Vacc's 3 Keys: Giants-Packers 00:02:43
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses his 3 keys to a Giants' victory on Sunday vs. the Green Bay Packers.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME: The Giants (11-5) at the Green Bay Packers (10-6) in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc., on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 4:40 p.m.

THE WEATHER: Brrrrr. … I mean, really, really Brrrrr. … Of course, it won't be quite as painfully cold as it was during Ice Bowl III -- otherwise known as the 2007 NFC championship game when the kickoff temperature was minus-1 and the windchills were at minus-23 -- this will still be painfully cold. At the moment the forecast calls for a kickoff temperature in the single digits, and every time I look at it the number gets lower and lower. Right now, it looks like it could be between 6 and 9. The good news, I guess, is that the winds should be light so it's doubtful the windchills will make it feel much less than zero. … So, um … Yay?

WHAT IT MEANS: The winner, of course, advances to the divisional playoff round next weekend, either at top-seeded Dallas or second-seeded Atlanta. There's probably a little more pressure on the Packers, though. Despite the fact they've been in the postseason eight straight seasons, they've only advanced past the divisional round twice in that time. The expectations are high for them since they've won six straight games, too. No one's job or legacy is in trouble, but there is a general feeling that the Packers should have been better in the playoffs under Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers. Since their Super Bowl championship in the 2010 season, they're only 3-5 in the postseason. Also, a loss in this game would be their third straight home loss in the playoffs to the Giants -- something that was once unthinkable

PLAYER TO WATCH: Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr. He wanted the big stage and now he's got it, and boy do the Giants need him to perform. For most of the season, the Eli Manning-to-Beckham combo has been the entire Giants offense. It certainly has been responsible for most of the biggest plays. Obviously the Packers know that and you can bet they will do what everyone has been doing with Beckham -- play him like they're an umbrella, giving him a cushion underneath, putting a safety on his side, and shading a linebacker or another corner towards him so when he catches the ball he's surrounded. The Giants' passing offense is based on quick, short passes and the hope that their play-makers can turn the short pass into a big gain. So it'll be up to Beckham to find the open spaces, make tacklers miss, and force the Packers to devote even more attention to him. In theory it should be relatively easy for him to do against a banged-up Packers secondary. If he's contained, it's hard to see the Giants moving the ball or scoring enough to stay in this game.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Packers were once considered invincible at Lambeau Field. They had never lost a postseason game there (13-0) until the Atlanta Falcons stunned them in the 2002 wild-card game. Since the streak ended, though, the Packers are 4-5 in playoff games at home. … In the last seven games, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has thrown 18 touchdown passes and no interceptions. He also completed 69.7 percent of his passes in that stretch (168 for 241) for 2,018 yards. That's a passer rating of 120.0. … The Packers were fourth in the NFL, averaging 27.0 points per game this season. During their season-ending six-game winning streak they bumped that average to 30.8. During the last four games, they averaged 34.2. Those last four games, by the way, included two games against Top 5 defenses. They scored 38 against fifth-ranked Seattle and 38 against third-ranked Minnesota. … Eli Manning is 0-2 in two regular-season games in Green Bay (2010, 2016), completing just 35 of 68 passes (51.4 percent) for 500 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions (a passer rating of 65.8). In two playoff games there, though, he's 2-0, completing 42 of 73 passes (57.5 percent) for 581 yards, three touchdowns and one interception (a passer rating of 91.2). … The Giants were the fourth-worst rushing team in the NFL this season, averaging just 88.2 yards per game on the ground. How deceiving is that number, though? Through the first eight games of the season, the Giants averaged just 68.25 yards per game on the ground. Through the last eight games their rushing averaged jumped to 108.25.



