What I liked about this draft: They covered a lot of needs with quality young men who are mature enough to step right into NFL life. Favorite pick was center Weston Richburg in Round 2.

What I didn't like about this draft: They whiffed on getting a big, pass-catching TE, an OT to push Will Beatty and reached in Round 3 with DT Jay Bromley.


WR Odell Beckham Jr.: I spoke with NBCSports' Josh Norris before the draft and we talked mainly about Taylor Lewan, Zack Martin and Beckham. We liked all three and Josh expounded on the virtues of Beckham. He is a Hakeem Nicks-type that plays more like Victor Cruz. At the same time, Gil Brandt was saying that he thought Beckham could end up being the most productive WR to come out of this draft. That is not as crazy as it sounds, because the two wideouts taken in front of him -- Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans -- will be playing in offenses headed by young QBs, neither who has played a full season in this league.

Beckham will do several things for the Giants. He will line up in Nicks' old spot and make play after play. He will push the newly-signed returners to the limit, if not take one of their jobs. His presence keeps Victor Cruz -- in my opinion the best slot receiver in the game -- in the slot, while taking the pressure off Rueben Randle on the other side.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen the Giants land OT Taylor Lewan, who went to the Titans the pick before the Giants took Beckham. He has an edge to him and would bring an intelligence and toughness to the Giants' offense they haven't had here in awhile. But, Beckham brings some positives too. I've never heard anyone say a player stretches the field "both ways" until this season when listening to the scouting reports on Beckham.

Grade: B+


C Weston Richburg: I was reminded this week that the center touches the ball before the QB on every play. He gets everyone lined up and sets the tone and timbre of the offensive line. All winter long, Giant fans were wondering what the plan was at center. They can wonder no more. The plan is this: Weston Richburg. I know they signed JD Walton this offseason, and by admission Jerry Reese said Walton was looking good at OTAs, but make no mistake -- Richburg will be running the Giants' O-Line before long.

He was the highest-rated center in this draft by many and the first one selected. I love this pick and no one can knock me off my pins about it. I think he is the best part of the Giants' 2014 draft class.

Grade: A


DT Jay Bromley: There were at least three rounds worth of draftable DTs left when the Giants called Bromley and interrupted his Friday movie night. Even Bromley was taken aback when the Giants called. He was watching the film "Gravity" with his girlfriend when he picked up the phone and thought he was being punk'd. I thought I was being punk'd, too.

Bromley will not be asked to hold back all waters on the DL, but there were some better options at DT and other positions at Pick 74. Notre Dame's Louis Nix and UNC's Kareem Martin were still on the board. So was Miss State's Donte Moncrief, a big, vertical receiver that will now catch passes from Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. Either way, Bromley is a leader and a hard-worker and that is what the Giants are willing to  sacrifice by prioritizing character over talent.

Grade: C


RB Andre Williams: The Giants got the BC star in Round Four, and no one around me or whom I spoke with had a problem with the pick. Nobody really sees him as the feature back he was in college, but he will not turn down carries and will persistently pound away between the tackles as well as look to bust a long run. Much has been made of his lack of receiving skills, but the Giants will look to get him up to speed on that.  Williams was eyed by the Giants ahead of LSU's Jeremy Hill, who many see as a star in the making.  I personally would have preferred Hill, but since the carries are going to be split between 3-4 backs here this season, there's not much of a difference.

Tom Coughlin and the rest of the front office decided to go with the BC legacy pick and the cleaner player. Williams comes highly accompished as the Doak Walker winner and let us not forget, he led the nation in rushing, gaining 2177 yards while scoring 18 TDs. Nice job by the Giants here.

Grade: B


DB Nat Berhe: A bit of a surprise at the time, but not so much now that we know what the Giants were looking for in their draftees. Another team captain who is mature and understands the role he will play. He's a bit smaller than you would like, but has a great motor and uses his intelligence to get by where his physical attribute come up short. He's a box safety at this level because of his height and may not be able to cover receivers downfield. Not sure who's spot he takes on the roster. Giants will likely use Berhe as a backup safety and in sub packages as well as hope he can develop into a special teamer as a gunner although he does not have a lot of experience on special teams. On the surface, Behre appears to be a more refined version of Jayron Hosely rather than a replacement foe Will Hill.

