Eli Manning
Eli Manning

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Eli Manning said he spent his 16 years being himself, showing everyone "pure, unadulterated Eli." And for the most part, that was true. He never changed who he was just because others demanded it, or because some thought he didn't fit the mold of what a Giants quarterback should be.

The result, though, was that he was also careful to make sure that the public version of "pure, unadulterated Eli" was the version he wanted everyone to see. That wasn't the same version that others saw in private. And he rarely let outsiders see what friends, family and teammates saw behind the scenes.

Still, there were moments. ... So SNY reached out to several members of the media who covered him over the years to see if they had any good, behind-the-scenes stories about the Giants icon. They were all asked to describe their "Eli moment," something that epitomized the "pure, unadulterated Eli" they came to know over the years.

 

Here's how they responded:

Judy Battista, NFL Network

My Eli moment is more of an Eli and Peyton moment and there were a few of them over the years. The first I remember was in the Indianapolis Colts locker room a few days after Tiki Barber criticized Eli's leadership style - calling it "comical" - during a television appearance in 2007. Eli, uncharacteristically fired back with a few biting remarks.

"I guess I'm just happy for Tiki that he's making a smooth transition into the TV world," Manning said. "You know, I'll be interested to see if he has anything to say [about a team] besides the Giants, and what his comments will be on that."

I happened to be in Indianapolis that week for a story and was leaving the locker room when Peyton called me over. He wanted to know how Eli's remarks were playing in New York and I told him the truth: that I thought it was being received well, not only by the Giants themselves, but by their fans, who often yearned for a more boisterous leader than Eli would ever be. Peyton stood there nodding, then unleashed a few choice words about Barber.

The next came the day after the Giants beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game after the 2011 season. Peyton had missed that entire season with a neck injury, and I knew he had used that down time to watch Eli's games closely. He had told me once that he had had to stop watching Eli play early on Sundays if the Colts played the late game, because he got too wound up in his hotelroom, once finding himself standing on his hotel bed screaming at a referee about a call that had gone against the Giants.

Eli had a great year in 2011, he threw nine fewer interceptions (16) than he had the previous season, while also throwing for 900 more yards. When I asked Peyton what he had seen that Eli might have been doing differently to elevate his game, Peyton immediately bristled. To suggest that Eli had improved in his eighth season sounded, to Peyton, like a suggestion that Eli was less than stellar in the previous seasons, and he was not standing for that. Every interception has its own story, he insisted. The Colts had played the NFC East the year before so Peyton had seen plenty of Eli's play and he thought he had played well in 2010.

Those two moments (and there were others, including the apparent misery Peyton felt whenever his teams played the Giants) reminded me of a simple thing: Eli, as accomplished as he was on his own, would always be Peyton's little brother and Peyton would always be protective of him. It was touching and sweet and, I was also reminded watching Eli handle the toughest moments under the brightest spotlight for 16 years including his final season, almost entirely unnecessary.

Patti Traina, Inside Football

I am the host and producer of the LockedOn Giants daily podcast. During the bye week in the 2018 season, I was doing a celebrity Giants week of guests and one of the guests was Steve Hytner, who played Kenny Bania, a minor character on the Seinfeld television series.

After I taped the segment with Hytner, he asked me if I knew Eli and I told him that I did through my normal media access. I also mentioned that I knew Eli was a huge Seinfeld fan. So Hytner asked me if he could tape a short message of support for Eli, who at the time was coming under heavy criticism.

I had the message on my recorder for about two weeks as I had forgotten about it. I finally remembered when I want to clean out old recordings. So I think it was on a Thursday-Eli wasn't scheduled to speak, but he was at his locker and I went up to him and told him about the recording.

At first he didn't know who Steve Hytner was, but when I told him who he played, Eli's face lit up. I played the message for him and the look on his face was just classic. He broke out into a smile and said to me, "That's gold!" "That's gold!" was a catchphrase of Kenny Bania.

Bruce Beck, NBC

It was 10 years ago -- a Wednesday -- and in the Giants locker room that meant Eli Manning availability day.

After a plethora of reporters completed their 15-minute interview scrum with Eli by his locker, the Giants franchise quarterback finished getting dressed and started to exit the locker room.

Suddenly, two young reporters from WFUV, Fordham's terrific student run college radio station, went over to Eli's locker and said, "Mr. Manning, we apologize for being late, but can we still ask you a few questions? And "Unadulterated Eli" says "Sure guys. Where would any of us be without college radio?!"

Say what? I am saying to myself he doesn't know anything about college radio and has likely never worked on the airwaves at the University of Mississippi, but somehow Eli knew enough to deliver the line and was gracious enough to grant the kids an interview they will never forget.

What a player. What a guy. What a legacy.