MATCHUP TO WATCH: Packers WRs Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb against Giants CBs Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Eli Apple. This matchup is everything in this game. They are one of the most dangerous receiving trios in the NFL and they are facing perhaps the best trio of corners in the NFL. Strength against strength. Normally the Packers' advantage is that it's hard to contain all three of them, but the Giants might actually have the corners to do it. Presumably Jenkins will be on Nelson, and presumably he's healthy enough to stick with him. But since all three of those receivers are capable of having huge games, there's plenty of pressure on DRC and Apple, too. It's even worse for them because of QB Aaron Rodgers, who is among the best in the league at escaping pass-rushes and throwing on the run. If he can get outside the pass rush and extend the play and force the Giants corners to have to hold their coverage longer than usual, this matchup could be a huge problem. And chances are the Packers receivers are going to have some numbers and their share of big plays. The real challenge for the NYPD (the "New York Pass Defense") is to minimize the damage and keep the score low enough so the Giants' weak offense can have a chance to win the game.

X FACTOR: Packers TE Jared Cook. Rodgers said the biggest factor in the Packers' win streak has been the presence of Cook, who had been injured for much of the first half of the season. He gives Rodgers a big target in the middle of the field who is capable of making big plays up the seam. That's huge, considering defenses rightly have to focus much of their attention on the Packers' three dangerous receivers. If the Giants have safety Landon Collins focus primarily on Cook, it could mean single coverage for the other receivers. If Collins spends his time helping out on the receivers, it could open up holes for Cook. And as everyone knows, the Giants have had trouble all season long covering tight ends, so he could be a big threat for the Packers on Sunday.

THE PICK:  I know all about the reasons to pick the Giants: The championship-caliber defense, Eli Manning's history of postseason success, their history of playoff wins in Green Bay, the special feeling this team seems to have. They're all valid. The truth is, this defense is good enough to carry the Giants a long way. And as I've said all season, if Manning and the offense ever clicks, look out, because the Giants could become unstoppable. But I'm not counting on that to happen after 16 games of watching the offense flounder -- especially not in these brutal conditions on the road. The Giants have simply not been a good road team all year long. They played well in their opener in Dallas and in their finale in Washington, but not in any other road game in between. And yes, as much as I hated Ben McAdoo's decision to play most of his starters the whole game in finale, that was an impressive win against the Redskins. But the offense still only scored 10 points, so it's not like they built any momentum there.

Even against a banged-up Packers secondary, I don't see things magically changing now. That puts the pressure where it's been all year -- on the Giants' defense. And this game, to me, is just a matchup nightmare. The Packers are a pass-heavy team. The Giants are much better at stopping the run. And the Packers have so many good receivers they can stretch the Giants' secondary to its limits. And then there's tight end Jared Cook, who could be a huge factor (see above) considering the Giants have been terrible at covering all year. And I haven't even gotten to the worst part: Rodgers is red-hot and he is the worst kind of quarterback for the Giants to face -- a mobile QB who is terrific at throwing outside the pocket. Remember how much trouble the Giants had with Carson Wentz in Week 16 in Philadelphia? It was because of Wentz's ability to escape the pass rush and make a play -- and he's nowhere near the quarterback Rodgers is. So to sum this up in simple terms, I can see how the Packers can score enough points even on this Giants defense. And while I still think the Giants' offense has the potential to keep up, the way they've played this season suggests they won't. Never discount the magic of 'Playoff Eli', and respect the Giants' successful history in Lambeau in the winter. But this feels different than it did in 2007 and 2011. These Giants don't seem to be as good as those teams, and this time the task seems to be far too large. . … Packers 27, Giants 20.

MY RECORD: 9-7.

MY RECORD WHEN PICKING THE GIANTS TO WIN: 6-2

MY RECORD WHEN PICKING THE GIANTS TO LOSE: 3-5

Tags: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano

Nov 27, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (74) during the third quarter between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Giants won 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)
Nov 27, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (74) during the third quarter between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Giants won 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)

The Giants would save $2.4 million by trading OL Ereck Flowers, but he would still count for $2.1 million in dead money on their cap, reports SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The Giants are looking to trade Flowers during the 2018 NFL Draft, Vacchiano confirmed.

Tags: Ereck Flowers
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Will Mayfield be taken No. 1? 00:02:34
The Daily News Live crew discusses the legitimacy of a new report claiming the Browns are considering drafting QB Baker Mayfield at No. 1.

