Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants is optimistic he will not miss any time despite breaking his foot during offseason workouts. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

New York Giants 2012 Offseason: Hakeem Nicks Remains Optimistic About Injured Foot

-- Follow this StoryStream for New York Giants offseason news and rumors

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Hakeem Nicks Injury Update: Victor Cruz 'Definitely Expects' Nicks To Be Ready For Season Opener

With recent comments by Hakeem Nicks a little unclear on where he might be in recovering from his broken foot, teammate Victor Cruz spoke to ESPN and reinforced that Nicks will be ready for the season opener at home against the Cowboys on Sept. 5. Said Cruz:

"He looks good. He's walking again on his own so that's definitely a good sign. He told me he'll be ready and he told me he'll take training camp to continue rehabbing and continue to get his foot back right, but I definitely expect him to be ready by game one."

Nicks broke his foot at an organized team activity in late May. Many reports claimed he would be ready by training camp, but Cruz clarifies that that readiness may be more for rehab activities than practice with the team.

Stick with this StoryStream for updates on Nicks and other Giants offseason news. For all things New York Giants, head over to Big Blue View.

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Hakeem Nicks Injury Update: Nicks Says He Is 'Definitely Making Training Camp'

Ever since he broke his foot during OTAs several weeks ago, New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has been adamant that he will be ready for the team's training camp at UAlbany. Players report to camp July 26.

Nicks told radio talk show hosts Chris McClain and Jim Celania on WFNZ in his hometown of Charlotte that he is no longer in a cast or walking boot. [via Sports Radio Interviews]

"Definitely making training camp. I started running about two weeks [ago] but the coaches don't really want me to force the issue right now so I still haven't started running yet," Nicks said. "They want me to just take my time with it - they feel like that's what's best. So right now I'm just taking my time with it. ... But I'll definitely be ready for the season."

So, Hakeem have you started running or haven't you? Or, did you mean to say you are running even though the team doesn't want you to?

Nicks being ready for at least part of training camp would be good news for the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. And his being ready to open the season would be great news.

Nicks caught 76 passes for a career-best 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns last season. In three seasons he has 202 receptions.


Jake Ballard Claimed Off Waivers: Former Giants TE Claimed By New England Patriots

A day after the New York Giants placed injured tight end Jake Ballard on waivers, the New England Patriots have reportedly claimed him. Ballard's agent tweeted on Tuesday, "As I stated yesterday a 'smart' football organization might claim @NYG_J_Ballard85 while he's hurt to own his rights. He's now a Patriot!"

Ballard and his agent both tweeted on Monday about Ballard wanting to return to the Giants for the 2013 season when he will be physically ready to play. Ballard is currently recovering from an ACL injury he suffered during Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots.

Ballard's agent was surprised to say the least when tweeting on Tuesday about his client being claimed by New England. Baratz tweeted "@MikeGarafolo absolute Insanity. One day your meeting the President w/your team, next day your released, next day ur on the team u beat in SB."

For more on the Giants, please be sure to check out our blog Big Blue View along with SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.


New York Giants Mini-Camp 2012: TE Travis Beckum Plans To Run For First Time Since Torn ACL

New York Giants tight end Travis Beckum said he plans to run Tuesday at the team's mini-camp as he continues to recover from a torn ACL suffered in the Super Bowl, according to Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News.

"If my knee says, 'Travis, relax,' I'm going to back off," he said. "I just had an ACL surgery. I expect pain. But as far as where it's at, if it's more in the front, then I'm going to need to back off a little bit."

This will be the first time Beckum has run since his injury.

"I've done everything except running," he told Samuel. "Been in the pool a lot. I've been sprinting in the pool, making my glutes strong, my hamstrings, my quads. So all that stuff has a factor on how my knees going to hold up."

Beckum and fellow tight end Jake Ballard both tore their ACLs during the Super Bowl, but Beckum's recovery has been much quicker. Ballard was waived by the team on Monday, though his agent believes he will return to the Giants once his knee heals.

For more on the Giants, please be sure to check out our blog Big Blue View along with SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.


New York Giants 2012 Mini-Camp: Defending Super Bowl Champ Look For More

The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants hit the field at the Timex Performance Center today to begin a three-day mandatory mini-camp. The Giants are preparing to defend the fourth Super Bowl title in franchise history.

Practices all three days will be closed to the public.

The Giants are ready to get back to work.

