NFL Free Agency 2011: Steve Weatherford Crosses From Jets To Giants

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NFL Free Agency 2011: Plaxico Burress To The Jets, Not The Giants?

A report surfaced this morning that free-agent wide receiver Plaxico Burress could indeed be headed to a New York team — just not the one that you have been reading about lately.

A report out of Pittsburgh, where Burress apparently had both breakfast and lunch, with the Steelers today, indicated that the Jets are “expected to make big pitch” for Burress, and that the choice appears to be between the Jets and Steelers.

That same report indicated that Burress, who met with Giants coach Tom Coughlin and other team officials Friday night, was “unlikely” to return to the Giants.

Burress began his career with Pittsburgh, playing five seasons with the Steelers before moving to New York as a free agent prior to the 2005 season.

The Jets have to replace wide receivers Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith, so their interest in Burress in understandable. A variety of reports have also connected the Jets to wide receiver Randy Moss, another temperamental veteran.

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NFL Free Agency 2011: Steve Weatherford Leaves Jets For Giants

Former New York Jets punter Steve Weatherford did not have to travel far to find a new team to play for during the 2011 NFL season. Weatherford tweeted this afternoon that he will be joining the New York Giants, meaning he will only have to make his way to a different locker room at New Meadowlands Stadium, which the teams share.

Of his move to the Giants, Weatherford tweeted:

I’m on my way back to NYC but my helmet has changed. I’m excited to get the opportunity to help this prestigious franchise win a world title …

Very blessed to help carry on a prestigious tradition in the greatest city in the world. New York Football Giants!!! Go Blue!!!

He also had parting words for Jets fans:

To the Gang Green Nation: thank you for 2 beautiful years. I love you guys, but it’s time for me to move on.

Weatherford, a six-year veteran, will likely replace Matt Dodge. Dodge was wildly inconsistent as a rookie in 2010. He surrendered 536 return yards, second-worst in the league, and will always be remembered for kicking the ball to Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson on the final play of a game last season rather than kicking it out of bounds as instructed. That, of course, ended in disaster as Jackson returned the kick for a touchdown that cost the Giants a victory.

The Giants had been rumored to be looking for a new punter, and had been connected to veterans like Brad Maynard and Matt Turk.

In 2010, Pro Football Focus rated Weatherford among the top five kickers in the league with a +13.4 grade. Here is a comparison of Weatherford’s 2010 numbers to those of Dodge.

Weatherford has also kicked for New Orleans, Jacksonville and Kansas City during his career.

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Giants, Brandon Jacobs Restructure Contract

The New York Giants and running back Brandon Jacobs reached an agreement Friday to restructure Jacobs' contract, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. The restructuring alleviates pressure on the Giants to get under the NFL's salary cap and allows them to retain the six-year veteran, whom they "possibly" would have cut, Vacchiano says, citing a source, had Jacobs not agreed to take a paycut.

Additionally, this agreement gives New York the opportunity to re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw, the team's other star running back. The 24-year-old led the Giants with 276 carries and 1235 yards last season, though Jacobs topped him in touchdowns (nine to eight) and yards per carry (5.6 to 4.5). According to Vacchiano's source, Bradshaw and the Giants are far apart in contract negotiations, but the team is "aggressively trying to re-sign him." Further, "Jacobs has said many, many times he'd like Bradshaw to return so they continue to be an effective 1-2 [combination]."

For complete coverage of the G-Men, please visit Big Blue View.

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New York Giants Roster Cuts: Tiki Barber Officially An Ex-Giant

It was merely a formality, but the New York Giants announced Thursday evening that they have officially parted ways with former star running back Tiki Barber, releasing him from the team's reserve/retired list. Barber, the team's career rushing leader, is attempting a comeback after retiring following the 2006 season.

The team also officially announced that center Shaun O'Hara, guard Rich Seubert and offensive lineman Shawn Andrews had been released. Those three moves had been reported earlier in the week, but could not be made offically until 4:01 p.m. ET today. In addition, the team released veteran fullback Madison Hedgecock, who played only four games a season ago.

The Giants had nothing but praise for the veterans Seubert and O'Hara, who played in a combined 215 regular season and postseason games for the Giants and were part of the Super Bowl XLII championship team.

"I love those two guys," said Coach Tom Coughlin. "Both will go down in Giants history. They are two unique, highly competitive personalities who were superior in the locker room. Rich has the ability to stir it up, and Shaun has a great ability to counter Rich. They are great friends, but there have been times when they got going, that it nearly ended up in a fight. They are two men with unique and different abilities, but as an offensive line, you have to operate as one, and these two guys are the most competitive, tough and efficient players as I have ever had the honor and privilege to coach. They both will be missed around here."

The Giants also officially announced the signings of 10 undrafted free agents. They are:

  • Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College
  • Justin Trattou, DE, Florida
  • Craig Marshall, DE, South Florida
  • Martin Parker, DT, Richmond
  • Ibrahim Abdulai, DT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
  • Jerrard Tarrant, S, Georgia Tech
  • David Sims, S, Iowa State
  • Spencer Paysinger, LB, Oregon
  • Jarriel King, OT, South Carolina
  • Henry Hynoski, FB, Pittsburgh
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Giants' John Mara On Plaxico Burress: 'You Have To Be Interested'

Friday night’s dinner date between New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin and former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress could be the most eagerly-anticipated dinner since, well … maybe since the first time Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were spotted out together.

The dinner will go a long way toward determining whether Coughlin and Burress, who have never seen eye-to-eye, think they can get along if the recently-free-from-prison Burress were to return to New York.

If they can, the Giants might make Burress an offer. If not, they will move on without each other.

Giants President John Mara visited PFT Live today, and discussed the possible return of Burress to the Giants:

“We’re a long way from being there, and we’ll just have to see what happens,” Mara said. "But obviously he was a tremendous player for us and one of the big reasons that we won that Super Bowl. I think it would have been foolish for us not to even have the conversation with him.

“So we’ll see what happens when he comes in tomorrow evening and what happens that. But obviously you have to be interested in someone who has that kind of talent.”

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