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Giants' new regime is officially underway with the team's three-day minicamp on Tuesday, led by new head coach Pat Shurmur. It is a fresh start after an atrocious 2017 season. 

For defensive end Olivier Vernon, the team's fresh start involves a position change under new defensive coordinator James Bettcher. Vernon will now work in a 3-4 defense, but how the team will exactly utilize the veteran lineman is yet to be seen. 

Vernon doesn't even know how the Giants will use him in this new system. 

Tags: Olivier Vernon, Scott Thompson
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 (Tim Heitman)
(Tim Heitman)

It isn't a secret that CB Janoris Jenkins and former Cowboys WR Dez Bryant are heated rivals between the hashes. They have exchange verbal bouts over Twitter, and of course, physical ones on the field. 

But that doesn't mean Jenkins would be opposed to Bryant being his teammate next season. In fact, he has been trying to recruit him to New York. 

The Cowboys decided to release the 29-year-old veteran receiver, and he has yet to find a new home in the NFL. Like many other players around the league, Jenkins has thought about the prospect of pairing Bryant up his team's wide receivers, which in this case includes Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram.

Tags: Janoris Jenkins, Scott Thompson
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Aug 31, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Davis Webb (5) makes a pass during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Aug 31, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Davis Webb (5) makes a pass during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

The Giants are expected by many to take RB Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft. Or to perhaps trade back and take DE Bradley Chubb or OL Quenton Nelson.

One thing the Giants aren't expected to do? Take one of the highly-touted quarterbacks. And if they do pass them up, they will be showing confidence in the future of Eli Manning. And perhaps Davis Webb as well.

The 23-year-old Webb was selected by the Giants in the third round (87th overall) of the 2017 Draft. And in a peculiar move, he didn't see the field last season after Manning was benched. So what can he show new head coach Pat Shurmur during this week's voluntary minicamp that concludes on Draft Day?

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Shurmur on Odell 00:01:05
New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur on Odell Beckham Jr this season: "He's part of our team, and he's a very valued member of our team."

More good news comes from the Giants' East Rutherford facility Tuesday regarding star WR Odell Beckham Jr., as he showed up for the team's three-day minicamp ahead of the NFL Draft. 

Head coach Pat Shurmur, who is leading his new team over the three days, also said that Beckham will "absolutely" be on the Giants for the 2018 season. 

Shurmur added that he and Beckham "constantly communicate" since he was placed in his new position. Their conversations -- with the latest right before the minicamp -- are "open and honest with each other" whether it is over text or a phone call. 

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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Top QB prospect Baker Mayfield 00:01:01
Former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What is NFL Draft week without some drama over the No. 1 pick?

With reports circulating Monday that Wyoming QB Josh Allen is no longer in consideration for the Browns' No. 1 pick, ESPN's Adam Schefter is now reporting that Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is "definitely" in the conversation. 

Schefter continues by saying the Browns may have their choice in mind for their first overall pick, and before that decision was made, Mayfield was a player in the mix.

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Whom will the Giants draft? 00:04:50
NFL insider Pat Leonard joins the show to discuss whether the Giants should draft Saquon Barkley or a quarterback with their No. 2 pick.

Giants' second round options 00:04:54
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello discuss who the Giants will take in the second round of the Draft.

The bulk of the attention has been on who the Giants will do with the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft.

Will it be RB Saquon Barkley? One of the highly-touted QBs? Will they trade back and take DE Bradley Chubb or OL Quenton Nelson?

Lost in the shuffle a bit has been the fact that the Giants have a very high (34th overall) second round pick as well. And SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello recently discussed who the Giants will take with that pick.

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. catching the ball during pregame at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. catching the ball during pregame at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser/USA TODAY Sports)

Last week, Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was seen using a battle rope to train alongside free-agent wide receiver Dez Bryant.

On Monday, he used a different kind of rope and a different prop: a car.