“Absolutely,” Rolle said after touring the White House last week. “They say when you give a shark a little bit of blood he’s going to keep hunting. That’s the way I look at it.”

Related: Tom Coughlin Press Conference Transcript

This will be the last time the Giants are together as a full team until reporting for training camp at UAlbany on July 26.

"You know, I am ready to get back to work," Rolle said. "2011 was a memorable year (with) a lot of ups and a lot of downs, but through it all we persevered and we made it happen for us. It’s come to a close now. This is the final hour of 2011 and that Super Bowl run.

"We’re looking to bigger and better things."


Jake Ballard Injury Update: New York Giants Waive Injured Tight End

The New York Giants have announced that they have waived injured tight end Jake Ballard. Ballard was waived by the team on Monday after failing a physical.

Ballard tore his ACL in Super Bowl XLVI after making two catches for 10 yards. He ranked fourth on the Giants in receptions in 2011 with 38 for 604 yards and four touchdowns. Ballard also had five grabs for 43 yards in the NFL Playoffs before his injury in the Super Bowl.

With the Giants waiving Ballard, they still have seven tight ends on their roster for the upcoming season: Bear Pascoe, Travis Beckum, Martellus Bennett, fourth-round draft choice Adrien Robinson, Ryan Purvis, Christian Hopkins and Larry Donnell. Beckum, like Ballard, also tore his ACL in the Super Bowl.

The Giants signed veteran defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, who was with the Giants last season, to take Ballard's spot on the roster.

For more on the Giants, please be sure to check out our blog Big Blue View along with SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.


David Diehl Arrested Sunday For Driving While Intoxicated

New York Giants offensive lineman David Diehl was arrested Sunday night for driving while intoxicated, according to the New York Post's Paul Schwartz. Diehl was reportedly taken into custody and booked into the 114th precinct after hitting two parked cars in Queens. He reportedly failed an administered breathalyzer test, and will go in front of a judge Monday morning.

Diehl isn't known as a problem athlete. He has started 136 games in his nine seasons played after being selected in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He earned the Wellington Mara NFL Man of the Year Award at a Boys Hope Girls Hope dinner last month.

Few details about the incident are known at this point. Neither the Giants, nor agent Peter Schaffer have yet to comment.

For more on Diehl and the Giants, head over to the SB Nation blog Big Blue View and stay tuned to SBN New York.


New York Giants 2012 Training Camp: Full Schedule Released

The New York Giants will return to the UAlbany for their 2012 NFL training camp this summer. The team has trained there since 1996 with the exception of last season, when camp was kept at the Timex Performance Center due to the impact of the NFL Lockout.

The full camp schedule has been released.

2012 New York Giants Training Camp Schedule

Thurs., July 26: Players Report
Fri., July 27: 1 p.m.
Sat., July 28: 1 p.m.
Sun., July 29: 1 p.m.
Mon., July 30: 1 p.m.
Tues., July 31: No practice.
Wed., Aug. 1: 1 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 2: 1 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 3: 1 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 4: 1:00 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 5: No Practice
Mon., Aug. 6: 1 p.m.
Tues., Aug. 7: 1 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 8: 1 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 9: No Practice
Fri., Aug. 10: at Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 11: No Practice
Sun., Aug. 12: 1 p.m.
Mon., Aug. 13: 1 p.m.
Tues., Aug. 14: 1 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 15: No Practice - Break Camp


New York Giants OTA Report: Osi Umenyiora Happy, 'Playing For Fun'

New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora is … happy? It has been a long time since that could be said about the two-time Pro Bowler but, with renegotiated contract in hand, Umenyiora showed at at Monday’s OTA and that is the sentiment he expressed.

“I don’t think I was unhappy or disgruntled,” he said to a large group of reporters gathered at his locker. “It definitely appeared that way but it definitely was all business. There were no hard feelings. I understood exactly what they were doing, I understood where they were coming from, and I also knew I had to do what I had to do. Now it’s more of the same and I’m happy to be here; I was happy to be here last year. I love to play and I’m going to go out there and I’m going to continue to produce the way I’ve always done. And help this team win.”

Umenyiora is signed only through the upcoming season and could be a free agent after that.

“I don’t think I’m playing for a contract,” he said. “I’m playing for fun, honestly. I’m playing because I love to play. If you go out there thinking about playing for a contract, the contract will never come. That’s for sure. I’ve made money and I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to be around with my teammates.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen next year. I might have a great year and decide to stay instead, no matter what it is they offer me. You just have to play for fun and play because you love the game and that’s definitely what I’m doing.”


