Giants Rumors

Three Giants Test Positive For COVID-19

Although the Giants are not scheduled to play again until Week 12, they have run into a COVID-19 issue. Following Graham Gano‘s coronavirus contraction, three more Giants players have submitted positive tests.

Rookie tackle Matt Peart, tight end Kaden Smith and recently added wide receiver Dante Pettis tested positive for COVID, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. They will join Gano, punter Riley Dixon and long snapper Casey Kreiter on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

While none of Friday’s cases have affected high-profile Giants players, four positive tests certainly is a concern for the team. The Giants said in a statement they learned of the tests Thursday night; contact tracing is underway. No Giants have been at the team’s facility this week. Gano’s positive test Monday nixed plans for any in-person meetings or light workouts, per Vacchiano.

Players who test positive must remain away from teams’ facilities for 10 days, so Friday’s news will shelve the three latest positive testers for the Giants’ Nov. 29 game against the Bengals. The Giants played without guard starter Will Hernandez in two games earlier this month because of his positive test.

A third-round pick viewed as a developmental tackle, Peart has mixed in on offense since his Week 6 start. The UConn product has played 64 offensive snaps over the past four games, rotating in with starting right tackle Cameron Fleming. Used as a blocking tight end alongside Evan Engram, Smith has started nine games this season and played 48% of Big Blue’s offensive snaps. Pettis, claimed off waivers earlier this month, has yet to make his Giants debut.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/18/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from IR: OL Phil Haynes
  • Placed on IR: CB Neiko Thorpe

Tennessee Titans

Giants Fire OL Coach Marc Colombo

Despite the Giants winning two straight games and generating recent rushing production without Saquon Barkley, they will have a new offensive line coach when they return from their Week 11 bye.

The Giants fired first-year O-line coach Marc Colombo after a shouting match with Joe Judge. The incumbent O-line instructor did not react well to the team bringing in veteran assistant Dave DeGuglielmo to work alongside him (Twitter links via The Athletic’s Dan Duggan and NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo).

Colombo earned the gig this offseason, beating out DeGuglielmo and rejoining OC Jason Garrett. Colombo had previously served as the Cowboys’ O-line coach. DeGuglielmo, however, had worked with Judge in New England and was on Tom Coughlin‘s staff as assistant Giants offensive line coach from 2004-08. He will go through COVID-19 protocols before joining the Giants, who will retain assistant offensive line coach Ben Wilkerson, Duggan notes (subscription required).

This marks the second straight year DeGuglielmo will take over for an O-line coach fired months after accepting a position. The Dolphins added DeGuglelmo after firing ex-Giants line instructor Pat Flaherty in August 2019. DeGuglielmo worked with Judge with the Patriots from 2014-15, during Dante Scarnecchia‘s sabbatical.

Andrew Thomas ranks 65th among tackles, according to Pro Football Focus, and Football Outsiders slots the Giants last in adjusted line yards. A former Cowboys offensive lineman, Colombo joined Garrett’s staff in 2016 and rose to the position of offensive line coach two years later. The Cowboys promoted to Colombo during the 2018 season, upon firing Paul Alexander. Judge has recently allocated more of his time to working with the O-linemen, with Garafolo noting the first-year HC viewed that as a position group that needed his attention (video link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/17/20

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Giants, Washington Have COVID-19 Positives

We continue to see a steady uptick in COVID-19 cases around the league, although fortunately they have been mostly isolated incidents with no full-blown outbreaks. Tuesday morning we got word of two more teams with players testing positive, both in the NFC East. The Giants and the Washington Football Team are the latest to be hit with the virus.

The Giants’ player is kicker Graham Gano, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets. Thankfully New York is on bye this week, so Gano should be able to kick by the next time the Giants play a game in Week 12 against Cincinnati assuming there are no complications, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets. The Giants are finally starting to pick up a little steam, so hopefully this remains an isolated incident that has minimal implications because of the bye.

Washington also had a player test positive, and also thankfully it sounds like somewhat of a best-case scenario. The unidentified player hasn’t been in the facility in the past few days and didn’t travel with the team for their game in Detroit last week, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets. That’s because the player is currently on injured reserve, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweets.

