After an embarrassing two weeks, the New York Giants are very likely only 6 days away from beginning preparations for 2011. With the new year approaching, I thought it would be smart to go through some of the current members of the organization whose futures with the club are either hot button issues or otherwise in doubt. The piece is a long one and it is broken up into three sections: Out/On The Bubble/ In. As always feel free to let GFB know what you think.

OutHC Tom Coughlin: While ragging on Coughlin has been an overused go-to option for writers and pundits league wide lately, the blade is swinging ever closer to his neck after yesterday’s loss. There is an argument for keeping him of course. His tenure thus far in New York has been an upgrade from a bleak stretch of time in the team’s history that spanned from 1992 through 2003. After a rebuilding period in 2004, Coughlin fielded an overall competitive squad from 2005 through 2008 and obviously brought New York an impressive Super Bowl win. But things have not been quite the same for the Giants since jumping out to an 11-1 start in 2008. Following up a Super Bowl run with 3 months of utterly dominant football, the Giants stumbled at home against Philadelphia that season and ultimately lost to the Eagles again in their first appearance of the playoffs. 2009 saw a 5-0 start turn into a 3-5 finish and 2010 saw a historical single game collapse, an unspeakable rash of turnovers, and an overall failure to execute on special teams. Coughlin, who is historically quite reliable when it comes to challenges, blew the Giants final challenge of yesterday’s game on an obvious unfavorable ruling and thus was unable to protest against at a late Eli interception on a key drive that was clearly caught out of bounds.

With the Giants now needing help from Chicago to stumble into the playoffs (a tournament that they really don’t deserve a spot in), Coughlin’s time here may be up. The X-factor is the single year remaining (after this season) on his contract. The Giants would prefer not to allow a head coach to continue his duty with no job security ahead of him (lame duck situation) and with Coughlin’s age and recent performance mixing into the equation, it does not appear that the front office will be willing to recommit to him long term. This is especially true with NFL icon and multiple Super Bowl winning coach Bill Cowher expressing a serious interest in returning to work. Cowher, also a tough-minded coach and proponent of ground game football, would be the perfect fit for a team stocked with talent and ready to be serious contenders immediately. The Giants fit that description. When Coughlin took them over, they declared roster bankruptcy and rebuilt. There will be no need for major overhauls this time and Cowher has expressed interest in being the Giants next leader.

ST Tom Quinn/OC Kevin Gilbride: With Coughlin likely on his way out, these coordinators won’t be far behind. You can make an argument to save Gilbride’s job but the play calling hasn’t been stellar or even consistently effective for that matter. Quinn on the other hand is done regardless. Forget Matt Dodge’s struggles, those are out of the coordinator’s hands. Blocking on specials has been atrocious in 2010. Don’t blame the lack of production on losing Domenik Hixon or the ineffectiveness of Darius Reynaud. Even explosive returners like DJ Ware, Will Blackmon, and Aaron Ross were unable to find any room to make a play this year. Both of these guys will be replaced by whoever the new coach (Cowher) brings in.

C Shaun O’hara: Once a poster boy for a franchise that prides itself on swampland Jersey roots and conservative/hardnosed play, Hillsborough product Shaun O’hara was the key cog on a stellar offensive line. Times have changed. The aging center who arrived in 2004 as part of the revamped Giants roster, sat out 6 games this season due to injury. His absence, despite occurring during a plague of O-line injuries, was actually not a blow to the team’s offensive performance. With Adam Koets and then eventually Rich Seubert proving to be suitable alternates, Shan Andrews and Kevin Boothe helped shore up the left side. It was during this time that both Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs starting enjoying consistent rushing success. O’hara will be entering his 12th NFL season and while he will only be 34 years old, it may be time for him to move on to another squad at least. Barely making it through training camp in 2010, O’hara appears to have “lost a step” on the field and is unable to generate enough momentum to sustain key blocks on the interior. While Adam Koet’s trip to IR denied the Giants an extended look at his abilities and thus a replacement isn’t necessarily on the roster yet, it is very likely that the Rutger’s alum will not be in a Giant uniform in 2011.