James Kratch, former Giants beat writer, NJ.com

I only covered Eli for three seasons and -- like most reporters I'd imagine - I can't say I got to know him well. Eli was always professionally distant, and I think that's why he was so often the target of scorn from fans and media. Criticizing Eli in print or on radio/TV was like punching a pillow. The risk of consequence was almost non-existent. He likely would never be aware of it and even if he was, he was too classy to stop being a pro with you.

Two quick relatively personal stories: I got him at his locker right before Mike Francesa's first retirement from WFAN to do a quick gag story about his weekly Monday spot, and he seem completely unaware, and a bit confused, when informed the beat writers listened to and tweeted about a 15-minute segment that rehashed storylines that were already a day old and contained nothing but boring, predictable questions and answers. I would have thought he was playing dumb had I not known better. This is a guy who was called "The $84 Million Dope" and had a dunce cap drawn on his head by The Post and was unfazed, after all.

But on a more Eli note: Every spring he did an event for one of his main charity partners, Guiding Eyes for The Blind, where he would attempt a blindfolded putt at the Mount Kisco Country Club. He'd show up on time with no handlers, no fuss -- I'm pretty sure he drove himself - and he'd graciously attempt the putt, take photos, talk to reporters and then head on out. He was just a good guy trying to help a good cause.

Mike Garafolo, NFL Network

For me, it was training camp 2007, when Eli responded to Tiki Barber calling his attempts at leadership comical. I figured he'd brush the comments off and do his patented aw-shucks routine. But he fired back in the most pointed way anyone could have imagined. It was sarcastic but critical. A matter-of-fact tone while making it clear he was standing up for himself and his team. We saw in that moment he had a pulse, and it was a strong one. His teammates told us they expected him to respond because that's the Eli they knew. But I have no doubt he showed even them there was more fire to him than they believed.

Six months later, with the Lombardi trophy in his hands, no one had any more doubt.

Tom Canavan, The Associated Press

Eli had a schedule. He would talk to the media on the Monday after a loss. Wednesday's during game week and again after games. You could always grab a couple of sentences on Fridays. When you needed him for a feature or something special, he always found the time for you away from everybody.

What seems a long time ago, he and Peyton were going to play against each other. The office wanted a story and he found the time. He usually didn't say much about family, but he recalled one of his favorite moments as a kid was when he beat Peyton in a game of basketball. Made his day. It was just a nice little touch that made my story a little easier to tell. He probably knew it, too.

Mike Eisen, Giants.com

My son Harrison started hanging out in the equipment room in Eli's third or fourth year. Harrison is special ed, somewhere on the aspergers/autism spectrum. He was a little socially awkward, but Eli immediately bonded with him and made him feel comfortable. Through the years, Harrison spent more and more time around the Giants. He was a part-timer/intern for many years before he was hired as a full-time employee in March 2017. During all those years, Eli and Harrison had some kind of interaction every single day - in the locker room, on the field or somewhere else in the facility. Many times, it was Eli telling Harrison an off-color joke or saying that can't be repeated here. Harrison always laughed. He used to help Eli during early warmups on game day. Even when Eli was benched this past season, he remained exactly the same with Harrison - needling him, joking with him, just being a good friend. Harrison calls Eli his big brother and mentor. He will miss Eli more than anyone.

Also, since I joined the Giants in 2000, I've written program stories. Players like being on the cover of the game program, but actually getting them to sit down for a lengthy interview can be a challenge. I conducted almost all of those interviews in the cafeteria. Most of the time it required several reminders, which are often forgotten or ignored. I can't tell you how many times I had to stand by a player's locker while he dressed and then escort him down to the lunch room. That was never the case with Eli, about whom I wrote 15 program stories. Each year he would give me some little newsworthy nugget he hadn't mentioned in a news conference. We usually sat and talked on a Friday - the one day he could leave the facility a little early, but he was always willing to stay and talk. About 4-5 years ago, we agreed to meet at 3 o'clock. I walked into the cafeteria at 2:55. Eli was already sitting in the room waiting for me. I guarantee you, that never happened with any other player.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

I covered Eli Manning for his entire 16-year career, spent countless hours interviewing him, his friends and his family, and even wrote a book about him (Eli Manning: The Making of a Quarterback) in the months after Super Bowl XLII. After he retired, I wrote about my first "Eli moment" for SNY.tv, and how it led me to the wrong the first impression.

The truth is, there weren't many other moments over the years. It wasn't for lack of trying. It was more about Eli's desire to keep things professional and ... well, boring, in the public setting. When his career finally ended, I was left with the feeling that even though I covered him longer than any other athlete I've covered in my career, I didn't really know him.

Or maybe I did.

In hindsight, maybe my "Eli moment" came a little more than a month after Super Bowl XLII. I was writing my book and requested an interview with the newly minted Super Bowl MVP. He sat down with me for 20 minutes - the one and only book-specific interview I got with him. He was cooperative and polite and efficient as always.

