New York Giants Rumors & News

Giants’ Shane Vereen Takes Pay Cut

Giants running back Shane Vereen has agreed to restructure his contract, reports Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. Previously scheduled to earn a $3.15MM base salary next season, Vereen will now collect $2.15MM, though he could get back the lost $1MM (and make another $250K) in incentives. Regardless, the move will save the Giants $843,750 in cap space.

Shane Vereen (Vertical)

The 2017 campaign will be the third with the Giants for Vereen, a pass-catching back who signed with Big Blue before the 2015 season and hauled in 59 receptions that year. Vereen, to whom New York paid a $500K roster bonus earlier this month, missed the majority of last season after tearing a triceps muscle on two separate occasions. In five games, he put up 252 total yards (158 rushing, 94 receiving) and a touchdown. As of now, the 28-year-old is the most established member of a largely unproven backfield which also includes Paul Perkins.

Vereen is the second Giant to restructure his contract this week, joining wide receiver/kick returner Dwayne Harris.The extra spending space could help Big Blue re-sign defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, posits Raanan. Hankins, who surprisingly hasn’t encountered a robust market, ranks as PFR’s best unsigned interior D-lineman.

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Giants To Meet With Garett Bolles

  • The Giants will meet with Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles in April, according to Dan Duggan of NJ.com (Twitter link). New York isn’t sold on keeping 2015 first-round pick Ereck Flowers at left tackle, and Bolles could give the club another option along its front five. Bolles is expected to be selected on Day 1 of the draft, and has a chance to be the first offensive lineman off the board.

Details On Geno Smith's Deal

  • Geno Smith, QB (Giants): One year, $775K base. $25K workout bonus. $800K in play time incentives. $12.5K per-game roster bonuses. Max value of $2MM. (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com).

Keenan Robinson, Dwayne Harris Contract Details

Giants’ Dwayne Harris Takes Pay Cut

Giants wide receiver/kick returner Dwayne Harris had his contract restructured, according to NFLPA records obtained by ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan. The Giants were reportedly thinking about cutting Harris if he did not agree to a pay cut. Dwayne Harris (vertical)

Harris had three years left on his contract and was due a $2.975MM base salary plus a $25K workout bonus this year. Now, he’ll have a more modest base salary of $2.475MM for 2017, giving the Giants $500K in savings. This was the logical outcome for both parties since a release would have saved the G-Men just $1.4MM against the cap with $2.4MM left in dead money.

Last year, Harris returned 29 punts for 170 yards (5.9 average) and took back 22 kickoffs for 533 yards (24.2 average), leading to his first career Pro Bowl nod. He’ll turn 30 in September.

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Giants To Sign RB Shaun Draughn

The Giants have agreed to a deal with running back Shaun Draughn, agent Sean Stellato tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Terms of the deal are not yet known. Last year, Draughn re-upped with the 49ers on an inexpensive one-year deal. Shaun Draughn

Draughn, 29, appeared in all 16 games for the Niners last year, mainly in a reserve role. He ran for 196 yards off of 74 carries and found the end zone four times. He also added 29 catches for 263 yards and two touchdowns.

The Giants are currently slated to start rising sophomore Paul Perkins with Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa, and George Winn in support. The G-Men have been expected to explore running back upgrades and the Draughn signing probably won’t stop them from continuing that search. This year’s draft has a number of talented running backs (especially at the top) and there are a handful of big name backs left in free agency, including Adrian Peterson, LeGarrette Blount, and Jamaal Charles.

Draughn’s defection will leave the 49ers searching for a new reserve to put behind starter Carlos Hyde. The Niners recently had Tim Hightower in for a visit and he could be a candidate for the role. Mike Davis and Raheem Mostert are also under contract.

The Giants are now slated to be the seventh NFL team of Draughn’s career. In addition to the Niners, the running back has previously suited up for the Chiefs, Ravens, Chargers, Browns, and Bears.

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Rashad Jennings Blackballed For “Dancing With The Stars”?

Rashad Jennings had a strong showing on “Dancing With The Stars” Monday night, or at least that’s what this recap from USA Today tells us. The Giants free agent running back used his “quick-footed Cha Cha” and stylish golden blazer to win over judges, putting him into DWTS frontrunner status. Rashad Jennings (vertical)

His performance netted him four “sparkle points” out of five from USA Today, but the rest of the league isn’t going wild over his newfound hobby. Word is that the free agent running back is being blackballed for participating in the show, longtime NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets.

