Giants Rumors

Giants Sign Devonta Freeman

It’s officially official. On Wednesday morning, the Giants announced the signing of running back Devonta Freeman. To clear a spot for him on the active roster, the Giants have placed wide receiver Sterling Shepard on injured reserve with a turf toe injury.

[RELATED: Giants Place Sterling Shepard On IR]

It’s a one-year deal worth up to $3MM, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Agent Drew Rosenhaus claims that his client “turned down more money from other teams because he likes the opportunity with the Giants best.” That may or may not be typical agent spin. Not long ago, Freeman was one of the NFL’s highest-paid running backs. But, since his fall from the top, he’s had a hard time finding the type of money he’s accustomed to.

The 28-year-old turned down a Seahawks offer believed to be worth a concrete $3MM and rebuffed inquiries from the Eagles earlier this offseason. Freeman’s tepid market coupled with his pickiness led to a divorce between him and his longtime agent, leading him to Rosenhaus.

It’s been a while since the 28-year-old has flashed his Pro Bowl talent. Injuries limited Freeman to only two games in 2018, and he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry in 14 games last season. That underwhelming performance led to him being ranked 41st among 43 running backs in success rate, per Football Outsiders.

In New York, he’ll look to carve out a role following Saquon Barkley‘s season-ending injury. It’s not a given that he’ll be the Giants’ lead back right off the bat, as Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman are also on the depth chart.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Place Sterling Shepard On IR

The Giants are placing Sterling Shepard on injured reserve with turf toe, per a club announcement. The move will open up a spot for the arrival of running back Devonta Freeman

Shepard has been a focal point of the Giants’ offense so far this year, reeling in eight grabs for 76 yards off of ten targets. Fellow wideout Darius Slayton and tight end Evan Engram are the only Giants to have received more looks from Daniel Jones in 2020.

The Giants are now facing a season without star running back Saquon Barkley and a three-game stretch (at minimum) without Shepard. The addition of Freeman will help maintain some of their offensive firepower, but this is a Giants team that is clearly in trouble. After falling to the Steelers and Bears to open the year, the Giants will take on the 49ers at home, the Rams on the road, and the rival Cowboys in Dallas.

Without Shepard, the Giants are left with Slayton, Golden Tate, Damion Ratley, and C.J. Board as their wide receivers. They may look to draw from their expanded practice squad for help, where WRs Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor, and Derrick Dillon are at the ready.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/22/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the day:

Indianapolis Colts

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/22/20

We’ll keep track of today’s taxi squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: OL Rick Leonard

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

  • Signed: LB Deyon Sizer

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • Released: LB Greg Roberts

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Giants Expected To Sign Devonta Freeman

After bringing in Devonta Freeman for a visit, the Giants have put the veteran running back through COVID-19 testing protocols. If the former Falcons Pro Bowler’s tests come back negative, they are expected to sign him, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reports (video link).

The Giants used Jerry Reese-era holdover Wayne Gallman as Saquon Barkley‘s primary replacement last season, when the star running back rehabbed a high ankle sprain. A year later, it looks like Freeman and Dion Lewis will be tasked with filling the void. The Giants placed Barkley on IR Tuesday after his ACL tear.

Freeman visited the Eagles late last week and met with the Jaguars earlier this month. But he is on Day 2 of coronavirus testing with the Giants, who suddenly need running back help more than the other teams that previously considered Freeman. The 28-year-old back waited for a quality fit this offseason, rejecting a Seahawks offer believed to be worth $3MM and initially spurning the Eagles’ interest. It appears the Giants will be his second NFL destination.

The former Super Bowl starter has two 1,000-yard seasons on his resume. Each of those — in 2015 and ’16 — included 1,500-plus scrimmage yards and garnered him Pro Bowl invites. However, the former fourth-round pick has not been especially productive since 2017. Freeman missed almost all of the 2018 season due to injury and was not the same back in 2019, when he played in 14 Falcons games and averaged just 3.6 yards per carry. The 2020 Falcons cap casualty will aim to re-establish himself in New York, which has 14 Barkley-less games on tap.

Gallman remains on the Giants’ 53-man roster, but Joe Judge turned to Lewis — whom he coached in New England — after Barkley’s injury. The Giants gave Lewis a one-year, $1.55MM deal this offseason. He figures to share work with Freeman, whose expected deal will almost certainly be a one-year pact.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RB Devonta Freeman Visits Giants

Following Saquon Barkley‘s season-ending injury, the Giants are in the market for a running back. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (via Twitter) that veteran Devonta Freeman visited the team today.

The Giants will be hard pressed to replace Barkley’s production, and the organization is apparently looking for someone to either supplant or join Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman on the depth chart. That could potentially be Freeman, who still finds himself unsigned after being released by the Falcons back in March.

It’s been a while since the 28-year-old has flashed his Pro Bowl talent. Injuries limited Freeman to only two games in 2018, and he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry in 14 games last season. That underwhelming performance led to him being ranked 41st among 43 running backs in success rate, per Football Outsiders.

