Dave Gettleman

NFC Notes: Gurley, Panthers, Cowboys, Giants

Much has been made about Todd Gurley and his knee, which caused him issues in the 2018 postseason. The Rams didn’t do much to quiet those rumors when they tabbed Memphis running back Darrell Henderson with the No. 70 pick in the draft.

The team, however, is adamant the pick of Henderson has nothing to do with Gurley’s status, Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams writes. Though the team did mention monitoring the perennial Pro Bowl back’s workload.

“Like we have said all along, we anticipate Todd being a huge part of this like he has been the last couple of years,” head coach Sean McVay said. “As far as managing the workload, those are things that we talk about with Todd and as you continue to get educated on, is that something that we should do for the long haul or something that is or isn’t going to affect Todd most importantly and how does that affect our team? But we added a really good playmaker was a big thing.”

Henderson was one of college football’s stars in 2018, rushing for 1,909 yards and 22 touchdowns on just 214 carries. His 8.9 yards per rush was no fluke, as he posted the exact same average as a sophomore in 2017.

It will be interesting how the Rams handle their backfield in 2019. In addition to Gurley and Henderson, the team also matched an offer for running back Malcolm Brown.

Heres’ more from around the NFC:

  • Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore has hired Drew Rosenhaus to represent him, per Sports Business Journal’s Liz Mullen (via Twitter). Rosenhaus and Robert Bailey will team up in repping the Maryland product, who posted 788 yards on 55 receptions in 2018.
  • The Cowboys are expected to be extremely cautious with cornerback Byron Jones, who underwent offseason hip surgery, the Dallas Morning News’ Jon Machota tweets. Machota mentioned Jones, a breakout star in his first season as a cornerback, will be “highly managed,” but they do expect him to be ready for the start of the season.
  • Sticking in Dallas, new slot receiver Randall Cobb said he signed with the team because he wanted to play on a contender, Machota writes“Once I talked to everybody I knew this was the place,” Cobb said. “I definitely believe in this team. I felt like I wanted to be on a team that was a contender and I definitely believe that we have the ability, it’s just putting the pieces together.” Cobb replaces Cole Beasley in the slot, after the latter left for Buffalo early in the 2019 offseason.
  • The Giants will bring back veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan tweets. Though the team drafted three cornerbacks, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman left no doubt Jenkins would be back, saying, “Janoris has a bunch of puppies he has to train.”

Gettleman: Beckham Deal An “Offer I Couldn’t Refuse”

In the lead up to the NFL Draft, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman addressed the team’s trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns for a first- and third-round pick, and safety Jabrill Peppers, calling it an offer he couldn’t pass up, Yahoo Sports’ Terez Paylor writes

“It was a business decision,” Gettleman said. “Back in the day when you franchise-tagged a player, if someone came and signed them, that gave you two first-round picks. That’s only happened once in the history of the NFL, and that was Sean Gilbert.

“So basically I had a team call me up that offered me not only two No. 1 picks [Peppers was a first-round draft pick in 2017], but a third-round pick as well. And it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

Though the deal appeared too good to pass up to Gettleman, it did leave $16MM in dead money for the Giants, who inked the receiver to a five-year, $95 million contract ($65MM guaranteed) back in August.

It was just the latest move that has drawn the ire of Giants fans. Many were also upset when the team passed on taking Sam Darnold with the No. 2 pick to take Saquon Barkley. Though Barkley impressed as a rookie, the team still has a 38-year-old quarterback in Eli Manning it needs to find a successor for. The plan appears to be to take that signal-caller with one of its first-round picks this Thursday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Rumors: Haskins, Draft, Manning

More steam is building for the Giants bypassing a quarterback at No. 6 overall to take a pass rusher. They have been rumored to be interested in this draft’s bevy of front-seven talents while simultaneously being less than enthralled by this crop of passers. One Giants source informed Ralph Vacchiano of SNY the team will have a tough time passing on a defender at 6.

There are a ton of great defensive players in this draft,” the source told Vacchiano. “As much as we need a young quarterback, I honestly don’t know how we can pass on one of the pass rushers at 6.”

