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The 2012 NFL Draft is just hours away from its start, and the New York Giants are making moves. Well, the Giants are not making any trades for draft picks, but they did sign defensive lineman Shaun Rogers on Thursday. The move adds depth to the New York's defensive line which is needed.
Rogers, 33, is a three-time Pro Bowler who spent last season with the New Orleans Saints, but played just five game over the last two seasons. Rogers most productive years come when he was with the Detroit Lions ('01-07), where he made two Pro Bowl teams.
Rogers' best days maybe behind him, however, his experience and extra body is a nice addition. Rogers probably will not be asked to be a play-maker, which might be a good role for him.
This move may affect the Giants pick in the NFL Draft, No. 32 overall, but many NFL Mock drafts have them taking a tight end.
The New York Giants have reportedly locked up the services of linebacker Chase Blackburn for another season (via NJ.com). While full details about his contract aren't known, Blackburn could be signing for the veteran's minimum salary for the 2012 season.
Blackburn was picked up by New York at the midpoint of the 2011 season and didn't disappoint for the eventual Super Bowl champions. Blackburn played in five games (four starts) during the regular season for the Giants. He made 26 tackles (20 solo) and intercepted one pass.
In the playoffs, Blackburn was also a key contributor. He started all four games and made 26 tackles (17 solo) and had a crucial interception in the Super Bowl. With New England clinging to a 17-15 lead in the fourth quarter, Blackburn intercepted a deep Tom Brady pass intended for Rob Gronkowski at the Giants' 8-yard line.
For more coverage of the Giants, see Big Blue View
The New York Giants have reportedly come to terms with free agent cornerback Antwaun Molden, who spent the 2011 season as a member of the team that the Giants defeated in Super Bowl XLVI, the New England Patriots.
Financial details remain uncertain at this point, but Molden should provide depth and experience to a Giants secondary that is dealing with the loss of cornerback Aaron Ross to the Jacksonville Jaguars via free agency.
Originally a third-round pick out of Eastern Kentucky in 2008, Molden spent each of his first three seasons with the Houston Texans before being claimed off waivers by the Patriots in late August of 2011.
He started two games last season and played in each of the Patriots 19 games (including the playoffs), totaling 44 tackles and two interceptions.
Molden had five tackles for the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Locklear, an eight-year veteran offensive lineman, played seven years for the Seattle Seahawks and spent last year with the Washington Redskins. Locklear was a Third Round (84th overall) pick by the Seahawks out of N.C. State in the 2004 NFL Draft. Locklear has played 105 games and made 82 starts during his NFL career. Last season he played eight games (four starts) for Washington.
Locklear was picked up for depth by the Giants. However, he was excited to join the reigning Super Bowl champions
"It's exciting," said Locklear, who will attend the opening of the Giants' offseason conditioning program on Monday. "I was on the other end of two games against the Giants last year - followed them pretty well in their run to the Super Bowl. But, actually, when I got the call I was kind of excited about the chance to actually play in New York and who doesn't want to play with the team who just got done winning the Super Bowl? My thing is to just get in here and start fresh, start learning again and try to help this team get back to where they want to go."
While Locklear has played both right and left tackle during his career, he says he prefers the right side.
Brown was a seventh-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in the 2010 NFL Draft. Brown played 15 games (one start) for the Raiders during the 2010 season. He made 30 tackles (25 solo) and defended two passes. The Raiders released Brown before the 2011 season and he was picked up by the Carolina Panthers and then the Indianapolis Colts. Brown only played for the Colts last season in eight games as a special teams player. He made five tackles. Brown is likely going to be in competition for a special teams spot on the Giants.
Brown (5-foot-11, 215 pounds) ended last season on IR after a quadriceps injury. He also had drawn interest from the Cincinnati Bengals before signing with New York.
The free agent cornerback played last season with the New England Patriots. He made an appearance in every game in 2011, including two starts for the beleaguered Patriots secondary.
Molden, 27, is a big and physical corner who stands six-foot-one and weighs just under 200 pounds.
With Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas and Prince Amukamara already in the fold, Molden would be brought in mostly for depth in the defensive backfield. With the way today's NFL is played, a team can never have enough quality corners.
Aaron Ross leaving for Jacksonville also left a hole for general manager Jerry Reese to fill. Molden would fit the bill as an experienced player with some ability.
Molden was drafted four years ago by the Houston Texans, where he played before joining New England.
The free-agent defections from the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants continued late Wednesday night when Devin Thomas, hero of the NFC Championship Game victory over the San Francisco 49ers, signed with the Chicago Bears.
Thomas recovered two fumbled punts in the championship game, including one in overtime that set up the game-winning field goal.
A wide receiver, Thomas did not seem likely to get much of an opportunity to play significant snaps on offense with the Giants even following the departure of Mario Manningham. New York has Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, as well as Domenik Hixon, Jerrel Jernigan and Ramses Barden. There might be more of an opportunity for Thomas on offense in Chicago.
"I feel like there's a good opportunity for me to come in and battle for a position and contribute on special teams," Thomas said in a statement released by the Bears. "I love the tradition that Chicago has and I felt like it would be a good fit for me."
According to Adam Schefter via Twitter, the power back has taken his ability across the country and into the Bay Area.
Details haven't been made available yet for the contract.
This leaves the Giants unprotected now if Ahmad Bradshaw gets hurt. Bradshaw has had more than 175 carries just once in his career, and has suffered several foot and ankle injuries.
Jacobs also brought a toughness down near the goal line that will be sorely missed. His attitude sometimes outweighed his production, but Jacobs was definitely an asset at times.
With the name running backs mostly signed at this point, New York may be looking at the draft to replenish the position. The Giants also have D.J. Ware and Da'Rel Scott as potential replacements for Jacobs.
-- For more on the Giants, be sure to check out Big Blue View.
Steve Smith will not be returning for a second stint with the New York Giants.
Despite rumors circulating that Smith could perhaps return to New York after one season with the Philadelphia Eagles, the wide receiver signed a one-year deal on Monday with the St. Louis Rams.
Smith made the Pro Bowl in 2009 with the Giants after catching 107 passes for 1,220 yards and seven touchdowns, but has managed just 59 catches since while struggling through two injury-hindered seasons. The 26-year old had microfracture surgery in 2010 and also ended up on the injured reserve list in 2011 during his lone season with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Smith played nine games last year, catching 11 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports that there's a chance Jacobs returns to the Giants, but only if none of his other options pan out. According to Vacchiano, the 29-year old bruiser is drawing some interest from teams but has yet to go on any visits.
Is it likely that Jacobs finds no other taker in the NFL? Probably not, but Vacchiano cautions that Jacobs is an older running back vying for contracts against younger legs, including those of Kevin Smith, Ryan Grant, Tim Hightower, Cedric Benson, Joseph Addai, Justin Forsett, Jackie Battle and Jerious Norwood.
A pair of New York Giants unrestricted free agents could be on the verge of finding new homes. Defensive end Dave Tollefson and middle linebacker Jonathan Goff visited with prospective new employers Wednesday, according to a published report.
Tollefson reportedly visited with the Seattle Seahawks. The five-year veteran was not expected to return to the Giants, rather has been expected to look for a place where there was more playing time available. Tollefson, of course, was stuck behind Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora with the Giants.
The Goff situation is a little trickier for New York. Goff was the team's starting middle linebacker in 2010, but missed all of 2011 with a torn ACL. He is an excellent run defender and there has been some thought that the Giants would like to bring him back in 2012. Without him the Giants would be leaning on Mark Herzlich and Greg Jones in 2012.
Goff, though, has a suitor in the Cleveland Browns.
Here is a summary of where the New York Giants stand as NFL free agency rolls along.
Welcome To New York
TE Martellus Bennett
S Chris Horton
T Joel Reinders
TE Larry Donnell
Exclusive rights free agents:
TE Jake Ballard — Re-signed.
TE Bear Pascoe — Will return.
Restricted free agents:
CB Bruce Johnson — Re-signed.
Unrestricted free agents:
CB Will Blackmon
CB Michael Coe — Re-signed.
