New York Giants Roster Moves, Free Agency Signings

March 15, 2012

NEW YORK – To say that the Giants have been busy the past 48 hours is an understatement. The Giants could hit the 15-17 player signings benchmark by tonight if they continue at this pace. I see what Giants GM Jerry Reese is doing and it is fun to take this journey of evolution with him and guess what happens because he is not showing his hand. You must know the team well enough to come up with scenarios and quite frankly, if you’re one of those writers who has given up, don’t steal my formulas or ideas and print them as your own. I read everything related to the Giants daily. It’s like a kick in the gut when you put two and two together and check the timelines for story releases. If you want my work, pay me, don’t be a hack.

Now back to business, the Giants have made about a dozen deals over the last 48 hours and show no signs of stopping today. They know the cream of the crop is almost completely devoured by now and will make a couple more moves in my opinion by Friday night. It’s safe to say the Giants have addressed the tight end and cornerback areas considerably thus far. They also have S Chad Jones, CB Prince Amukamara, CB Corey Webster to work with too and TE Jake Ballard and TE Travis Beckum. How about signing both of the Andrews brothers (Shawn and Stacy)? Get those guys up to speed and on the field together and see what happens. I also think that signing DE Osi Umenyiora, S Deon Grant, LB Chase Blackburn are crucial for the defense and special teams group.

Let’s take a look at what has happened thus far. Giants GM Jerry Reese has solidified the cornerback position on defense. He knows the defensive line is fine but if a good deal presents itself, who knows? He knows the safety group is fine, maybe add one more. This tells me he will be attacking the linebacker group via the upcoming NFL draft. If he catches lightning in a bottle with a future LT, I think he will use the majority of the other picks on offense. I think it will be a LB or OL taken in round one this year. I hope it is another athletic linebacker to help out but at the same time think a ten year offensive lineman is needed right now. The recent roster moves also tell me the offensive line will be addressed via the draft and certainly the running back position.

Here are some of the recent signings by Big Blue this week. Some of the deals did not publicly state the terms.

These roster moves are valid as of 3/15/12 at 8:00 AM:

1. CB Terrell Thomas, 6’0″ 200 pounds – 4 year deal, fair and smart move.

2. WR Domenik Hixon, 6’2″ 185 pounds – 1 year deal, worth the shot.

3. CB Michael Coe, 6’0″ 190 pounds – Smart signing to bolster DB’s.

4. CB Bruce Johnson, 5’11” 185 pounds – Smart signing to bolster DB’s.

5. TE Jake Ballard, 6’6″ 256 pounds – I like this signing a lot. Well done.

6. CB Justin Tryon, 5’9″ 190 pounds – Smart signing to bolster DB’s.

7. QB David Carr, 6’3″ 215 pounds – I have always liked Carr.

8. TE Martellus Bennett, 6’6″ 270 pounds – 1 year deal, smart.

9. P Steve Weatherford, 6’2″ 211 pounds – Franchise tag, brilliant.

10. TE Larry Donnell, 6’6″ 269 pounds – No NFL experience.

11. OL Joel Reinders, 6’8″ 317 pounds – No NFL experience.

Keep an eye on players who were released, free agent markets:

1. RB Brandon Jacobs – Released by team. Surprising move and I hope he can return for a new restructured contract.

2. WR Mario Manningham – I hope we can re-sign Super Mario somehow but right now he is checking out the 49ers free agent market.

3. CB Aaron Ross – Visiting teams as we speak, Washington was the most recent. Really Aaron?

4. OL Kareem McKenzie – Restructure the contract for less money and get that 3rd ring and maybe Ring of Honor one day.

5. S Deon Grant – Both sides need to get this done. I love the way this man plays football.

6. LB Chase Blackburn – This guy is a big deal and he proved it again last season. Give him 3 years.

7. DE Dave Tollefson – He plays with the best defensive line in football and holds his own. Worth re-signing.

8. TE Kevin Boss – Rumors of him returning are doubtful after Martellus Bennett signing. Maybe not?

9. WR Plaxico Burress – Rumors of his return are most likely just that, rumors.

10. WR Steve Smith – This is an interesting possibility if they lose Mario Manningham. It’s doubtful to ever happen.

11. DE Osi Umenyiora – Pay this man the money he has earned and work it out like Manning’s contract or something.

What are your thoughts on the recent transactions made by the New York Giants? Feel free to leave a comment below.

