Giants Rumors

Giants K Aldrick Rosas Signs Second-Round RFA Tender

Although it does not appear teams are close to starting offseason workouts, the Giants will have their kicker in the fold when they do reconvene.

Aldrick Rosas signed his second-round RFA tender on Wednesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The former Pro Bowler will be attached to a $3.26MM salary.

It would make sense for the Giants to explore a Rosas extension. He’s one of only four Pro Bowl kickers in franchise history, following Josh Brown (2015), John Carney (2008) and Ali Haji-Sheikh (1983). Should Rosas not have an extension in place by next March, he will be set for unrestricted free agency.

The Giants’ kicker since his 2017 arrival, Rosas has played in 48 straight games with the team. He made 32 of 33 field goal tries in 2018 — including 6-for-6 from 40-49 yards and 4 of 5 from beyond 50. However, the former Titans UDFA missed seven field goals as a rookie in 2017 and missed nine kicks (five field goals, four PATs) last season.

The Giants held a late-season kicker workout last year, after Rosas missed two field goals in a five-point loss to the Bears. But the team did not replace him and is moving forward with its 25-year-old specialist.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/8/20

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Baltimore Ravens

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Poll: Where Will Jadeveon Clowney Sign?

It’s April and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is still without an NFL team. The former No. 1 overall pick isn’t coming off of a banner year, but he plays a premium position and has 32 career sacks to his credit. So, what gives? 

Of course, his price tag is his biggest blocker. Clowney came into the offseason seeking a deal worth $20MM per year. Recently, he backed down from that position, though the incumbent Seahawks are believed to be offering between $13-$15MM per annum, which is still probably less than he’s willing to accept.

A reunion still seems possible, but Clowney’s camp is working to find a better deal in the interim. Late last week, the Browns entered the sweepstakes and some league officials believe that they have the strongest interest of any suitor. The Browns have tons of cap room – about $43MM – and they might be willing to use some of it to swap Olivier Vernon for Clowney. Of course, that might be easier said than done, since the Browns would still have to find a team willing to take on the rest of Vernon’s contract, which is set to pay him $15.25MM.

The Jets could use Clowney’s edge rushing ability, but they’ve been taking a conservative approach to free agency after whiffing on their preferred targets in March. The Titans have also been linked to him, thanks to Clowney’s relationship with head coach Mike Vrabel from their Houston days, but they’re less inclined to spend on the pass rush after committing $9MM to outside linebacker Vic Beasley.

Other teams have been connected to Clowney, like the Giants, Colts, and Dolphins, though their pass rush needs have already been addressed. The Eagles remain an interesting landing spot for him from a football perspective, and they have breathing room to work with for right now, but their 2021 situation could complicate things. In theory, Philly could still land Clowney if he is willing to accept a one-year deal. The Ravens – with less than $11MM in cap space for the current year – seem less likely to sign him. For the sake of casting a wide net, we’ll include all of those teams in our poll.

Where do you think Clowney will sign? Cast your vote in the poll below (link for app users) and back up your pick in the comments.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FIU QB James Morgan Drawing Interest

FIU quarterback James Morgan is starting to generate some buzz as we get closer to draft day, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes. Morgan made his way onto our site for the first time today, when we wrote that the Patriots have shown some interest, and New England is not the only team sniffing around.

Per Wilson, a number of clubs are closely vetting Morgan, though COVID-19 restrictions obviously mean that he can’t visit teams or work out privately for them. Wilson’s sources say that in addition to the Patriots, the Packers, Bears, Colts, Raiders, Giants, Bills, Jets, and Dolphins are among the teams intrigued by Morgan.

It is not surprising to see most of the teams on that list. New England, of course, is in the market for a collegiate passer after watching Tom Brady sign with the Buccaneers, and the Dolphins have long been connected to this year’s top rookie QBs. The Raiders, Bears, and Colts have varying degrees of long-term uncertainty at the quarterback position, and the Packers had planned to host the best QB prospects before pre-draft visits were cancelled (Morgan is actually a Green Bay native, and the Packers may be starting to prepare for life without Aaron Rodgers).

