New York Giants

Extra Points: Revis, Chargers, Colts, Giants

The 2014 season, Darrelle Revis‘ lone campaign with the Patriots, was a hugely successful one for the 29-year-old. He took home his first Super Bowl ring in helping lead the Pats to a championship, also earning his sixth Pro Bowl invitation and fourth First-Team All-Pro selection, respectively. After New England declined Revis’ $20MM option for 2015 earlier this month, Revis returned to the Jets, with whom he spent 2007-12. It was believed the Pats made a strong effort to retain Revis long term, but the corner told a different story Wednesday to Michael Kay of ESPN Radio. According to Phil Perry of CSNNewEngland.com, Revis said New England’s offer “wasn’t in the ballpark” of the mega-deal to which the Jets ultimately signed him.

In a separate interview Wednesday, Revis listed the teams that pursued him to SiriusXM’s Adam Schein, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “(It) was the Packers, Steelers, Baltimore as well as Cleveland, the Chiefs, the Jets, and also the Pats, so there was a number of teams there,” said Revis.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune expects the Chargers to add another member to their backfield before the offseason is out. The team lost running back Ryan Mathews to free agency after only offering him a one-year deal, and is now looking for a replacement – one with a “physical, downhill” style – to join Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver and Donald Brown. Per Gehlken, it’s unlikely they’ll swing a trade for the disgruntled Adrian Peterson, leaving the draft as the probable route. Gehlken speculates that Georgia’s Todd Gurley could be an option if the Chargers use the 17th overall pick on a runner.
  • Mike Wells of ESPN tweets that free agent running back Ahmad Bradshaw is unlikely to return to the Colts next season. Bradshaw was highly effective for Indianapolis the last two years, but he missed 19 of 32 regular-season games with various injuries. Further, the Colts signed Frank Gore earlier this month to anchor their backfield.
  • Head coach Tom Coughlin admitted this morning that safety is “definitely” an area of concern for the Giants, and identified Chykie Brown and Bennett Jackson as cornerbacks who may be able to switch positions, tweets Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. The Giants pursued a number of free agent safeties, including Devin McCourty, but missed out on their top targets, and don’t have many viable starting options still in play.

Contract Details: Clay, Cromartie, Webb, Britt

Here are some specific details on a number of contracts agreed to and/or signed recently. One-year minimum salary benefit deals aren’t included.

AFC deals:

  • Charles Clay, TE (Bills): Five years, $38MM base value. $24.5MM fully guaranteed. $10MM signing bonus. $10MM roster bonus in 2016. No-trade clause for first three years (three Twitter links via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun).
  • Antonio Cromartie, CB (Jets): Four years, $32MM base value. $7MM guaranteed. $2MM roster bonus. No signing bonus (link via Brian Costello of the New York Post).
  • Lardarius Webb, CB (Ravens): Restructured contract. Three years, $18MM base value. $5.25MM guaranteed. $3MM roster bonus in 2015 (link via Wilson).
  • Nate Irving, LB (Colts): Three years, $7.25MM base value. $1.5MM guaranteed. $750K signing bonus. Escalators in 2016, 2017 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Karl Klug, DL (Titans): Two years, $3.75MM base value. $1MM signing bonus. $200K roster bonus in 2016. Up to $625K in annual incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • James Harrison, OLB (Steelers): Two years, $2.75MM base value. $500K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Byron Stingily, T (Titans): Two years, $2.5MM base value. $250K signing bonus. $800K playing-time escalator (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Louis Delmas, S (Dolphins): One year, $2.25MM base value. Up to $1.25MM in incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Mitch Unrein, DT (Chargers): Two years, $1.9MM base value. $250K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).