RD – nygreporter.com

Check out New York Giants Team Captain, Justin Tuck’s camp info here Justin Tuck ProCamps.


Giants Will Strike Quickly When Free Agency Begins in 24 Hours

March 12, 2012

NEW YORK – Hello Giants fans, the NFL free agency madness begins tomorrow. I fully expect GM Jerry Reese to have a plan in place, that will be put into motion when the clock strikes. His plan is already in motion, we are in motion right now, can you feel it? Areas that could be effected include the offensive line and the running backs. OL Kareem McKenzie might meet his replacement if reports are correct. RB Ahmad Bradshaw, RB DJ Ware and RB Da’Rel Scott should all be on the final roster. Who the fourth running back will be is a mystery. Expect Reese to dig out a solid RB from the draft in the mid-rounds. This could also be addressed via free agency where Big Blue could make a run for tier-two talent. Making a play for a solid tight end is not out of the question either. The offense would benefit from an experienced veteran at the position. An offensive lineman with experience would make sense as well. Some should check in on OL Shawn Andrews and see what he has been doing. The return of OT William Beatty will be a plus as well.

That about covers the offensive options in my opinion, on the defensive side of the ball, I see linebacker as the primary area of interest. If the Giants were to lock up DE Osi Umenyiora for 3 years and then spend a little on a solid linebacker via free agency, they may have something there. Of course, you have to include locking down LB Chase Blackburn for 3 years as well. Both of those guys are very important to what happens on the field on defense and special teams. It’s a smart move that makes sense, plus both guys want to retire as Giants one day and possibly make it into the Ring of Honor. You can go to bed at night knowing both of these guys will be worth what they are paid three years from now. DE Justin Tuck, DE Osi Umenyiora and DE Jason Pierre-Paul together for the next three years means at least one more Super Bowl ring for the Giants Dynasty Team. Another ring means all of the NFL “experts” and haters are silenced for a decade. And you know what? Eli is going to do it.

Expect Big Blue to strike like lightning and make a bold move early in the free agency period. When you have the last pick in the draft, 32nd overall, it makes sense to strike quickly in free agency to bolster your squad. At least it makes sense in my mind and justifies an aggressive approach from the onset. I am just as curious as the next guy about which direction they will take regarding talent and managing cap space. Bravo again to captain QB Eli Manning for restructuring his contract to free up over $6.5 million in cap space. What a team player and superb leader he is for this franchise and he has now become the Greatest Quarterback in New York Giants history in my opinion. Put it in the record books ladies and gentlemen. Speaking of quarterbacks, will the G-Men be looking into other backup quarterback options for Iron Man Easy Eli? Some reports say QB David Carr might be on his way out. I’ve always liked Carr and though he brought some stability to the backup QB position. We will find out soon.

Who are some of the free agent players you have your eyes on for the New York Giants?

RD – nygreporter

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New York Giants Final 53 Man Roster Analysis

September 4, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants have missed the playoffs for the past two years straight. Do you know what happens when an NFL team fails to make it to the playoffs in back to back seasons? Change happens. Passionate fans have been expressing their concerns or displeasure with the Roster moves that were made. I feel bad for the players that did not make the roster because I know they worked hard to shine. But I will not criticize GM Jerry Reese for having the guts to make bold changes after two down seasons in a row. There are a lot of new faces on the team this year and fans had to say goodbye to a few of their favorite players. If anyone thinks that Jerry Reese or Tom Coughlin made these moves to hurt the team, they are simply out of their minds.