I focused on how he was enjoying his moment, being a Super Bowl hero and champion so soon after so many doubted he had much of an NFL future at all. But the truth was, his moment was already over. He had already met with then-quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer to discuss his goals for 2008. He said he only met six of his eight goals for 2007. Now, he said, he had an even longer list.

"I had to cut it off after a while," he told me. "I said 'I can't keep writing anymore.'"

He described his Super Bowl run to me as one month of good football, nothing more. He was looking to do better. His teammates were still on the party scene, basking in the afterglow of their unlikely championship. Manning was already back at work, lamenting what he didn't do that season, focusing on improving even though he was sitting atop the football world.

"Some people might look at it and say 'He's won a championship,'" Eli said. "But I guess it really doesn't matter what other people think. I still think I need to become a better quarterback."

A few days later, I called Palmer and told him that story.

"Yeah," he said. "That sounds like Eli to me."

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
Comments

En route to another Super Bowl in 2000, Jason Sehorn made one of the finest defensive plays in Giants history, picking off Donovan McNabb and taking it 32 yards for a touchdown that put the G-Men up, 17-0. Big Blue held on for a 20-10 win. (AP)
En route to another Super Bowl in 2000, Jason Sehorn made one of the finest defensive plays in Giants history, picking off Donovan McNabb and taking it 32 yards for a touchdown that put the G-Men up, 17-0. Big Blue held on for a 20-10 win. (AP)

The Giants have had some incredible players and some incredible moments in their illustrious history.

Whether it's Eli Manning finding David Tyree or Mario Manningham with a huge, clutch throw in the Super Bowl, or Michael Strahan setting the single-season sack record, there have been plenty of "Wow!" moments.

But there are also some big-time moments (and players) that just aren't talked about as much as those Super Bowl or record-setting plays.

So here's a look at some of the best Giants moments and players that are still a bit underappreciated...

Tags: Eli Manning
Read More
Comments

Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) leaves the field after losing to the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) leaves the field after losing to the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

With most major cities in the United States protesting police brutality and racial injustice over the last week and a half after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, former Giants QB Eli Manning spoke about the situation on Friday.

"Recently, we came together with current/former Giants & the larger NY community to help those suffering with poverty due to the pandemic," Manning tweeted on Friday. "Now, it's time for all of us to come together again to listen, learn & address the ongoing and systematic issues and injustice in the U.S."

Giants RB Saquon Barkley and Jets S Jamal Adams were among many high-profile NFL players who spoke about police brutality and racial injustice in a video that was posted on Thursday night.

Tags: Eli Manning
Read More
Comments

Giants running back Saquon Barkley and Jets safety Jamal Adams joined former Giant Odell Beckham Jr. and a number of other NFL players in a video speaking out against police brutality and racial injustice after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

The players call for the NFL to take a firmer stance on these issues, asking the league to state that it "condemns racism and the systematic oppression of black people" and that the league admits wrong for "silencing players from peacefully protesting." 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley
Read More
Comments

MetLife Stadium, home of the Giants. (Treated Image by SNY)
MetLife Stadium, home of the Giants. (Treated Image by SNY)

As the Giants begin reopening the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, the team has shared photos and a video of the changes that have been made to safely bring employees back to the office under New Jersey coronavirus guidelines. 

As of Thursday, the Giants have about 15-20 employees, including team president John Mara and general manager Dave Gettleman, back in the office. But a new memo sent of by the league will allow up to 100 employees, including coaching staffs, to return to their offices starting Friday.

Even with the NFL expanding capacity limitations to 100 people, the Giants will continue to have all employees who can work from home still doing so.

Read More
Comments

Nov 24, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs in the second against Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Nov 24, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs in the second against Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

Giants GM Dave Gettleman knew he had holes this offseason, as New York had set another season below .500. And he did a pretty good job filling a bunch of them, both in free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft. 

It should lead to some Giants having big seasons on the stat sheet. 

In a tough NFC East that got even better with their roster additions, too, Big Blue will be hoping players step up this year. The Cowboys added CeeDee Lamb to an already-stellar wideout group led by Amari Cooper. The Eagles also added some speedy wide receivers and secondary help, while the Redskins filled holes as well. 

Tags: Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, Jabril Peppers, Nate Solder, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Scott Thompson
Read More
Comments

Dec 15, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) reacts after breaking up a pass intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 15, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) reacts after breaking up a pass intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

DeAndre Baker is still in Florida, training every day in the hopes that he'll soon be able to rejoin the Giants.

The Giants, though, have still not welcomed him back. 

And it's not clear when -- or if -- they will.