CB Aaron Ross — Signed with Jacksonville
CB Terrell Thomas — Re-signed.
CB Justin Tryon — Re-signed.
DE Dave Tollefson
DT Rocky Bernard
DT Jimmy Kennedy
LB Chase Blackburn
LB Jonathan Goff
OT Stacy Andrews
OT Kareem McKenzie
OT Tony Ugoh
P Steve Weatherford — Re-signed
S Deon Grant
S Derrick Martin
QB David Carr — Re-signed.
WR Michael Clayton
WR Domenik Hixon — Re-signed.
WR Mario Manningham — Signed with San Francisco 49ers.
WR Devin Thomas
Best guess is that the Giants won’t make any more big signings, with Bennett having been the only real ‘name’ signing thus far. They may bring back a handful of the remaining unsigned unrestrict free agents, but most of those players will likely be moving on.
Once the New York Giants re-signed Terrell Thomas, it was expected that fellow cornerback Aaron Ross, an unrestricted free agent would find a new team. That happened late Monday when Ross signed a three-year, $15.3-million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Ross, the Giants No. 1 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, had an injury-filled five seasons with the Giants. He was, however, a starting cornerback on two Super Bowl-winning teams. Ross took over in 2011 when Thomas tore his ACL in preseason and had his best season. He set career highs in tackles (60), interceptions (4) and passes defensed (12).
With Ross in Jacksonville, the Giants are obviously expecting that Thomas will return to form following his second ACL surgery. That also means they are planning an increased role for Prince Amakumara, the team’s No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft who missed much of last season with a broken foot. Amukamara was recently spotted on crutches after receiving an injection to aid the healing in the injured foot.
The Giants also re-signed veteran cornerbacks Justin Tryon and Michael Coe, each of whom spent part of last season on injured reserve.
Once again, a Super Bowl hero is departing the New York Giants.
Like fellow wide receiver David Tyree in 2008, Mario Manningham won't be back in New York next season after signing a two-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers, ProFootballTalk.com reported Saturday night. Manningham joins Randy Moss as the 49ers' top free agent acquisitions thus far, bolstering a receiver corps that already includes Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis.
PFT also reported Manningham had been in contract negotiations with the St. Louis Rams before signing with San Francisco.
In his four seasons with the Giants, Manningham caught 160 passes for 2,315 yards and 18 touchdowns. His finest year was 2010, when he appeared in all 16 games, started eight and caught 60 passes for 944 yards and nine touchdowns.
But between a knee injury (Manningham was limited to 10 starts in 12 games this season) and the emergence of Victor Cruz as the Giants' leading receiver, Manningham slid into a diminished role. That changed, of course, in Super Bowl XLVI, when Manningham hauled in a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch for a 38-yard gain on the Giants' final drive of the game.
Mike Garafalo of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that $4 million is expected to be paid up front.
Weatherford, 29, is a workout maniac who had 82 punts last season with an average of 45.7 yards per punt. He placed 25 punts inside the 20-yard line, with a long punt of 62 yards.
But his most memorable moment of the season came after holding a field goal for Lawrence Tynes. After Tynes split the uprights to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in overtime, Weatherford took his helmet off, sprinted around the field and shouted, "We're going to the [expletive] Super Bowl!"
Gary Uberstine, agent for former Redskins S Chris Horton, confirms his client has signed with the Giants. #nyg— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 15, 2012
Horton was drafted out of UCLA in the 7th round (249th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. Horton was a regular starter during his rookie season but saw his playing time decline afterwards. From 2008-2010, Horton made 122 tackles (91 solo), 1 sack and three interceptions. He was cut from the Redskins roster last season and didn't play any games.
Expect to see Horton trying to compete for a spot on the special teams unit for the Giants next season.
Many assumed that Carr would bolt for Tampa Bay, joining former Giants quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan, who is now the offensive coordinator there.
Carr did not play a snap in the regular season last year. He beat out Sage Rosenfels for the backup job out of camp last August.
This is actually Carr's second stint with the Giants. He spent two seasons in New York in 2008 and 2009. During that two-year period he played in nine games as a foot injury bothered Eli Manning. Carr is 32.