KR Darius Reynaud: Acquired in a trade with the Vikings that was the result of a sudden need for Sage Rosenfels following Jim Sorgi’s trip to IR, Reynaud was expected to be an apt fill-in for Domenik Hixon. Instead, Reynaud (who was tossed into the deal with New York as an afterthought) could barely handle signaling for a fair catch let alone muster a sizeable return. Unlike Hixon, he is not an effective option as a receiver either. The writing was on the wall today when Coughlin opted to sit Reynaud despite the unavailability of a true PR option today because of Will Blackmon’s injury. Don’t count on Reynaud making an appearance in camp next spring.

WR Michael Clayton: If he hasn’t been used as a receiver yet, it is unlikely he ever will. So far, Clayton’s contributions have been limited to blocking on run plays and special teams duties. It is hard to imagine him being a part of a crowded receiver competition next spring.

WR Duke Calhoun: Calhoun didn’t make the roster as a receiver. He squeaked into the 53rd spot because the Giants felt he could be a solid contributor on special teams because of his athletic build and quickness. They were wrong. If he couldn’t stand out this year, a season where no one had stepped up until Michael Coe and Devin Thomas came to town in late November, he is expendable for next year.

QB Jim Sorgi: Sorgi was brought in to be the immediate backup behind Eli Manning. Though he wasn’t given much time to show his stuff, his body of work in the preseason was not impressive before his injury. Ideally, a veteran backup QB has playing experience and Sorgi doesn’t since he spent the bulk of his career behind the other Manning in Indianapolis. A damaged arm and no real experience won’t be enough to bring him back.

FB Madison Hedgecock: See Bear Pascoe.

DE/OLB Mathias Kiwanuka: The neck injury that Kiwanuka suffered is very similar to what ended the career of a relatively young Antonio Pierce during the 2009 season. Therefore, not only is Kiwi out, he quite possibly will never play professional football again. This is a blow for the Giants because you would have to think that they were hoping to not have to worry too much about the DE position after spending several high draft picks on it recently. However, the key to the Giants defensive success (when they don’t collapse) is rotating pass rushers so that they stay fresh throughout the season and ideally playoffs. With Osi Umenyiora admitting that his chronic hip problems will eventually force him to take time away from the game, the Giants may very well be down to Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck as the main event with just Dave Tollefson in 3rd. Either a draft a pick or a free agent pickup will be needed to round out this position group should Kiwanuka be unable to return.

BubbleWR/KR Domenik Hixon: I know it seems crazy to think the Giants wouldn’t want him back after a disastrous season in the return game….and I agree it is. Of course the Giants will want to find a way to resign the soon to be FA Hixon. The catch is, Hixon may not want to return. Hixon started training camp in 2009 as a starting receiver opposite Steve Smith. He had shown flashes of potential at the position in ’08 but also had a key drop in a fateful game against Philadelphia as December began. Mario Manningham’s quick transformation from bumbling rookie to nifty threat with Amani Toomer-like footwork eventually sent Hixon back to the reserve ranks behind Hakeem Nicks. He headed into 2010’s camp as a star return man but governed by a 4th at best opportunity on the depth chart. Assuming that he makes a full recovery from his ACL injury (if it ever will fully heal it will be before camp because the injury will be over 13 months old by then), Hixon could find himself receiving attention from other teams that have openings at the second and third receiver positions. Teams like the Rams, Browns and Bears among several others could all use some help at receiver. Many of the options will be legitimate contenders but even if they aren’t, the young Hixon already has a Super Bowl ring to fall back on and a chance to do more than return might lure him away from Jerry Reese’s best maneuvers. He’s on the bubble because the Giants will do everything they can to keep him but his status is far from certain. The next bubble selection will have a lot to do with Hixon’s future.