Tags: DeAndre Baker
Read More
Comments

Giants RB Saquon Barkley didn't need words to voice his frustrations over the killing of George Floyd following his arrest by a Minneapolis police officer. Instead, he used a picture on his Instagram story to talk for him. 

Reposting a photoshopped picture done by graphic designer Kyle Cyr, Barkley has on a jersey that reads "I can't breathe," a phrase that was repeatedly said by Floyd as police officer Derek Chauvin was prone with his knee of his neck for roughly nine minutes.

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
Read More
Comments

Ex-New York Giants' Amani Toomer waves before the NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009, in New York. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams) (Henny Ray Abrams/AP)
Ex-New York Giants' Amani Toomer waves before the NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009, in New York. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams) (Henny Ray Abrams/AP)

Former Giants WR Amani Toomer, the franchise's record holder in career receptions, isn't a big fan of the current wide receivers the team has on its roster. 

"I think it's lacking," he told the New York Post's Paul Schwartz

Toomer was a part of a great starting group that included Plaxico Burress and Steve Smith. It's a group that helped New York win Super XLII. 

Tags: Darius Slayton, Eli Manning, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Scott Thompson
Read More
Comments

Oct 15, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; A general view of a New York Giants helmet on the turf before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Oct 15, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; A general view of a New York Giants helmet on the turf before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

The Giants have released a statement following the death of George Floyd after his arrest by a Minnesota police officer. It was a "senseless" act, and one that players and coaches had very strong emotions about this past week. 

Here's the full statement:

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE STATEMENT

Read More
Comments

Time Machine Tuesday returns to January 2014, when Giants great Michael Strahan was asked to respond to comments made by Warren Sapp, who claimed that Strahan did not deserve to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Read More
Comments

February 6, 2020; Pebble Beach, California, USA; Peyton Manning (left) and Eli Manning (right) walk on the third hole during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament at Spyglass Hill Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports (Michael Madrid)
February 6, 2020; Pebble Beach, California, USA; Peyton Manning (left) and Eli Manning (right) walk on the third hole during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament at Spyglass Hill Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports (Michael Madrid)

Being one of the best to ever play the quarterback position and someone who will be in Canton very soon, Peyton Manning is called upon even in retirement to address teams across the NFL. He has loads of wisdom to share with current players, and he is more than willing to pass that down. 

But during these times when coronavirus has been impacting the normalcy of NFL's offseason training leading up to the new season, Manning isn't just relying on his own tricks of the trade. 

He's dipping in to what he's learned from his brother: Giants legendary QB Eli Manning

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Scott Thompson
Read More
Comments

The Giants are one of the most storied and respected franchises in all of professional sports. 

Established all the way back in 1925, Big Blue has touted some incredible talents during the franchise's nearly century-long existence.

But if you had to put together just one all-time Giants team, who would make the cut?

Here's our look at a possible starting lineup (with some honorable mentions as well) consisting of the best players in Giants history, many of whom are in the team's Ring of Honor and/or in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton … 

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Zak DeOssie
Read More
Comments

Darnay Holmes
Darnay Holmes

Every NFL team does its research on prospects heading into the NFL Draft. They want to hear from coaches, players and anyone else what kind of player and person that prospect is before they make a call about whether or not to draft them.

For the Giants fourth-round pick CB Darnay Holmes, he has more than just coaches in his corner. 

He has NFL royalty. 

Read More
Comments

Oct 22, 2016; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants former receiver Amani Toomer speaks during NFL Fan Rally at the Victoria House prior to game 16 of the NFL International Series against the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Oct 22, 2016; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants former receiver Amani Toomer speaks during NFL Fan Rally at the Victoria House prior to game 16 of the NFL International Series against the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

From 2007-11, the Giants had two Super Bowl-winning teams in five seasons. In 2007, they upended the previously undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, and they went on to take down the Patriots again on the tail end of that stretch to capture another Lombardi Trophy.

But as good as those two teams were, there are former Giants who believe neither of those two squads were the best all-around units the Giants had during their latest Super Bowl era.

That title belongs to the 2008 squad.

Tags: Eli Manning
Read More
Comments

Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley

Giants RB Saquon Barkley was ready to take a different approach to his offseason -- that is until the coronavirus pandemic began to shut everything down across the country. 

If it hadn't, Barkley was set to help his alma mater as a coach for the Penn State football team during their spring workouts. 

Penn State head coach James Franklin spoke to the New York Post about Barkley wanting to join his staff, something that he was absolutely a fan of after the Pro Bowl running back reached out. 

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
Read More
Comments

Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley

ESPN released its annual "Football Power Index" for the first time ahead of the 2020 NFL season. It accounts for everything from Vegas Sportbooks' win totals for each team, last season's stats and much more. 

Well, after running through the calculations, Giants fans won't really like where they see their team sitting on the FPI before the start of training camp. 