Beckham posted a workout video of him pulling a GMC Denali that, according to TMZ Sports, weighs between 5,600 pounds and 5,800 pounds, as he looks to return from injury.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. runs the ball after a catch and tries to avoid a tackle by Buffalo Bills strong safety Duke Williams during the first half at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. runs the ball after a catch and tries to avoid a tackle by Buffalo Bills strong safety Duke Williams during the first half at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)

The Buffalo Bills are reportedly unlikely to trade up with the Giants for the No. 2 pick, NFL Network's Ian Rapaport reports.

Giants GM Dave Gettleman has said the team "can't get too cute" with what they will do with the No. 2 pick in Thursday's draft, especially given he feels the team could pick a future Hall of Famer.

Rapaport said he would be "surprised" if the Bills, who have the Nos. 12 and 22 picks in the first round, and the Nos. 53 and 56 picks in the second, traded a bunch of assets to move up to the No. 2 slot.

Tags: Buffalo Bills
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Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy/AP)
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy/AP)

The Browns' choices for their No. 1 pick seem to have come down to two choices just three days away from the NFL Draft: Sam Darnold or Josh Allen?

Yes, there is always the prospect of the Browns going with RB Saquon Barkley with their first overall selection, knowing they have the No. 4 pick later on. However, experts including SI's Peter King see Cleveland getting their quarterback first before addressing anywhere else. 

Recently, rumblings about Allen going No. 1 have gained some steam. But King's most trusted source says Allen is too much of a risk, and the Browns don't want to get another quarterback pick wrong.

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Penn State running back Saquon Barkley plays against Ohio State during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)  (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley plays against Ohio State during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Former Jets QB and current SNY analyst Ray Lucas is pretty firm on who he thinks Giants GM Dave Gettleman should select with the second pick in the Draft on Thursday night.

"He's been funny in the papers, joking around and stuff -- it's a very important pick," Lucas said about Gettleman on Sunday night on SNY. "And if he doesn't take Saquon Barkley, somebody should get him drug tested."

Barkley, 21, is viewed by most as the best player in the Draft, and Gettleman didn't try to hide his feelings about him when speaking at his pre-Draft press conference last week...

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New York Giants quarterback Davis Webb during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the New England Patriots, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) (Winslow Townson/AP)
New York Giants quarterback Davis Webb during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the New England Patriots, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) (Winslow Townson/AP)

For most players participating in the Giants' three-day minicamp that begins Tuesday, it is just another offseason workout. 

But, for backup QB Davis Webb, it may be the only opportunity to impress new head coach Pat Shurmur. 

The debate since the Giants received their No. 2 overall pick following an atrocious 3-13 campaign last season has been whether or not to take a quarterback to be Eli Manning's successor when his time is up. But many forget that Webb has yet to prove himself in a regular season game after seeing nothing but the bench in his rookie season. 

Tags: Davis Webb, Scott Thompson
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New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins (21) just misses an interception on a ball intended for Cleveland Browns tight end Seth DeValve (87) during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins (21) just misses an interception on a ball intended for Cleveland Browns tight end Seth DeValve (87) during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

Giants S Landon Collins underwent his second surgery to repair his right forearm on Monday, per ESPN's Jordan Raanan. 

It was reported two weeks ago that doctors didn't see Collins' forearm healing the way they had hoped, and a second surgery to repair it again was recommended.

Now that it is complete, the expected recovery time for the All-Pro safety is 6-8 weeks, which will have him recovered before the start of training camp. 

Tags: Landon Collins
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GEICO SportsNite: Dez Bryant 00:02:28
On GEICO SportsNite, Ralph Vacchiano discusses the possibility of the New York Giants signing Dez Bryant after releasing Brandon Marshall.

He might want to see a deal get done, but the Giants currently don't have any interest in employing former Cowboys WR Dez Bryant next season.

At least, not right now.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport went on "NFL Up to the Minute" Friday night, and said the Giants haven't been among the teams he has heard looking at the wideout at the moment.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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 (Isaiah J. Downing)
(Isaiah J. Downing)

The Giants have finalized a trade for Broncos P Riley Dixon, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

In return, the Giants sent a conditional seventh-round 2019 draft pick to Denver.

After the release of P Brad Wing, the Giants have been in search of a new punter. Well, with former Raiders P Marquette King joining the Broncos this offseason, Dixon was on the trading block and the Giants appear to want his services for next season. 