This follows a Vacchiano report that indicates the Giants are “strongly” leaning in the direction of drafting a pass rusher at No. 6. The Giants’ visit list, so far, includes Nick Bosa and Josh Allen. Both players may be gone by the time New York’s first draft window opens, with Quinnen Williams possibly set to be a top-five selection as well. However, players like Montez Sweat, Ed Oliver and Rashan Gary may well still be on the board at that point. The Giants have gutted their pass rush in consecutive offseasons, trading Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon. They finished with 30 sacks in 2018 — the second-lowest total in the league. New York added Markus Golden in free agency but still needs help on the edge.

Here is the latest on the Giants, shifting to the other side of this debate:

  • Despite this buzz surrounding Big Blue and pass rushers, the Giants still have a glaring long-term need at quarterback. And this is peak smokescreen time. As the Giants continue to research Dwayne Haskins, they remain pleased with the results, per Vacchiano. Should the Cardinals be running a historic Kyler Murray smokescreen operation and the Heisman Trophy winner drops to the Giants, Vacchiano adds they would still take Haskins over the 5-foot-10 passer. The Ohio State breakout star is the likely choice, if, in fact, the Giants go quarterback at 6. Haskins is set to visit the Giants.
  • The Giants also sound interested in filling their post-Manning quarterback need via trade for Josh Rosen, if he becomes available. They have discussed this internally and are expected to be a suitor, and many around the league believe New York’s No. 37 overall pick would be enough to get this done. The Giants do not have their own third-round pick, which would have been near the top of the round, but do hold a No. 95 choice as a result of the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. That by itself might not be sufficient for the Cardinals’ 2018 first-round QB.
  • The Eli Manning-in-2020 rumors may be quite legitimate. Giants brass do not believe the 38-year-old quarterback has declined to the degree most of the NFL media does, Vacchiano notes. The hope remains the Giants will have Manning’s heir apparent lined up this year, and Daniel Jones has now surged into the conversation, but Vacchiano adds the Giants “will not hesitate” to extend Manning into 2020 if not. They would like him to mentor his successor, whether said passer arrives this year or next.
  • Dave Gettleman is taking plenty of heat for his offseason decisions, most notably the ones that sent away Beckham and Landon Collins. But Giants ownership is fully on board with the second-year GM’s plan, Vacchiano writes, adding that ownership likes that Gettleman has attempted to create a better culture in the locker room.
  • Pass rushers and quarterbacks aside, the Giants are on linebacker Devin White’s visit list.

Giants GM: “We Were Not Actively Shopping” OBJ

The Giants may have talked to several teams about Odell Beckham Jr. before pulling off a trade with the Browns, but general manager Dave Gettleman said he was “not actively shopping” the star wideout. Speaking to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, the executive discussed how the trade ultimately developed, noting that the receiver’s distractions (along with a hefty offer from Cleveland) made a trade more palatable.

“Obviously there’s a lot of stuff that factors in, but at the end of the day, in order for us to move Odell, the other team was going to have to knock it out of the park,’’ Gettleman said. “We were not actively shopping him.’’

The Browns apparently made an offer that grabbed the attention of the Giants, with New York receiving Cleveland’s first-round pick (No. 17 overall), third-round pick (95th overall), and young safety Jabrill Peppers. While the Giants never intended to trade Beckham when they signed him to a lucrative five-year, $95MM contract last August, the Browns’ offer was ultimately too good to refuse.

“Some have questioned why we signed Odell [last August] and then traded him,’’ Gettleman said. “We didn’t sign him to trade him but obviously things changed. Frankly, what changed is another team made an offer we couldn’t refuse. As it turned out, the fact he was signed for five more years made him very attractive and allowed us to get legitimate value.’’

Gettleman did acknowledge that he made one phone call regarding Beckham. Following the Bills’ failed pursuit of former Steelers wideout Antonio Brown, the Giants contacted Buffalo about a trade. The general managed said he also had “numerous conversations’’ with 49ers general manager John Lynch. Based on Gettleman’s assertions, we can only assume it was Lynch who contacted the Giants’ front office.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Dennard, Browns, Steelers

Still unsigned, Darqueze Dennard remains an option for the Bengals. But the franchise looks to have given the cornerback a price point. The Bengals have not closed the door on a reunion with the sixth-year cornerback, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer, but they have since signed B.W. Webb and retained some of their own free agents. The most recent negotiations between Dennard and the Bengals revealed a disconnect, with the team viewing him as strictly a slot cornerback — and one they may not consider paying at the top-market slot price Justin Coleman just reset with the Lions. Dennard’s camp came in with an offer north of what Coleman just signed, proposing a deal north of $10MM per year with the Bengals, Dehner reports, adding the corner’s representation never came back to the table with the Bengals. The team was willing to keep Dennard at around $8.5MM AAV, but that was before reaching a deal with Webb. The new Bengal corner played for first-year DC Lou Anarumo with the Giants.