New York currently comes in at 26, and that's not all. They also have a 12 percent chance of reaching the playoffs this year -- and that's with an extra spot for each conference. Also, the Giants are projected to win 6.1 games this season. 

Read More
Comments

Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Giants CB DeAndre Baker was released from jail on bond on May 17 after turning himself in to face charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault. Baker's attorneys maintain their client is innocent.

Click below for the latest...

 

Read More
Comments

Time Machine Tuesday returns to 2008, when cameras caught a conversation between Eli Manning and Peyton Manning right after Super Bowl XLII, when the Giants defeated the Patriots.

Tags: Eli Manning
Read More
Comments

Eli Manning has recently joined the Twitterverse, and has been an absolute hit right away with his hilarious tweets. But nothing to date compares to what he's been tweeting on Sunday during "Capital One's The Match: Champions for Charity."

Manning's brother, Peyton, has been playing in a golf match with Tiger Woods against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady for coronavirus relief, and the entire world is taking the time to watch and donate to a great cause during Memorial Day weekend. Eli is definitely having fun doing so, rooting on his brother and taking shots at his playoff rival in Brady. 

Check out some of his tweets, starting with the first of the day: 

Tags: Eli Manning, Scott Thompson
Read More
Comments

Dec 15, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 15, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

It's finally happened.

Eli Manning is on Twitter.

Yes, the two-time Super Bowl champion announced his presence on the social media platform on Saturday afternoon, referencing the movie Hoosiers in his first ever tweet. 

Tags: Eli Manning
Read More
Comments

Over the past three decades, from Eli Manning to Michael Strahan to a variety of others, the Giants have seen plenty of stars come through their doors.

But Big Blue has also had its share of players who may have flown a bit under the radar, putting up strong numbers while not necessarily always becoming a Pro Bowl talent.

Here's our list of 10 of the most underrated Giants of the last 20 years ...

Tags: Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr.
Read More
Comments

Oct 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; National Football League Hall of Fame player Lawrence Taylor talks with fans on the field before the game between his former team the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)
Oct 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; National Football League Hall of Fame player Lawrence Taylor talks with fans on the field before the game between his former team the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)

The Last Dance documentary about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls showed some sides of the legendary basketball player that we might not have known otherwise, with His Airness addressing some of the narratives that were all over the news during his playing days -- good and bad.

One of the bad storylines was his supposed gambling addiction that he tried to nip in the bud, but never had success doing so. Jordan's competitive nature would involve money at times whether it be playing cards with teammates on the plane, or on the golf course -- another big hobby for him outside of basketball.

Well, Giants legendary linebacker Lawrence Taylor knows a thing or two about that side of Jordan on the links from their high-stakes golf matches in the past. 

Read More
Comments

Jan 24, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning announces his retirement during a press conference at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Jan 24, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning announces his retirement during a press conference at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)

With the 2020 NFL Draft behind us, CBS Sports decided to rank the No. 1 overall picks of the last 20 years. And Giants fans will love to see who's at the top of the list. 

Eli Manning was atop the throne, coming in as the best first overall draft choice in the 21st century. 

There are some great No. 1 picks who could rival Manning here, but with two Super Bowl MVP's under his belt to go along with other accolades like seventh all-time in passing yards and his 210 consecutive starts that sits third-best in NFL history, it's hard to argue against his ranking. 

Tags: Eli Manning, Scott Thompson
Read More
Comments

Daniel Jones/James Bradberry
Daniel Jones/James Bradberry

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Giants find themselves with an upgraded roster heading into the 2020 season. GM Dave Gettleman made necessary changes via free agency and the NFL Draft that should have a big effect when the regular season rolls around. 

But there are a few players that stand out above the rest. It isn't just because of their talent, but more importantly, because their production will impact the team in a positive -- or negative -- way. Make or break, if you will. 

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Jabril Peppers, Jon Halapio, Kevin Zeitler, Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden, Nate Solder, Oshane Ximines, Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, Scott Thompson
Read More
Comments

DeAndre Baker's legal situation is still ongoing, but that didn't stop the Giants cornerback from posting a series of workout videos to his Instagram account on Tuesday.

Shortly after Baker pleaded not guilty to all eight of his charges - four counts of aggravated assault and four counts of armed robbery-the second-year cornerback added three videos to his Instagram story, which showed him working out outdoors in South Florida.    

Baker has been told by the Giants to stay away from the team's virtual offseason program for the time being, but it seems like he's continuing to work out on his own. 

Read More
Comments

Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Bennie Fowler (18) celebrates with quarterback Daniel Jones (8) after catching a touchdown pass against the New York Jets during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Bennie Fowler (18) celebrates with quarterback Daniel Jones (8) after catching a touchdown pass against the New York Jets during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

After his rookie season, the Giants believe that Daniel Jones is their quarterback of the future. Despite having an up-and-down season, one could say some flashes of greatness were seen from the Duke product. 