WR Steve Smith: Steve Smith followed up a career year in ’09 with a slower but steady start in 2010. Teaming with Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham, Smith rounded out the top three receiving rotation referred to as “Jet Blue.” Before injuring his pectoral muscle in November, Smith had transitioned to a more possession type role and served as Eli’s main target when short gains were needed to move the chains. He wasn’t considerably tall or the fastest receiver on the field but his reliable hands (especially in traffic) helped draw defenders’ attention away from the explosive Nicks and Manningham. His latest injury, an MCL tear, could possibly keep him out until next preseason or later. Even then, his conditioning/speed/cutting ability may be still hampered. Add in the fact that he was playing in the final year of his rookie contract this season and his status is now a big question mark. What do the Giants do if Smith is unready to compete in training camp? What if he will be available but not quite 100% ready talent wise until 2012? Even if his job is claimed to be open for him when he can return, a strong showing by another receiver in training camp (a receiver that is healthy and ready to contribute immediately) won’t be ignored or unrewarded.

If Smith won’t be 100% ready for a return by July, the most likely scenario will be that he signs a 1 year deal with the Giants (they won’t want to give him away for free and other teams will not be as willing to shell out a big contract yet) and begins the season on the PUP with hopes of returning by November and earning a long term deal with New York or another club in 2012. His absence would create a hole in the top 3 rotation, a role that Hixon may stick around to fight for. Even then however, he will be battling a healthy Ramses Barden who will be given a shot to earn a more prominent role. Barden may ultimately be the better option over Smith anyway because of his size. If he can stay injury and mistake free (if his pre-injury performance against Dallas was an accurate preview), a big target for Manning to throw to could persuade the Giants to downgrade Smith’s offensive role. As the past two seasons have shown, Manning plays better down the stretch when he has a tall receiver that he can just throw the ball somewhat towards to bail him out of a jam.

WR Derek Hagan: Despite being cut after camp this season, Hagan was rushed back to duty after Steve Smith and Ramses Barden were injured. While Hagan lacks the speed and big play ability of the current “Jet Blue” trio, he has reliable hands and is quite sizable for a receiver. He is on the bubble because as a receiver, he’s the equivalent of a QB saddled with the label of “game manager.” He won’t lose the game for you, but he won’t necessarily win it either. Should Barden prove that he’s finally learned how to catch the ball consistently and that he can stay out of the trainer’s office, the quota for large Big Blue receivers might be filled without Hagan.

LB Keith Bulluck: The accomplished OLB from Syracuse made a name for himself in Tennessee after a decade of terrorizing offenses. A year ago he suffered an ACL injury and likely signed on with the Giants this summer before it had fully healed. Allowed to play his natural outside position after Jonathan Goff proved himself in August, Bulluck is currently near the end of a 1 year deal with his hometown team. The Giants had hoped that Clint Sintim would progress this year to the point that he could be utilized as a starting weak side backer but instead the UVA alum took a step back and was contributed mainly on special teams until his own ACL injury ended his season two weeks ago. Moral of story, Bulluck may get invited to stick around while the Giants give Sintim one more year to groom. If Sintim is healthy enough to return on time for camp, the Giants won’t likely feel comfortable handing him the keys before a couple months of marked improvement. If Bulluck wants to keep playing, the Giants should be happy to have him

DC Perry Fewell: He’s on the bubble because his performance throughout the majority of the season was quite impressive and a better position may open up elsewhere. However, his December collapse will likely keep him from obtaining a head coaching position for a bit longer.

InQB Eli Manning: I know I’m stating the obvious here so hold on and let me explain. Manning’s overall successes between late 2007 and present day; including a Super Bowl win/MVP, a 11-1 start in 2008, an over 4,000 yard season in 2009, and 30 TD tosses in 2010; have helped cushion the blow of his over 20 interceptions this year. A franchise QB with a historically lucrative contract, Manning isn’t going anywhere in 2011. He is on this list because of his overall future.