Washington is going into the intensive protocol, but since he didn’t play in the game the Lions won’t have to and hopefully no other Washington players caught it. Interestingly, as Pelissero noted in a follow-up tweet, Washington was one of only three teams who hadn’t placed a player on the reserve/COVID-19 list during the regular season before now. The only two remaining are the Rams and Seahawks.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/17/20

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

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: LB Jake Carlock

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Cut: OT O’Shea Dugas

Dallas Cowboys

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Chiefs, 49ers Interested In DeAndre Baker

The armed robbery charges against former Giants cornerback Deandre Baker have been dropped and he’s already drawing interest from a handful of NFL teams. The Chiefs, Bengals, 49ers, and Jaguars are all in on Baker, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (on Twitter). The Cowboys, he adds, “could also be in play.” 

[RELATED: Robbery Charges Against DeAndre Baker Dropped]

The Giants, who immediately distanced themselves from Baker following the allegations from Florida, are not interested in a reunion, Schwartz says. Giants head coach Joe Judge effectively confirmed that when speaking with reporters on Monday.

[We] wish him the best luck in the future,” Judge said. “We’ve made the decision we think is best for the program. That is all I have to say about that.”

The Giants traded up from the second round in 2019 to draft Baker towards the back-end of the first round. A standout at Georgia, Baker was widely regarded as the top cornerback in the class. The 5-foot-11 athlete turned in a standout 2018 season with the Bulldogs, compiling 40 tackles, two sacks, nine passes defended, and two picks. However, he struggled to grasp the playbook as a rookie and wound up benched late in the season. All in all, he had 55 stops, zero interceptions, and lots of headache-inducing game tape.

On the other hand, Baker is still young and represents a low-risk, high-reward signing for teams like the Chiefs and 49ers. He’s free to sign with any team, though NFL discipline could still be in his future.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/16/20

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

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: LS Rex Sunahara

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Washington Football Team

The Panthers were going to land Stevens as an UDFA back in April before the Saints snagged him in the seventh-round. He was recently cut from New Orleans’ practice squad last week. Stevens is a diverse athlete who played a Taysom Hill-esque role at Penn State before transferring to Mississippi State for the 2019 college season. His signing could be an indication the Panthers are worried about Teddy Bridgewater‘s status for Sunday, but since they had previous reported interest in Stevens it could be completely unrelated.

Robbery Charges Against DeAndre Baker Dropped

The four armed robbery charges against DeAndre Baker have been dropped, per an announcement from Florida prosecutors. Meanwhile, the attorney for three of Baker’s accusers has been arrested on extortion charges (via Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post). 

Laywer William Dean represented three of Baker’s accusers — all of whom recanted their statements last week. There was a fourth accuser who wasn’t represented by Dean, and he did not appear for a hearing in October. Reportedly, Dean tried to pry as much as $1.5M from Baker in exchange for his clients changing their statements.

A quick refresher: Baker was alleged to have robbed a party at gunpoint in May. Originally, Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar was charged as his accomplice, but the Broward State Attorney’s office declined to pursue charges against him. The story has only gotten stranger from there, including payoff allegations against attorney Michael Grieco, who was once representing Dunbar. The charges against Dunbar have since been dropped.

The Giants kept their distance from Baker throughout the process before formally waiving him in September. He is now a full-fledged free agent and free to sign with any club, though he could still be subject to fines or suspensions from the league office.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Extend Graham Gano

On the heels of David Bakhtiari‘s extension, we’ve got another one to pass along. Although it’s not nearly as large, kicker Graham Gano is getting an extension that runs through the 2023 season from the Giants, the team announced Sunday.

Gano signed a one-year, $2.5MM deal with the Giants back in August that was set to expire at the end of the season. He’ll now get three additional years tacked on. Those three years will come with $14MM in new money, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. Of that, $9MM is guaranteed, so the Giants are tied to Gano for a whlie. He’s been on fire recently, and has an active streak of 20 consecutive field goals going.

An UDFA in 2009, Gano spent his first couple of seasons as Washington’s kicker before signing with Carolina in 2012. He held down the Panthers’ job for the next seven seasons, making the Pro Bowl in 2017. He missed all of last season with a knee injury, and the Panthers cut him back in July.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.