NFC deals:

  • Kenny Britt, WR (Rams): Two years, $9.15MM base value. $4.05MM guaranteed. $1.5MM roster bonus in 2015. Potential void in 2016 based on 2015 escalator (link via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
  • Jacob Tamme, TE (Falcons): Two years, $3.2MM base value. $400K signing bonus. $250K roster bonus in 2016. $1MM escalator based on performance, playing time (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Clint Gresham, LS (Seahawks): Three years, $2.705MM base value. $300K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ahtyba Rubin, DL (Seahawks): One year, $2.5MM base value. $1MM signing bonus. Up to $500K in playing-time incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Kenrick Ellis, DT (Giants): One year, $1.475MM base value. $500K guaranteed. $300K signing bonus (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com).
  • George Selvie, DE (Giants): One year, $1.2MM base value. $200K signing bonus. Up to $200K in incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).

Giants To Let Eli Manning Finish Deal?

The Giants are willing to wait on a potential Eli Manning extension until after his contract expires following the 2015 campaign, two sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano.

Manning and the Giants are not making much progress on what would be his second contract extension, per Graziano. The team kept a close eye on the Steelers’ re-signing of Ben Roethlisberger, who’s on the same timeline with Manning as a member of the loaded 2004 quarterback class, but believe Manning will ask for more than the $99MM Roethlisberger received over five years.

The Giants want the 34-year-old Manning to finish his career in New Jersey but aren’t willing to make that kind of commitment right now, according to Graziano. They could save more than $10MM on this year’s salary cap by doing a Manning extension, but most of the noteworthy free agents are already off the market, diminishing the impact of such a maneuver.

After signing a six-year, $97MM deal in 2009, Manning made Pro Bowls in 2011 and 2012 and rebounded from a down 2013 with a career-high 63% completion rate last season under new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. Manning’s cap number is $19.75MM this season, which exceeds all other Giants by more than $5MM.

Graziano does not believe Manning and the Giants will come to an agreement this offseason, considering the current sides’ stances but adds the Giants, with two 21st-century Super Bowls in tow in large part due to Manning’s playoff performances, won’t have an issue paying Manning on par with the league’s elite QBs despite the former No. 1 overall pick not having the individual accolades that group does.

NFC Links: McCourty, Bridgewater, Packers

Devin McCourty ultimately stayed with the Patriots, but not before being lured by the NFL’s largest market. The Giants‘ offer was comparable to what McCourty ended up signing to stay in New England — five years, $47.5MM — co-owner John Mara told Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.

The best safety on the market’s refusal to take the Giants’ money began a failed venture that leaves the team with one of the most barren depth charts at any position in the league with the draft less than six weeks away. As of now, the Giants have only Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor, fifth-round picks in 2013 and 2014, respectively, on their roster. Neither has started a game. Former Giants starters Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps still reside in free agency.

Other news from the NFC …

  • Like the Steelers, the Packers are a staunch build-from-within franchise, and this year furthered that philosophy. As a result, corners Tramon Williams and Davon House departed, and coach Mike McCarthy expects Casey Hayward and former Gonzaga basketball talent Demetri Goodson to challenge for those spots, reports Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Unless Carl Bradford or another player enables Clay Matthews to relocate to his former spot outside, the Pro Bowl linebacker may stay an inside linebacker going into the season.
  • Packers president Mark Murphy doesn’t expect the Bears’ proposal of both teams receiving a guaranteed overtime possession to pass, reports ESPN’s Jason Wilde. Murphy probably won’t support any of the rules changes, reports Silverstein on Twitter.
  • Vikings coach Mike Zimmer wants Teddy Bridgewater to gain weight and develop additional strength before he begins his first full season as the Vikings’ quarterback, writes Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Zimmer said the 2014 first-rounder played at around 210 pounds last season, and the second-year coach prefers the 6-foot-2 signal-caller to be closer to 220.
  • After reports surfaced of Adrian Peterson‘s agent declining a Vikings meeting, the All-Pro runner didn’t solicit much of a response from Zimmer. “Well, Adrian is under contract with us, and we’re excited to get him back here with his teammates and get him back playing,” Zimmer told Hartman.
  • The NFL held its first Veterans Combine on Sunday night in Arizona with numerous former NFLers participating. The Eagles were among the few teams to talk with offensive linemen after their drills concluded, NFL.com’s Mark Sessler reports on Twitter.

Giants’ Mara On Rule Changes, L.A.