Q: We understand it’s a one year deal. Is that correct?
A: Yes m ‘am.
Q: How do you feel about that?
A: I feel awesome.
Q: Why is one year a good idea?
A: I think it gives them a chance to see who I really am as a player and as a person. For me it’s a performance thing so they get to see who I am as a player and I get to come in and show them what I can do. I think it’s a great situation for me coming in here with the quarterbacks and the guys they have around and the way the put in the organization. I’m just happy to be part of the situation. I’m truly best to be here.
Q: Do you think we got to see who you are as a player the last few years?
A: No. I think at times you got a glimpse, but I was in a limited role. I only played like 30 per cent of the snaps while I was in Dallas. I think in a larger role I could do so much more. I think the sky’s the limit. I don’t think anyone has really seen who I am as a player and what I have to offer. So I think this is the best situation for me and my family and for me as an athlete because, I don’t want to say I have a lot to prove, but I long to-do list. So I have a lot of things I need to do as a football player. I think this is place where it gives me the opportunity to do everything that I want to do.
Q: Can you tell us about the courting from the Giants? Did you identify them right away and decide that you really like them?
A: Yeah, when I got here I met with coach Pope. Once we started talking we hit it off. It was kind of like love at first sight. Once we started talking I almost asked him to marry me. So I’m excited about this situation with the coaches and everybody in this organization has been great, just sitting down and conversing with everyone that I could. I pretty much have met everyone here. I think both sides are excited about the opportunity that we have.
Q: You said in a recent interview that you were a 60-plus catch guy. Have you always seen yourself that way and was it just a limited role in Dallas that prevented you from getting there?
A: Like I said, I had a great time in Dallas. I learned a lot as a player and the organization was great to me. I was in a situation where I may not have gotten to play as many snaps as I wanted and do some of the things that I wanted to do, as far as receiving and playing a whole lot, but I got to play with one of the greatest of all time, that’s going to go down in history as one of the greatest, Jason Witten. I may not have caught a lot of balls while I was there, but I learned a lot about football just watching him, how he did things, how to get open, how to play ball. In the long run it was a successful trip for me in Dallas. I just think that it’s time for me to move on and be my own guy.
Q: We’re you comfortable knowing that the tight end is not used as much in the passing game here?
A: I thought Jake Ballard, I thought him and Beckum did a great job. Ballard, before he got hurt for the first time, he was the leading receiver on the team. So I think he did a great job and I think I’m coming in with a group of guys that’s very talented. It’s not about me. We’re going to be a strong core when those guys get healthy. I’m looking forward to playing next to them. I was fortunate to play with a guy, Jake’s a young guy to me, being this is my fifth year in the league – to get in there and teach him some of the things that I learned from Witten and learn some of the things that he knows here in the offense already. I think we could be a really good tandem. I thought the tight ends here were doing a great job. I’m not trying to push anybody to the side. I just feel like I have something different to offer to the table than they do. And I think we’ll be a good combination.
Q: What’s that different thing that you feel you have to offer?
A: One is I’m a totally different type of blocker than he is. Being a blocking tight end in the NFL, it takes time to learn to do that and something that I’ll progress at. I’m a stretch the field type guy. I like to get vertical and things like that. I believe I can create a lot of mismatches all over the field.
Q: Do you feel like you could be at the level of Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham?
A: Yeah. No doubt.
Q: What makes you think that?
A: I just continue to work hard. You look at those guys, they get a lot of opportunities to make a lot of plays. I think I’m going to get a lot of those opportunities. I’m going to seize the moment. So right now I’m just living in the moment and I look forward to getting out there on the field and having more opportunities to really play. I always looked at myself as a good player, but I always want to be great. I think this is a place where I can be great.
Q: You said it was love at first sight with coach Pope. Why is that?
A: Coach Pope just seems like a guy you want to have a beer with. He’s lived 70 years of life. Anyone who’s been around that long, there’s a lot of knowledge there. There’s a lot of wisdom. Just from our conversations, just talking about football and life, we just clicked right away. I think he understood me more than I thought he would when I came in. It was just one of those things. Sometimes you just click with people and sometimes you don’t. I clicked with him.