New York Giants Offseason News 2012: Andre Brown's Suspension Lifted By NFL

New York Giants running back Andre Brown tweeted Friday that his four-game suspension has been overturned by the NFL.

Brown was suspended for four games in March for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He later revealed that the suspension was for using Adderall, a prescription drug he said he has used for medicinal purposes since entering the NFL.

The 25-year-old Brown spent the 2011 season on New York's practice squad. He has not received any playing time during two seasons with the Giants, but the team has kept him around because they consider him especially gifted.

Per the SB Nation Giants blog Big Blue View, running backs coach Jerald Ingram said the team is still excited by Brown's upside, but wants to see the 6-foot, 240-pound back demonstrate a heightened awareness on the field.

"Really the thing that has held Andre back is just learning the offense," Ingram said during a press conference Thursday. "He's big, he's fluid, he's strong, we drafted him so that he could catch the ball out of the backfield. He really is gifted. Athletically, he might be as good as anybody out there. But his ability to learn in a lot of people's offenses, because he's had the world tour, that has been his weakness. Now, he came back last year and showed that he actually could learn some of the things that we had done, and as he progresses and gets that opportunity, he has the size to pick up 250-pound linebackers. He's got physical toughness, he has got great hands, he has that ability but can he put it all together is what we're interested in seeing finally, has he matured to that level of being an every down back?"

For more on the Giants, please be sure to check out our blog Big Blue View along with SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.


Hakeem Nicks Injury Update: Wide Receiver Says 'I'll Be Ready To Go'

Injured New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who broke a bone in his foot during an OTA a week ago, said "I don't have any doubt" when asked if he would be ready for the team's Sept. 5 season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

The original prognosis for Nicks is that his recovery will take 12 weeks, and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has said he is uncertain when Nicks will return.

"I definitely feel like I'll be ready to go when it's time to be ready to go," Nicks said on Thursday during a conference call.

"We just don't want no setbacks. The team wants to take it 12 weeks, that's what we're giving it, so that's what we're going to go by. My goal is always to come back earlier, we just don't want no setbacks. We have to play it smart and be ready for the season."

Nicks caught 79 passes for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns last season, averaging 15.7 yards per catch. He is entering his fourth season.


In Defense Of Osi Umenyiora: Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka Lobby For Teammate

Osi Umenyiora and the New York Giants have been squabbling about Umenyiora's contract for years. Now, a pair of Umenyiora's long-time defensive teammates have taken his side, agreeing that the seven-year, $41.3-million contract the defensive end will finish this season makes him underpaid.

Mathias Kiwanuka just signed an extension this offseason that brings his contract to four years worth $21.75 million, with nearly $11 million guaranteed. Kiwanuka, a linebacker/defensive end, said Umenyiora has been "in a bad deal for years now."

At the time of Kiwanuka's deal Umenyiora expressed happiness for Kiwanuka but frustration for his own situation.

"Anybody who looks at the situation would say, 'Well, this should've been taken care of a long time ago.' For whatever reason it hasn't so I understand his frustration. I know that it wasn't a slight at me. I know he was just trying to get his point across."

Giants defensive captain Justin Tuck also took Umenyiora's side today.

"It's hard," Tuck said. "He's signed a contract and I believe in abiding by that contract, but also I think he's outplayed that contract in today's market. And how some of these defensive ends are getting paid lots of money, I think he deserves to get paid."

The Giants and Umenyiora have been disagreeing about Umenyiora's worth for years. Despite the lobbying of his teammates, it would seem a surprise right now if Umenyiora were to remain a Giant past the coming season -- when his contract expires.


Prince Amukamara Injury Update: Cornerback 'Feels Great'

New York Giants fans, who are crossing their fingers and hoping wide receiver Hakeem Nicks recovers quickly from his broken foot, should be interested in the progress of cornerback Prince Amukamara as well.

Amukamara suffered the same injury as Nicks did last season during training camp, and the broken bone did not heal as well as hoped. He underwent a procedure this offseason to promote further healing in the bone and ran on grass for the first time on Tuesday.

"It feels great,'' Amukamara said. "They just told me do some little stuff, run some sprints, do the figure eight to see if I felt any tenderness but I didn’t. Things are looking good right now.''

Amukamara did play in seven games at the end of last season, but the 2011 first-round pick did not play particularly well.

