Giants Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/2/20

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

New York Giants

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/1/20

Teams continue to move their rosters toward 80 players, which will be the maximum by the time full practices begin. Here are the latest minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the afternoon:

Baltimore Ravens

Dallas Cowboys

  • Waived: LS Joe Fortunato
  • Waived/injured: LB Azur Kamara

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: LS Rex Sunahara

New York Giants

  • Claimed off waivers (from Browns): WR Tony Brown

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Giants, Nick Gates Agree To Extension

The Giants have agreed to a two-year extension with offensive lineman Nick Gates, as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The new deal carries a base value of $6.825MM with the potential to reach $10.325MM via incentives and bonuses.

It’s a nice pay bump for the former undrafted free agent, especially considering that he spent his would-be 2018 rookie season on IR. Last year, Gates turned in a perfect attendance card including three starts.

This year, Gates figures to reprise his role as a backup tackle. The Giants will be counting on him a little bit more than anticipated – starting tackle Nate Solder has exercised his right to opt out of the 2020 season, leaving the Giants with first-round pick Andrew Thomas and third-rounder Matt Peart as their projected starting tackles.

At Nebraska, Gates made 25 consecutive starts at left tackle. With the Giants, he’s moved between right guard and right tackle, and he’ll likely bounce between the interior and exterior line once again this year. The Giants have retooled their offensive line, but they see Gates as a keeper and, potentially, a future cog.

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2020 NFL Opt Out Tracker

Per an agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, players with COVID-19 health concerns can opt out of the 2020 season. Initially, the deadline was believed to be Tuesday, August 4. Recently, we learned that the deadline is set for seven days after the final execution of the agreement. The lawyers are still hashing out some paperwork matters, so the NFL is looking to push up the date.

Chiefs guard and medical school graduate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first player to officially opt out. This week, scores of players followed.

Here’s the rundown, so far:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

  • OL Anthony McKinney

Washington Football Team

Free agents

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/30/20

Here are Thursday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the afternoon.

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Waived: DL Domenique Davis

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

  • Claimed off waivers (from Dolphins): CB Ryan Lewis

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Guice, Giants

The Eagles will be without Lane Johnson for a while. They placed their Pro Bowl right tackle on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. Teams are not permitted to disclose whether a player tested positive or if he was placed on the list for other reasons, but Johnson tweets he did indeed test positive for COVID-19. The eighth-year right tackle will be on the shelf for a bit because of the roster designation. The reserve/COVID-19 designation is for players who have tested positive for the coronavirus or are in quarantine for potential exposure. Players must pass three coronavirus tests to return to action. Fellow tackle Jordan Mailata and linebacker Nathan Gerry also landed on Philadelphia’s reserve/COVID list.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Ahead of what could be a make-or-break season, Washington running back Derrius Guice is healthy again. The third-year player tweeted that he has been fully cleared for participation in football activities. Guice missed all of 2018 with an ACL tear and encountered multiple bouts of knee trouble last season as well. The former second-round pick has played in five of a possible 32 regular-season games and now will attempt to carve out a role for a new Washington regime.
  • Although rookies have come in at slot deals since 2011, the Eagles sweetened their second-round quarterback’s deal a bit. Jalen Hurts‘ four-year, $6.02MM rookie contract includes a $75K workout bonus in 2022 and a $100K workout bump in 2023, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Broncos included workout bonuses in 2019 second-round pick Drew Lock‘s contract.
  • The Giants and Leonard Williams were not close on a long-term deal, and an NFL executive believes Big Blue overpaid the sixth-year defensive lineman on the $16.1MM franchise tag, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com notes. Williams has an interesting trait of almost sacking quarterbacks, ranking 12th in QB hits (101) since 2015 but 84th in sacks in that span. As a result of the pricey tag, which makes Williams the Giants’ highest-paid player this season, an agent told Raanan that the team raised Williams’ asking price. Despite registering a half-sack in 15 games last season, Williams sought an $18-$20MM-per-year deal.
  • Ten-year veteran defensive lineman Ziggy Hood is moving into the coaching ranks. The former defensive tackle will be a Washington coaching intern this season, John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. Hood, 33, played in Washington from 2016-18.

Giants LT Nate Solder Opts Out

Giants left tackle Nate Solder has announced he is opting out of the 2020 season. The former Patriots blocker cited family concerns in doing so (Twitter link). Solder, who overcame testicular cancer during his NFL career, has a son battling cancer.

This was set to be Solder’s third season with the Giants, who were to slot No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas‘ at right tackle. This announcement may change the organization’s plans. Solder qualifies as a high-risk opt-out player. He will receive a $350K stipend for the 2020 season.

The Giants signed Solder to a then-record four-year, $62MM deal in 2018. That deal now runs through the 2022 season, with Solder’s $9.9MM base salary and $19.5MM cap number tolling to 2021.