Still, despite the lack of on-field productivity, plenty of teams have reached out to Freeman. The veteran reportedly rejected a one-year, $3MM deal from the Seahawks during the offseason, and he’s met with both the Jaguars and Eagles since the start of September. Both of those latter teams could theoretically offer Freeman some sort of role, so it’s clear the running back isn’t solely looking for an opportunity. Rather, if the Giants want to sign him, it sounds like they’ll have to satisfy his financial demands.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants’ Saquon Barkley Tears ACL

The Giants’ fears have been confirmed. On Monday morning, the club announced that star Saquon Barkley has suffered a torn ACL. The running back will be formally placed on injured reserve, officially ending his season after just two games. 

The severity of Barkley’s knee injury was readily apparent when he was forced out early from Sunday’s game against the Bears. After an MRI of his right knee at the Hospital for Special Surgery, the former No. 2 overall pick now knows that he’ll be headed to the operating table. After that, Barkley will begin his road to recovery with an eye on 100% health to open the 2021 season.

Barkley was hampered by an ankle issue last year that limited him to only 13 games and had him hobbled in several others. In his full 16-game season as a rookie in 2018, the Penn State product notched 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. He also added another 721 and four through the air while averaging 5.0 yards per carry. That was the kind of season that the Giants and Barkley were banking on.

Now 0-2 after falling to the Steelers and Bears, the Giants are left with Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman as their backfield leaders. Both players profile as capable backups — and Gallman has impressed on the practice field — but the Giants are still expected to scour the market for alternatives. There aren’t a ton of high-end free agent options at this stage of the season, but the trade market could provide the Giants with some opportunities.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Fear RB Saquon Barkley Has Torn ACL

Absolutely devastating news for the Giants, as it appears Saquon Barkley will be done for the year. New York fears their young running back has torn his ACL, sources told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Schefter adds that official confirmation won’t come until Monday, but since field tests for ACLs are extremely accurate, it’s all but certain. Barkley was completely bottled up in the Giants’ Week 1 loss to the Steelers, and went down early in their game against the Bears. The Penn State product hasn’t always had a ton of room to run behind New York’s patchwork offensive line, but he’s still managed to be electric during his first couple of years in the league.

The second overall pick of the 2018 draft, Barkley quickly became one of the most recognizable faces in the NFL, and this is a huge loss. Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman are next up at running back for the G-Men, although it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if they went out and added a veteran in the wake of this injury.

Barkley was hampered by an ankle issue last year that limited him to only 13 games and had him hobbled in several others. In his only 16-game season as a rookie he had 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground, adding another 721 and four through the air while averaging 5.0 yards per carry.

The Giants are now 0-2 on the year, and will be missing the heart of their offense moving forward. It certainly won’t help Jason Garrett’s first year as offensive coordinator, and Daniel Jones will now be without his safety blanket. Here’s to hoping Barkley makes a full recovery in plenty of time for the 2021 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/19/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves. There are many, as teams take advantage of the rule change allowing 55-man rosters ahead of regular-season games. Teams can dress 48 players for games this season, up from 46.

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

2020 NFL Cap Space, By Team

Cap management has been extra complicated in the NFL this year. After ~70 NFL players opted out of the 2020 season, teams were left with holes and plenty of available dollars to fill the gaps. At first, the ongoing uncertainty over next year’s salary cap had teams nervous about large-scale commitments. Now, it seems like we’re getting back to business as usual.

Recent deals for Saints star Alvin Kamara, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and others demonstrate the league’s long-term confidence. In turn, we’ve seen cap figures change dramatically in September.

Here’s the rundown of each team’s estimated cap space for the 2020 season, via Over The Cap:

  1. Cleveland Browns – $33.4MM
  2. New York Jets – $28.6MM
  3. Dallas Cowboys — $27.5MM
  4. New England Patriots – $26.3MM
  5. Washington Football Team – $25.8MM
  6. Denver Broncos – $25.7MM
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars – $25.2MM
  8. Philadelphia Eagles – $20MM
  9. Detroit Lions – $18MM
  10. Miami Dolphins – $16.7MM
  11. Baltimore Ravens – $14.2MM
  12. Los Angeles Chargers – $11.8MM
  13. Cincinnati Bengals – $11.6MM
  14. Arizona Cardinals – $11.4MM
  15. Indianapolis Colts – $11.3MM
  16. San Francisco 49ers – $11.2MM
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers – $10.9MM
  18. Chicago Bears – $9.9MM
  19. New York Giants – $9.6MM
  20. Houston Texans – $9.6MM
  21. Tennessee Titans – $9.4MM
  22. New Orleans Saints – $8.8MM
  23. Green Bay Packers – $8.7MM
  24. Los Angeles Rams – $7.7MM
  25. Las Vegas Raiders – $7.4MM
  26. Carolina Panthers – $6.9MM
  27. Kansas City Chiefs – $6.6MM
  28. Buffalo Bills – $6.5MM
  29. Seattle Seahawks – $6.2MM
  30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $3.7MM
  31. Atlanta Falcons – $3.3MM
  32. Minnesota Vikings – $2MM