Giants' fans, familiar with foot injuries now with Amukamara and running back Ahmad Bradshaw, can only hope that Nicks heals quicker than Amukamara.


New York Giants 2012 OTAs: Justin Tuck Believes Giants Can Be A Dynasty

New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said recently that he would like to see the Giants, with two Super Bowl titles in five years, become a dynasty. Tuck did not back off that Wednesday following the team’s first on-field OTA of the 2012 offseason.

“Why wouldn’t I feel that way?” Tuck said. "I don’t need to be playing the game if I’m not thinking about winning a championship every year.

“I feel very confident in this team’s talent and in this coaching staff, and I believe we have that shot. Me saying it is that going to make it happen? Absolutely not, but we do have a shot at it.”

Tuck also spoke about teaching the young players coming to the team “Giants football.”

“We don’t care where you came from or what school you went to or what you did in college,” Tuck said. “That got you here, but now it doesn’t mean a thing. You have to adapt to playing football how we play it, and we’ve been successful doing it.”


Tom Coughlin To Receive United States Army's Outstanding Civilian Service Award Wednesday

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is one of five people selected to receive the United States Army's Outstanding Civilian Service Award on Wednesday night during a ceremony at Whipple Field at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va.

The honor is the third-highest public service honor the Army can give a civilian. Courtesy of a press release, here's the citation that will be presented to Coughlin by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno.

For outstanding service to the United States Army, Soldiers and families. Your consistent, outward public support of the U.S. Army and the military in general have had far reaching positive impacts on the health and morale of our service members at home and deployed overseas. Your generous outreach to servicemen and women and military families through opportunities to attend New York Giants practices and games and your visits with Soldiers have been remarkable. Your trip to Iraq and participation in the USO tour in July 2009 significantly improved the morale of our deployed Soldiers. The New York Giants players and coaches visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center following the 2008 Super Bowl victory tremendously improved the morale of our wounded warriors and was a testament to your continued substantial support to our wounded warrior program. Your selfless, outstanding efforts have had dramatic, positive impacts on the health of the force, our Soldiers and the United States Army.

The ceremony begins at 6 p.m.

For more on the Giants, please be sure to check out our blog Big Blue View along with SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.


New York Giants Super Bowl Rings Unveiled -- Players Get Them Wednesday Night

The New York Giants receive their 2012 Super Bowl championship rings on Wednesday night


Chad Jones Injury Update: Comeback Derailed As New York Giants Waive Injured Safety

The New York Giants announced Monday that safety Chad Jones has been waived.

Jones, a 2010 third-round NFL Draft pick who was severely injured in a car accident two months after the draft, was waived after not passing a physical.

"Chad had a severe injury to his left leg, involving a complex tibial fracture with associated injury to muscle, nerves, and vascular structures," said Dr. Scott Rodeo, a Giants associate team physician. "This type of injury is often limb threatening, and can sometimes require amputation. He has made a remarkable recovery to date, with successful salvage of the leg. However, at this time he has residual sensory loss, muscle weakness, and tenuous soft tissue coverage in the involved lower leg. The resultant functional impairment precludes his ability to perform physically at the level required for professional football."

Jones is officially listed as waived/failed physical.

Related: Read More On Jones At Big Blue View

"We consider Chad to be part of the Giants family, and we'll continue to work with him in his rehab," general manager Jerry Reese said. "As we've said since his accident, we're thankful he is alive and able to lead a normal life."

Jones, through his agent, thanked the Giants organization and said that he anticipates a full recovery within a few months.

-- For more on the Giants, please be sure to check out our blog Big Blue View along with SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.


Adrien Robinson Signing: New York Giants Sign Fourth-Round Draft Choice

The New York Giants have reportedly agreed to terms with rookie tight end, Adrien Robinson (via NY Daily News).

Giants general manager Jerry Reese has referred to the former Cincinnati Bearcats tight end as the Jason Pierre Paul of tight ends. Reese said

"We really think this guy has a huge upside," Reese said after the draft. "He is a big, big man (with) long arms. He didn't catch a lot of balls for them, but he is kind of a late bloomer who has really come on.

"We think this guy is kind of a JPP of tight ends. We like these kind of people. We're excited about him. We think he can really come on and develop and be a terrific football player for us."

When Reese says that Robinson (who was taken 127th overall) didn't make many catches for the Bearcats, he is hardly understating the point. In four years at Cincinnati, Robinson made 29 receptions for 434 yards and five touchdowns. Robinson does have plenty of size (6-foot-4, 264) and opportunity going into training camp with all of the injuries New York has had at the position.