The most surprising area of the team in 2011 will be the four rookies playing the linebacker position. A lot of people expected a big free agent signing to help out this young group but it did not happen. In fact, Reese kicked the table of conformity over completely and chose to keep four rookie LB’s (Herzlich, Jones, Paysinger and Williams) on the roster. I understand that player injuries forced a lot of the player moves made but the linebacker group is purely taking a shot in the dark at glory. I’m confident this young group of players have the talent to excel but they have to believe it themselves. It is going to be very exciting to see these guys flying around the field and making plays. My best advice to the rookies is simple, study the playbook as much as possible. Once your brain catches up to your body, you are going to be dangerous. The Giants have never had an Offensive Rookie of the Year and the last Defensive Rookie of the Year for Big Blue was LB Lawrence Taylor in 1981. Someone needs to fire up these youngsters to shoot for the ROY goal.

Were there some surprise moves made? Of course there were, like every single year there are. One move that wasn’t a surprise to me was P Steve Weatherford replacing P Matt Dodge. Dodge was given every chance to make improvements this year and will probably end up being a very good NFL punter, just not this year. That forced the Giants to make the hard choice of letting him go. I wish the kid well in his career and I’m sure that he will land on his feet someplace. The Giants special teams are just terrible and any roster shake up for the sake of improvement is welcome. Some were surprised by QB David Carr taking over the backup role for QB Eli Manning and QB Sage Rosenfels landing on the IR list. This is another smart move in my opinion because of the uncertainty surrounding the new offensive line. The G-Men need to be sure they have enough QB’s on the team in case the unthinkable happens. The running backs and wide receivers are two of the bright spots on the team and will be fine this season. However, the tight ends could end up being a problem. Reese will have to address this group sooner or later if Beckum or Ballard do not play well.

The cornerbacks and offensive line will need to step up the most this year. For obvious reasons we need the offensive line to gel together quickly and begin to play relaxed football. They need to feel confident that the man beside them will know their role and responsibilities. The cornerbacks were decimated by injuries this offseason and a couple of the guys will find their roles increased two-fold. If these guys can give the defensive ends enough time to reach the opposing quarterbacks, things will be fine. I’m extremely confident in the last line of defense with our safety group and their ability to deny any touchdowns if the CB’s get overwhelmed. Rookie S Tyler Sash has had an outstanding preseason and deserves his spot on the roster. DC Perry Fewell is smart enough to know how to use his guys the right way and will most likely get creative with the backfield this year.

In conclusion, I expect the Giants to make it back to the playoffs this year. It will be tough getting through that schedule but I think the injection of so much young talent will blend nicely by mid-season. Players will answer the call and step up big time in order to get Big Blue back where they belong in the postseason. The regular season starts in seven days.

What are your thoughts about the Giants final Roster? Do you think this group has the talent to return to the playoffs in 2011?

RD – nygreporter.com

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Giants Make Hard Choices to Cut Down to 53 Man Roster

September 3, 2011

NEW YORK – This is always a very difficult time of year for the Giants coaches and staff. I’m sure they would have loved to have kept everyone on the team but it just isn’t the way things work in the NFL. The Giants were forced to cut a bunch of players today in order to cut down to the mandatory 53 man roster. Head Coach Tom Coughlin and GM Jerry Reese can finally exhale after making some very difficult decisions but I’m sure they will also monitor the careers of the players they cut. This is one of the most difficult parts of the job for these men, without question. Having to tell a man that he didn’t make the team, when you know he has given you 110% on the field is a terrible chore but a part of the business. You can view the final roster here Roster or simply click the roster tab on the top toolbar of our website.

Fans were speculating all week about who would be cut and who would make the team. I try not to get into those conversations out of respect for the players but I will answer a direct question if someone asks my opinion about a player. When you’re looking at all of these guys on paper and see you one or two at a certain deep position on the team, you have a pretty good idea if they will be on the final roster or not. A perfect example is the defensive end position. The Giants literally have four guys who could be starters at the position with DE Justin Tuck, DE Osi Umenyiora, DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DE Mathias Kiwanuka (he is a hybrid, I know). Trying to make the Giants final roster at the defensive end position would be a herculean task for any player. There were some cuts that were surprises, like there are every year and some cuts that sting a little more then the others.