Dennard was scheduled to visit the Chiefs this weekend. Shifting first to a higher-profile AFC North situation, here is the latest out of this division:

  • John Dorsey called Dave Gettleman on Monday to ask if Odell Beckham Jr. was indeed available. The Giants’ GM had twice said in 2019 he did not extend the wideout to trade him, but Gettleman told Dorsey he was, in fact, willing to move Beckham, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes. Dorsey had several Beckham trades planned, but Cabot adds the talks never included Emmanuel Ogbah or Duke Johnson. Both of those pre-Dorsey Browns investments are now on the trade block.
  • As for the player the Giants did obtain for Beckham, Jabrill Peppers profiled as one the Browns did not want to let go. Despite being a Sashi Brown-era draft choice, Dorsey wanted to keep the improving safety, per Cabot. But Cleveland’s second-year GM was not going to let Peppers stand in the way of acquiring Beckham. Gettleman was “adamant” about Peppers’ inclusion in this trade because of the Giants’ recent decision to let Landon Collins walk in free agency, Cabot adds. The Giants are planning a versatile role for the third-year safety. Peppers can be under Giants control through 2021 via the fifth-year option.
  • The Steelers‘ acquisition of Mark Barron will likely not preclude them from using another early-round pick on a linebacker, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac (on Twitter). Pittsburgh did not elect to devote significant resources to replacing Ryan Shazier last year but has used four first-round picks on linebackers since 2013 — Jarvis Jones, Shazier, Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt. Shazier’s unfortunate circumstances may again prompt the Steelers to use a first-round choice on an off-ball ‘backer.
  • Eli Rogers‘ latest Steelers contract is for two years, not one, the team announced. The auxiliary receiver may have a bigger role in Pittsburgh’s 2019 offense, considering Antonio Brown is out of the picture and Rogers is entering an offseason healthy. He tore an ACL in the Steelers’ 2017 divisional-round game and only played in three games last season.

Giants Notes: Collins, Foles, Manning

All signs have been pointing to the Giants using the franchise tag on Landon Collins, but that’s far from a done deal, according to GM Dave Gettleman (Twitter link via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY). The Giants are “still evaluating” whether to use the tag on the safety, so it’s a situation to monitor between now and the March 5 deadline.

These decisions aren’t made in a vacuum,” said Gettleman when asked about the safety who is less-than-pleased with the notion of the tag. “So many things come into play.”

Collins may or may not have cleaned out his locker earlier this month, but the 25-year-old has already made it clear he doesn’t want to be cuffed by a one-year, $11.2MM tender.

So let’s go to the conversation of eliminating distractions,” he said. “You tag a guy. He’s mad. And that’s all you guys are going to write about. For six months it’s what it’s going to be. So I have to say to myself, ‘Is it worth it?‘”

While Gettleman mulls that question, here’s more on the G-Men:

Giants Commit To OBJ; Won’t Commit To Eli Manning

At a Wednesday press conference, Giants GM Dave Gettleman reaffirmed that Odell Beckham Jr. remains in the team’s plans. However, he declined to commit to a future with longtime franchise quarterback Eli Manning

We didn’t sign him to trade him,” Gettleman said when asked about the temperamental wide receiver (Twitter link via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY).

When pressed further about OBJ, Gettleman told reporters, “You heard what I said.” However, it’s a different situation when it comes to Manning.

Gettleman said he had a “very extensive” and “no-holds barred” conversation with Manning on Monday, suggesting that Manning could be on his way out.

We will do what’s in the best interests of the New York Giants. We’re trying to build sustained success. That takes brutal honesty and some tough decisions,” Gettleman said (Twitter link via Vacchiano).

Early in the 2018 season, it seemed certain that Manning wouldn’t be the Giants’ quarterback in 2019. The Giants were 1-7 and the season was circling the drain again, with Manning struggling heavily in his first year in Pat Shurmur’s offense. But, the Giants managed to turn things around by winning four of five games and had a near upset win over the Colts.