Robinson is the first of the Giants' 2012 NFL Draft picks to agree to a contract.

For more on the Giants, please be sure to check out Big Blue View.


Giants' Jerry Reese Answers Questions, Shrugs Off Osi Umenyiora's Harsh Comments

If the 24-hour sport news cycle is slowly trying to turn the New York Giants Osi Umenyiora war of words against the front-office brass, mainly general manager Jerry Reese, into something the Jets orginazation would orchestrate. Well, its not working too well.

That's because Giants' general manager Reese answered questions Tuesday regarding Umenyiora's angry comments, that basically called Reese a liar, with a shrug of the shoulders.

"I don’t carry grudges," Reese insisted. "That’s the offseason. That’s part of the job. In the offseason there’s always some controversies about contracts. It’s never personal. I don’t think it’s personal with respect to players. It’s definitely not personal with respect to me. It’s just part of the business."

Reese made in clear that the Giants would like Umenyiora to be blue uniform until his retirement.

"The New York Giants, we’re a better football team with Osi Umenyiora on our team," Reese said. "We respect him as a football player. So our goal is to have Osi play football for the New York Giants and retire as a Giant. That’s what we’d like to do first.

For more on the Giants, please be sure to check out our blog Big Blue View along with SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.


Mathias Kiwanuka Reportedly Signs Extension With New York Giants

Mathias Kiwanuka, a key member of the New York Giants defensive unit, has reportedly signed a contract extension thru the 2015 season with the team.

Kiwanuka, who plays both defensive end and linebacker for the Giants, could have become a free agent following the 2012 season.

Drafted in the first round by the Giants in 2006, Kiwanuka has 27 sacks in six season for New York. In 2011 he had 3.5 sacks and 85 tackles while splitting time as a linebacker and occasional pass-rushing defensive end. Kiwanuka missed most of the 2010 season with a neck injury that was thought at the time to be career-threatening.

Where Kiwanuka will play in the Giants’ 2012 defensive scheme is not yet known. The Giants have a plethora of linebackers, and could be short of defensive ends — particularly if they trade the often-disgruntled Osi Umenyiora before the end of the ongoing NFL Draft.


New York Giants 2012 NFL Schedule Analysis

What, you expected the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants to have it easy when the 2012 NFL Schedule was released? Well, you should have known better. Based on team records in 2011, the Giants have the most difficult schedule in the league as their opponents combined for a .547 winning percentage last season.

Things to note about the schedule.

  • The Giants have five prime-time games, including a Wednesday game, a Thursday game and one appearance (vs. the Washington Redskins) on Monday Night Football.
  • The Giants don't get their bye until Week 11.
  • After the bye, the Giants finish home against Green Bay, at Washington, home against New Orleans, at Atlanta, at Baltimore and home against Philadelphia. That's a brutal stretch, meaning the Giants can't afford any early-season slip-ups.
  • The game against Tampa Bay will be noteworthy because of the return of former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, now head coach of the Buccaneers, to New Jersey.
  • The Giants have two difficult short-week games. The Thursday night meeting in Carolina vs. Cam Newton and the Panthers in Week 3, and the Week 14 home game against New Orleans. That game follows a Monday-nighter vs. Washington.

The games I am most looking forward to? The opener against Dallas and the Sunday night game vs. Green Bay. The Giants and Packers meet for the third straight season.

Week 1: Cowboys at Giants, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Week 2: Buccaneers at Giants, Sunday, Sept. 16, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Week 3: Giants at Panthers, Thursday, Sept. 20, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)
Week 4: Giants at Eagles, Sunday, Sept. 30, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Week 5: Browns at Giants, Sunday, Oct. 7, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Week 6: Giants at 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 14, 4:15 (FOX)
Week 7: Redskins at Giants, Sunday, Oct. 21, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Week 8: Giants at Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 28, 4:15 p.m. (FOX)
Week 9: Steelers vs. Giants, Sunday, Nov. 4, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)
Week 10: Giants at Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 11 1 p.m. (FOX)
Week 11: BYE, Nov. 18
Week 12: Packers vs. Giants, Sunday, Nov. 25, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Week 13: Giants at Redskins, Monday, Dec. 3, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 14: Saints vs. Giants, Sunday, Dec. 9, 4:15 p.m. (FOX)
Week 15: Giants at Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 16 1 p.m. (FOX)
Week 16: Giants at Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m., (FOX)
Week 17: Giants vs. Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 30, 1 p.m., (FOX)


Giants, Jets Schedule 2012: NFL Network Special To Reveal Games

The 2012-13 NFL Schedule will be released Tuesday night, and New York Giants and Jets fans are waiting anxiously for the revealing. The 256-game schedule will be released live on NFL Network at 7 p.m. ET. So far, the only regular-season game that has been announced by the NFL is the season-opening contest between the Giants and NFC East Division rival Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday, Sept. 5, on 8:30 p.m.

