Giants Lose Half of their Starting Offense in 2011

August 11, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants might have to change their name to the New Look Giants this season. The team has been hit with a string of bad news (karma is a female dog) in recent weeks and the team has lost half of their starting offense. The news about WR Steve Smith going to the rival Eagles yesterday sealed the deal for me. I have been a very big fan of GM Jerry Reese and have showered him with praise since the first year he came to the team. But even my faith has been shaken by the mass exodus of pro bowl athletes in 2011. Think about this for a moment, the Giants have lost OL Rich Seubert, OL Shaun O’Hara, TE Kevin Boss, FB Madison Hedgecock and WR Steve Smith. All five of these guys were starters in an offense that requires eleven men. You do the math.

The Giants also lost some other quality guys such as OL Shawn “Fan Fav” Andrews, DT Barry Cofield (who also went to division rival, the Redskins). They are in a contract battle with all pro DE Osi Umenyiora, they lost CB Bruce Johnson to injury and cut him. They signed TE Ben Patrick who turned around and retired on them and they have lost their 1st round pick CB Prince Amukamara for two months. When it rains, it pours. There were other transactions made but these mentioned are the big deals and the team still hasn’t addressed all of the free agents that need signing. The Giants play their first preseason game in two days and will need to get a ton of new players up to speed on the playbook and the system. I’m not sure how they will fair but I wish them good luck with that.

I cannot remember a year in recent memory where the Giants lost so many quality players within a one month period of time. I’m not sure if there ever was a similar situation in team history. Yes, the team has signed some players but they hardly replaced all of the talent the team lost. I hope Jerry Reese knows what he is doing because this will be an unrecognizable group of players on the field to the true blue fan. The fact that the team was six million dollars over the salary cap certainly plays into the mix but that also begs the question of why? Who was watching the salary cap and allowed this to happen? Rabid fans have been calling for the head of Jerry Reese and for changes in the front office as a whole. I will keep my opinions to myself until I see what the team does in 2011. I will not panic but I am certainly deeply concerned.

What are your thoughts about the recent roster moves made by the Giants?

RD – nygreporter.com

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New York Giants Continue Adding and Subtracting Players

July 27, 2011

NEW YORK – It has been absolutely insane the past two days. Today we saw some interesting moves made by Big Blue. The first thing I would like to mention is the classy move to extend head coach Tom Coughlin’s contract through the 2012 season. Tom Coughlin deserves to remain with the team despite what the “experts” say about him being on some invisible hot seat. Coughlin is an elite head coach and a proven winner. As a fan, I am very happy to see John Mara reward Coughlin for his hard work and show how valuable he is to the organization. Congrats on your new contract coach and I hope you can stay another ten years.

Another coach that was hired today is assistant special teams coach Larry Izzo. Fans have known about this move for weeks. The Giants have been horrible on special teams the past couple of years. There is just no other way to say it. The Giants actually lost games due to the poor play of special teams and Jerry Reese took notice because he addressed that area during the draft and yesterday when he worked on the undrafted rookies. Izzo was an outstanding special teams player when he played in the NFL and spent the bulk of his career with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. He is a three time Pro Bowl player and a three time Super Bowl Champion.

The Giants were unable to work out a deal with DT Rocky Bernard, so he is expected to be released soon. This does not surprise me at all but does make me wonder if the team could have kept DT Barry Cofield if the news was announced prior to him making a six year deal with the Washington Redskins this morning. The team is going to miss Barry Cofield and I was pleased to hear they fought to try and keep him. The Giants have become very deep at the DT position with young talent but losing two veterans could hurt them a bit. The Giants are also looking to sign RB Ahmad Bradshaw, RB Brandon Jacobs and TE Kevin Boss. These three guys were in the news the most today as the front office clearly turns it’s attention to the offense. WR Plaxico Burress is back in the mix as a possibility to return and he is expected to meet with the Giants on Friday.

Let’s take a look at some of the moves/deals over the past 48 hours.