Three years ago, the great debate regarding Eli and Peyton had serious fuel to burn with. Both Mannings had won their first and only Super Bowls thus far in consecutive years. Eli had engineered a once in a lifetime miracle drive that helped beat the highly favored team that had also tried to stand in the way of Peyton’s Super Bowl hopes only a year before. The younger brother had also managed to glide through three playoff games without so much an intercepted pass (no really, take my word for it). His lone Super Bowl interception was the result of a ball thrown directly into the chest of a rookie Steve Smith who simply bobbled the ball into a defender’s grasp. As I’ve already gone over, 2008 was an overall success despite a late season loss of momentum and 2009 saw Eli have the best statistical season of his career despite a dismal record 8-8 record. But now, not only are the Giants caving inward, their QB’s 30 touchdown passes are nearly rivaled by his 26 turnovers. Peyton on the other hand has overcome mid season struggles to right the ship of a shambled offense and place the Colts within one win of the playoffs. A poor statistical showing for Eli in 2011 (especially one plagued with poor decisions and turnovers) could be a large straw on a tiring camel’s back. Perhaps placing Eli on the bubble this time next year won’t seem like a crazy notion if his falters carry into a consecutive season. True, a lot of improvement is needed from his targets and route runners, but improvement must occur for Manning to see the end of his blockbuster contract.

TE Kevin Boss: Why is Boss in question? Inconsistency. Boss has the size and wingspan needed to be a Pro Bowl caliber TE. Unfortunately, mental mistakes severely hampered him this season. After a minor bump in the road on the injury front early in the season, Boss has proven to be more durable than ever in 2010. Unfortunately he has also proven to be a slow starter. While he may make a clutch catch or a big play somewhat regularly, that big play usually follows a bad first half of dropped balls and other slip ups. Against Jacksonville, for example, Boss dropped two passes and committed a critical holding penalty that erased a Manningham TD early on. He would later rebound to make the game winning score after a brilliant stiff arm move. He’s big and tall and that’s just how Manning likes him. He’s unquestionably tough and a great ambassador for the team on and off the field but he needs polish. Boss would be well served to spend several weekends this offseason tossing the ball around with Eli so that he can master his craft and have a breakout 2011. The Giants need upgraded play at the TE position.

G/C Rich Seubert: Many wrote Seubert off going into this season. The longest tenured Giant and a fan favorite, Seubert fought back from a severely fractured leg in 2003 to return to the starting lineup four years later at left guard. As part of one of the most dominant offensive lines of all time, Seubert took home a Super Bowl title in 2007 and helped both Derrick Ward and Brandon Jacobs reach the 1000 yard rushing milestone in 2008. After playing through pain in 2009 and suffering a broken hand in training camp this August amidst talk of sending him to the bench in favor of Will Beatty, the veteran lineman rivals Kenny Phillips for comeback of the year. Not only did he hold down his starting guard spot, he also proved to be a more than serviceable center when both Shaun O’hara and Adam Koets were lost. While his partner, O’hara is likely headed towards the door, Seubert may just have made a big enough impression to ensure a shot at next year’s starting O-line as well. That said, his presence on next year’s roster may once again be as a backup as the Giants will be eager to give Shawn Andrews an opportunity to entrench himself as a long-term option inside of David Diehl.

RB Brandon Jacobs: It looked like the 265 lb monster was headed towards the door earlier this season when a dismal 2009 and a demotion in 2010 left the big back looking more and more like Ron Dayne every snap. A mid to late season surge in the running game thanks to the contributions of both he and Ahmad Bradshaw will likely help keep Jacobs in a Giants uniform. However, New York would be wise to pick up some insurance for their feature backs. That insurance may already be on the roster in DJ Ware but don’t be surprised to see New York look to bolster this position group in the draft. Also, Bradshaw will obviously be offered a contract extension shortly (scheduled to be a FA) and there is no reason yet to believe that he won’t opt to stay with the Giants should they meet his salary requirements.

WR Devin Thomas: In 2008, Thomas was a rising star out of Michigan State who was looking to make a name for himself on the Redskins roster. Small but versatile, the athletic Thomas has lots of potential and was reportedly high on the Giants draft board but was made unavailable before they were able to select him. After barely more than two lackluster seasons, the Redskins released Thomas a couple months ago. After a couple week stint in Carolina, Thomas was released again and eventually added to the Giants roster to help shore up a battered receiving corps. He made an impact in his first game in a blue jersey, ironically against Washington. He blocked a punt deep in the opponent’s territory and provided a special teams spark that the team has been lacking overall throughout the season. Thomas will be likely be offered a short contract extension to see what he can do both on offense as well as on special teams with a full training camp of playbook memorization behind him. Thomas should have a legitimate shot at becoming a major weapon in the passing game next season. While the Giants may not be a long-term fit for him, he will need a place like New York to establish himself as a good investment for other offenses.

