from the practice squad, according to Jordan Raanan of the NJ.com (via Twitter).

Hillis, 29 in January, signed with the Giants in October 2013. Prior to his arrival in New York, the 2008 seventh-round pick had spent time with the Broncos, Browns, Chiefs, and Buccaneers. His most notable season was 2010, when he rushed for more than 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns, adding 61 receptions for another 477 yards. This season, Hillis had seen 115 offensive snaps as he teamed with Andre Williams to fill in for Jennings. He’s due $870K in base salary in 2015, and with bonuses pushing his cap figure to $945K, it’s no guarantee he’ll return to the Giants next season.

Meanwhile, Anderson will add depth to a linebacking unit that will be without injured weak-side starter Jacquian Williams on Sunday. Even after adding Anderson, the Giants will field only five healthy LBs for tomorrow’s game, so presuming he’s active, there’s a chance Anderson sees a handful of snaps, at least on special teams. The rookie out of Louisiana-Lafayette has been on New York’s practice squad since late October.