Meanwhile, all three New York outfits seem to have a long-term solution under center already, although none of their incumbents are sure things at the moment. And given that Morgan is a mid- to late-round prospect, it couldn’t hurt for those teams to at least have a look.

Morgan performed well at this year’s scouting combine and at the East-West Shrine Game, and a Southeast Area NFL scout said Morgan has one of the three strongest arms in the draft, along with the intelligence and leadership qualities that teams covet. After an uneven tenure at Bowling Green, Morgan transferred to FIU in 2018 and earned Conference USA Newcomer of the Year honors by completing over 65% of his passes for 26 TDs and seven interceptions.

His 2019 effort was not quite as strong, but he has put together enough quality tape to start rising up draft boards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Love Simmons

  • The Giants are in an interesting spot with the fourth pick, and Miller writes that he’s heard talk out of New York that the team loves Clemson do-it-all linebacker Isaiah Simmons. While Miller has made Simmons the pick in his latest mock draft, he notes there has been “quiet buzz building for Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs with the fourth overall pick. The Giants could certainly use an offensive tackle as well as Simmons’ versatility on defense, so either pick would make sense.

NFC Notes: Foles, Trubisky, Bears, Ifedi, Lewis, Giants

We heard earlier today that the Bears were planning an open quarterback competition between Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky, but that might not be entirely accurate. Both general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy insisted during a teleconference with the media that it would be a fair battle and even that Trubisky would take the first snaps whenever they hit the field for their first practices, but Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune is skeptical.

Trubisky is the incumbent and is being treated as such for now, but Biggs thinks the team is just paying lip-service to the former number two overall pick. “Short of the 31-year-old falling on his face or being injured,” it’s Foles’ job to lose, Biggs writes. It makes sense why Pace doesn’t want to admit defeat with Trubisky, considering he traded up to draft him so early in 2017. Biggs writes that it’s the inverse of the situation the Bears had in 2017, when Mike Glennon was technically the starter but everyone knew Trubisky would be taking over sooner rather than later. As of right now, Foles looks like a heavy favorite to be under center Week 1.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Speaking of the Bears, one big move they made this offseason was signing offensive lineman Germain Ifedi away from the Seahawks. The 2016 first-round pick played both tackle and guard extensively during his time in Seattle, and Chicago is planning to play him in side at guard Pace said, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Ifedi was a full-time starter the past few years with the Seahawks, but never lived up to his draft status.
  • Running back Dion Lewis agreed to sign with the Giants back on March 23rd, and now we’ve got the details. New York got a pretty good deal, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets that Lewis received a one-year deal worth $1.55MM with nothing guaranteed. New Giants coach Joe Judge was with Lewis during their time with the Patriots. Lewis turns 30 in September but doesn’t have too much tread on his tires since he’s never been a workhorse back. Lewis signed a four-year, $20MM deal with the Titans in 2018, but lasted only two years in Tennessee after Derrick Henry emerged as the undisputed featured back. He should backup Saquon Barkley in 2020.
  • In case you missed it the Lions are likely looking to trade down from the third overall pick, and they could have their eye on Ohio State corner Jeff Okudah.

Giants Unlikely To Re-Sign Markus Golden

There probably won’t be a reunion for the Giants and Markus Golden. The linebacker’s asking price has scared away the incumbent G-Men – and other pass rushing clubs – leaving him in no-man’s land in the latter stages of free agency, ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan hears. 

After notching ten sacks in 2019, Golden expected lavish offers in free agency. However, sounds like he’ll have to temper his expectations before finding a home.

[He’s asking for] too much money,” sources have told Raanan.

Golden showed that he’s back in full force with a performances reminiscent of his best days in Arizona, before the serious knee injury in 2017. He placed sixth in the league in quarterback hits (27) and placed in the top 15 with 13 tackles for a loss. A deeper look, however, reveals some warts – ranked just 73rd among edge rushers with 26 total pressures, an indication that his sack total may have been something of a fluke.