Grade: C+


LB Devon Kennard: Many were wondering when the Giants were going to address LB or DE in the draft. They did both with this pick in the fourth round. Kennard is another high-character, team captain that can play all three LB spots, DE and special teams. Another quality athlete coming out of the dumpster fire USC became in the wake of the the Lane Kiffin era. He is the son of former NFL offensive lineman Derek Kennard and will have no problem acclimating to the pro atmosphere.

His physical skill set is not what you would prefer for an NFL OLB and his pass rush game needs work, so he's sizing up to be a STer at first. Consistent with the trend in this Giants' draft class, but we'll have to wait and see how the Giants plan to use him.

Grade: B


CB Bennett Jackson: A former WR that was converted to corner at Notre Dame. Considered a "long" corner at 6'0", 195. Still developing as a defender but can play a role in special teams coverage and return teams. Also served as a team captain. The Giants are looking to catch lightning in a bottle here. With few roster spots available this summer, not sure if he makes the club. May end up as a practice squad player.

Grade: C


Overall Grade: B-

No TE, no OT and did little to help the pas rush. Yes, they covered several needs, but the team had fallen fallow in so many areas, one draft just wasn't going to cover all the. Given the full-throttle effort by Jerry Reese in free agency, there are very few openings on the roster and the players selected in this draft - outside of the first two picks - are all at positions where the team employs a rotation.

Beckham and Richburg are projected to be starters but the rest look to be simply part-time players , STers and general depth. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but other teams in the league managed to fare much better in the draft than the Giants did this weekend.  They are bringing in quality human beings, and I respect that, but I can't help thinking of the words of Leo Durocher ("Nice guys finish last") and Vince Lombardi ("Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing.")

 

Tags: New York Giants, New York Giants 2014 Draft

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and head coach Ben McAdoo watch from the sidelines during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and head coach Ben McAdoo watch from the sidelines during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX -- Ben McAdoo's ability to call the offensive plays and be the New York Giants' head coach came under great scrutiny last season as what was once a top-10 offense plummeted to 25th in the league. Even McAdoo's bosses broached the subject of passing off the play-calling duties to his offensive coordinator.

But it doesn't sound like McAdoo is ready or willing to do that -- at least not yet.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo coaches against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo coaches against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Ben McAdoo never actually said the words, but his message couldn't have been any clearer. The New York Giants, coming off an 11-5 season, are serious about contending for a Super Bowl title this season, so he needs his players to get serious, too.

That means the days of their off-day trips to party on a boat in Miami are over.

"When we're at work we have to focus on football, and I think we do a very good job of that," McAdoo said during a 45-minute interview at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, site of the NFL Owners Meetings, on Tuesday afternoon. "When our players are in the building, they say 'yes' to football. Now, when we're not in the building we need to do a better job of saying 'no' to some other things, and making sure everything we're doing is aligned with our goal."

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX -- The New York Giants are admittedly on the lookout for Eli Manning's eventual successor. Is it possible they already found him when they signed Geno Smith?

It is, according to Giants coach Ben McAdoo, who raved about the former Jets starter during a 45-minute interview at the NFL Owners Meetings at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. He said it was "very exciting" to add a player as promising as the 26-year-old former second-round pick.

Tags: Eli Manning, Geno Smith, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (AP)
(AP)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

PHOENIX - At the miserable end of the 2015 season, as the Giants were basically firing Tom Coughlin, John Mara wasn't willing to let his general manager completely off the hook. He officially put Jerry Reese on notice when he said "Jerry knows this is on him."

A $200 million spending spree, an 11-5 record, and a return to the playoffs later, it appears that Reese isn't on the Giants' hot seat anymore.

"There was a lot of heat on Jerry," Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said during the NFL Owners Meetings on Monday at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. "John Mara, my partner, made it very clear to Jerry that 'We're watching you and we have very high expectations, and it's really your time to deliver, Jerry.' So the moves he made last season, clearly in retrospect, were hugely significant and changed the whole defense of the team. 

Tags: Damon Harrison, Janoris Jenkins, Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (AP)
(AP)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

PHOENIX - John Mara saw the hole that Odell Beckham punched in the wall at Lambeau Field after the Giants lost to the Packers in the playoffs and he offered to pay to fix it. Packers president Mark Murphy told him it was fine. After all, it only cost $100.