I would like to personally wish the players well, who did not make the cut. It’s a shame that everyone can’t make the team based on their hard work and desire. It is never fun saying goodbye to a player who has given his all. Keep your head up and keep working hard. It might not be your time today but dreams do come true! Don’t give up!

The Giants will face the Washington Redskins next Sunday 9/11/11 at 4:15 PM EST for their first regular season game. Be sure to come back and check out our “Game Notes” each and every week throughout the season.

Were you surprised by any of the cuts made or with the Giants final roster?

RD – nygreporter.com

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2011 Preseason Game 3: Giants vs. Jets, Game Notes

August 29, 2011

NEW YORK – The battle for New York is always a fun game to watch. This matchup has really heated up in recent years with the resurgence of the Jets over the past three or four seasons. They have become a good team but cannot seem to keep their mouths shut. It is this reason which has added some spice to a rivalry between two teams in the same city but not in the same conference or division. The Jets made the bigger plays tonight when it counted and won the game 17-3. Even though they won this game, the Giants will always be the big brother to the Jets. Everyone in the Tri-state area knows this, including the Jets fan living in denial. So after a crazy weekend where Hurricane Irene pushed back the start of the game, these two sons of New York went on the field and battled.

The first quarter was really slow. Both defenses were playing very well which caused the low scoring first half to end with a 7-3 Jets lead. QB Eli Manning had two interceptions before halftime which was surprising. He hasn’t seemed himself throughout the preseason so far. The Jets really couldn’t do anything against a tough Giants defense the entire first half. The Jets got a lucky return for a bunch of yards and a TD on a short field. Other then that, they really didn’t do much and the first half stats prove it. The Giants special teams had their worst game of the preseason so far and that is really saying something. I hate to say this but I think the Giants might have the worst special teams in the NFL. Another blocked FG and a couple of dropped balls by the rookie Jernigan are only a few of the things that went wrong. This group is the Giants achilles heel without question. The second half of the game was all Jets and the Giants could not score a TD to save their lives. They had a few opportunities to get the ball into the endzone but fell short each time. Brandon Jacobs getting thrown out of the game for fighting did not help. Especially just before a crucial drive from the Jets 1 yard line. The second half was no fun to watch at all and some fans were extremely vocal about their disappointment in the Giants performance. The Giants defense had no sacks or interceptions against the Jets tonight as well.

The Giants are a team that has no cheerleaders for a reason, they want to focus solely on football. So, it was strange to see Snoopy out on the field standing next to a Snoopy trophy which was the prize for the winner tonight. My how times have changed. Snoopy of course is the mascot for MetLife, who recently purchased the naming rights to Giants stadium for the next twenty years. I’m sure it is all in good fun but they may need to get a better trophy next year. These are grown men sacrificing their bodies on the football field and not cartoons out there. The Giants will play the New England Patriots next for their final preseason game on Thursday at 7:30 PM EST and will need to cut down to the final 53 man roster by Saturday. Hold on tight Giants fans, the regular season is right around the corner.

Let’s take a look at some of my notes from the game.

QB Eli Manning – Easy Eli just doesn’t look like himself this year. I’m not sure why. He finished the game with 200 yards 0 TD’s 2 INT’s and was also sacked twice.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks played much more in this game tonight then he has so far in the preseason. He had a good game and finished with 5 receptions for 71 yards.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw is simply the spark plug for the entire Giants offense. He had another good game and finished with 34 yards.

DE Justin Tuck – Tuck was his usual force to be reckoned with before leaving the game with a burner. He is said to be fine.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Brandon provided a spark for the offense but also got himself kicked out of the game for fighting. He finished with 51 yards.

S Kenny Phillips – Phillips had a very nice game and it was good to see him around the ball so much tonight.

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario had a nice game and finished with 36 yards. I expect a breakout season from him in 2011.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – I think I am more excited about seeing JPP play in the real games then any other player. This guy is exciting to watch and had a good game.