Q: After four years of being a Cowboy is it weird to be a Giant?
A: It’s kind of weird. I’ve been playing against these guys for four years, but at the end of the day it’s business. People leave Dell all the time to go work for Mac. It’s a business at the end of the day and, like I said, I loved everything about the Cowboys organization and I had a good time there and I enjoyed every moment of it. But for me, it’s not really just going to a rival team. It’s about being in the better situation.
Q: Did you reach out to Chris Canty at all?
A: Yeah, I saw him earlier. I talked to him earlier – Justin Tuck. I saw most of those guys up here in the facility earlier. I’m pretty cool with most of the guys because we play against each other a lot. They all were telling me to sign the dotted line already and kept asking me if I did it yet. I’m glad they came up here. I look forward to meeting the rest of the team.
Q: Did they talk to you about your role? Do you expect to be an every down guy?
A: That’s what I want to be and that’s why I chose this place and I think I have a chance to do that. I think that’s what I’m built for. So yeah, I do see myself as an every down guy. I don’t feel like anything is given to me here and that was expressed in all of the meetings. They expect me to come in here and work hard and earn every opportunity that I get. And that’s something that I want to do. I don’t want anything given to me. I just want to show them that, ‘Hey, this is what you got.’ And earn what I deserve and get what I deserve to get.
Q: Do you see yourself being here a long time with the Giants?
A: Yeah, I think so. I’m already pretty comfortable. I’m already looking for places to live. I might be out here in a couple of weeks already. I’m ready to get started. I’m going to try to give Eli a call as soon as possible and see where he’s at and try to get with him as soon as I can and just get to work.
The New York Giants did not take long to address the team's glaring hole at tight end, signing former Dallas Cowboy Martellus Bennett on Wednesday according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Schefter reports that Bennett inked a one-year deal with New York valued at $2.25 million.
Playing behind Cowboys star Jason Witten, Bennett caught 17 passes for 140 yards in 2011. He snagged a career-high 33 passes in 2010 and a career-high four touchdowns in 2008, his rookie season. Bennett has not caught a touchdown pass since 2008.
Free agent cornerback Aaron Ross will visit the Washington Redskins on Friday, reports John Keim of the Washington Examiner. Ross is also scheduled to meet with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
Ross spent the first five years of his career with the New York Giants, accumulating 60 tackles, 12 passes defensed and four interceptions during the 2011 season. He started 15 of 16 regular season games for New York in 2011, but - due to the re-signing of Terrell Thomas, Michael Coe and Justin Tryon - has likely played his last game with the Giants.
For his career, Ross has 200 tackles, 33 passes defensed, 2.5 sacks and 10 interceptions, returning two of those picks for touchdowns.
Free-agent wide receivers have been flying off the board quickly on the first day of 2012 NFL Free Agency. Vincent Jackson signed a rich contract in Tampa Bay. The Washington Redskins reeled in Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan and Eddie Royal. Before that all began, Randy Moss even found a home with the San Francisco 49ers.
Yet, New York Giants Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham has yet to find a home. There are whispers that perhaps the Minnesota Vikings might make a play for Manningham. The St. Louis Rams and Cincinnati Bengals could also be possibilities. Ralph Vacchiano still thinks Tampa Bay is in play.
What is keeping teams from knocking on Manningham's door? Maybe the fact that he reportedly wants to be paid like a No. 1 receiver when he, obviously, has never shown that's what he is. Oh, and maybe someone should tell Mario to stop ripping potential employers before they have a chance to make an offer.
It will be interesting to see how much longer Manningham stays on the market.
Could a return to the New York Giants by running back Brandon Jacobs be in the works? The Giants recently released the veteran running back, who was due to make $4.9 million this season, is a salary cap move. Wall Street Journal Giants' beat report Aditi Kinkhabwala reported, however, that Jacobs was at the Timex Performance Center Tuesday to meet with Giants coach Tom Coughlin.