And that was about all the worrying Mara did about that.

Yes, he knows that his star receiver can be as explosive off the field as he is on it. He knows he has difficulty controlling his emotions and he knows that can get him into trouble.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning during first half against Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning during first half against Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX -- With Eli Manning undoubtedly nearing the end of his career, the New York Giants have obviously given some thought to finding his replacement. They've even given some thought to drafting his replacement next month.

But as Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said Monday, there is no rush.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: NFL Recap 00:03:57
Ralph Vacchiano talks Giants free agency, while Steve Tisch and Brandon Marshall speak with the media and Oakland's move is discussed.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX -- The Giants threw down the gauntlet in front of Odell Beckham Jr. at the end of last season, telling him, in GM Jerry Reese's words, it was time to "grow up." They were tired of the on-field antics, angry about his ill-timed boat trip, not to mention the hole in the wall in Green Bay.

But none of that has truly soured the Giants on their all-pro receiver.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III fumbles the ball as he's hit by New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins during the fourth quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III fumbles the ball as he's hit by New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins during the fourth quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX -- The New York Giants have an offer on the table for defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins that has been there since before free agency began. And even though Hankins is obviously holding out for more money, Giants co-owner Steve Tisch indicated the team doesn't plan to pull its offer any time soon.

"No one's panicking right now," Tisch said during a break in the NFL Owners Meetings at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. "There's time. And again, by nature I'm optimistic, so I think it's going to work out. … Let me rephrase that: I would very much like this to work out."

The optimism surely comes from the obvious: Hankins has not yet signed anywhere else, and the 24-year-old defensive tackle likely isn't going to get a significantly better offer three weeks into the free-agent signing period. An NFL source told SNY that Hankins was looking for at least what the Giants gave Damon Harrison last offseason -- a five-year, $46.25 million contract with $24 million guaranteed.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Johnathan Hankins, Ralph Vacchiano
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Tisch on Marshall signing 00:02:19
New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch talks about the Brandon Marshall signing and his excitement for next season.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX -- The New York Giants fell short of reaching Super Bowl LI this past season, but that turned out to be a good thing.

At least for the New England Patriots.

Tags: New England Patriots, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

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PHOENIX - It may seem strange that Geno Smith signed with a team for which he has little chance of ever playing, but his former Jets teammate Brandon Marshall believes it was "absolutely" the right move for the young quarterback.

"I think it was really good for Geno to sign there," Marshall said outside of the NFL Owners Meetings at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. "I'm excited to see him continue to grow."

Growth seems to be the main reason the 26-year-old Smith chose to sign with the Giants after his turbulent four years across town with the Jets. When he signed, he spoke about the chance to learn from Eli Manning, who has started every game for the Giants since he first won the job as a rookie way back in 2004...

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Geno Smith, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Julio Cortez/AP)
(Julio Cortez/AP)

The Giants are interested in former Jets C Nick MangoldDaily News writer and SNY contributor Pat Leonard reports.

Mangold, 33, was released by the Jets on Feb. 25 after spending 11 seasons with them.

He played eight games last season while dealing with an ankle injury.

Mangold, who has been selected to the Pro Bowl seven times, played in 62 of 64 regular season games for the Jets between 2012 and 2015.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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Cam Robinson highlights 00:01:24
SNY.tv takes a look at the highlights of Alabama OT Cam Robinson.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Now that the big-money part of NFL free agency is over, teams have begun increasingly focusing on the NFL draft, and their first-round targets are becoming a little clearer. So here's SNY's weekly look at the top players on board for the Giants as they prepare to make the 23rd overall pick of the NFL draft on April 27:

1.OT Garett Bolles, Utah - After dissecting the Giants' free-agent activity, it's hard to see them not focusing on a tackle in the first round (or least somewhere in the first couple of rounds). Yes, they'll say they take the "best available player," but "need" is always a strong factor in their pick and how they organize their draft board. The fact is they have questions at both tackles - Ereck Flowers needs a lot of work on the left side, and no one knows who the right tackle will be (presumably it's D.J. Fluker, but he said he was signed to play guard). Also, Fluker and left guard Justin Pugh (a potential tackle candidate) are unsigned beyond this season. They desperately need a young tackle and Bolles, a 6-5, 297-pounder who will make a pre-draft visit to the Giants, might be the best of an underwhelming group. (Last report: 1)

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 (Trevor Ruszkowski)
(Trevor Ruszkowski)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The NFL's free-agent signing period is open, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for frequent updates on what the Giants are doing with their own free agents and with free agents from other teams, and for updates on their available salary cap space and contract numbers.