QB David Carr – Carr played a lot less tonight since the starters stayed in the game longer. He finished with 36 yards 0 TD’s 0 INT’s for the night.

LB Mathias Kiwanuka – Kiwi was having a very nice game before leaving with a minor groin injury.

S Tyler Sash – The rookie led the entire defense in tackles and is earning his spot on the roster this preseason.

CB Aaron Ross – Ross did a pretty good job tonight and will need to stay healthy in order to really help the team out in 2011.

WR Jerrel Jernigan – This kid had a long night and I really felt bad for him. Nothing seemed to go right for him as a returner. Keep your head up!

K Rhys Lloyd – Lloyd made one 34 yard FG and had another 42 yard FG attempt blocked. He is a kickoff specialist and should be used as such.

P Matt Dodge – Dodge is still having an up and down season but he seems better then last year for sure.

DE Osi Umenyiora – Osi is still on the mend from recent surgery and did not play in this game.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes did not play in this game as he is still on the mend from an injury suffered in the first preseason game against the Panthers.

What did you think about the New York Giants performance against the Jets?

RD – nygreporter.com

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2011 Preseason Game 2: Giants vs. Bears, Game Notes

August 23, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants faced the Chicago Bears on Monday night in the Meadowlands and played one heck of a game. The Giants won 41-13 but did not come out of the game without some bad news, some really bad news. By now, most fans have already read my previous article and know that Big Blue lost star CB Terrell Thomas for the year with a torn ACL on a freak play where DE Jason Pierre-Paul’s leg swung around and hit Thomas in the leg. There could not be any worse news then learning that you lost your No.1 CB for the year. I was surprised because Thomas walked off the field under his own strength and seemed ok. I truly wish him a speedy recovery and I’m sure that the rest of Giants Nation does as well.

The game started out slow in the first quarter but picked up steam from that point on. Going into the second quarter the game was tied up 3-3 and it seemed like fans would be in for a sleeper. But that changed rather quickly once the team started rolling. RB Brandon Jacobs was the spark the team needed to get going and after he scored his touchdown, the Giants never looked back for the rest of the game. The score was 20-6 by halftime and the Giants defense would allow only seven more points for the rest of the game. I’m not sure if this game represented the fact that the G-men have shaken off the rust or that the Bears are just an awful team but hey, a win is a win. This is only a preseason game, so I try not to get too excited but seeing some of those rookies perform so well has me pumped up. Rookie RB Da’Rel Scott gets my game ball. That kid can run like the wind and had the best play of the night when he ran the ball 97 yards for a TD late in the 4th quarter. I hope we get to see more of him real soon.

Fans can expect GM Jerry Reese to bring in a veteran CB sometime this week. I would not be surprised at all if he does so as early as today. With limited time left before the regular season starts, the team will need to bring the new guy up to speed in a very short period of time. The Giants have become very thin at CB and will need to remedy that as quickly as possible.

Let’s take a look at some of my notes from the game.

QB Eli Manning – Manning still looked very shaky out there and finished 8/16 for 78 yards 0 TD 0 INT.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw was his usual elusive tough self and finished with 15 yards on 5 carries during his short playing time.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks did not do much in this game and played very little. However, I expect big things from him once the regular season starts.

DE Justin Tuck – Tuck had 3 tackles in his limited playing time. He will be ready to rock and roll once September comes around.

RB Da’Rel Scott – This rookie is fast. Scott introduced himself to the football world with a 97-yard TD run late in the 4th quarter. He had only 1 carry but made the most of it. Did I mention how fast he is?

CB Terrell Thomas – The team lost CB Thomas for the year with a torn ACL in the 2nd quarter. This is devastating news. Get well soon T2.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs was flashing some old school ball running last night and had a good game. He finished with 48 yards on 6 carries and 1 TD.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – JPP was disruptive at times but NFL teams know about the secret now and will look to stop JPP at all costs. Good luck.

LB Mark Herzlich – The rookie LB got his first NFL INT last night and was a force on special teams. The more I see, the more I like this kid.