NFL.com will be the first website to have a full team-by-team release of the schedule, which will feature a primetime contest for each of the 32 teams. A new feature this season, will be a full slate of Thursday night games on NFL Network, which will begin in Week 2 and run through the rest of the regular season.

Another thing to look forward to Tuesday, is ESPN's three-hour SportsCenter that will breakdown every aspect of the revealing of the schedule.

For a complete look at the Giants '12-13 opponents, click here. Meanwhile, the Jets opponents can be found here.

See Big Blue View for more discussion and analysis of the Giants. For more on the Jets, please be sure to check out our blog Gang Green Nation and SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.


Defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants Back To Work As OTAs Begin

The New York Giants gather at the Timex Performance Center in East Rutherford, N.J. for the opening of their offseason training program on Monday. This is not the opening of training camp, or even a mini-camp. It is, however, the first time the Giants have gathered as a team since they finished celebrating their 2012 Super Bowl championship.

Thus, Monday marks the official beginning of the Giants' work toward defending the fourth Super Bowl title in franchise history.

Related: Offseason Programs Not What They Used To Be

Already some things have changed. Running back Brandon Jacobs and wide receiver Mario Manningham are gone, having signed with the San Francisco 49ers. Cornerback Aaron Ross is a Jacksonville Jaguar. The biggest names among the newcomers are tight end Martellus Bennett, acquired as a free agent, and linebacker Keith Rivers, obtained in a trade with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Perennially unhappy defensive end Osi Umenyiora is expected to be a no-show at the OTAs, which are voluntary. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw, recuperating from a bone marrow injection aimed at helping his troublesome feet, is not expected to participate in OTAs or any mini-camps.

-- See Big Blue View for more discussion and analysis of the Giants


New York Giants 2012 Offseason: Chase Blackburn Reportedly Agrees To One-Year Deal

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


Osi Umenyiora: 'I Don't Like Being A Backup'

Osi Umenyiora issued a reminder Thursday that turmoil is never far away when it comes to the veteran defensive end and his relationship with his employer, the New York Giants.

Umenyiora spent last season primarily as the Giants third defensive end behind Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck. Never shy about expressing what he thinks of his own ability, the two-time Pro Bowler said he is "not OK" with being the third wheel in the rotation.

"I don't like being a backup, I can tell you that," he said. "It worked for us last year, but I was coming off an injury or whatever. But I see myself as a starter in the NFL. I see myself as a Pro Bowl type player. That's the way I see myself."

Umenyiora said he was "not complaining," but that "I don't like being on the bench."

The Giants open OTAs on Monday and reports are that Umenyiora is unlikely to be in attendance.

All of this is a reminder that Umenyiora's contentious time with the Giants may soon be coming to an end. He has long been unhappy about the seven-year, $41.3-million contract he has been playing under, and the Giants have refused to re-negotiate the deal. Umenyiora asked for a trade during 2011 training camp and did not get one.

Umenyiora has 40.5 sacks in his last four seasons, including nine in nine regular-season games in 2011. It would seem unlikely the Giants would give Umenyiora the rich deal he desires with Tuck and Pierre-Paul in the fold. Considering his mindset it would also seem unlikely Umenyiora would stay with the Giants beyond 2012.


Giants Free Agency 2012: Bengals, Giants Exploring Keith Rivers Trade

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants are in talks about the possibility of Big Blue acquiring linebacker Keith Rivers.

The Bengals also came to terms with ex-Cowboy corner Terence Newman this morning, so money could also factor into this decision.

Rivers has been underwhelming after being drafted in the first round out of USC in 2008. Rivers was supposed to come in and be a force as an inside linebacker, but that hasn't materialized.

However, he has been somewhat productive and could be very useful to a team like the Giants who could make his life easier with such a great front four to play behind.

The 25-year-old did miss all of last season with a serious wrist injury.

His best season came in 2010, when Rivers amassed 77 tackles in 15 games after making 72 tackles the year before, albeit in just 13 contests.