GIANTS SALARY CAP SPACE

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Daily News Live: Pat Leonard 00:05:14
Giants beat writer Pat Leonard joins Daily News Live to discuss the Giants' signings of Geno Smith, Shaun Draughn and Jason Pierre-Paul.

Jan 8, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) drops back to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the first half in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)
Jan 8, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) drops back to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the first half in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Giants GM Jerry Reese was at North Carolina's Pro Day on Tuesday, which in itself isn't news - after all, that's what general managers do. Maybe it means something. Maybe it doesn't.

But since the star of UNC's Pro Day was quarterback Mitch Trubisky, it sure did get some people wondering: Are the Giants preparing to draft Eli Manning's replacement in this draft?

It would seem unlikely, especially in a high round, but it can't be completely ruled out since Reese himself said he would consider trying to find his next franchise quarterback this offseason. There are some good reasons not to do it this year, and some good reasons why now might be the time.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Mike Dinovo)
(Mike Dinovo)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It wasn't Adrian Peterson or even LeGarrette Blount, but the Giants have found the veteran running back they've been searching for this offseason.

Shaun Draughn, a 29-year-old journeyman who spent the last season-and-a-half with the San Francisco 49ers, has agreed to terms on a contract with the Giants, the team announced Wednesday. The 5-11, 205-pounder is a power back, who has some skills as a receiver.

He's also joining his ninth team in his seven-year NFL career...

Tags: Paul Perkins, Shane Vereen, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

University of Tennessee DE Derek Barnett will be the Giants' pick in this year's NFL draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. predicted in his third Mock Draft.

The Giants have the 23rd overall pick.

Kiper also had the Giants selecting Barnett in his second mock draft. He had New York selecting Wisconsin T Ryan Ramczyk in his first mock draft...

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon
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WR Brandon Marshall, who the Giants signed earlier this month, will wear No. 15 this coming season...

Click here to see the photo

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New York Giants linebacker Keenan Robinson (Adam Wesley/Green Bay Press Gazette via USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants linebacker Keenan Robinson (Adam Wesley/Green Bay Press Gazette via USA TODAY Sports)

The Giants announced their deal with LB Keenan Robinson, which is for one year and is worth up to $4 million, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Robinson recorded 54 total tackles (83 combined) in his first season with the Giants in 2016.

New York had been trying to re-sign him prior to free agency beginning, though Robinson reportedly visited with the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills. 

Tags: B.J. Goodson, Devon Kennard, Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson
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 (Matt Kartozian)
(Matt Kartozian)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Geno Smith signed on to be the backup -- or possibly even the third-stringer -- behind a quarterback who has started every game since Nov. 21, 2004. He likely will never see the field. It's possible he won't even be on the active roster.

Still, the ex-Jets starter said the Giants represented "a perfect scenario for me."

Tags: Geno Smith
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New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich reacts after stopping Baltimore Ravens running back Terrance West on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich reacts after stopping Baltimore Ravens running back Terrance West on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Mark Herzlich has made a career out of defying the odds and exceeding everyone's expectations. Now it appears he's done it again.

The 29-year-old linebacker will be back for his seventh season with the Giants after signing a new contract with the team on Monday. He was used almost exclusively on special teams last season, though he has proven at times to be a useful fill-in at linebacker, where he's started 17 games in his six years.

In his career, though, Herzlich has become one of the leaders in the Giants locker room -- a respected and steady veteran voice, who is popular among his teammates, coaches and ownership. He's been a team favorite since making the Giants as an undrafted rookie back in 2011.

Tags: Mark Herzlich, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

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The Giants added some depth in the secondary and some help on special teams when they signed cornerback Valentino Blake on Monday.

