New York Giants Rumors & News

Giants Could Use Veteran Addition At CB

Offseason In Review: New York Giants

Last offseason, the Giants made some serious noise by adding defensive tackle Damon Harrison, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and defensive end Olivier Vernon in free agency. Thanks in large part to those upgrades, the Giants reached the playoffs for the first time since the 2011 season. Unfortunately, this postseason trip didn’t go quite the same way as they were blown out by the Packers in the opening round.

This year, as a result of last year’s expenditures, they had decidedly less cap room to work with. Will the Giants’ spring and summer moves allow them to get back into contention?

Notable signings:

It’s hard not to be happy for Jason Pierre-Paul. Two years ago, it seemed like Pierre-Paul had thrown his career away in an unfortunate fireworks accident. However, JPP has proved many NFL analysts and armchair doctors wrong by performing at a high level even with one-and-a-half digits missing on his right hand. Finally, Pierre-Paul got the fat multi-year deal he was seeking this offseason with a four-year, $62MM commitment from the G-men. The deal gave JPP solid cashflow through the first two seasons (roughly $35MM, according to reports) and allowed the Giants to avoid having to pay him an exorbitant 2017 salary under the one-year franchise tag. Jason Pierre-Paul

Rhett Ellison might not sell a ton of jerseys in the New York area, but the Giants are hoping he’ll provide quality blocking when needed. Ellison, 29 in October, certainly wasn’t signed for his offensive skills as he averaged just 10 receptions per season during his five-year run in Minnesota. The $4.5MM average annual value of his deal took many by surprise, but the Giants had to compete with the Jaguars for his services and they felt that he was the right fit for their system. Fortunately, they have Will Tye returning this year plus a promising first-round tight end (more on him later) to provide Eli Manning with large targets across the middle of the field.

Is Brandon Marshall in decline, or was he just bogged down with the rest of the Jets’ offensive quagmire in 2016? The Giants are about to find out. Last year, Marshall had just 59 grabs for 788 yards and three scores. Those aren’t awful numbers, per se, but they pale in comparison to his previous stat lines. In 2015, Marshall’s first year with Gang Green, he had 109 catches for 1,502 yards and a career-high 14 TDs. If all goes well, Marshall’s first year with the other tenant of the swamp should yield results somewhere in the middle. Marshall could do a lot of damage as defenses focus in on Odell Beckham Jr. and speedster Sterling Shepard, but he also won’t be getting as many looks as he has been accustomed to. The good news is that the veteran has probably prepared himself for that mentally. Marshall signed with the Giants in large part because of his desire to win a Super Bowl and he is effectively choosing to do his damage in ODB’s shadow rather than being the No. 1 receiver for a non-playoff team. In his eleven career NFL seasons with the Broncos, Dolphins, Bears, and Jets, Marshall has yet to see the postseason.

Brandon Marshall (Vertical)In order for Marshall to thrive, the offensive line will have to do its part and protect Eli Manning in the pocket. To help accomplish that, the Giants added a bit of depth on the interior of the line. The Giants signed former Chargers first-round pick D.J. Fluker early on in free agency, a move that some thought would squeeze right guard John Jerry out of New York. Instead, the Giants moved to re-sign Jerry just two days later. The early word out of camp is that Jerry will start at right guard and the team may be too gung-ho about Bobby Hart at right tackle to give Fluker an opportunity there. Right now, it seems like Fluker actually projects as a swingman off of the bench. Alternatively, the Giants could drop Fluker before the start of the season and save $1.5MM against the cap.

Marshall isn’t the only player changing jerseys while staying in the same building. Geno Smith, who has spent his NFL career on the back page of the New York tabloids for all the wrong reasons, will attempt to reboot his career as Manning’s clipboard holder. Unfortunately for him, things are not going well so far in camp. Veteran Josh Johnson is currently the favorite to win the QB2 job while third-round pick Davis Webb pretty much has a guaranteed roster spot. That could leave Smith without a job this summer. The G-Men will only have to carry $325K in dead money if they part ways with the ex-Jet.

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Paul Perkins Will Start, But Will Not Be Bell-Cow

Do Giants Have NFL's Best Big 3 WRs?