Tags: Brad Wing
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Extend Odell or sign Dez Bryant? 00:02:36
The Daily News Live panel debates whether the Giants should spend money on an extension for Odell Beckham Jr. or a contract for Dez Bryant.

The Daily News Live panel debates whether the Giants should spend money on an extension for Odell Beckham Jr. or a contract for Dez Bryant.


Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (Jeff Roberson/AP)
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants are sitting in the power position of the NFL draft, holding the fates of several teams and players in the palms of their hands. And everyone is watching, waiting and guessing, because no one is really sure what Dave Gettleman is going to do.

And that, by the way, is just how the Giants GM likes it.

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Supercut of Gettleman's presser 00:01:13
SNY.tv pieces together the best moments from Giants GM Dave Gettleman's pre-draft press conference.

Dave Gettleman held his pre-Draft press conference on Thursday, and as he usually does, fired off a bunch of awesome one-liners, had fun with the reporters in attendance, and poked fun at his heavy Boston accent.

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Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning meet on the field after a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning meet on the field after a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants may spend part of their summer in the suburbs of Detroit, holding a few days of joint practices with the Lions.

The two teams are in talks about holding the joint workouts, according to a source, which would take place sometime during the week of Aug. 12-18. The training camp sessions would lead up to the Giants' Week 2 preseason game against the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. 

Tags: Detroit Lions, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. talks to Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. talks to Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was featured alongside free agent Dez Bryant in an Instagram video of the two of them working out together Thursday night.

Bryant, the former Cowboys wideout who has said he would be interested in coming to New York, posted a video of the two of them using battle ropes to train.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Matt Eisenberg
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Dec 30, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs the ball during the second half against the Washington Huskies during the 2017 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)
Dec 30, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs the ball during the second half against the Washington Huskies during the 2017 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The entire NFL world seems to know that the Giants are in love with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. It's so obvious that even just a week before the draft, Giants GM Dave Gettleman isn't trying to hide it.

"I'm not going to lie. He's a tremendous talent," Gettleman said at his pre-draft press conference on Thursday. "You put the film on of a defensive guy and if they're playing Penn State, then I'm watching Saquon. He's one of those guys that my mother could have scouted. She could have figured that one out."

So the Giants are taking him with the second overall pick in the NFL draft, as long as the Cleveland Browns don't take him at No. 1, right?...

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A general view of an NFL game between the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Danny Wild)
A general view of an NFL game between the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Danny Wild)

The Giants will open the 2018 season at home against the Jaguars, and wrap things up at home against the Cowboys.

The schedule will also include a primetime game against the Cowboys in Dallas in Week 2, and Monday night games at Atlanta and San Francisco.

Their full schedule is below, confirmed by SNY's Ralph Vacchiano...

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New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (Scott Galvin)
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (Scott Galvin)

On Thursday the Giants' released WR Brandon Marshall and the general speculation immediately was that the team might try and pursue ex-Cowboys WR Dez Bryant. 

Well, there's another receiver that has noticed the opportunity. Free agent WR Victor Cruz tweeted that he heard there was an opening in New York...

Tags: Victor Cruz
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Giants part ways with Marshall 00:02:41
The Giants parted ways with wide receiver Brandon Marshall on Thursday after just one season with Big Blue, due to a failed physical.

The Giants parted ways with wide receiver Brandon Marshall on Thursday after just one season with Big Blue, due to a failed physical.


Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Dave Gettleman understands the high pressure of making the second overall pick in the draft, where he's said he expects to find a Hall of Fame-caliber player. It's even more intense this year, with so many quarterbacks potentially in play.

Pick the right one, and Gettleman could set the Giants up for the next decade. Pick the wrong one, he said, and "You've really hurt the franchise for probably five years. It's a five-year mistake."

But don't pick one at all, and let a great one slide past him - particularly with the Jets picking at No. 3? That's a mistake that could hurt the Giants for a decade, or maybe more...