The 5-9, 198-pounder -- formerly known as Antwon Blake before deciding to go by his middle name last year -- has spent time with the Jaguars, Steelers, and Titans during his five-year NFL career. He started 16 games for the Steelers in 2015, picking off two passes -- one of which he returned 70 yards for a touchdown -- forcing one fumble and recording one sack...

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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Geno Smith still envisions himself as a starting quarterback, which is one thing the Giants absolutely don't need. In fact, the Giants don't expect to need one until at least the 2020 season, when Smith will turn 30 and will probably be long gone.

That's why Smith's decision to sign with the Giants -- and to a lesser extent, the Giants' decision to sign Smith -- is so strange. For a player looking for a fresh start, hoping to re-establish his value, and desperate to compete for a starting job, the last thing that makes sense is for him to remain in New York to be the second- or maybe third-stringer behind Eli Manning, who hasn't missed a game in his 13-year NFL career.

Yet here we are, with the 26-year-old ex-Jets quarterback now officially a Giant after he passed his physical on Monday and is expected to sign what the NFL Network says is a one-year, $2 million deal. The Giants also signed backup quarterback Josh Johnson on Friday, so as long as Smith's repaired ACL is strong enough, it'll be a heck of a training camp battle between the two to see who gets to hold Manning's hat.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (William Hauser (USA Today))
(William Hauser (USA Today))

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When the NFL free-agent signing period began, almost everyone assumed that Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins was about to strike it rich. The only question seemed to be how close he'd get to the five-year, $46.25 million contract the Giants gave defensive tackle Damon Harrison last season, or whether he had a shot to exceed it.

A bit over a week after the market opened, though, the 24-year-old Hankins remains unsigned and the market for defensive tackles has collapsed around him. So now, as free-agency begins its second, far-less-lucrative wave, the big, unanswered question about Hankins is this:

What the heck happened?

Tags: Damon Harrison, Johnathan Hankins, Ralph Vacchiano
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On the latest edition of Timeout with Taylor Rooks, former Jets QB Geno Smith sits down with Taylor to discuss his time with the Jets and his decision to join the Giants.

"I think it's just a first class organization. They will have a great shot at winning the Super Bowl in the next 2-3 years."

Click below to listen...

 

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GEICO SportsNite: Giants moves 00:02:28
Jeane Coakley and Ralph Vacchiano discuss Jason Pierre Paul's decision to stay with the Giants and the addition of Geno Smith.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It was just over 20 months ago that the first call was made to the Giants' offices with a scary report that lacked many important details. Their star defensive end had been involved in a fireworks accident, and no one could tell them how bad it really was.

In the days that followed, as they struggled to get information, the anger inside their offices grew. By the time the extent of the damage to Jason Pierre-Paul's right hand was clear, his NFL future was in doubt. And if he had one, it sure looked like his bridge back to the Giants had been burned.

Less than two years later, JPP's miracle return is complete. He's not just an NFL player, he's again one of the NFL's premier pass rushers, and a key cog in the Giants' defense. He's also once again a big part of the Giants' future, which they secured on Friday when they signed him to a massive, four-year, $62 million deal...

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
(Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

The Giants have agreed with DE Jason Pierre-Paul on a four-year deal, a source confirmed to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The deal has a base of $62 million and can be worth up to $66 million, according to Vacchiano. $40 million is guaranteed.

The Giants placed the nearly $17 million franchise tag on Pierre-Paul earlier this offseason, but did so with the hope that they'd be able to reach a long-term deal before the deadline, Vacchiano reported on March 3.

"We're going to create history," Pierre-Paul said in a statement released by the team. "We made it to the playoffs, but unfortunately I wasn't there to play. But I'm looking to get back to the playoffs this year with that great defensive line that we have, and the great defense that coach Spags (coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) is going to put out there."

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul
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New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith throws a pass during the pregame warmups for their game against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith throws a pass during the pregame warmups for their game against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

The Giants are expected to sign former Jets QB Geno Smith, a source confirmed to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Smith, who met with the Giants last Saturday, has played in three games over the past two years with the Jets. Since New York drafted him in the second round in 2013, he has played in 33 games, throwing for 5,962 yards, 28 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.