WR Victor Cruz – Cruz had a very nice game and led all WR’s with 40 yards on 3 receptions. He is another WR making a case to be the 3rd wideout.

P Matt Dodge – Dodge wasn’t awful last night and seemed to play with a chip on his shoulder as he was punting bombs.

LB Jonathan Goff – Goff had the lone sack of the night for Big Blue and had a good game with limited playing time.

TE Daniel Coats – New Giants TE Coats made a nice play late in the game and finished with 17 yards and 1 TD.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes did not play in the game and is on the mend from getting banged up in last weeks game against the Panthers.

RB Danny Ware – Ware scored the only TD in the 3rd quarter but needs to work on holding onto the ball.

K Rhys Lloyd – Lloyd had a solid game for a guy who doesn’t kick FG’s. He went 2/2 on FG attempts and 5/5 on extra point attempts.

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario had a nice game and finished with 39 yards on 4 receptions. He should have a great 2011 season.

QB David Carr – Carr had an outstanding welcome home party and finished the night by going 9/11 for 84 yards and 2 TD’s. I’m glad he is back with the team.

WR Domenik Hixon – Hixon has been making a case for himself to be the third WR in my opinion. He finished with 13 yards and 1 TD.

DE Osi Umenyiora – Osi did not play in the game as he recovers from recent surgery. I’m glad the team will have him on the roster in 2011.

WR Devin Thomas – Devin did a really nice job returning kickoffs. It was nice to see somebody on special teams step up and play with pride.

What did you think about the Giants performance against the Bears on Monday night?

RD – nygreporter.com

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Giants Offensive Line is the Elephant in the Room

August 2, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants have been outstanding at the offensive line position for many years now. These guys have done such a good job protecting QB Eli Manning, that they have become almost an after thought. Fans could always rely on those guys to do their job and NFL fans acknowledged their superiority by voting the big guys into multiple Pro Bowls. We now find ourselves in an interesting predicament and completely unfamiliar territory with having to be concerned about the offensive line. Yes, the offensive line is the elephant in the room that nobody has talked about at length. If Eli Manning is going to continue his Iron Man streak for the most consecutive regular season starts, the offensive line is going to need a seamless transition into the new season.

One of the biggest player moves that really made me nervous was the acquisition of QB David Carr. I mentioned this is a previous article but I would like to explain to you why I am nervous. Eli Manning hasn’t really needed a true backup QB so far because he has proven to be extremely durable. A quiet tough guy if you will. With all due respect, Jim Sorgi and Sage Rosenfels aren’t exactly they guys you want running your team for any long period of time. Are the Giants concerned about Manning’s safety with this new offensive line? Do they lack confidence in the new group who will be taking over for Rich Seubert, Shawn Andrews and Shaun O’Hara? Are they concerned with the depth at that position if one or two guys fall to injury? Or did GM Jerry Reese just see an opportunity to sign a quality player familiar with the system?

The starters most likely will be William Beatty, David Diehl, David Baas, Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie. The others include Mitch Petrus, Adam Koets, Kevin Boothe, rookie James Brewer and newly signed Chris White who appear to be the primary backups. There are a handful of other players on the team who will be competing for a role on the offensive line but the players I just mentioned appear to be the front runners. This is going to be the year that certain players will have to step up. I know that is an overused term but it is quite literally what will need to happen in 2011 for the Giants to stay competitive. Some have speculated that Seubert, Andrews or O’Hara could return and play for a smaller contract. With the Giants issues with the salary cap, it is a possibility but unlikely at this point.

In summary, I am very concerned about the offensive line this year. I have faith in the players talent but the lack of experience concerns me. I am also wondering how long it will take QB Eli Manning to become familiar with a new center in David Bass. If those two guys can’t get on the same page quickly, the team is going to be in trouble. If not for the salary cap issues, I would like to see the team bring in another veteran to help out this very young offensive line. Even if it were just to add depth, I would feel much better.

Are you concerned about the Giants offensive line for the 2011 NFL season?

RD – nygreporter.com

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