Heading into the NFL owners’ meetings, which begin Monday, Giants co-owner John Mara provided a status report on the chance of the proposed rule changes passing, writes ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

The Patriots have three proposals set to be up for debate this week: Bill Belichick‘s continued quest to expand replay to include penalty reviews, along with ideas for more boundary cameras and a realignment of the extra point. Of the three, the revamped extra point has the best chance of passing, according to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe.

Seeking a more difficult try that would place the ball at the 15-yard line — a 33-yard try — the Patriots’ proposal needs 24 votes to pass.

We’ve had a lot of discussions about that,” Mara said, via Howe. “I think that one has a chance. I don’t know if it’s going to get 24 votes, but I happen to be in favor of that one and think it’s a good proposal because we have a play right now that is a ceremonial play, and why not make it competitive?”

Mara said the replay expansion idea failed 9-0 in the competition committee and is unlikely to pass this week, citing subjectivity in that thought process as opposed to the black-and-white nature of most of the already-reviewable sequences. New England’s effort to increase cameras on sidelines and end zones also hovers below the passing threshold, per Howe.

While not on the table this year, a 14-team playoff field is inevitable, the Giants co-owner told Howe, with a potential hang-up of scheduling the third wild-card games as part of tripleheaders or as stand-alone contests on Monday night. The NFL increased playoff eligibility from four to five teams per conference in 1978 and five to six in 1990, making this current six-team standard by far the longest-standing bracket limit since the AFL-NFL merger.

The league will have at least one team in Los Angeles in 2016 and possibly two, Mara told ESPN’s Dan Graziano (via Twitter), with the Rams’, Raiders’ and Chargers’ quests to return to the city well-documented.

J.D. Walton To Join Dolphins

The Dolphins agreed to a deal with former Broncos and Giants center J.D. Walton, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter.

Walton, who visited with the Dolphins today, started two years with the Broncos and one with the Giants. Last year’s starting snapper in Miami, Samson Satele saw his one-year contract expired earlier this month, opening up the Dolphins’ center position. But former Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey, moved to right guard last season, could return to his former post and make Walton a depth piece. ESPN Dolphins reporter James Walker expects this to be the case.

Terms of the deal are not yet disclosed. The Giants released Walton, a 2010 third-round pick of the Broncos, one season into the two-year, $6MM contract he signed last March. Walton, who will be 28 in five days, endured a rough 2014 campaign, finishing as the league’s 38th-best center, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required). But with the Giants having no better option, the ex-Baylor standout led all centers in snaps with 1,145.

The Dolphins didn’t receive much better production from Satele, brought in last August, and appear to be letting him move on in free agency.

Starting 16 games in both 2010 and 2011, Walton blocked for both Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow in those seasons. But a severe ankle injury sustained four games into Peyton Manning‘s tenure a year later sidelined him for the rest of 2012 and led to the Broncos waiving him in December 2013. Walton drew PFF’s ire in both of his Broncos campaigns as well, finishing as the fourth-worst and worst center, respectively, in his first two seasons.

Giants Owner Talks FAs, Eli, JPP, Draft

Speaking to reporters today, Giants co-owner John Mara answered questions about his team’s approach to free agency, the contract status of a pair of the club’s most notable players, and a handful of other topics. Tom Rock of Newsday passed along several highlights from the session, so let’s round them up, with all links going to Twitter….

  • Acknowledging that the Giants “still have some holes to fill” on their roster, Mara said the team has done a good job so far in free agency.
  • Asked about the top free agents available, Mara admitted that the Giants made a big push for Devin McCourty. The club also inquired on Ndamukong Suh, but he was “a little too pricey” for the team’s liking. According to Mara, this year’s free agent class was a mediocre one, and many of the players who signed lucrative deals did so because a lot of teams had plenty of cap space. The Giants didn’t want to invest in those higher-end players at inflated prices.
  • No contract extension is imminent for Eli Manning, but “obviously something will be done at some point,” according to Mara.
  • The Giants co-owner would like to see Osi Umenyiora retire as a Giant, but Mara hasn’t spoken to coaches or GM Jerry Reese about signing the veteran pass rusher this year.
  • Mara would prefer to lock up Jason Pierre-Paul to a long-term contract, but is comfortable having JPP play out the 2015 season on the one-year franchise tag if necessary. The two sides have until July to work out a multiyear extension.
  • Wide receiver won’t be a top priority for the Giants early in this year’s draft, but the club won’t be averse to taking one if there’s value to be had.