New York wouldn't have to give up much, most likely just a mid-to-late-round draft pick.

For more on Giants free agency, be sure to check out our blog Big Blue View and SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.


New York Giants Preseason Schedule 2012

The New York Giants' preseason opens against the Jacksonville Jaguars and concludes with a Super Bowl rematch against the New England Patriots.


Andre Brown Suspension: Running Back Gets Four-Game Ban For PED Violation

Andre Brown, who spent the 2011 season on the New York Giants practice squad, has been suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances. Brown will not be eligible for the Giants’ first four games of the 2012.

The Giants drafted Brown out of North Carolina State in the fourth round of the 2009 draft. He ruptured his Achilles’ tendon that August and spent the season on injured reserve. He was waived in September 2010.

He then spent the 2010 season with four different teams — with the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins — and appeared in four games.

The Giants re-signed him last August.

Brown might have had an opportunity to work his way into the backfield rotation in 2012 with Brandon Jacobs having signed with the San Francisco 49ers. It would now seem unlikely, however, that Brown will ever play a significant role for the Giants.


Giants Free Agency 2012: Brandon Jacobs Signs With The 49ers

Brandon Jacobs has officially left the New York Giants to join the San Francisco 49ers.

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.

Related: Complete Giants' Free Agency News

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.


John Mara: Tom Coughlin Contract Extension Coming

Since the New York Giants won their second Super Bowl with Tom Coughlin as head coach last month there has been no question that Coughlin would be receiving a new long-term contract from the organization. The questions have been when that would happen, and how long the contract would be for.

Giants co-owner John Mara answered one of those questions on Tuesday, saying that Coughlin and the Giants would likely have a deal in the next 4-6 weeks.

Coughlin, 66, has been operating on one-year contract extensions in recent seasons. No word on how long this one will be, but it will undoubtedly be a multi-year deal.

The Giants coach, incidentally, took some time to poke the New York Jets from the NFL owners' meetings on Tuesday.


Giants Free Agency 2012: Salary Cap Primer

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 Domenik Hixon

WR Mario Manningham

WR Devin Thomas

OT Stacy Andrews

OT Kareem McKenzie

OT Tony Ugoh

DE Dave Tollefson

DT Rocky Bernard

DT Jimmy Kennedy

LB Chase Blackburn

LB Jonathan Goff

CB Will Blackmon

CB Michael Coe

CB Aaron Ross

CB Terrell Thomas

CB Justin Tryon

S Deon Grant

S Derrick Martin - reportedly unlikely to be re-signed

P Steve Weatherford - franchise tagged for approximately $2.5 million


Ahmad Bradshaw: New York Giants Running Back Undergoes Foot 'Procedure'

New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw has reportedly undergone a non-surgical procedure aimed at promoting the healing of a stress fracture in his right foot. Bradshaw missed four games in 2011 due to the injury.

This might just be more evidence of why the Giants need to think about supplementing the running back position via free agency or the draft before the 2012 season.

Bradshaw has undergone several surgeries on his feet and ankles in recent seasons, and his long-term durability has to be a question mark. In addition, there is still speculation that the Giants will release Bradshaw’s running mate, Brandon Jacobs, if the two sides cannot agree to a re-structured contact that would clear salary cap room for New York.

Bradshaw, who turns 26 on March 19, is entering the second season of a four-year, $17 million contract that includes $2.5 million guaranteedfor the 2012 season.

— See Big Blue View for more about the Giants


Plaxico Burress Rumors: Plax Says He Rejected Giants in 2011

Plaxico Burress said Thursday on the Dan Patrick Show that he rejected a chance to return to the New York Giants a year ago, choosing the New York Jets instead. Burress insists that the Giants "wanted" him to return.

"I made the decision personally not to go back. I didn't have any animosity towards them because they wanted to bring me back. I made a decision not to go. ... It was just a situation where I just wanted to go somewhere and start over fresh," Burress said.

Is Burress right here, or is this revisionist history? The Giants and Burress did meet, but after signing with the Jets Burress admitted at the time that a return to the Giants was never in his plans.

Burress caught 45 passes for the Jets in 2011 and appears ready to move on once again. On the DP Show he once again talked about the possibility of joining the Philadelphia Eagles.

"It would be a beautiful place to play, no doubt about it. With all the players that they already have in place, I just see myself going to where I could help that team win a championship. If I go to that team and score some touchdowns in the red zone I really believe they have the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl and win it."