WR Victor Cruz: It is unfortunate that a rash of injuries at other positions forced the Giants to place Cruz on IR instead of letting him wait out a hamstring injury. Being activated only for games that already featured a healthy top 4 receivers, Cruz was not given much opportunity to show if he could run with first string defenses. The answer would have likely been no. While the young player displayed great ball skills and impressive speed against 3rd string opposition this past August, he has yet to be tested against skilled defensive backs. Still, he is explosive and likely full of potential talent waiting to be tapped. The Giants like him and the fans will riot if he gets cut without another season to prove himself. Who knows…with Smith hampered he could very well be a future Giants starter. Regardless of his depth chart positioning though he will be returning in ’11.

FB Bear Pascoe: He’s earned it folks. Despite getting cut after camp in favor of a 1 ½ TE roster (Travis Beckum), Pascoe found himself quickly called back into duty from the lowly practice squad when Kevin Boss suffered a concussion. What could have been a brief tour of duty on the main roster became a long-term stay when Madison Hedgecock went down with a hamstring injury. Pascoe filled in beautifully at fullback and provided more than just reliable run blocking. Pascoe’s skills as a tight end gave him the ability to provide the out of the backfield threat that the Giants had always tried to get from Hedgecock. Eventually banished to IR, it is unlikely Hedgecock returns to the Giants in 2011. Pascoe won’t be going anywhere and the Giants never spend a roster spot on a true backup FB.

P Matt Dodge: Dodge has talent. What he doesn’t have is consistency. For those of you (like me) who are worried that if he isn’t comfortable by now he may never be, I have a small piece of consolation. Think about how many young, inexperienced punters you’ve seen in the league (compared to all other positions) over the past couple of decades. There haven’t been many. Most of us are accustomed to experienced veterans handling their jobs well. Only time will tell if that will eventually be Dodge. He’ll get one more year to settle down and my guess is that he’ll have a successful campaign next in 2011.

Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, Devin Thomas, Domenik Hixon, Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Keith Bulluck, Kevin Boss, Mario Manningham, Mathias Kiwanuka, Matt Dodge, New York Giants, Ramses Barden, Steve Smith, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz
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The 2019 New York Giants' defense will look a lot like the 2015-2017 Arizona Cardinals' defense.

Second-year Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher oversaw the Cardinals' defense for three years, which included two seasons of top-10 finishes in yards and points against. When the unit was at its best in 2015, a year that saw the Cardinals make the NFC Championship Game, it was known for being an attacking group that blitzed from all angles and stopped the run.

Although Bettcher did not see the same success in his first year as Giants' defensive coordinator, he has brought over a healthy amount of ex-Cardinals he coached in Arizona. After signing Kareem Martin and Josh Mauro last year, the Giants added three more Redbirds this spring: linebacker Markus Golden, safety Antoine Bethea and defensive lineman Olsen Pierre. Although Mauro has moved on, Martin is still around, giving the Giants' defense a distinct Arizona feel.

Tags: Michael Thomas
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 (Dale Zanine)
(Dale Zanine)

For Saquon BarkleyKobe Bryant is his G.O.A.T. 

That's how he addressed his UNINTERRUPTED video, where he read aloud a letter he wrote to Bryant. He wanted to thank Bryant for embodying his signature "Mamba Mentality" -- a phrase that he writes on his cleats before every game. 

Well, Bryant acknowleged him via Twitter, and told the young running back that it's "your turn."

Tags: Saquon Barkley
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Dec 23, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) signals to his running backs against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)
Dec 23, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) signals to his running backs against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)

Browns QB Baker Mayfield is pumped about having Odell Beckham Jr. to throw to this season. And while speaking about Beckham coming to Cleveland, he mixed in a dig at Giants fans.

"He's here to work, and he wants to be surrounded by people who love him and support him and allow him to be himself," Mayfield told ESPN's Mina Kimes. "He's here to play in front of fans who actually care, who will actually show up to every game and pack the stadium and love him for who he is." 

