The 2011 NFL Lockout Ends After 136 Days of Stress

July 25, 2011

NEW YORK – The 2011 NFL lockout has finally come to an end today on the 136th day of the lockout (I do not subtract the 4 days a judge ordered the lockout stoppage in April). Thanks for the ulcer and 4 1/2 months of worrying. Maybe next year you can finish me off by telling me the Giants will be relocating to Oklahoma City or something like that. After all of the bickering and posturing, both sides have finally agreed to a deal and saved the 2011 season. I know that I am supposed to be overwhelmed with joy and excited but strangely I’m not. I feel like someone who went through a draining court process for half a year. I really thought I would feel excited but this sense of relief is still dominating my mind. I’m sure this feeling will change in the next day or two once the fire returns in my belly. I won’t have time to digest everything that has happened because football business will explode at a rapid pace now.

NFL teams can sign their free agents and begin negotiating with unrestricted free agents tomorrow. They can also start talking about trades with other teams and start talking with undrafted free agents as well. Let’s not forget all of the rookies from the 2011 NFL draft class, they need to be addressed too. The new rules on the 10 year deal are still very foggy but I expect team lawyers to pull an all-nighter to get themselves up to speed. We’ve got training camp starting in 4 days (reportedly this Friday) for Big Blue and the preseason starting in about two weeks. The NFL cancelled the Hall of Fame game and all signs point to preseason games beginning on August 11, 2011. This is going to be a very turbulent few weeks for Giants fans because there are going to be some players that leave the team. These are players that will make your heart break. There will also be some excitement for the new players the team brings in but it always hurts when you lose an old friend.

Be sure to check back with us a few times per day because the articles will be pouring out now to keep up with the news. There isn’t much to report yet except to say that things are about to get stupid, silly crazy! I’m actually starting to get excited now and should be on red alert by the time I’m finished writing this article. I would like to say good luck to all of the Giants free agents, I hope you can all come back. I would also like to say farewell to any players who might leave the team and I want to let you know that once you’re a Giant, you’re always a Giant to New York and the fans! Best wishes and good luck to you guys. And to the fans I ask, are you ready for some football?

What have you learned from the 2011 NFL lockout and how has it affected you as a fan?

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

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Should the Giants Think About a New Kicker in 2011?

June 12, 2011

NEW YORK – I couldn’t help noticing that a couple of kickers are free agents this year. There are more then two out there but two really caught my attention. They are David Akers and Ryan Longwell. I know that some Giants fans are big Lawrence Tynes fans but I am not one of them. It seems like we have this discussion every year about the kicker position. It tells me that other fans do not completely trust Tynes, just as I don’t. Yes, Tynes kicked that huge FG to get the G-Men into the Super Bowl but he also missed some huge FG’s in his career. Is it time to look for a long term kicker elsewhere or bring in a crafty veteran for the short term?

Both Akers and Longwell are 36 years old and can still play the game. Tynes is 33 years old. The Eagles drafted a kicker in the 4th round (really? lol) of this years NFL Draft, which most likely means Akers could end up elsewhere. Bringing in Akers would mean improving our kicking team and taking away a weapon from the Eagles in my opinion. The Giants special teams was an area of focus this offseason and they will need to do more work in that area before fans can exhale. The Giants special teams has been absolutely atrocious in recent years. Special Teams Coach Tom Quinn must have a lucky horse shoe hidden on him at all times because most coaches would have been fired by now for a lack of production.

I would prefer to have David Akers over Ryan Longwell, who seems to have aged much quicker then Akers. I still think either one would be an improvement over Tynes. I’m sure there will be fans who disagree with me but there will also be fans who agree with this sentiment. I have no qualms about suggesting the team address the kicker position. It would be nice to see the Giants bring in two rookie free agent kickers for training camp competition and possibly catch lightning in a bottle with one of those young men. The NFL lockout has now reached 93 days and fans can only hope there will even be a 2011 training camp. I’m not sure where Tom Coughlin’s comfort level is with Tynes but I can tell you that mine isn’t very high. The time has come to address the kicker position.