  • Do the Giants have the best receiving trio in the entire NFL after adding Brandon Marshall? Todd Archer of ESPN.com believes that’s the case, particularly since Eli Manning likes to throw a lot and the opportunities will be there for Odell Beckham Jr., rising sophomore Sterling Shepard, and Marshall to shine. Marshall’s production took a step back in 2016, but we’ll soon find out whether that is due to aging or if the Jets’ offensive quagmire of last season is to blame.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Elliott, Wilson

It sounds like linebacker Eric Pinkins is now looking to make the Giants 53-man roster as a safety. Pinkins tells Dan Duggan of NJ.com that he saw an opportunity to move back to the secondary and jumped on it.

Honestly, I took initiative,” Pinkins explained. “I went up to the guy that runs the scout cards because they had two receivers at safety. I was like, ‘I’ll give a way better look than receivers out there.’ So he ended talking to the head man (Ben McAdoo) and I saw him just smirk and shake his head, ‘Yes.’ Then I was like, ‘Yes! It’s my opportunity to show them I can play safety.’ I ended up going back there. Two plays later, (Sterling Shepard) was running a corner route, I picked it and I’ve been playing safety ever since.

Pinkins appeared in six games for Seattle in 2015 and made five appearances for the Giants last season. He hasn’t seen a ton of action over his two NFL seasons, but he might have an opportunity to see more time as a backup to Darian Thompson and Landon Collins this year.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Ezekiel Elliott‘s situation with the league office has dragged on for months and it’s anyone’s guess as to why things are taking so long. It could be that investigators are working toward resolving what amounts to a dispute between the Cowboys running back and his accuser as to what he did and didn’t do, Mike Florio of PFT writes. It could also be that the person making the decision at the league office is getting pressure from both Jerry Jones and the league’s public relation arm. Many expected that there would be a resolution for Elliott during Fourth of July weekend, but that did not happen.
  • The arrest of Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson does not put additional pressure on Jaylon Smith to perform, Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News opines. If Smith has as much talent as Jones has indicated, then he might be the better player of the two anyway. Of course, it still remains to be seen whether Wilson will miss significant time due to the unfortunate events that transpired on Tuesday. There’s also no guarantee that Smith will be ready for the start of the season, though he is confident that he’ll be ready for Week 1.
  • Former Eagles wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has cleared waivers.

Opinion: Giants Have NFC East's Best WRs

NFC East Notes: Cousins, Redskins, JPP

If given a choice, which NFC East quarterback would you want leading your team for the next three years? Todd Archer, Jordan Raanan, and John Keim of ESPN.com all agree that Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is the guy to have. That answer may come as a surprise to some people since the division also features two-time Super Bowl champ Eli Manning and rising stars Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz. However, the consensus here is that Cousins is the most reliable of the quartet since he has proven himself over the last two years. More needs to be seen from Prescott and Wentz, the writers argue, and it’s hard to bet on Manning given his age and the down year he had in 2016.

Here is more from the NFC East:

  • Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has come a long way in the last two years, Mike Florio of PFT writes. On this day in 2015, JPP’s unfortunate fireworks mishap shook the football world on an otherwise quiet holiday weekend. Pierre-Paul was already scheduled to play out the season on the franchise tag but lost millions that year after being sidelined for multiple games. Against all odds, JPP still looked good on the field despite the condition of his hand and he parlayed a strong 2016 into a four-year, $62MM deal this past offseason. Some fans laughed at the notion that Pierre-Paul could recover from such a devastating injury, but he was arguably better than ever in 2016.
  • The Redskins have to offer Cousins around $75MM to $80MM in total guaranteed money if they hope to lock him up on an extension this month, Mike Jones of The Washington Post writes. The deal would also have to have an average annual salary of between $25MM and $27MM, but the numbers don’t mean much if Cousins doesn’t actually want to be in D.C.. A recent report indicated that Cousins still has serious reservations about staying with the Redskins long term.
  • Over the weekend, Redskins running back Matt Jones made a change in representation.