But there was one moment off the field last season that told former Giants WR Bennie Fowler that Jones truly wanted to be great. 

Fowler recounted that moment during his The Quiet Time Podcast where Jones was the latest special guest. It was Week 5 against the Vikings and Jones suffered his first loss as a starter for Big Blue. He threw for only 185 yards with one touchdown and one interception, as one of the best defenses in the league shut him down. 

Tags: Daniel Jones, Scott Thompson
Read More
Comments

Feb 1, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; General overall view of NFL golden shield logo at the NFL Honors show at the Adrienne Arsht Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 1, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; General overall view of NFL golden shield logo at the NFL Honors show at the Adrienne Arsht Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is already taking precautions in case the coronavirus pandemic impacts the 2020-21 season. It's become an obvious concern because football is a contact sport that can't practice social distancing while on the field. 

Well, the league has been experimenting with a solution to that by partnering with Oakley to develop special facemasks using surgical or N95 material. Thom Mayer, the NFLPA's medical director told ESPN's Adam Schefter during his podcast on Monday about the collaboration.

"Back in early March, I had suggested that we should consider novel and emerging ways to handle the helmets and the facemasks and the spread of the virus," Mayer said. "And these guys, the bioengineers that we use and that the league uses -- Oakley, as you may or may not know, does all the face visors for the league under contract -- these guys got the bit between their teeth." 

Read More
Comments

DeAndre Baker
DeAndre Baker

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

DeAndre Baker's attorney believes the Giants cornerback is the victim of a "shakedown" and is being accused of a crime he did not commit. But he also believes Baker has been "scared straight" by this brush with the law, and will come out of this a better man than he was before.

"He's got an opportunity to become the next Ray Lewis and not the next Ray Rice," attorney Patrick G. Patel said in an exclusive interview with SNY late Sunday night. "There's two guys who went in two different directions. I told DeAndre that. And he seems very focused. He's scared straight. I can say that."

The 22-year-old Baker has a long way to go, of course, before anyone sees whether he can reclaim his NFL career as Lewis once did after being accused of murder, or if his career will end the way Rice's did after he was arrested for domestic assault. First, Baker has to deal with the four counts of armed robbery and four counts of aggravated assault that he was charged with in Broward County, Fla., after an incident on Wednesday night.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

May 3, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants corner back Deandre Baker (35) answers questions from media during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 3, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants corner back Deandre Baker (35) answers questions from media during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Giants CB DeAndre Baker was told to stay away from the meetings so he can "focus on his legal issues" after being released from jail on bond, a source familiar with the team's thinking told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Baker, who is facing four charges of armed robbery and four charges of aggravated assault, was released on bond at $200,000 ($25,000 on each count), after a ruling by a Florida judge on Sunday morning.

As conditions of his release, Baker will be required to surrender his carry permit and firearm. Additionally, he will not be allowed to have any contact with the alleged victims in the case. The state asked for no bond.

Tags: DeAndre Baker
Read More
Comments

DeAndre Baker
DeAndre Baker

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

DeAndre Baker is in a lot of trouble and is facing an uncertain future, to say the least. His NFL career is obviously hanging by a thread. His freedom is in serious jeopardy, too.

The announcement by the Miramar (Fla.) Police Department on Thursday that they had issued an arrest warrant for the Giants cornerback was just the beginning of what could be a long and painful process for the 22-year-old former first-round pick, who turned himself in to police on Saturday morning.

Here, with the help of some legal and NFL sources, is a look at what Baker is facing and what comes next:

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Cody Latimer (12) celebrates a touchdown pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Cody Latimer (12) celebrates a touchdown pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As the legal situation for cornerback DeAndre Baker continues to unfold, a former Giant has now also had a run-in with the law. 

Per the Douglas County Sheriff's Department in Colorado, former Giants receiver Cody Latimer was arrested and charged with assault in the second degree, menacing and illegal discharge of a firearm. 

Police say deputies responded to a call of shots being fired at an apartment complex after an argument had been heard taking place very early on Saturday morning.

Tags: Cody Latimer, DeAndre Baker
Read More
Comments

Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

DeAndre Baker's lawyer issued a statement via his Instagram account on Friday evening, saying he believes the Giants cornerback is "innocent of any charges."

"We understand that the officers can only base warrants on what was told to them at the time. We have had affidavits from several witnesses that also dispute the allegations and exculpate our client," attorney Bradford Cohen said in an Instagram post about Baker. "Our investigator has had them for some time. We would have rather presented them to the court at the proper time, rather than in the media, but in this day and age, people rush to judgement.

"Where some seek publicity, we seek justice. I look forward to moving this case forward to proper conclusion, as we believe our client is innocent of any charges."