Who would you want as the Giants kicker in 2011 between Lawrence Tynes, David Akers and Ryan Longwell? Also, if you were the GM of an NFL team, would you use a valuable draft pick on a kicker?

RD – nygreporter.com

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


Giants Fans Endure Another Week Without Football

June 10, 2011

NEW YORK – There hasn’t been much news recently for fans to digest about the Giants. The players have taken it upon themselves to practice at New Jersey high schools, risking injury and their careers. There was an increase in the number of team members who attended but that was the extent of new Giants news. The NFL owners and players union met again this week but still no end to the 2011 NFL lockout (91 days long now). I’m starting to sound like a broken record now, even to myself. I am not immune to the frustration or the bad moods that accompany watching these silly negotiations that have turned up no solutions. It is truly exhausting trying to endure this lockout.

The major sports sites began rolling out their fantasy football programs, just in case there is a football season in 2011. CBS Sports and ESPN specifically rolled out their fantasy programs to fans. The mock drafts are beginning to pick up in what seems to be the only football ravenous fans have had in a while. The chats in these mock drafts all revolve around the question about whether or not there will be a season. The same old story we’ve been hearing for the past three months. Still, doing these mock drafts and setting up a real fantasy league gives one a sense of normalcy for this time of year.

The only other piece of news that could be considered “Giants related” was the release of former WR Plaxico Burress from prison on June 6, 2011. This has become a much larger topic of discussion due to the lack of NFL news in general. Should the Giants re-sign him or not. That seems to be the biggest question surrounding the Giants this week. All I can say is, Thank God it’s Friday. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and maybe we will hear some good news early next week.

How are you spending your time without NFL football this summer?

RD – nygreporter.com

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


The Giants Have Some Decisions to Make This Week

June 7, 2011

NEW YORK – The talk of the town this week is without a doubt Plaxico Burress. Since being released from prison yesterday he was one of the hottest topics on the internet and the world of sports media in general. Most Giants fans felt a chill run up their spines when Burress emerged wearing a Philadelphia Phillies baseball cap. One could not escape the thought of it being a hint that he plans on signing with the rival Philadelphia Eagles. While everyone keeps asking the question about whether or not the Giants should re-sign Burress, most forgot to ask if Burress wants to re-sign with New York.

Besides the Burress madness sweeping the city, another question that must be asked revolves around the current group of Giants wide receivers. What is the state of the WR’s already on the roster? That answer is simple, the state of the New York Giants WR’s is strong. Could the team use a proven veteran like Burress for depth on the team? Absolutely. Do they need Burress on the team to define that position? Absolutely not. Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham have proven to be perfectly capable of handling the job. Not to mention some young talent with Victor Cruz and the rookie Jerrel Jernigan waiting in the wings for their shot. There are a handful of other WR’s trying to fight for a roster spot as well, so there is no shortage of wide receiver talent on Big Blue.

Many fans have been crunching the numbers and showing QB Eli Manning’s progress with and without Burress on the team. It is nice to see some numbers but I think it goes beyond all of that. There is a ton of data to consider before making a big decision like this. Plaxico Burress will be on an NFL team this season for certain. Hopefully, he doesn’t go to a rival team and play against the G-Men twice per year but if he does, so what? The Giants will deal with it. He won’t be any more of a threat then say DeSean Jackson or Miles Austin. The Giants have a very scary secondary, so I say bring it on. GM Jerry Reese is no fool and if he chooses not to bring back Burress, you can bet he has a very good reason. With all of this being said, I want to make it known that I believe Plaxico deserves another chance in the NFL. I hope he can reunite with Giants. If he doesn’t sign with Big Blue, then I wish him well with his new team. The NFL lockout has now reached 88 days and is actually affording Burress some R&R before he has to get down to business. My advice to Burress is to enjoy it while it lasts and I would like to say good luck to the Giants on having to make a very tough decision.

