New York Giants Rumors & News

Giants Cut Rahim Moore, Ishaq Williams

The Giants cut defensive back Rahim Moore and linebacker Ishaq Williams, according to a team announcement. Rahim Moore

The Giants signed Moore to reserve/futures deal back in January, but their interest in him dated back to at least March of 2016. The G-Men considered signing the safety in that offseason, but he ultimately joined the Browns on a one-year, $1.85MM deal. Moore was cut in early September and earned a tryout from the Giants in October 2016, but he ended up sitting out the entire season. Before all of that, Moore spent the first four years of his career in Denver and parlayed that into a three-year, $12MM free agent deal with Houston. The Texans dropped him after a disappointing 2015.

Williams, a Notre Dame product, joined the Giants as a UDFA in May 2016. Though he missed the final cut, he spent significant time on the taxi squad and even earned a promotion to the active roster in December.

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Giants Sign Devin Taylor

The Giants have signed defensive end Devin Taylor to a one-year contract, tweets Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The addition of Taylor is the second of the evening for New York, which reached a deal with safety Duke Ihenacho earlier Wednesday.

Devin Taylor (vertical)[RELATED: Updated Giants Depth Chart]

The 27-year-old Taylor went to Detroit in the fourth round of the 2013 draft and ended up spending his first four seasons there, appearing in 61 of a possible 64 games and totaling 18 starts. Taylor also registered a respectable 15 sacks, 11.5 of which came from 2015-16 (four last year), and is coming off his first 16-start campaign. But Pro Football Focus wasn’t exactly enamored of Taylor’s output in 2016, as it ranked his performance 108th among 109 qualified defensive ends, and he drew no known interest in free agency before his meeting with the Giants this week.

Unlike the Lions, the Giants won’t lean on Taylor as a starter. Big Blue already has an elite defensive end duo in Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul, so Taylor will give the club further depth behind those two. Taylor offers the most proven track record among a group of backup Giants DEs that includes Romeo Okwara, Owa Odighizuwa and fifth-round rookie Avery Moss, among others.

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Giants To Sign Duke Ihenacho

The Giants have agreed to a deal with free agent safety Duke Ihenacho, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Duke Ihenacho

A five-year veteran, Ihenacho spent the previous three seasons as a member of one of the Giants’ NFC East rivals, the Redskins, with whom he appeared in 19 games and started 11. The majority of those appearances (15) and starts (10) came in 2016 for the 27-year-old Ihenacho, who amassed 60 tackles and ranked 78th in performance among Pro Football Focus’ 90 qualified safeties.

The Giants have one of the premier strong safeties in the NFL, Landon Collins, as well as a prospective starter at free safety in Darian Thompson. With Thompson on the shelf for the majority of 2016, his rookie year, on account of a Lisfranc injury, Andrew Adams started in 13 games and graded as PFF’s 39th-best safety. Now, he and Ihenacho figure to serve as the Giants’ top reserves at the back of their defense.

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Rashad Jennings To Tour With DWTS

Last night, Rashad Jennings was crowned the winner of this year’s “Dancing With The Stars.” The running back is still without an NFL team for 2017, but he has work to keep him busy in the meantime. Jennings will tour the country with DWTS, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. However, he has an out in his contract in the event that he gets an NFL opportunity that he wants to pursue. Rashad Jennings (vertical)

This year, Jennings became the latest active NFLer to participate in the show, joining notables such as Calvin Johnson, Antonio Brown, and Von Miller. He win also marks the fourth time that a professional football player has won the sought after disco ball trophy, joining Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward, and Donald Driver. Reportedly, teams weren’t thrilled about his decision to dance on national television instead of focusing on football.

Jennings, 32, is coming off of an injury-riddled season in which he averaged just 3.3 yards per carry. He did, however, turn in a solid year in 2015 as he averaged 4.4 yards per carry and started in all 16 regular season games.

It remains to be seen how much interest he garners as a free agent this summer, particularly since his availability for workouts might be limited during the tour. At the same time, one has to wonder if Jennings could use his newfound stardom as a launching pad for a career in broadcasting. After all, former Giant Michael Strahan made that transition seamlessly and he now makes even more money than he did on the field.

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Giants Hosting LB Gerald Hodges

Free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges‘ free agent tour will continue, as he’s scheduled to meet with the Giants today, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link).Gerald Hodges (Vertical)

Hodges, 26, only visited with two clubs — the Chiefs and Seahawks — during the first month of free agency, as his market seemed to be extremely limited. The demand for the four-year pro has certainly picked up, however, as Hodges has been linked to the Jets, Bills, Patriots, Jaguars, and Colts over the past two weeks.

Hodges started 12 games in 2016, playing on roughly half of San Francisco’s defensive snaps while grading as the NFL’s No. 21 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus. In 15 total games, Hodges racked up 80 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. He also chipped in on special teams (73 snaps).

The Giants didn’t make many additions to their linebacking unit this offseason, as their only moves at the position involved re-signing veteran Keenan Robinson and bringing undrafted free agent Calvin Munson out of San Diego State. The rest of Big Blue’s ‘backer depth chart is comprised of Devon Kennard, Jonathan Casillas, J.T. Thomas, Deontae Skinner, Mark Herzlich, and B.J. Goodson.