Read More
Comments

Giants GM Dave Gettleman
Giants GM Dave Gettleman

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Some more questions, and some more answers, in the latest edition of my SNY Giants mailbag:


Did you hear anything about the Giants trying to get Warford, Clowney, Ngakoue or anybody on the free agent market? -- @sld150

Sure, let's start with all the big names. And the answers are no, no, no, and not really.

I get that everyone loves the big names and wants their team to throw their money around. And sure, guard Larry Warford, edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney, or edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue would make the Giants better. But at what cost? Worford reportedly wants a contract worth more than $7 million per year? Clowney was seeking $18 million per year at last check. And Ngakoue is going to want well over $100 million in a long-term contract, and that's after trading for him which probably will cost at least the Giants' first-round pick in 2021, plus a lot more.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

On Thursday evening, news broke that an arrest warrant has been issued for Giants corner DeAndre Baker, who faces four counts of armed robbery and aggravated assault.

While the legal situation continues to unfold, what is the next move for Big Blue? The FNNY crew breaks down the team's options ...

Read More
Comments

Jan 19, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Tennessee Titans cornerback Logan Ryan (26) runs onto the field before the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)
Jan 19, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Tennessee Titans cornerback Logan Ryan (26) runs onto the field before the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There is likely a long way to go before this DeAndre Baker mess plays out, but there's no doubt he is in a whole lot of trouble. The crimes he's accused of -- four counts of armed robbery, four counts of aggravated assault -- are serious. In Florida, armed robbery with a semiautomatic weapon carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in jail per count.

And even if he pleads his way down from that and doesn't spend the next 60 years in prison, an NFL suspension surely looms.

It's always hard to predict the time frame of how the legal process will play out or when the NFL will weigh in, but given the awful details in the arrest warrant that was released on Thursday night -- such as witnesses saying Baker ordered an accomplice to shoot his robbery victims -- it's hard to imagine the NFL will let him back on the field anytime soon, if ever. Even if they don't suspend him right away, he seems likely to land on the "Commissioner's exempt list" at the start of the year.

Tags: Corey Ballentine, DeAndre Baker, Eli Apple, Julian Love, Sam Beal, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A general view of MetLife Stadium prior to the game between the Houston Texans and the New York Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports  (Kirby Lee)
Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A general view of MetLife Stadium prior to the game between the Houston Texans and the New York Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Eight days after the NFL announced the 2020 regular season schedule, the Giants have announced their preseason schedule. 

The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Aug. 13 at Jets, 7:30 p.m.

Read More
Comments

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Every coach talks about the character of his players and, more importantly, the culture of his locker room, and Joe Judge has been no exception. Actually, what the new Giants coach said he wants to build is a "winning culture." Pro sports teams want the best players, not necessarily the best men.

Still, there are moments when the player intersects with the man and the results are frightening for everyone. When that happens, it can put the most well-intentioned coach to the test. Such was the case on Thursday night with Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker, when news broke that a warrant had been issued for his arrest in Miramar, Fla., for four counts of armed robbery and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. He and Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar allegedly robbed four people of thousands of dollars in cash and expensive watches.

Read More
Comments

Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

An arrest warrant has been issued for Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker.

Baker is facing four charges of armed robbery and four charges of aggravated assault, stemming from an incident at a party in Florida on late Wednesday/early Thursday. 

Per the warrant, Baker and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar (who is also facing four counts of armed robbery), were partying in Miramar, Fla. on Wednesday when an argument broke out. Pointing a semi-automatic weapon, Baker allegedly directed Dunbar and two others to take money and valuables from the others in attendance. 

Read More
Comments

Oct 15, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; A general view of a New York Giants helmet on the turf before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Oct 15, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; A general view of a New York Giants helmet on the turf before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

The Giants rookies have been given their jersey numbers for the 2020 NFL season, and while most of them have no meaning, fifth-round pick Shane Lemieux's number is an ode to one of the best to ever play... in the NHL. 

Coming out of Oregon, Lemieux is the first player drafted to ever sport his last name in the NFL. So it was only right that the Giants gave him No. 66 to honor NHL Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux. The Pittsburgh Penguins legend is extremely famous for his No. 66 sweater while on the ice. 

Other than Lemieux, first-round choice Andrew Thomas will be donning No. 78 to start off his career. There's no real history behind the number with Greg Bishop having played tackle for the Giants as well from 1995-98. Also, second-round pick Xavier McKinney will be wearing No. 29. 

Read More
Comments

Compared to this time last year, this is a very different offseason for Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.

For one thing, Jones is now established as the Giants' full-time starter after taking over for the now-retired Eli Manning. Combine that with the fact that the 22-year-old has to learn a completely new offense, while doing so remotely for now amid the coronavirus pandemic, and there's certainly a lot on the Duke product's plate.