In addition, New York has agreed to a two-year contract with QB Josh Johnsonper his agent Doug Hendrickson.

Tags: Eli Manning, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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Aug 20, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Hoffman)
Aug 20, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Hoffman)

In today's Giants mailbag, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano talks about the club re-signing Jonathan Hankins and if the signing of free agent Rhett Ellison really solved the Giants' tight end issues...

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Any chance the Giants re-sign Hankins -- @gpbloom

My standard answer to this is that as long as he's unsigned, there's always a chance. And that's true, even in this case. But the situation is a bit complicated.

First, nearly everyone I talked to around the league thought Hankins was in for a big-money free agent deal - one that would be close to, but probably not exceed what the Giants gave DT Damon Harrison last March. Suffice to say, a lot of people are stunned that his market never developed and it's looking more and more like he's going to have to play next season on a one-year, "prove-it" deal...

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 (Ron Schwane/AP)
(Ron Schwane/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Bobby Hart went from a seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft to a mainstay in the Giants' starting lineup the next year. And he gets to cash a big check for that.

The 22-year-old Hart, who started 13 games at right tackle last season for the Giants, led his team in performance-based compensation from the NFL, getting a bonus of $361,072 for his efforts. The bonus was so big, in fact, that it ranked 19th among all performance-based pay recipients in the NFL for 2016.

The annual bonus distribution is a way for the NFL and NFL Players Association to make sure that lower-salaried players are compensated for excellent performances, without counting against a team's salary cap. Hart, in the second year of his rookie deal, earned a $525,000 salary in 2016, so his bonus was worth about 69 percent of that...

Tags: Bobby Hart, Devon Kennard, Will Tye, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 16, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) reacts to a referee's call during the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 16, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) reacts to a referee's call during the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

It's funny (or not), but a week into free agency the questions about the Giants are largely the same ones most people had at the end of the season. A few things have cleared up, but not much has changed.

So let's get right to it. Here's the latest offseason edition of our SNY Giants Twitter Mailbag - the first since free agency began:


Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Are the Giants forced to spend a 1st or 2nd rd pick on OL given we didn't land any of the top FAs -- @D_Ricker81

I don't know if they're forced to do anything, really. I think an offensive lineman in one of those spots would be a good idea, and I think they're likely to do it...

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 (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports Images)
(Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports Images)

The Giants have re-signed OL John Jerry to a three-year deal worth $10 million, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

$4.25 million of the deal is guaranteed, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Jerry, 30, started all 16 games for the Giants this past season.

Tags: Ereck Flowers, John Jerry, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg
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 (Matthew Emmons)
(Matthew Emmons)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants don't have a ton of salary cap room. In fact, at the moment they really don't have any. So even if they make some cuts or restructure some contracts, they're likely to shop mostly in free agency's bargain bin.

The thing about the bargain bin, though, is that you can sometimes find real bargains -- valuable players that can actually help, for a price that is pretty low. So here are five still-available players the Giants might want to consider -- if, of course, their price is right:

RB LeGarrette Blount (Patriots) - He's 30 years old and his body has taken a beating over the years, so even though he's coming off his first 1,000-yard season since 2010 (1,161 yards), no one thinks he's a No. 1 back anymore. What he is is a 250-pound battering ram and a terrific goal-line back who had 18 touchdowns last season. The Giants, who have been a disaster in goal-line and short-yardage rushing in recent years, sure could use that kind of power in the backfield, and he could be the ideal complement to the smaller, speedier, shiftier, Paul Perkins...

Tags: Johnathan Hankins, Ryan Clady, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (AP)
(AP)

The Giants will pay RB Shane Vereen's $500,000 roster bonus prior to Monday's deadline, ensuring he will be on the roster.

He is due $3.6 million this coming season, with a cap hit of $4.9 million.

The 28-year-old Vereen tore his triceps last September. He returned in December but re-injured his triceps and missed the remainder of the season.

Tags: Shane Vereen
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Oct 9, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; The New York Giants offense huddles during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)
Oct 9, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; The New York Giants offense huddles during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV: 

The Giants haven't been big spenders in the first few days of the NFL's free-agent frenzy, but they have been players, adding a receiver, a blocking tight end, and a starting offensive lineman. Not surprisingly, all their work has been on the side of the ball that struggled the most.