All Giants' fans can do is shake their collective heads. After spending much of the 2011 offseason talking about Burress, then having him ultimately sign with the Jets, now they might be looking at having him sign with the NFC East rival Eagles.

Burress is long gone from the Giants. That, however, does not seem to means the Giants and their fans are done having to deal with him.


Giants Sign Three To Reserve/Futures Contracts

The New York Giants announced on Monday the signings of three players to reserve/future contracts: defensive end Craig Marshall, tight end Ryan Purvis and offensive lineman Chris White.

Marshall, 6-foot-4 and 279 pounds, is a former teammate of Jason Pierre-Paul at South Florida. He originally signed with the Giants on July 28, 2011 and was waived on Sept. 3. Marshall did two short stints on the Giants’ practice squad in November.

Purvis, 6-4 and 261 pounds, was signed by Tampa Bay as a rookie from Boston College in 2009. He spent most of that year on the Buccaneers’ practice squad. Purvis began the following season on the practice squad before he was signed to Tampa Bay’s active roster on Oct. 25. He played in 10 games and had five catches for 28 yards, with a long reception of 12 yards. Purvis started three preseason games for the Bucs last summer, but was waived on Sept. 3 and did not sign with another team.

White, 6-2, 303, is a seven-year veteran guard who was signed by the Giants on July 30, 2011 and released on Sept. 3. He has played in 33 NFL games with eight starts, all with the Houston Texans in 2009. The following year, White played in six games for the Seattle Seahawks. A product of Southern Mississippi, White entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Green Bay Packers in 2005. He played in one game that year and none in 2006, when he was waived by Green Bay and signed by Houston. He spent parts of three seasons with the Texans before joining the Seahawks on Nov. 3, 2010.


Giants' GM Jerry Reese Discusses Super Bowl, Preparations For 2012 Season

New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese held a conference call Thursday to wrap up what was a Super Bowl winning season for his team, and to begin looking forward to the 2012 NFL season. Below are some of the excerpts from Reese's conference call.

Q: Is that the biggest challenge you face during the offseason? Are you expecting a line to form at the door for people looking for more money?

A: That’s a good problem to have. You win the Super Bowl and if everybody thinks they’re the reason we won – that’s a good problem to have. That means you won it. It’s just part of the offseason. There are always contract issues in the offseason. That’s what the offseason is. You have to deal with contracts and things with your roster – who’s going to stay, who’s going to go. Again, we’re in the very early stages of the evaluation process. The coaches are evaluating the players from their perspective. Our personnel staff, we’re evaluating our players from our perspective. Obviously we’re looking at the UFAs and RFAs from the other teams, along with starting our draft meetings, our pre-draft meetings before we go to the combine in a couple of weeks.

Related: Read The Full Transcript At Big Blue View

Q: How far behind the other teams do you feel you are?

A: We’ve obviously been working as we went along through the playoffs, but it’s a lot different when you’re still playing than when you have nothing else to do except concentrate on what you’re trying to do in the offseason. We’re a little bit behind. Again, like you said, it’s a good problem to have. But we can catch up quickly. We’ve done it before. We have a tremendous staff with Dave Gettleman in the Pro [Personnel] Department, Marc Ross in the College [Scouting] Department. Those guys are real pros and we can catch up pretty quickly.

Q: Was there anything during the season that said to yourself, ‘We’re doing things the right way’?

A: We always try to do what’s right for the New York Giants. We try to make good football decisions. It would be great to look like you’re really smart in the offseason and go out and make a lot of splashy moves so you guys can write nice-going things about our personnel staff, but our goal is to make good football decisions and that’s what we try to do every year. We don’t just think about our personnel for the current year. We think a couple of years down the line and that’s important. I think fans think about the here and now, what our team looks like now. We think about that as well, obviously, because you want to win every year, but we definitely think a couple of years down the road a little bit in respect to personnel.

Q: Do you look at the team more as 9-7 or as a 6-0, Super Bowl team?

A: It doesn’t matter how you look at it. The result at the end is really what matters the most. We were able to get hot at the right time. At times we didn’t play very well, but we played well at the right times. It’s not like we played against Jefferson Township High School. We played against some good players in the tournament. We earned the right to be World Champs. I look at it like that way.


Jake Ballard Injury Update: Giants TE Has Torn ACL

The Giants confirmed that tight end Jake Ballard tore his ACL during the Super Bowl.

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