But Jones, speaking to reporters via a Zoom call on Wednesday, explained that he's doing all that he can to take things in stride as he learns new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett's system.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning
Read More
Comments

Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) and quarterback Daniel Jones (8) look on during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) and quarterback Daniel Jones (8) look on during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

These Zoom meetings that NFL teams are going through can be stressful. It's an entirely different way of learning.

But for someone as competitive as Giants RB Saquon Barkley, it's an opportunity to challenge himself. And that isn't by just learning the new playbook under offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

Barkley took initiative last season to become a leader in the locker room despite it only being his second year in the league. He proved his worth as the Offensive Rookie of the Year who quickly became the focal point of the Giants' offense. 

Tags: Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
Read More
Comments

Daniel Jones/Eli Manning (Jerome Miron)
Daniel Jones/Eli Manning (Jerome Miron)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Daniel Jones is not quite ready to say the Giants are his team, especially since his new coach wouldn't even say his name publicly for the first four months. But the reality is, it became his team the moment that Eli Manning retired.

Even Manning admitted as much when he said on the radio last week that it should be "easier this year for (Jones) to step up as that leader. Last year, it was probably awkward for him (with) me being there."

Now Jones concedes that was probably true.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When Christian McCaffrey signed his eye-popping, four-year, $64 million contract extension with the Carolina Panthers last month, many in the New York area had the same reaction:

Saquon's next.

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Joe Judge's first offseason as Giants head coach has coincided with perhaps the most unique offseason the NFL has ever endured. 

As the cononavirus pandemic continues to keep team facilities closed, Judge and his brand new coaching staff must do their best to teach and get to know their players remotely via video meetings.

Judge is tasked with implementing a brand new scheme, as well as a new culture, to this Giants team, and while there hasn't been any in-person instruction yet, Judge and company are teaching the foundation of each side of the football as best they can.

Read More
Comments

Giants head coach Joe Judge speaks at the NFL Combine
Giants head coach Joe Judge speaks at the NFL Combine

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Joe Judge is still holding out hope that Giants training camp will begin on time in late July at the team's facility in East Rutherford, N.J. But the longer this pandemic goes on, the less certain that seems.

So yes, contingency plans are being investigated. 

Read More
Comments

Jan 9, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Introductory press conference of New York Giants new head coach Joe Judge at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Jan 9, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Introductory press conference of New York Giants new head coach Joe Judge at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Giants head coach Joe Judge didn't have this in mind for his first rookie minicamp in his new position in New York, but the video conferencing that occurred last week for the team went much better than expected. 

All draft picks for the Giants were introduced to the organization in every way except stepping foot in the East Rutherford, N.J. facility. Still, Judge and his coaches got a great feel for how the rookies have been working while getting acclimated to their new NFL life -- even if it isn't the exact way they dreamed it would be. 

"I am very pleased with how they have been working," Judge said on MSG 150 at Home. "We had our rookie minicamp last week, which was really our first exposure as an entire organization to them and them to us in terms of laying out our expectations and what we're going to demand from them."

Read More
Comments

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The offseason roster-building is over, for the most part. What you currently see with your favorite NFL team is likely what you're going to get.

So what will you get in the NFC East in 2020? And how do the Giants stack up?

Here, with the help of some NFL sources, is a look at what and how those teams did, and what their outlook is for the (hopefully) upcoming season. They are listed in my projected order of finish in the NFC East:

Tags: Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Jabril Peppers, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Nov 10, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate (15) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 10, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate (15) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Giants and Steelers play on Monday Night Football in Week 1 as they kick off their respective 2020 seasons. And players from both sides are already talking some mild smack.

Things started innocently when Golden Tate tweeted his excitement for the matchup.

Steelers receiver Chase Claypool then quote tweeted Tate with a prediction.

Read More
Comments

Joe Judge/Nick Saban
Joe Judge/Nick Saban

Giants head coach Joe Judge continues to prepare for his first season leading an NFL team in these unique circumstances. And while some first-year coaches might be struggling to kick off their program the way they want, Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who had Judge under his wing for a few seasons before he coached in the league, thinks his former pupil is going to be just fine. 

Saban saw how well prepared Judge was even as an assistant in his Crimson Tide system. So he isn't too surprised to hear that Judge said the team that is the most prepared during these tough times will have an advantage when the season starts. 

"When Joe was here, he was a young guy, very bright, enthusiastic, great teacher, really good relationships with the players, had lots of leadership qualities about him because of the example that he set and the energy and the enthusiasm he had on a daily basis," Saban told Giants Huddlethe team's official podcast. "And he was really smart. He had a good understanding of football. So no surprise to me that Joe has gotten to this point in his career, and we certainly wish him well. He did a fantastic job here for us."

Read More
Comments