In the last few weeks, the Giants have signed outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell and it doesn’t sound like they’re looking to make any sort of edge rush splash beyond that. Jadeveon Clowney, who also overestimated his market, is not on the Giants’ radar either, according to Raanan. Instead, they’re likely to focus on cheaper options like Cameron Wake, Jabaal Sheard, and Vinny Curry.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants, LS Casey Kreiter Agree To Deal

The Giants will reunite Riley Dixon with his former long snapper. Casey Kreiter agreed to terms with the Giants on Wednesday, the team announced.

Dixon and Kreiter played together for two seasons with the Broncos. The team non-tendered Kreiter as an RFA last year but re-signed him. The Broncos will move on from their four-year snapper this offseason.

While terms of this deal are not known, veteran snappers are confined to a precise salary range — anywhere from $1.1-$1.3MM per year. In addition to spending four seasons in Denver, Kreiter went to camp twice with the Cowboys during Jason Garrett‘s HC tenure.

Colin Holba snapped in five Giants games last season and remains under contract. The addition of the 29-year-old Kreiter also figures to spell the end of Zak DeOssie‘s time with the Giants. The two-time Pro Bowler went on IR last season. DeOssie spent 13 seasons with the Giants, snapping in both their most recent Super Bowl-winning campaigns.

The Giants expect DeOssie to retire, per ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter). That would mean losing the final two members of their Super Bowl champion teams in one offseason, with Eli Manning having called it quits after 16 seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Will Giants Take Isaiah Simmons?

However, in his latest mock draft, ESPN.com’s Todd McShay predicts that the G-Men will take Clemson outside linebacker Isaiah Simmons. The versatile defender could help slow down the run, put pressure on opposing QBs, and help turn around a defense that allowed more than 28 points per game in 2019.

When the Giants pick at No. 4, however, things could get interesting. The Giants could be a prime position to trade down and load up in the later rounds. If they stand pat, GM Dave Gettleman could be tempted by one of his beloved “Hog Mollies,” an imposing tackle to help fortify their offensive line.

NFC Contract Details: Funchess, Blythe, Redskins, Cardinals

We’ve got a handful of contract details to pass along. We’ll start with the latest NFC notes, all via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter:

  • Devin Funchess, WR (Packers): One year, $2.5MM. Includes $3.75MM in receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns incentives.
  • Austin Blythe, OL (Rams): One year. Worth $3.9MM, including $3.5MM guaranteed. $950K signing bonus, $2.95MM salary (of which $2.55MM is guaranteed).
  • Peyton Barber, RB (Redskins): Two year, $3MM. Includes $600K signing bonus. Salaries: $910K (2020), $1.14MM (2021). $150K per-game maximum roster bonus in 2020, $199K+ per-game maximum roster bonus in 2021.
  • Nate Orchard, LB (Redskins): Re-signed. One-year, $1.047MM deal. Includes $137.5K signing bonus, $910K salary.
  • Seth Roberts, WR (Panthers): One year, $3.75MM. Includes $600K signing bonus, $3.1MM salary, $50K workout bonus.
  • Marcus Gilbert, OT (Cardinals): One year, $3.75MM. $1.05MM base salary (of which only $150K is guaranteed). Up to $2.7MM in playing time incentives.
  • Max Garcia, OL (Cardinals): Re-signed. One-year, $1.25MM deal, including $600K guaranteed. Up to $190K per-game maximum roster bonus, up to $1MM in playing time incentives.
  • Cameron Fleming, OL (Giants): Signed. One-year, $3.5MM deal (as opposed to previously-reported one-year, $4MM deal). Includes $2MM guaranteed. Up to $500K per-game roster bonus, up to $500K playing time incentives.
  • Kerry Hyder, DE (49ers): One year. $1.5MM, including $550K guaranteed. Up to $250K in per-game roster bonus.