RD – nygreporter.com

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


Giants QB Eli Manning is a Top 50 NFL Player

May 26, 2011

NEW YORK – The recent news about Giants QB Eli Manning being absent from a list of the top 100 NFL players has fans enraged. This only confirms the number of New York haters there are in the world. If there are Eli Manning haters out there, then they are just miserable people in general. You would be hard pressed to find a QB, past or present, that has conducted themselves more professionally then Manning. The omission of Manning from any top NFL player list is a slap in the face to the Giants organization and Giants fans alike. The burden of proof lies on the accuser, so I would love to hear them explain how Manning can be left off this list.

These uninformed dorks who think Eli Manning isn’t a top 100 NFL player are right, he isn’t, he is a top 50 NFL player! Eli Manning is an iron man who has never missed a game. He is a Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl MVP and Pro Bowl player. He was a top 5 NFL quarterback in 2010 and topped 4,000 yards for a second straight year. Some people want to mention his 25 interceptions in 2010 and that is fine. I understand that unless you are a Giants fan and watch each and every game, you would not know that between 8-10 of those INT’s were dropped or tipped passes. Yes, sometimes he refuses to take a sack and tries to force a play but that is due to his competitive nature.

Pat Kirwan wrote a wonderful article about this very subject on NFL.com, he was equally flabbergasted at Manning’s omission. The Giants liked his article so much that they included it on their website. I love seeing them stand by their leader in a situation like this. In the end, none of this will matter because Manning’s career will speak for itself. I am not concerned about what his legacy will be since he has already reached and conquered the pinnacle of his profession. The lack of respect he gets from so called “experts” and the media in general is a shame. He is a stand up guy who has done nothing but remain a class act and they instead choose to idolize the fools who make the news over dopey actions. I am still amazed by this. Eli Manning will use this information to his advantage and have a career season, that is simply what he does. He does not talk a lot but he certainly walks the walk. The rest of the NFL will not doubt his elite “status” among the other NFL players after this season (if there is a season).

Do you think that New York Giants QB Eli Manning is a top 100 player in the NFL (dumb question I know but someone thought it was smart to write it)?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org


Giants Owner John Mara Steps Up Once Again

May 21, 2011

NEW YORK – You have to love Giants owner John Mara. Here is a man that is a throw back to the old school days of NFL football. He was one of the first owners to address the media when this whole lockout started 71 days ago. He was one of the first owners to address his fan base directly with a letter explaining what was about to happen. Thursday, he stepped up once again and addressed the media about the current state of the lockout. He explained how silly this whole lockout is and expressed his feelings about getting back to work and coming to an agreement soon. The players lost their battle in the court system already but now we have what amounts to a staring contest between the team owners and the players. Of course, this is a $10 billion dollar staring contest and one that will not end without feelings getting hurt.

Mr. Mara urged everyone to come back to the bargaining table because nobody is making an effort to resolve the issue. He is right. The only way to end this thing is to get into a room and make a deal. One way or another, the resolution must be made soon or the very real possibility of a lost 2011 NFL season could become a reality. Mara is clearly trying to get something done before the point of no return. The point of no return is when it takes longer to go back to the beginning then it does to reach the end of something. We are now only 16 weeks away from the first scheduled regular season game against Washington on September 11, 2011. At some point, a cut off date will be given and that date will decide the fate of the 2011 season.

What do you think about owner John Mara stepping up once again? Are you proud to have an owner that consistently takes a leadership role among NFL owners or would you prefer to have an owner that stays in the background? I have already acknowledged that I prefer a leader with Mr. Mara’s style. Someone who can examine a situation and immediately know where he stands. Leadership like that seems to be rare these days but I am glad it is not completely nonexistent. What do you think?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org