1. C Shaun O’Hara – expected to be released.

2. OL Rich Seubert – expected to be released.

3. OL Shawn Andrews – expected to be released.

4. DT Barry Cofield – six year deal with Washington Redskins.

5. DT Rocky Bernard – expected to be released.

6. Coach Tom Coughlin – signs contract extension through 2012.

7. Coach Larry Izzo – hired as assistant special teams coach.

8. OL David Baas – agreed to a deal with Giants via 49ers.

9. OL Kevin Boothe – signs two year deal with Giants.

10. WR Plaxico Burress – meeting with Giants on Friday.

How have you been keeping up with all of the transactions going on with Big Blue and the NFL?

RD – nygreporter.com

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New York Giants Continue to Reshape Team with More Moves

July 27, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants had a wonderful day by any measure of success in obtaining undrafted rookies yesterday. However, they also caused some waves among Giants fans by releasing some “fan favorite” players. After the news broke about the teams plans to release C Shaun O’Hara and OL Rich Seubert, the team followed up with more bad news by not coming to terms with OL Shawn Andrews. That means three offensive linemen have been cut or released in one day. This has left fans scratching their heads because it was very evident that the offensive line needed help before these cuts. They did re-sign OL Kevin Boothe to a two year deal but he is primarily a backup. The Giants have also reportedly agreed to terms with OL/C David Baas (6’4″ 330 pounds) who played his first six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. Fans have come to trust GM Jerry Reese and I’m sure he has a plan but this is asking for a whole lot of trust.

Fans awoke today to more bad news, when they read that DT Barry Cofield will be leaving the team and going to the Washington Redskins of all places. Reports have him signing a six year deal with the division rival. This is another move I just don’t understand. Barry Cofield had become one of my favorite players because all he did was shut his mouth and do his job. The coaches must have seen something that I didn’t because Barry appeared to be the only steady rock in the middle of that defensive line. I truly wish him well and hate that he will be playing across the line from us for at least six years.

The Giants have been working hard to re-sign RB Ahmad Bradshaw and believe it or not, the team had been talking with WR Plaxico Burress for much of the day yesterday. Coughlin even came out and said he did not mind speaking to Burress, which he will do today. I’m not sure how realistic it is to think Plaxico will return to New York after all of the bad things he said about not wanting to play for Coach Coughlin but crazier things have happened in the past. It is unclear who the G-Men will target in free agency after clearing up some cap space by releasing all of these players. They may have to just sign all of their own players and only get one or two free agents off the market. The Giants have just placed the offensive linemen position on top of the “need” chart by making all of these moves. I’m very surprised they didn’t take measures to replace them prior to announcing the cuts. That only tells me that GM Jerry Reese must be targeting at least one big time offensive lineman from free agency. The madness is far from over so stay tuned for more updates fans.

Are you surprised by all of the player moves Big Blue has made so far?

RD – nygreporter.com

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Bizarre Week in the NFL Ends Today With Possible Vote

July 22, 2011

NEW YORK – Things have really started to heat up with the lockout situation (currently 133 days). I haven’t seen this much hype since the presidential elections. We’ve got information coming in from all over the country, both from the owner negotiations and also from players hometowns and such. It is absolute madness and it might not be over today as some expect. The NFL owners approved a deal yesterday (meaning the owners agreed with each other on a deal to show players) and handed it over to the players. This means if the players accept the proposal, teams will go back to work as early as tomorrow when they open the team facilities. Sounds great right? The only problem is that players have come out saying the NFL owners sneaked in some new stuff before handing the deal to the players. Shame on the owners for playing dirty and being sneaky porkers.

After a night in which twitter exploded with theories and speculation from the sports community, we rise to a new day. So what happens now? It is hard to say but the owners have waited so long to introduce this proposal that it really puts everyone in a bad situation. The players will not accept something they think is unfair and there simply isn’t enough time to start this whole process over again without canceling games. Just like they did last night when they cancelled the Hall of Fame game which was to be played on August 7, 2011. Roger Goodell has said that if a deal isn’t reached by this Wednesday (7/27/11), more games will have to be cancelled in the preseason and it could seriously jeopardize the regular season beginning on time. My question to the NFL owners is simple, why the heck did you wait so long to hand over a proposal which has directly put everyone in this time crunch situation? Was there no sense of urgency to get this done? The only way a vote gets done today is if the NFL owners alter the current deal they gave to the players.