Source tells me Brandon Jacobs went to NYG HQ tooday to see Coughlin. Said not going to rush decision and was mellow. Reunion possible?— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) March 13, 2012
Kinkhabwala also reported that the contract signed by Terrell Thomas could net him as much as $5 million in 2012, and would guarantee him $13 million in 2013 if the Giants pick up the option.
That seems like a lot of money for a guy who has had two ACL surgeries on his right knee.
The 2012 NFL Free Agency period began at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, and the New York Giants got busy quickly. They re-signed cornerbacks Michael Coe and Justin Tryon and added two new players, tight end Larry Donnell and offensive lineman Joel Reinders.
Meanwhile, reports have surfaced that tight end Martellus Bennett, who spent the first four years of his career with the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys, has scheduled a visit with the tight end-needy Giants.
Bennett caught 85 passes in four season with Dallas, playing mostly as a backup to Jason Witten.
Coe and Tryon were each with the Giants last season. Both cornerbacks ended the season on Injured Reseve, Coe with a shoulder injury and Tryon with a broken arm.
Reinders, 6-8 and 317 pounds, was in training camp with the Cleveland Browns in 2010. He joined the team as an undrafted free agent and played in one preseason game before he was waived on Sept. 3. He did not play football last season.
Donnell, 6-6 and 269 pounds, played at Grambling State from 2007-10. In 26 games, he caught 38 passes for 432 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Mike Garafolo of the Star-Ledger reports that Bennett is the Giants "top target" and speculates a deal "could get done quickly."
Terrell Thomas, who agreed to a new contract with the New York Giants on Tuesday morning, said returning to the Giants rather than hitting the free-agent market was always his wish.
"I definitely wanted to come back here – this is home for me," Thomas said after signing his contract. "Coming off an injury, it’s better to come back to the same team – you know the personnel and the staff and they know you. You know the defense. My first choice was here, but I did open my eyes a little bit to free agency in case the Giants didn’t re-sign me. So I’m happy to be back."
Thomas missed all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the second time he has suffered that injury. He expects to be ready for training camp.
"There’s no rush for me," he said. "I’m proven here. They know who I am and what I can do on the field. There’s no rush for me to get out on the field. My biggest thing is to let my knee heal 100 percent and come training camp and the season I have no setbacks or missed practices because of swelling. But I’ll definitely get out there and maybe do some individual drills"
NFL Free Agency does not start until 4 p.m. ET Tuesday afternoon. The New York Giants, however, have already made their first major free-agent signing. Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted that the Giants will retain cornerback Terrell Thomas.
One less CB on the market: New York Giants reached agreement with cornerback Terrell Thomas.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2012
Thomas missed all of the 2011 season after suffering a torn ACL during the preseason. Thomas had an outstanding 2010 season for the Giants with five interceptions, four forced fumbles, 21 passes defensed and 101 tackles for the Giants.
Thomas quickly took to Twitter himself this morning to share the news:
It's a GREAT day to be a NEW YORK GIANT!— Terrell Thomas (@TerrellThomas24) March 13, 2012
The Thomas signing is probably bad news for cornerback Aaron Ross, who started in place of Thomas during the 2011 season. The Giants do not have much flexibility under the NFL salary cap and it has been widely assumed that the team would not keep both players.
-- See Big Blue View for more discussion and analysis of the Giants.
If Jerry Reese hadn't been here before, the New York Giants' offseason would appear significantly more daunting.
Fresh off a Super Bowl XLII victory in 2008, the Giants entered the following offseason with key contributors such as Kawika Mitchell, Gibril Wilson and Derrick Ward entering free agency. Only Ward returned to the team the following season, and that was his final season in New York.
This offseason, Reese faces questions regarding 24 players headed for free agency. Chief among those names are wide receiver Mario Manningham, tight end Jake Ballard, right tackle Kareem McKenzie and cornerbacks Terrell Thomas and Aaron Ross. Reese has preached patience and balance as principals for his offseason approach, and Giants fans would be hard pressed to argue with his results. Of course, that didn't prevent any of the uproar that ensued once Reese let the likes of Shaun O'Hara, Rich Seubert, Steve Smith and Kevin Boss walk prior to this season.