FA Notes: Dolphins, Jackson, Selvie, Newman

Having decided not to match the Bills’ offer sheet for tight end Charles Clay, the Dolphins may be prepared to spend the money saved on Clay on some other free agents. According to Pro Football Talk (via Twitter), in addition to hosting wide receiver Michael Crabtree, Miami is also having quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and center J.D. Walton in for visits.

Jackson, in particular, is an intriguing potential fit for the Dolphins. The team still needs a veteran backup behind Ryan Tannehill, and while Miami’s preference may be to re-sign Matt Moore, Jackson could come a little cheaper.

Here are a few more free agent notes from around the NFL:

  • Defensive end George Selvie, who has reportedly drawn interest from the Buccaneers and Vikings so far in free agency, is visiting the Giants today, according to Art Stapleton of The Record (Twitter link).
  • The Vikings and cornerback Terence Newman have discussed some contract figures, but weren’t close to a deal as of late last night, per Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). If the veteran corner were to join the Vikings, he’d reunite with former Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
  • Free agent offensive tackle Corey Hilliard is paying a visit to the Jets, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Hilliard, a former Lion, is a solid swing tackle when he’s healthy, but injuries have derailed his last two seasons.
  • In a piece for The Sporting News, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap takes a look at the players who have done the best and worst so far in free agency.

Giants Re-Sign Daniel Fells

THURSDAY, 8:44pm: The Giants have officially re-signed Fells, the team confirmed today in a press release.

WEDNESDAY, 4:18pm: Free agent tight end Daniel Fells is returning to New York, having agreed to terms with the Giants on a one-year deal, reports Jordan Raanan of NJ.com (via Twitter).

Larry Donnell emerged as the Giants’ No. 1 tight end and top pass catcher at the position in 2014, but Fells earned his fair share of playing time as the No. 2 option, and graded as a much better run blocker than Donnell, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

Feels, 31, didn’t match the receiving numbers he posted in previous years in St. Louis and Denver, but he also caught 16 balls from Eli Manning for 188 yards and four touchdowns.

It’s the third notable roster move reported today for the Giants, who also agreed to sign defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis and restructured guard Geoff Schwartz‘s contract.

Giants, Geoff Schwartz Restructure Contract

4:45pm: Schwartz’s new deal also includes up to $500K in playing-time incentives, so he’ll have the opportunity to earn back the full $2MM he agreed to give up, tweets Raanan.

8:34am: After what amounted to a lost season, Geoff Schwartz has agreed to restructure his deal with the Giants, as Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger writes. The offensive lineman has given up a good deal in guarantees under his reworked deal with Big Blue.

The new pact will call for Schwartz scale back his base salary from $3.675MM to $1.675MM. He’ll get a chance to earn $1.5MM back in per-game roster bonuses and he’ll have $500K of his 2016 salary guaranteed. In essence, those two figures could combine to make up for the gap. In the end, the Giants will get a cap hit of $2.845MM for Schwartz in 2015, a lesser blow than what they were slated to pay out before, giving them $2.13MM in additional cap space for this league year. The Giants could use that extra breathing room to help facilitate new deals for Jason Pierre-Paul, Prince Amukamara or Eli Manning.

Schwartz, 28, signed a four-year deal with the Giants when he hit free agency in March, but he barely played for the club in 2014. Sidelined with a toe injury, Schwartz was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return prior to Week 1. The 28-year-old returned for November contests against the Cowboys and Jaguars, but that apparently was the beginning and end of his 2014 campaign.

Schwartz was a seventh-round pick of the Panthers in 2008 and made enough of a mark there to see time in all 16 games during his rookie season, including three starts. In his sophomore campaign, he started all 16 games at right guard. He went a couple of years without another start until 2013 with KC, which he used to springboard into his lucrative deal in New York.