Some facts when it comes to Mayfield's claim that Browns fans "pack the stadium" ...

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Danny Abriano
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Sep 9, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates his touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars with offensive tackle Nate Solder (76) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. The touchdown was the first of his NFL career. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 9, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates his touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars with offensive tackle Nate Solder (76) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. The touchdown was the first of his NFL career. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are some who decided the Giants' 2019 season would be a disaster the moment they decided to bring Eli Manning back for one more year. Others became convinced they were tanking the moment they made quarterback Daniel Jones the sixth overall pick in the draft.

The truth, though, is nobody knows what the Giants really are and what will happen in 2019 until the games start for real -- and that's still about three months away.

But it's never too early to make some crazy guesses. So here are five bold predictions for what to expect from the Giants this year.

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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The Madden NFL franchise released all of their indiviual and team ratings on Monday, and though it was already known, Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones finished very low on the list. 

Jones had an abysmal grade of 63, which is the lowest grade among rookie quarterbacks. Even undrafted free agent QB Tyree Jackson has a 64 rating for the Bills to start the year. 

So does that make Jones the worst rookie quarterback in Madden history? 

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning
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Jun 12, 2018; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Kamrin Moore (39) and defensive back Marcus Williams (43) participate in drills during minicamp at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports (Derick E. Hingle)
Jun 12, 2018; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Kamrin Moore (39) and defensive back Marcus Williams (43) participate in drills during minicamp at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports (Derick E. Hingle)

The Giants announced the suspension of S Kam Moore on Monday following his role in an alleged domestic violence-related incident last Thursday.  

According to NJ.com, Moore was arrested and charged with third-degree aggravated assault after allegedly punching a woman and knocking her out unconscious by stepping on her neck and applying pressure.

The woman, who is Moore's girlfriend, said that she was arguing with Moore and pushed him which caused his reaction, the report said. She walked into the police department on Saturday to file her complaint, as police weren't called to the scene on Thursday night. 

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Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Football fans look forward to the release of each year's installment of the Madden NFL franchise, but Giants fans may want to play with a different team in this year's game.

The Madden NFL 20 player and team ratings were released on Monday, and the Giants have the lowest team rating in the NFC at 77. That's the second-lowest rating only in front of the Dolphins (74). Their NFC East rivals in the Eagles and Cowboys are rated much higher at 89 and 88 respectively.

The Giants' gem on their roster is RB Saquon Barkley, who led the Giants with a 91 overall (and was ranked the fifth-best running back in the game). Other than that, the ratings weren't too kind to the Giants.

Tags: Aldrick Rosas, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Kyle Lauletta, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Zak DeOssie
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Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers answers questions from media during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers answers questions from media during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

It is no secret Giants GM Dave Gettleman thinks highly of safety Jabrill Peppers. It is part of the reason he followed through on the trade that sent Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns. 

At least one of Peppers' former teammates in Cleveland seems to share the same sentiment as Gettleman. 

Browns tight end David Njoku, who was conducting a football camp in Cedar Grove, NJ on Saturday, is excited for what Peppers can bring to the Giants. 

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) dances before a game against New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) dances before a game against New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Giants may have only gotten to the playoffs just once with Odell Beckham Jr. on the team, but Browns tight end David Njoku believes the former Big Blue receiver may be the missing piece to take the Browns to the next level. 

"Once we realized we had him locked in, we're excited," Njoku said at a football camp he runs in Cedar Grove, NJ, per NJ.com. "We have a great team. It's up to us to take advantage of this opportunity."

Njoku, who was a rookie during the winless 0-16 season in 2017, began seeing a shift in the Browns culture last season with Baker Mayfield at quarterback and other new offensive weapons, such as Jarvis Landry and Nick Chubb to help lead the team to a 7-8-1 season. 