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New York Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall grabs his ankle after a catch against Los Angeles Chargers during second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall grabs his ankle after a catch against Los Angeles Chargers during second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

The Giants have released WR Brandon Marshall due to a failed physical, GM Dave Gettleman said on Thursday. Marshall had agreed to take a pay cut, but was released anyway, reports Kimberly A. Martin of The Washington Post.

Marshall signed a two-year deal prior to last season, and his release frees up $5.1 million in salary cap space for this season. 

The 34-year-old Marshall missed the majority of the 2017 season due to season-ending ankle surgery after tearing ligaments in Week 5.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Danny Abriano
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Who will the Giants select #2? 00:05:24
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello discuss who the Giants will select 2nd overall in the NFL Draft.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello discuss who the Giants will select 2nd overall in the NFL Draft next Thursday.

The question all along, according to Vacchiano, has been whether the Giants will tab their next franchise quarterback or Penn State RB Saquon Barkley.

"If the Browns go with Sam Darnold, which I expect to happen, I don't think the Giants take a quarterback," said Cirminiello, adding that at that point, the Giants should take the best player available -- which is Barkley...

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Saquon Barkley can already envision himself in the Giants' offense. And it looks scary good. 

Barkley recently spoke about the prospect of joining the Giants, which some believe is a lock next Thursday. Having his versatile skill set in the backfield to go along with Odell Beckham and Co. on the outside has a good ring to Barkley's ears. 

"I think Eli Manning definitely has a lot in the tank left," Barkley told Penn State Live. "He's still an extraordinary player. You have Odell Beckham, one of the most exciting players in the NFL for three or four years. Then you talk about Sterling Shepard and the tight ends...

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Mar 1, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Mar 1, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

It isn't a smokescreen. Saquon Barkley appears to be the guy the Giants want at No. 2. 

At least, that's what ESPN's Todd McShay feels from the Giants' camp. News has swirled around the Giants wanting to take Barkley with their first-round selection, with fellow ESPN analyst Louis Riddick saying there is a "strong sentiment" for Barkley in New York's building. 

But McShay topped Riddick's opinion by saying it is "inevitable" the Penn State running back will be daunting a Big Blue jersey next season. 

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
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Penn State running back Saquon Barkley plays against Ohio State during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)  (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley plays against Ohio State during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

The Browns have the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks in next Thursday's NFL Draft, and it is widely expected that they'll take a quarterback with the No. 1 pick. But if they opt to take Penn State RB Saquon Barkley -- whether it's at No. 1 or No. 4 -- his handlers reportedly won't be happy.

"They don't want him in Cleveland," writes Ben Baskin for SI in a wide-ranging piece. "They want him to go second to the Giants and play in the media capital of the world. That's where you can become the Face of the League."

According to Baskin, Barkley's manager wanted him to demand that the Browns not draft him -- which Barkley was against, with him telling friends recently that if he brings a championship to the Browns, there will be a statue built in his honor.

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Dez Bryant to the Giants? 00:02:15
Dan Graca and Jon Hein review the reports of Dez Bryant's interest in signing with the Giants and discuss whether they'd be a good match.

Brandon Marshall isn't too keen on all the Dez Bryant-to-the-Giants talk. 

The now former Cowboys receiver said he wants to stay in division next season, and he has been hinting that the Giants could be a good destination for him. The social-media savvy Bryant has been on Twitter regularly since being released by the Cowboys last weekend, and the Giants are among the teams he has flirted with on his page. 

Giants players have expressed their own interest in Bryant as their teammate next season, with one being CB Janoris Jenkins

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Scott Thompson
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Nov 18, 2017; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack defensive end Bradley Chubb (9) in game action during the second half against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)
Nov 18, 2017; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack defensive end Bradley Chubb (9) in game action during the second half against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)

Projecting trades in a Mock Draft is a futile effort. There are too many variables and rumors. It's mostly speculation. And really, it's just an exercise in fantasy football.

But … well, who doesn't love fantasy football?

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Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (Jeff Roberson/AP)
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The winds of the Meadowlands certainly seem to be blowing in Saquon Barkley's direction. He was caught on camera wearing a Giants hoodie. Louis Riddick, one of the men who interviewed to be the Giants GM, is sure they're taking the Penn State running back. So are many around the league who claim to know GM Dave Gettleman well.