So what's next? There's still work to do as the Giants try to build themselves into a true Super Bowl contender to take advantage of the final few years of Eli Manning's career. And with that in mind, here's another look at some of the biggest questions facing the Giants as they move into free agency's second wave. Some of them have been hovering over the team all offseason. Some of them are new.

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Jan 1, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers offensive guard D.J. Fluker (76) blocks Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins (94) as quarterback Philip Rivers (17) receives the ball during the second half of the game at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chiefs won 37-27. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports (Orlando Jorge Ramirez)
Jan 1, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers offensive guard D.J. Fluker (76) blocks Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins (94) as quarterback Philip Rivers (17) receives the ball during the second half of the game at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chiefs won 37-27. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports (Orlando Jorge Ramirez)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV: 

The top priority for the Giants heading into their offseason figured to be fixing their beleaguered offensive line. On Saturday night, on the third day of free agency, they took their first steps in that direction.

The Giants agreed to terms with D.J. Fluker on a one-year contract, an NFL source confirmed. The deal was reportedly to be worth only $3 million, making it a bargain for the Giants, and giving the former 11th overall pick (in the 2013 draft) a chance to re-establish his value and reset his career.

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 (Matt Kartozian)
(Matt Kartozian)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV: 

The Jets still haven't ruled out bringing Geno Smith back to compete for their starting quarterback job next season. But the Giants may be taking a shot at him first.

Smith, the former Jets second-round pick, is making a free agent visit across town to the Giants on Saturday afternoon, an NFL source confirmed. The Giants are in the market for a backup to Eli Manning, with both Josh Johnson and Ryan Nassib currently unrestricted free agents.

A big part of the visit, according to one source, is so the Giants can get a sense for where the 26-year-old Smith is in his recovery from the torn ACL he suffered last October in his lone start last season with the Jets. In a recent interview with NFL Network, Smith said he was on track to be ready for the start of training camp in July, but likely wouldn't be ready for football activities before that.

Tags: Geno Smith, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (James Lang/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (James Lang/USA Today Sports Images)

The Giants are short on salary cap space. Now they're short on offensive linemen too.

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 (Orlando Jorge Ramirez)
(Orlando Jorge Ramirez)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

With almost no salary cap space left to spend - at least at the moment - the Giants are still trying to upgrade their offensive line. And their first step will be to meet with former first-round pick D.J. Fluker.

The Giants are interested in the 6-5, 339-pound guard/tackle who was released by the Chargers on Tuesday, according to an NFL source, and they are bringing him in for a free agent visit. They are serious about signing him, another source said, assuming the price is right.

Fluker, the 11th overall pick in 2013, would be a big addition for the Giants. Though he never quite lived up to his draft status, he was a solid four-year starter in San Diego. He started all but five games, including 21 at tackle and 28 at guard - exactly the kind of versatility the Giants like to have...

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Oakland Raiders tackle Menelik Watson (71) celebrates as he runs off the field after a 19-16 win over the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. (Jake Roth)
Oakland Raiders tackle Menelik Watson (71) celebrates as he runs off the field after a 19-16 win over the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. (Jake Roth)

The Giants have expressed interest in former Raiders offensive tackle Menelik Watsonaccording to Seth Walder of New York Daily News.

Per Walder, the talks are still in a preliminary stage.

Watson was taken by Oakland in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. After starting 12 games during his first two seasons, Watson tore his Achilles during the 2015 campaign and missed the entire season. The injury seemed to linger last year as the tackle struggled throughout the whole season.

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Jan 1, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; New York Giants place kicker Robbie Gould (5) kicks a field goal against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Jan 1, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; New York Giants place kicker Robbie Gould (5) kicks a field goal against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Giants free agent K Robbie Gould will sign a two-year deal with the 49ers, the team confirmed Thursday night.

New York signed Gould last Oct. 20 after Josh Brown was suspended and ultimately released due to domestic abuse allegations.

The 35-year-old connected on all 10 of his field goal tries and was successful on 20-of-23 extra point attempts in 10 regular season games with the Giants. He remained perfect with two more field goals and a successful extra point attempt in New York's 38-13 Wild Card loss to the Packers.