Jennings is the latest in a long line of NFL players to take a shot at ballroom dancing on network television. Calvin Johnson, Antonio Brown, Chad Johnson, Hines Ward, Warren Sapp, Kurt Warner, Lawrence Taylor, Emmitt Smith, Donald Driver, Jason Taylor, Michael Irvin, Jerry Rice, and Von Miller have all strutted their stuff, with varying degrees of success. Most of those players did the show after retiring and only one, Miller, went on DWTS during a critical time for contract negotiations.

No one questioned Miller’s commitment to football during his reality show stint, but that might be because Miller was in his prime and one of the league’s very best defensive players. Jennings, on the other hand, is a soon-to-be 32-year-old coming off of an injury-riddled season. Teams probably expected that Jennings would be spending the offseason working out and meeting with interested teams. Instead, teams might be left with the impression that he is trying to follow the path of ex-Giant Michael Strahan. As a charismatic and good looking guy, Jennings could be zeroed in on a broadcasting career and that could detract from his commitment to football.

I have Jennings ranked as the fourth-best running back left in free agency.

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Giants To Re-Sign Keenan Robinson

Keenan Robinson paid visits to the Bengals and Bills this month, but his most recent NFL employer looks to have made a suitable offer. The Giants reached an agreement to re-sign the linebacker, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

Robinson spent one season with Big Blue, 2016, after playing three with the Redskins. He will continue to serve as a key component on the Giants’ second level, which has by far the least capital allocated to it on a team stacked with high-end defensive end and cornerback contracts. The Giants categorized Robinson as a lower-tier priority this offseason but engaged in talks with the UFA before free agency’s outset. After tending to bigger business, Big Blue agreed to retain the former fourth-round pick.

[RELATED: Latest On DT Johnathan Hankins]

The Bengals signed Kevin Minter soon after Robinson’s Cincinnati summit, and the Bills used a second-round pick on Reggie Ragland last year. The Giants aren’t especially keen on paying linebackers big deals. That trend should continue, with Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul having $17MM-AAV contracts. Robinson’s deal will likely be a midlevel accord.

A former multiyear Redskins starter, the 27-year-old Robinson made 79 tackles and deflected a career-high seven passes. Pro Football Focus, though, assigned Robinson a grade that placed him among the 10 worst full-time ‘backers last season. Playing on 71 percent of the Giants’ defensive snaps, Robinson started six games and played in every contest for a defense that made immense strides after a putrid 2015 performance.

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Giants Re-Sign Mark Herzlich

For the third time in four years, the Giants reached an agreement to bring back Mark Herzlich. The Giants re-signed the reserve linebacker and special-teamer today, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv reports (on Twitter).

A former UDFA, Herzlich has spent six seasons with the Giants. Last year, though, marked the only one that did not feature at least two Herzlich starts. The inspirational cancer survivor functioned strictly as a backup and special teams presence in the 14 games for which he was active during the 2016 regular season.

The Giants re-upped Herzlich on a two-year deal in 2015 and kept him on a one-year accord in 2014. The 29-year-old recovered a fumble last season but has been credited with just 17 tackles the past two years. He made 52 in 2014, which featured a career-high eight starts.

 

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Giants Sign CB Valentino Blake

The Giants have signed cornerback Valentino Blake, the team announced. Blake will provide the Giants with cornerback depth after Coty Sensabaugh signed with the Steelers on Monday. Antwon Valentino Blake (vertical)

Since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Texas-El Paso in 2012, Blake has appeared in all but two possible regular season games. After spending his first year with the Jaguars, he found his way to the Steelers and ascended to a starting role in 2015. Last year, he hooked on with the Titans and reverted to a reserve job.

In 16 games with Tennessee, he totaled 38 tackles and five passes defensed. Blake was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the No. 80 cornerback in the NFL last season out of 112 qualified players. His 62.5 score wasn’t great, but it was far ahead of Sensabaugh’s 48.4 posting. Blake is now projected to serve as the Giants’ No. 4 cornerback behind Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Eli Apple.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.