And when the Giants are on the clock next Thursday night, Barkley may indeed be the pick.

It would just be a mistake to completely rule the quarterbacks out yet.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Andrew Innerarity)
(Andrew Innerarity)

Following his appearance at the Giants' facility for voluntary offseason workouts, the Odell Beckham Jr. trade talks have died down. 

That is why Beckham's best friend and former LSU teammate in Browns WR Jarvis Landry is done trying to orchestrate a reunion. He believes Beckham will be in a Giants jersey at least for one more season. 

"You know what, I think that period is over," Landry told ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi on lobbying with the Browns to trade for Beckham. "He's gonna be a Giant for another year."

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Scott Thompson
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Top RB prospect Saquon Barkley 00:01:02
Former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is expected to be taken as the top RB in the 2018 NFL Draft.

In his latest mock draft, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer sees the Giants grabbing Penn State RB Saquon Barkley with their No. 2 overall pick. 

There has been tons of hype surrounding the connection between Barkley and the Giants ever since his private workout last week. GM Dave Gettleman has spoken publicly about the running back's "unique" skill set, and head coach Pat Shurmur has made it known that a versatile running back would be a vital asset to his offense. 

But most importantly is the fact that Gettleman has said a pick as high as No. 2 must warrant a Hall of Famer in the future. Breer sees Barkley being that guy. 

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Top QB prospect Sam Darnold 00:01:02
Former USC quarterback Sam Darnold is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Less than two weeks away from the NFL Draft, the Giants continue to get their last looks at the top quarterback prospects with USC's Sam Darnold concluding his visit with the team on Tuesday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Monday's visit with Darnold was a dinner, which is being followed by a facility tour on Tuesday. He already had dinner with the Giants brass before meeting with newly appointed head coach Pat Shurmur following his Pro Day in March. 

Darnold has touched on the prospect of playing in the Big Apple, specifically with the pressure of wearing a New York jersey carries. He said he wouldn't be scared with the spotlight on him...

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Mar 1, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Mar 1, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Former NFL exec and current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick would be taking Penn State RB Saquon Barkley at No. 2 if he was in Dave Gettleman's shoes. 

Riddick, who interviewed for the Giants' GM vacancy last year, says Barkley is "a special kid" that he wouldn't pass on. 

"I think Saquon Barkley is just a special kid," he told NJ.com's Ryan Dunleavy. "I think he will help Eli because he will give him someone who he can turn around and hand the ball to 25-28 times a game."

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Free-agent WR Dez Bryant continues to hint that he wants to stay in the NFC East, and the Giants may very well be the team he wants to sign with. 

"The Giants got a helluva defense, they're going to pay OBJ (Odell Beckham Jr.)" Bryant told Mike Fisher of CBS Sports on Monday. "Playing with him, Sterling (Shepard) ... the tight end (Evan Engram), (QB Eli) Manning? Crazy. They draft (Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick)? That'd be crazy!''

Bryant also discussed the potential of joining the Texans and Rams, though Fisher views the Giants as Bryant's top choice.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Scott Thompson
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The Giants are less than two weeks away from choosing their first-rounder with the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft. And though many believe drafting Eli Manning's successor is in order for Big Blue, GM Dave Gettleman's "win now" mindset may not warrant a gunslinger in the end.

New York has been setting up private workouts with the top quarterback prospects in Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and Baker Mayfield, with Darnold visiting the team on Monday followed by Allen Tuesday. But all the quarterback visits may be smoke and mirrors if the Giants have their heart set on another position instead.

"You got to do your due diligence when you're there at second," a source told The Post's Paul Schwartz," if you don't do to these workouts at No. 2 and you really don't have an interest in these guys, then you're tipping your hand."

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Penn State running back Saquon Barkley plays against Ohio State during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)  (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley plays against Ohio State during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Penn State RB Saquon Barkley was spotted wearing a Giants hoodie during a trip to the barber earlier this week, with TMZ snapping photos. Sources told TMZ that the hoodie was given to Barkley as a gift by the Giants when he recently met with the team.