He was the centerpiece of then-new GM Dave Gettleman‘s offensive line overhaul. While the 6-foot-8 veteran has not delivered on that contract, his opt out will leave the Giants shorthanded at one of the game’s most pivotal positions. Solder, 32, has started all 32 games since signing his Giants pact.

Big Blue drafted Thomas as a Solder heir apparent, but after letting 2019 right tackle stopgap Mike Remmers leave in free agency, the team was planning on a Solder-Thomas setup. This may force the team to begin Thomas at left tackle early and move March addition Cameron Fleming into the starting lineup. The Giants had the former Patriots and Cowboys tackle on track for a swing-man role. Fleming has started 18 games in his six-year career. New York also used a third-round pick on tackle Matt Peart, but even before the coronavirus wiped out onsite offseason workouts, the UConn product was viewed as more of a developmental player.

Were the Giants to look to the market to find a left tackle stopgap, Cordy Glenn remains unsigned. Jason Peters re-signed with the Eagles after months in free agency, and Kelvin Beachum reached a recent deal with the Cardinals. Donald Penn and longtime Buccaneers right tackle Demar Dotson also remain free agents.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants’ Markus Golden To Sign Tender

Giants edge rusher Markus Golden will sign his tender and report to the team, according to Art Stapleton of The Record (on Twitter). When he arrives, Golden will go through the first round of COVID-19 protocols and get to work once he’s given the green light.

Golden registered 10 sacks in a bounce-back 2019 season, but the game tape and advanced metrics told a slightly different story. With only 26 pressures, many evaluators felt that his sack totals were something of a fluke. Golden aimed for a lucrative multiyear deal, but the Giants instead tethered him with a rarely used UFA tender. When Golden wasn’t able to scare up another offer, he chose to take his time. Now, he’ll return to the G-Men and earn $4.125MM in 2020.

Last year, the Giants finished near the bottom in pass-defense DVOA. In a perfect world, they probably would have liked to upgrade from Golden, but they did not engage heavily with this year’s top edge rushers. Instead of adding one of the still-available options – a list that includes Jadeveon Clowney, Everson Griffen, and Jabaal Sheard – the Giants seem ready to enter Week 1 with Golden, longtime Packers backup Kyler Fackrell, and a young group of DEs to bring the blitz.

Because Golden’s 10th and final sack last season triggered a $1MM incentive, he made more money in 2019 than his 2020 tender will pay. This sets up a strange “prove it again” season for the former Cardinals second-round pick. But with the Giants curiously doing little to augment their edge-rushing situation this year, Golden is again in line to be the team’s top pass rusher. This will be Golden’s age-29 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/28/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the afternoon. With teams having until August 16 to cut their rosters from 90 to 80 players, many are doing so before on-field camp work begins.

Carolina Panthers

  • Claimed off waivers (from Patriots): LB Kyahva Tezino
  • Waived: OL Juwann Bushell-Beatty

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Waived/NFI: WR Zimari Manning

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Latest On Deandre Baker, Quinton Dunbar

Giants cornerback Deandre Baker has been placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Baker, of course, is facing several charges for his alleged role in an armed robbery. Dunbar has landed on the list as well, Rapoport adds (via Twitter). Both players will appeal this placement, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter links).

The Exempt list means that Baker and Dunbar will be barred from playing or practicing, though they will be paid while they wait in limbo with the league office. Effectively, the Exempt list is used to give the NFL time to wait things out while legal matters and the league’s own investigation plays out. Earlier this year, the Giants asked Baker to stay home and focus on his off-the-field matters. The Seahawks, however, were including Dunbar in their virtual offseason.

Baker is facing eight felony charges stemming from his alleged involvement in an armed robbery that took place in May. Dunbar faces four. Last month, Baker was reported to be involved in an attempt to pay off witnesses to recant their statements related to the robbery. Dunbar’s former attorney, Michael Grieco, was allegedly involved in this scheme as well. Baker’s attorney denies this occurred and said his client has passed a lie detector test.

Prior to Monday’s news, the Giants had not informed Baker to stay away from camp. The second-year cornerback was planning on attending, per Schwartz. The Giants traded back into the first round to draft Baker in 2019. He represents their biggest draft investment in a cornerback since they used a top-10 pick on Eli Apple four years ago. Baker struggled in coverage as a rookie but was expected to remain a starter under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham this season. Monday’s news will stall such plans and may well force the Giants to look at possible replacement options — at least for the time being.

Seattle sent a fifth-round pick to Washington for Dunbar, whom Pro Football Focus graded as one of the NFL’s best corners in a breakout, four-interception 2019 season. The sixth-year defender landing on the Exempt list, however, will force the Seahawks to play other corners in his place. Seattle’s 2019 starters, Shaquill Griffin and Tre Flowers, remain on the roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.