Giants Notes: Fluker, Randolph, Veteran CB

  • D.J. Fluker has been lining up exclusively at right guard this offseason for the Giants, but James Kratch of NJ.com does not see any chance that the former Charger will unseat John Jerry at the position. There is always the possibility that Fluker moves back to right tackle, where he played during his first two seasons with the Bolts, but Kratch says Big Blue is very optimistic about Bobby Hart and will give him every opportunity to earn the right tackle job. In fact, Kratch does not foresee a true competition shaping up at right tackle this summer, and there is a good chance the Giants simply cut Fluker and save $1.5MM in the process.
  • D.J. Fluker has been lining up exclusively at right guard this offseason for the Giants, but James Kratch of NJ.com does not see any chance that the former Charger will unseat John Jerry at the position. There is always the possibility that Fluker moves back to right tackle, where he played during his first two seasons with the Bolts, but Kratch says Big Blue is very optimistic about Bobby Hart and will give him every opportunity to earn the right tackle job. In fact, Kratch does not foresee a true competition shaping up at right tackle this summer, and there is a good chance the Giants simply cut Fluker and save $1.5MM in the process.
  • In the same piece, Kratch says he does not expect the Giants to add a veteran cornerback at this point, and he also observes that, as much as everyone is rooting for UDFA Travis Rudolph because of his personal story, it’s going to be difficult for him to crack a loaded WR corps. Rudolph, Roger Lewis, and Darius Powe will likely be competing for, at most, one receiver spot, and that’s only if New York elects to keep six wideouts.

No NFL Comment On Pending Giants/Manning Lawsuit

The Giants and quarterback Eli Manning will soon be dealing with a memorabilia fraud lawsuit, but ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio notes that the NFL still has no comment on the situation. Specifically, the reporter wonders if “a civil finding of memorabilia fraud” would ultimately lead to a review under the league’s Personal Conduct Policy, especially considering the vague explanation of the rule:

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NFC East Notes: Redskins, Pryor, Eagles

Will free agent addition Terrelle Pryor wind up being the Redskins‘ leading receiver in 2017? JP Finlay and Rich Tandler of CSN Mid-Atlantic put the question up for debate. Pryor’s 55% catch rate last year wasn’t great, but Finlay argues that he couldn’t have done much better given the quarterbacks he had throwing to him. If Pryor was able to haul in 77 receptions for 1,007 yards with a rotating cast of unimpressive QBs, then he could put up even bigger numbers with Kirk Cousins throwing to him. On the flipside, Tandler notes that wide receiver Jamison Crowder and tight end Jordan Reed both figure to be targeted more than Pryor, giving the Ohio State product long odds of being the team’s top pass catcher.

Here’s more out of the NFC East:

  • Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount can earn $50K if he weighs in between 240-245 pounds on the team’s reporting date for training camp, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Blount’s one-year deal calls for $1.25MM in base pay, but he can earn a total of $2.8MM through incentives, including the summer weigh-in. Blount is coming off one of his best seasons, having achieved career highs in carries (299), yards (1,161), and touchdowns (an NFL-leading 18).
  • If a deal does not get done between the Redskins and Kirk Cousins, don’t be shocked if Washington leaks the last offer rejected by the quarterback, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. It’s likely that the final offer will sound impressive in comparison to what Cousins has accomplished so far on the field, so the Redskins can win some fan sympathy by giving a selective peek behind the curtain. An extension is currently viewed as a longshot and Cousins might be fundamentally unhappy with the team.
  • Could the Giants consider free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis? It would make for an excellent story, but James Kratch of NJ.com writes that it doesn’t make sense for the G-Men financially. Revis can collect his $6MM salary from the Jets by sitting on the couch and some have speculated that he would want $8MM from a team in order to actually play this year. Not only is that an unreasonable asking price for Revis at this stage of his career, but the Giants couldn’t fit that salary under the cap even if they wanted to make it happen.
  • Alterraun Verner, on the other hand, would be a more realistic option for the Giants, Kratch writes. Verner was apparently out of shape when he auditioned for the Jaguars in May, but he’d be an interesting slot option if he is now ready to play football. The Giants have a great slot corner in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but they don’t have a Plan B in the event of an injury.