Fortunately for the Giants and their fans, it all seemed to work out.
Free agency period: March 13, 4 p.m. ET - July 22 (the first scheduled day of NFL training camps)
Salary cap: $120,600,000 per team
Giants cap situation: According to ProFootballTalk.com, $3.8 million over at 4:00 p.m. ET on Friday, March 9. After cutting running back Brandon Jacobs (reportedly saving the team $5 million) and collecting the $1.6 million the NFL is distributing to most teams after the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins were penalized a combined $46 million in cap space after piling money into last season's uncapped year, that number could be lowered.
Exclusive Rights Free Agents (2):
TE Jake Ballard - Signed one-year contract
TE Bear Pascoe
Restricted Free Agents (1):
CB Bruce Johnson - Signed one-year contract
Unrestricted Free Agents (21)
QB David Carr
WR Michael Clayton
WR Mario Manningham
WR Devin Thomas
OT Kareem McKenzie
OT Tony Ugoh
CB Michael Coe
CB Aaron Ross
CB Terrell Thomas
CB Justin Tryon
S Derrick Martin - reportedly unlikely to be re-signed P Steve Weatherford - franchise tagged for approximately $2.5 million
The Raiders were able to lure Boss away as a free agent last summer. Boss did not produce big numbers (28 receptions, 368 yards, 3 touchdowns) in 14 games for the Raiders in 2011, but he was also injured last season (knee, concussion). The Giants are of course in the market for a tight end now that both Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum will miss time while they recover from ACL surgeries.
Could a reunion be possible for Boss and the Giants? After his rookie season in 2007, Boss caught at least 33 passes and five touchdowns for the Giants from 2008-2010. That kind of steady production at the tight end position helps the Giants passing game work. Who could be a better offseason acquisition than a tight end who already knows the team?
Mario Manningham, who can be a free agent on March 13, continues to say he would like to remain with the New York Giants. The possibility of that happening for the exciting young wide receiver, however, seem to remain remote.
"I want to be here," Manningham said. "Because I feel like we can do a lot of damage in these next four to five years. That is just how I feel. We are all young. It is not up to me. I want to stay."
Manningham may want to stay, and truth is the Giants probably want to keep him. Reality is, however, that Manningham would seem as good as gone once NFL free agency begins on March 13.
Manningham, 26 next season, has 160 receptions and 18 touchdowns in four seasons, and has averaged 14.5 yards per catch. He is, however, third on the Giants' depth chart behind starts Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. He would love to get the ball more often, and several teams are likely to offer him more money than the Giants, who are over the salary cap.
Weatherford and the Giants waited until after the Super Bowl to resume contract negotiations and the franchise tag move gives both sides more time to negotiate. Weatherford became indispensable to the Giants down the stretch last season. During the regular season, 30.5 percent of his punts landed inside the 20-yard line. In the Super Bowl, three of Weatherford's four punts landed inside the Patriots' 10-yard line.
If Weatherford re-signs with New York, he will get a contract worth the average of the highest five punter salaries. If Weatherford goes to another team, the Giants will receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.
After missing the entire 2010 season, Hixon managed to play in just two games during 2011, catching four passes for 50 yards and one touchdown before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament for the second straight season in late September.
"I Just got done officially signing back with the Superbowl Champs!!!
#blessed #readytoplay," he tweeted. "Thank you to the best Fans in the world and the Giants for giving me an opportunity to play the game I love!"
Hixon's best season came in 2008, when he caught 43 receptions for 596 yards and two touchdowns. It was the only year the wide receiver played in all 16 regular season outings.
Manningham, asked on WFAN if he wants to stay with the Giants, answered "That's what I want to do, stay here. Why... sulia.com/c/football/f/8…— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) February 28, 2012
Manningham was speaking on WFAN radio Tuesday morning.
Various reports have had Manningham saying he was likely to leave the Giants. He has been connected to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where former Giants quarterbacks and wide receivers coach Mike Sullivan is now the offensive coordinator.