Manning, ultimately, finished out with his best statistical season in years, and his yards per attempt was his best posting since 2011. Before the Giants’ home finale, we heard that Manning was still more likely to return as the team’s QB than not. Now, however, that’s very much in question.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dave Gettleman’s Cancer Is In Remission

Dave Gettleman’s cancer is in remission, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes. Gettleman has been sharing the positive news with those close to him over the past few days.

Gettleman, 67, revealed in June that he had been diagnosed with a cancer of the lymphatic system. Thankfully, after a course of chemotherapy treatments, Gettleman is now in the clear. It is expected that he’ll continue treatments for the time being, Schwartz writes, but he is in a much better place than he was just weeks ago.

In December, the Giants hired Gettleman to be the fourth GM in club history. With 30 years of experience and a close relationship with ex-GM Ernie Accorsi, Gettleman was a natural fit for the position.

Giants Reshuffle Front Office

Six months into the Dave Gettleman regime, the Giants reorganized their front office on Wednesday. The headline move involved longtime Giants exec Kevin Abrams moving from the assistant GM title to the VP of football operations. But Big Blue made many other moves as well.

Former Panthers exec Mark Koncz joined his former boss as a consultant this offseason, but Gettleman established the longtime Carolina staffer as the Giants’ new director of player personnel, the team announced. Additionally, Chris Pettit is now the Giants’ director of college scouting, moving to that role after spending 13 years as an area scout.

Koncz worked for the Panthers from 1994, a year before their first season, until he was fired one week after Gettleman’s ouster last summer. Koncz served as Carolina’s director of player personnel during Gettleman’s tenure and spent nearly 15 years as the franchise’s director of pro scouting. Pettit’s worked in a full-time role with the franchise since 2005 but began his run with the Giants as an intern in 1998.

Former Giants linebacker Jessie Armstead will serve as special assistant to Gettleman, Patrick Hanscomb will shift from a role in the pro personnel department to a job as an area scout, specializing in the Mid-Atlantic region, and the Giants hired Marcus Cooper over from the Bills. He’ll serve as an area scout as well, working in the southeast. Cooper worked with the Bills for seven years, most recently serving as Buffalo’s Combine scout.

Ed Triggs will work as the Giants’ football operations coordinator, with Ty Siam assigned to football ops/data analytics. Charles Tisch will be a football operations assistant.

With Gettleman being diagnosed with lymphoma, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post anticipates Abrams’ role increasing and sees the team’s cap expert and chief negotiator looming as a logical successor to the current GM at some point.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Eagles, Wentz, Pats, Gronk

Good news for Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Based on what he is hearing, ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen (Twitter link) believes that Wentz will be ready for the team’s season opener.

All offseason long, the Eagles have been hoping that Wentz would be ready for Week 1. Of course, after his late-season ACL and LCL tears, the team is taking a cautious approach to his recovery. So far, Wentz has looked sharp in OTAs, so he should be ready to retake his spot as the team’s starting QB in September.

Here’s more from the East divisions:

  • There was a great deal of retirement talk surrounding Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski this offseason, but that’s all in the rear view mirror now. “I had to see where my body was at and where my mind was at. But now I’m out here, and I feel good,” Gronk said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeff Darlington). “I feel like I definitely made the right decision coming back out. Mind and body. That’s what it has always been about. Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. On Tuesday, Gronk and Tom Brady both reported to the Patriots for OTAs.
  • Jets tight end Chris Herndon, who was arrested Saturday, was on the practice field on Tuesday (Twitter link via Brian Costello of the New York Post). It remains to be seen whether he’ll face league discipline or whether the DUI charge will impact his status with the team.
  • The Giants announced that GM Dave Gettleman is set to undergo treatment for lymphoma. “Recently, I underwent an annual physical, during which it was discovered I have lymphoma. Over the past week, I have undergone more testing to determine the course of treatment, which is scheduled to start in the very near future,” Gettleman said in a statement. “The doctor’s outlook for the treatment and the prognosis is positive, and so am I. I will continue to work as much as the treatment process will allow, and as they know, when I am not in the office, I will be in constant communication with Pat (Shurmur), Kevin (Abrams) and the rest of our staff.”