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Odell Beckham Jr. Misses Giants' OTA

Odell Beckham Jr. did not report to Day 1 of Giants OTAs, Dan Duggan of NJ.com reports. The reason for the absence is not known, per Duggan. These are voluntary workouts, so Beckham cannot be fined for missing them. The Giants will convene again Tuesday, and Thursday’s session will be the first featuring media availability. Duggan reports Beckham being absent for this part of Big Blue’s calendar isn’t new; the superstar wideout was not a consistent presence at last year’s OTAs. The three-time Pro Bowl receiver is attached to a $1.8MM salary in 2017, but New York predictably picked up his $8.5MM fifth-year option. Beckham is now eligible for an extension that would stand to be in line with the top receivers in football, and while he’s displayed some mercurial tendencies, he’s already shown himself to be historically dominant Giants playmaker.

  • Justin Pugh signing an extension this offseason would come as a surprise to NJ.com’s James Kratch, who writes that it makes sense for neither side to rush this process. The Giants want to see Pugh make it through a season unscathed after he missed nine combined games between 2014-16. Pugh discussed being in a good spot regarding his second contract, seemingly content to reach free agency after noticing the guard deals of March.

Giants Meet With DE Devin Taylor

Former Lions defensive end Devin Taylor is visiting the Giants today, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. This marks Taylor’s first known visit since free agency kicked off more than two months ago. Devin Taylor (vertical)

Last year, Taylor started in all 16 regular season games for the first time in his career. The former fourth-round pick had 4.5 sacks and 28 total tackles on the year, but the advanced numbers at Pro Football Focus portrayed him as the second-worst qualified edge defender in the NFL. For what it’s worth, in the prior year, Taylor had 7.0 sacks and an overall score of 68.5 – a significantly better showing than his 39.1 mark in ’16.

Taylor is not a starting-caliber player at this point in his career and that suits the Giants just fine as they arguably have the league’s most fearsome DE duo in Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon. There are a number of reserve DEs under contract behind them including Romeo Okwara, fifth-round rookie Avery Moss, and Owa Odighizuwa, but there has been some chatter this offseason about Odighizuwa stepping away from football. Right now, it seems like Odighizuwa will play, but if he has a change of heart, someone like Taylor could serve as an insurance policy.

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Kratch On Pugh, Richburg, Other Pending UFAs

  • James Kratch of NJ.com looks at some of the Giants‘ high-profile players who are entering their contract years and what their long-term outlook with the club looks like. Kratch says an extension for Justin Pugh will not happen, and that Big Blue is either going to have to pony up big bucks for a multi-year deal next offseason or else slap Pugh with the franchise tag. Kratch believes an extension is slightly more likely for Weston Richburg, but that it is still a remote possibility, and if Richburg returns to form in 2017, he could set himself up for an Alex Mack-level payday.

Justin Pugh Discusses Contract Situation

The whopping dollars allocated to UFA guards this offseason stands to impact teams’ negotiations with impending free agents at a position that’s seen its value rise. Justin Pugh is entering his contract year and looks ready to cash in after seeing players with similar profiles do so in March.

The fifth-year Giants guard described himself as “in the driver’s seat” for a major payday.

Trust me, I noticed,’’ Pugh said of the contracts the high-end guard UFAs signed two months ago, via Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post. “Some of the guards are really good players who have not made Pro Bowls, guys that have missed significant time and have gotten paid a lot of money. I know where I sit in that hierarchy. I also know the Giants need to do right by me, too.

I’ve gone out there and done everything they’ve ever asked me to do. So I know my worth. I’m going to go out there and play my best season of football and hopefully the Giants say, ‘Let’s pay him what he deserves.‘”

Pugh made it clear he wants to stay in New York, but a second contract obviously will cost the Giants. There are now five guards whose deals average eight figures per year, with Kevin Zeitler and Joel Bitonio‘s Browns pacts moving that figure from three to five in March, and two other guards — T.J. Lang and Ronald Leary — signed for at least $9MM AAV this offseason. The 26-year-old Pugh has not made a Pro Bowl, but neither have the aforementioned four guards who signed high-value deals.

The Giants and Pugh have discussed an extension as far back as last summer, but the former right tackle upped his value with a season that saw him rank as Pro Football Focus’ No. 16 overall guard. Big Blue also has center Weston Richburg set to hit free agency, leaving a franchise that’s allocated most of its cash toward helping its defense over the past two offseasons with a potentially tough situation to navigate.

A one-time first-round pick out of Syracuse, Pugh stands to play on a fifth-year option worth $8.8MM in 2017. He joins the likes of Gabe Jackson, Andrew Norwell and Jack Mewhort as the next group of guards who stand to be paid big dollars in a league that’s seen developing offensive linemen become much tougher due to the increase of spread offenses in college and the current CBA limit practice time.

That is the goal,’’ Pugh said, via Cannizzaro, of signing a long-term Giants contract. “I never want to leave New York City. I started something here, and I want to finish it. We started 0-6 my first season. From where we started to where we’re at now, I feel like I have something to prove in New York City. I have a lot left to show. I have a ring I have to win. I have to get Eli [Manning] his third, and I have to get my first. That’s all I’m thinking about.

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Giants To Give Bobby Hart Every Shot To Keep RT Job

  • The Giants did not allocate many resources to bolstering a middling offensive line, pointing to the incumbents being given another chance. Although the team added guard/tackle D.J. Fluker on a lower-level deal, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post believes Bobby Hart will still be given every chance to keep the right tackle job. This arrangement could potentially pit Fluker against recently re-signed right guard John Jerry, whom Pro Football Focus assessed as enjoying a bounce-back season in 2016. The 22-year-old Hart being a priority over putting Fluker and Jerry in the lineup together would be interesting given his history as a former seventh-round pick and a player whom PFF graded as the No. 67 full-time tackle last season.