The Giants are over the salary cap and it seems unlikely that they would either enter or be able to win any sort of bidding war for Manninghman, who is their No. 3 receiver behind Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. Manningham said on WFAN that he was "not sure" he would be willing to take less money to stay in New York.
NFL free agency opens March 13.
With the Giants trying to reshape their roster after a Super Bowl season, surprising moves may be coming. New York has some cap problems and
None of that is stunning, what could be however is who's rumored to be brought in.
This doesn't make a whole lot of sense on the surface.
Scott has always played in a 3-4 defensive scheme going all the way back to his days in Baltimore, unlike New York's 4-3 alignment under Tom Coughlin. While the Giants need help at that level, Scott isn't young anymore and hasn't been the same player recently.The linebacker will be 32-years-old before the season starts.
He would be a cheap addition for Jerry Reese's cash-strapped group, but it's tough to envision Scott trying to adjust to a brand-new system at this point in his career.
Scott would be able to stay in the Big Apple, which might be about the only reason to think he could go to Big Blue.
We're not sure where he'll be playing next year, but we can't wait to find out.
Wide receiver prospects are working out at the NFL Draft Combine Sunday, and the New York Giants are probably taking a strong look at all the candidates, especially now considering that reports out of Indianapolis are saying that soon-to-be free agent Mario Manningham will not return to New York for the 2012 season.
"75 percent chance" Super Bowl hero and soon-to-be-free-agent Mario Manningham won't return to the Giants, sources at this weekend's NFL scouting combine said there is virtually no chance he is back with the club.
The speculation is being reported by CBSSports.com, and is saying that Manningham is leaving New York for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Instead, they said, Manningham is expected to follow former Giants assistant Mike Sullivan to Tampa Bay. Sullivan, who was the Giants quarterbacks coach, recently took a job as Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator.
The reasons for Manningham's departure? Well, here are what sources are telling CBSSports.com:
First, they said, he would know Sullivan's offense, so there is no learning curve. Second, people close to Manningham indicate that he wants to go to a warm-weather club, and last time I checked Tampa Bay qualified on that score. Third, sources said the Giants probably wouldn't make him a contract offer, not only because they believe his price may be too high but because they're more interested in a wide receiver who can line up at more than one or two spots at the position, which, they said, Manningham cannot.
Of course, none of this is official but is interesting and will be something that Giants fan will need to keep their eyes on as the offseason and free-agent period progresses.
Aaron Ross, an unrestricted free agent cornerback for the New York Giants, says he would like to return to New York next season (via NJ.com). Ross is one of six unrestricted defensive backs for the Giants.
Ross spoke about his desire to return to the Giants at an event earlier today.
"Of course, of course," Ross told the Star-Ledger after a MAB Celebrity Services appearance in Franklin Lakes today. "I've been here five years so that's like asking me if I want to go back to (Texas). I invested four years there and five years here so my heart is here."
"It's up to them," Ross said. "It's completely up to them if they want to bring me back or not. I don't get into it too much. I don't worry about it. My agent, he'll take care of it."
Ross started 15 regular season games during the 2011 season and recorded 60 tackles (46 solo) and had four interceptions. Ross also started every postseason game for the Giants last season.
Terrell Thomas and Aaron Ross are both headed for free agency this offseason. How will the New York Giants' secondary look in 2012?
Mario Manningham and Kareem McKenzie lead a list of 10 New York Giants offensive players who will be entering free agency this offseason.
The Giants have work to do to get under the NFL salary cap, they won't use the franchise tag on Manningham as that would put their No. 3 receiver's salary at $9.4 million next season, and it is apparent that one of the Giants 2012 Super Bowl heroes will have plenty of options this offseason.
In his 'Monday Morning Quarterback' column this week, SI.com's Peter King wrote that their are six teams that are at least $40 million under the salary cap, and that five of those teams have needs at wide receiver.
Those teams are Tampa Bay ($67 million), Kansas City ($62M), Cincinnati ($60M), Washington ($49M), Denver ($49), Jacksonville ($45M).
Per King, all but Cincinnati have needs at receiver. Also, the Buccaneers recently hired former Giants quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan as offensive coordinator.
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