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Giants addressing needs in FA? 00:02:34
The DNL panel discusses what the Giants biggest remaining needs are in free agency as the NFL New Year officially begins.

The Giants have agreed to terms on a four-year deal worth $18 million with TE/FB Rhett Ellisonreports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

$8 million of the deal will be fully guaranteed.

Ellison, 28, had nine catches for 57 yards and one touchdown last season for the Minnesota Vikings.

Tags: Devon Kennard, Ereck Flowers, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Andrew Weber)
(Andrew Weber)

RB Orleans Darkwa has agreed to a one-year deal with the Giants, reports Kimberly A. Martin of Newsday.

The Giants didn't initially tender a contract to the 25-year-old Darkwa, who was a restricted free agent. He had been set to become an unrestricted free agent today at 4 p.m. 

There had been some discussions about Darkwa returning at a lesser price, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reported last week, but a source recently indicated he was planning to test the free agent market first...

Tags: Orleans Darkwa
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 (Christopher Hanewinckel)
(Christopher Hanewinckel)

Free agent TE Anthony Fasano has agreed to re-sign with the Dolphins, reports Jeff Darlington of ESPN.

Paul Schwartz of the NY Post reported Tuesday that the Giants had interest in Fasano.

Fasano, 32, is used mostly as a run-blocker.

He had eight receptions for 83 yards to go along with two touchdowns in 16 games last season for the Titans, in what was the final year of his two-year deal...

Tags: Larry Donnell, Will Tye
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New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser)
New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser)

WR Brandon Marshall does not believe the Giants' young receivers would have gone to party in Miami following their Week 17 victory over the Redskins had he been a member of the team at the time.

"You know what? No, it doesn't happen," Marshall said on NFL Network's 'Good Morning Football' Thursday morning. "Well, I can't say that. Everyone is different. But I would have been against that, and partly because of my pains, right? I've been in the league so long and I've never made the playoffs. so for me, I'm a guy … I'm in year 11 (in that scenario), and I'm all-in, because I know this opportunity doesn't come around often. But then you have younger guys."

Marshall followed that comment up with an explanation of how a younger football star might think differently that a veteran in such situations.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard
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LM on star receivers joining up 00:03:26
Jon and Marc analyze what impact the veteran WR Brandon Marshall will have on the young Odell Beckham Jr..

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV: 

It may be showtime for the Giants offense now that Brandon Marshall has signed on, but his appearances on Showtime may be over.

Marshall, who had been one of the highest profile Jets the last two years and a weekly panelist on Showtime's "Inside the NFL," said he plans to cut back on his media appearances now that he's signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Giants. It was unclear if that was his choice or something the Giants asked him to do.

But he certainly sounded like he was done with Showtime show.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Ralph Vacchiano
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Marshall's impact on Giants 00:03:13
Marc and Jon debate whether adding a star wideout in Brandon Marshall makes the Giants immediate Super Bowl contenders

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

After 11 seasons in the NFL with not a single taste of the playoffs and a string of mediocre (or worse) quarterbacks throwing him passes, Brandon Marshall had enough. That's why he insisted his trip to free agency wasn't going to be driven by money.

And he said he proved that by signing with the Giants when he had a chance to go elsewhere and make more.

"They definitely didn't offer me the most money," Marshall said on a conference call with the media on Wednesday. "It was probably the least money. It was all about championships, to get straight to the point. It was all about a championship. They presented the best opportunity to be in a championship organization."

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Ralph Vacchiano
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Marshall inks deal with Giants 00:04:14
SNY insider Pat Leonard breaks down what the Brandon Marshall signing means for the Giants' team chemistry.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

The Giants made a much bigger splash into the free agent pool than anyone expected, landing one of the biggest receivers they've had in years.

On the eve of the opening of the free-agent signing period, the Giants signed receiver Brandon Marshall, an 11-year veteran who was released last week by the Jets. The 6-4, 230-pounder is exactly the kind of big target on the outside the Giants have so desperately needed to take some of the heat off of Odell Beckham, Jr..

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Vacc and Pauline on Giants draft 00:03:38
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com discuss the Giants' needs in this year's NFL Draft.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com discuss the Giants' needs in this year's NFL Draft.

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