The Giants, who have the No. 2 pick in the Draft later this month, have been linked to Barkley, but most believe they will draft a quarterback from the group of USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, and Wyoming's Josh Allen.

However, GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur heaped praise on Barkley earlier this month.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: It's not quite crunch time yet, but there are less than three weeks until the start of the first round of the NFL draft, which means draft boards are in their final stages all around the league. It also means that the truth about which players are being targeted by which teams is starting to leak out -- albeit slowly.

Still, there are a lot of variables, especially in the first two picks. But at the moment there aren't many changes to my latest Mini-Mock Draft. The Browns are still taking a quarterback at 1. The Jets are still definitely taking one at 3. And I still think the Giants will take one -- assuming the right one is available -- at 2.

Here's a full look at my new Top 10, with some updated inside information...

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

WR Dez Bryant was released by the Cowboys on Friday afternoon, with Bryant reportedly hinting afterwards that he might be staying in the NFC East.

Bryant, 29, had a down year in 2017, with 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games.

"I let a lot of things get in the way that bother me mentally," Bryant said late last season. "I feel like, if anything, I need to deal with in the offseason - is that. Like I said, there's only certain things I can control."

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Danny Abriano
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New York Giants' Landon Collins (21) returns an interception for a touchdown during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Giants' Landon Collins (21) returns an interception for a touchdown during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Giants S Landon Collins said his fractured forearm was "100 percent" during his conference call with the media on Monday. 

That isn't the case at all.

Collins' forearm has not been healing as doctors expected it to, NFL Network's Mike Garafalo first reported Wednesday night. Now, the safety has accepted the recommendation to undergo a second surgery to plate the bone yet again, NorthJersey.com's Art Stapleton reported.

Tags: Landon Collins
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Dec 18, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) celebrates with quarterback Eli Manning (10) after scoring a touchdown against the Lions during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports  (Robert Deutsch)
Dec 18, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) celebrates with quarterback Eli Manning (10) after scoring a touchdown against the Lions during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

The Giants' preseason schedule has been officially released for the 2018 season. 

Kicking off their first contest of the season is a home game against the Cleveland Browns. Fans will certainly remember the last time the Giants faced the Browns in preseason. Odell Beckham Jr. sustained his ankle sprain that kept him sidelined until their Week 2 matchup against their second preseason opponent this year -- the Lions.

The Giants will travel to Detroit for this game before returning home for the annual Snoopy Bowl with the Jets at MetLife Stadium. 

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. leaves the field after the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. leaves the field after the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: It has been nearly three weeks since John Mara fired the starting pistol on the Odell Beckham, Jr. frenzy when he refused to commit to him being on the 2018 roster. Since then, the saga has taken dozens of turns -- some absurd, and some entirely predictable.

And the reports on whether he'll be traded or not just won't stop.

But Beckham is still on the Giants and still with no long-term contract. The only thing that's changed is that he showed up for the first day of the offseason program on Monday, which the Giants seemed to take as a very positive sign. And that's all the Giants wanted all along -- a sign that he was willing to be committed to their program...

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold throws the ball against the Oregon State Beavers during the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)
Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold throws the ball against the Oregon State Beavers during the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)

In his latest Mock Draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr. has the Giants selecting USC QB Sam Darnold with the No. 2 pick -- as SNY's Ralph Vacchiano projected in his Mini Mock 3.0.

Kiper opines:

I still think the Giants should grab a quarterback with their pick (unless they get blown away by a trade offer). Eli Manning is 37 and on the down side of his career, and New York has a talented roster that shouldn't be picking this high in the future. Is GM Dave Gettleman really going to pass on a signal-caller who could be Manning's ready-made replacement?

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Daily News Live: Jerome Bettis 00:07:59
Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis joins the show to talk football with the panel and promote his new initiative to fight joint pain.

Appearing on SNY's Daily News Live on Tuesday, Hall of Fame RB Jerome Bettis offered his opinion on WR Odell Beckham's contract situation.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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