Meanwhile, we have Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw talking in the news about going to the Miami Dolphins. That is not encouraging news at all. Reports say the G-Men will be about $11 million dollars over the salary cap once the lockout ends and that they will need to make some tough decisions. The Giants are simply going to have to trim the roster and everyone knows it. What we don’t know is who is going to be let go or traded. Some of the more prominent names who could become salary cap casualties are DT Barry Cofield, DE Osi Umenyiora, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, WR Steve Smith, RB Brandon Jacobs and DE Mathias Kiwanuka. There are more players at risk but these six scare me the most. I do not want to lose any of these guys but the reality is that at least one of these players will not be with the team in 2011, maybe even two or more. Following the madness of keeping star players on the team, the G-Men will then have to focus on signing the rookies, who they haven’t seen play on the field yet.

Giants owner John Mara has said that he hopes to have the naming rights to New Meadowlands stadium sold before the season starts. Most reports think the new name will be the MetLife stadium, which I absolutely hate. I have not heard one Giants fan mention how they liked that name. In the age of corporations, it was nice that fans still had Giants stadium and Yankee stadium out there. It gave fans the feeling that their teams were above selling out to the corporate animals. I understand the situation is different with the leech Jets sharing the stadium but we can dream, right? It will always be Giants stadium to me.

What are your thoughts on how the 2011 NFL lockout is being handled?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please visit www.hampscamp.com and donate/contribute to Rodney Hampton’s charity for the kids!


2011 New York Giants Free Agent Frenzy

July 18, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants have a lot of work to do once this lockout ends. They have some really good players that need new contracts. WR Steve Smith, RB Ahmad Bradshaw and DT Barry Cofield are the top three in my opinion. Some will disagree with my assessment but some will also agree with me. There will be areas of need that will arise out of the pile once the free agency madness begins. DE Osi Umenyiora is one of the big time players seeking a new contract as well, even though he still has 2 years left on his existing contract. The guy backed up his talk by having an excellent 2010 season and in my opinion deserves a better contract. DE Mathias Kiwanuka and RB Brandon Jacobs are no easy fixes either.

Ahmad Bradshaw’s agent Drew Rosenhaus came out in the news today and said that although Bradshaw would prefer to stay in New York, he would also not mind playing for the Miami Dolphins if a deal could not be worked out. While this appears to be a game of trickery of the agents part to strike some fear into Big Blue, agents should be very careful when dealing with the Giants or they just might oblige. The weather might be nice down in Miami but they have not be relevant for decades in the football world. Going to Miami would be about the money and the weather, while staying in New York would be all about the Championship rings.

DT Barry Cofield was also in the news over the weekend and rumors have started swirling about him possibly going to Washington if things can’t be worked out in New York. I really like Barry Cofield and hope they can make a fair deal to keep him. Cofield has been the biggest anomaly on the team as far as I’m concerned. The previous rumors of draft day trades and the lack of a new contract really have me dumbstruck. Perhaps the coaches see something that I am missing because he seems solid as a rock in the middle of that defensive line. Another player and former Giant who may end up playing in the same division (NFC East) is WR Plaxico Burress, who could end up in Philadelphia of all places.

The player who is the most important re-signing of 2011 is WR Steve Smith. The Giants offense has a better rhythm with him in the games and QB Eli Manning has really leaned on the sure hands of Smith, now that the two have become more aquatinted with each other on the field. Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham are awesome wide receivers in their own right but Steve Smith is the glue that holds that passing attacking together. Smith and Bradshaw seem to be the two locks for re-signing in my opinion. With the lockout expected to end any day now, fans better get ready for the free agent frenzy that is right around the corner.

Which player signing should be the number one concern for the Giants during this free agency period?

RD – nygreporter.com

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Can Fantasy Football Survive a Cancelled 2011 Season?

May 12, 2011

NEW YORK – I have been a fantasy football player since 1999. I have seen that industry grow into a $15 billion dollar a year beast. There are only a handful of websites that can claim to be big time in that industry. Among them are CBSSports.com, ESPN.com and NFL.com to name the big three in my opinion. If the 2011 NFL season is cancelled, I am sure that those three sports sites will be fine. But what about the smaller websites that offer fantasy games or the emerging fantasy sites people don’t know about yet? I’m sure this is the furthest thing on the NFL’s mind but it is just another issue that will arise from the 2011 lockout that has now reached 62 days.

Could the 2011 NFL lockout actually benefit the larger sports sites, by creating a monopoly on fantasy football by eliminating competition through attrition? I know there are a lot of people out there who could care less about fantasy football but the fact remains that thousands of people have jobs working on the game. The economy is bad enough right now without adding a few thousand more people to the unemployment line. Sure there will be fantasy basketball and hockey that will emerge in the fall but everyone knows the bread and butter of fantasy sports is football. If the NFL cancels the 2011 season, fantasy staffs all over the country will be cut in half or laid off. The reality of “no football” until September 2012 would set in immediately and effect the economy instantly.

Personally, I do not think they will cancel this season. The amount of money is so great that the players or owners will eventually give in. The players I feel bad for are guys like New York Giants DT Barry Cofield who get stuck in the middle. Here is a guy who has played his heart out since being drafted by New York and he could wind up getting the shaft over politics. Free agents are the walking dead right now with zero options. I am a big Cofield fan and hope the team does the right thing with him. We all understand it is a business but giving Chris Canty almost 3 times the money Cofield makes is a joke. I have nothing against Mr. Canty but even he knows Cofield had a better season then he did last year. There is no denying that fact. Barry Cofield is a Giant through and through and deserves some respect for his contributions to the team. Cofield expressed his frustration in an article this week that I found to be honest and truthful. What do you think about his situation?

Top New York Giants for 2011 Fantasy Football

1. WR Hakeem Nicks

2. QB Eli Manning

3. WR Steve Smith

4. NYG Defense

5. RB Ahmad Bradshaw

6. RB Brandon Jacobs

7. WR Mario Manningham

8. TE Kevin Boss

Would you add or subtract anyone from the list above? Do you think there will be a 2011 NFL season?

RD – nygreporter.com

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2011 NFL Draft: Day Two, Round 2 New York Giants

April 29, 2011

NEW YORK – Here we are on day two of the 2011 NFL Draft. After an exciting 1st round with the Giants stealing CB Prince Amukamara, the team now focused on other areas of need in the 2nd round. The Giants selected DT Marvin Austin (6’2″ 309 pounds) with the 52nd overall pick. This does not surprise me at all because the 2011 NFL Draft class was deep at the DT position.

There seems to be personality questions surrounding this player according to the experts but if GM Jerry Reese drafted him, I think it may be more hype then reality. This is a big strong guy. He had 38 reps on the bench press at the combine and his intangibles are off the charts. He is considered a first round talent by most experts but seems to have work ethic questions after missing the entire football season last year after being deemed ineligible to play. The Giants have plenty of players who can take this talented rookie under their wings and show him how to be a professional. Austin has won all sorts of accolades and is still considered a huge talent regardless of the off field issues.

Because the G-Men drafted a DT, that should mean that a current DT will not be with the team in 2011. I can only hope that they do not let DT Barry Cofield go or trade him. I am a big fan of Cofield’s and have been since Big Blue drafted him. He is a consistent player who does not miss football games. I would keep Cofield over Bernard for certain if given the choice. Canty has a lot to prove this year and so does Linval Joseph. There will be some competition at the DT position in this years training camp for certain and that is just the way Tom Coughlin likes it.

I’m surprised that the team hasn’t addressed the offensive line yet but I expect them to do so with their 3rd round pick. Be sure to come back and check out our next article on the Giants 3rd round pick tonight!

Are you surprised that the Giants took a defensive tackle with their second round pick?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please visit www.hampscamp.com and donate/contribute to Rodney Hampton’s charity for the kids!