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley
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Jan 26, 2019; Mobile, AL, United States; North defensive back Corey Ballentine of Washburn (1) before the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports (Chuck Cook)
Jan 26, 2019; Mobile, AL, United States; North defensive back Corey Ballentine of Washburn (1) before the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports (Chuck Cook)

Police have charged an 18-year-old man in the April 28 shooting in Topeka, Kansas that wounded Giants cornerback Corey Ballentine and killed his friend, Dwane Simmons.

Francisco Alejandro Mendez was charged on Friday with seven felony counts, including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and five accounts of aggravated robbery, according to Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay and first reported by ESPN. 

Police connected the crimes to two related aggravated robberies that occurred on April 27 and April 30. Mendez is being held on $1 million bond and is scheduled to be in court Monday. 

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Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ; General overall view of MetLife Stadium during an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New YorK Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ; General overall view of MetLife Stadium during an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New YorK Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The NFL is starting to get creative in its continued pursuit for an 18-game schedule. 

According to Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, one idea being proposed among owners is to limit players to a maximum of 16 regular season games. That would mean, by rule, the Giants and Jets would have to pick at least two games for players like Saquon Barkley and Sam Darnold to sit out. 

The NFLPA has pushed back against an 18-game schedule, largely because the toll an extra two games would place on the players' bodies would be too much to handle on top of an already grueling 16-game schedule. Giants long snapper and NFLPA vice president Zak DeOssie voiced these concerns back in June. 

Tags: Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Zak DeOssie
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Golden Tate on Jones and Giant 00:01:33
Golden Tate has early praise for Daniel Jones. Also, the wide out didn't think about being compared to Odell Beckham, but isn't worried.

Wide receiver Golden Tate has been a dynamic playmaker throughout his NFL career, and he's hoping to bring that part of his game with him to the Giants' offense.

With Training Camp just a few weeks away, Tate spoke recently about what he saw from rookie QB Daniel Jones during minicamp, and why he's not worried about his play being compared to that of Odell Beckham Jr.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning looks to pass against Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning looks to pass against Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Giants made some big changes heading into the 2019 season -- the obvious being the departure of stars like Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins, and Olivier Vernon. But despite those losses, the Giants are confident that their change will be for the better starting this year. 

Will it be enough to fight for an NFC East division title?

Many know how tough the NFC East can be, with no team winning the division in back-to-back seasons since the Eagles won four straight from 2001-2004. The Cowboys were the winners last season at 10-6, but can they repeat? 

Let's see where the Giants sit on the list heading into training camp in a couple weeks...

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Lorenzo Carter, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, Scott Thompson
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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

Both of New York's football teams have potential MVP candidates in their backfield, according to Bovada. Only one of the two have a player under center that was given odds, though.

Odds Shark released Bovada's latest odds for the NFL's 2019 MVP Award and both Jets' running back Le'Veon Bell and Giants' running back Saquon Barkley were listed by the odds makers. Both landed with +5000 odds to take home the top-individual silverware next season.

The only rusher with higher odds to land the honor was Alvin Kamara from the New Orleans Saints.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley
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Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) points to his family on the sideline during warmups before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) points to his family on the sideline during warmups before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Saquon Barkley can add another accolade to his already-illustrious young NFL career.

At Wednesday's ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, the Giants running back took home the award for Best Breakthrough Athlete, edging out Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, and female tennis player Naomi Osaka

Tags: Saquon Barkley
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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Eli Manning during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Eli Manning during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Giants GM Dave Gettleman believes his culture overhaul of the Giants' locker room will result in more wins. Coach Pat Shurmur believes Eli Manning has just enough left in his right arm to make his team a contender. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher believes he can piece together enough of a pass rush to help the Giants make a run, too.

They are, if nothing else, dreamers. They believe in the potential of their team. But are they realistic or are they delusional about the roster they've created?

Here's a way-too-early look at how the Giants' 2019 season just might go…

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A general view of MetLife Stadium prior to the game between the Houston Texans and the New York Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports  (Kirby Lee)
Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A general view of MetLife Stadium prior to the game between the Houston Texans and the New York Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Giants haven't played their home games in New York since the 1975 season, when they called Shea Stadium home. That came two years after their final game at Yankee Stadium, with one season playing home games in New Haven in-between. 

They've called New Jersey home since then, playing home games first at Giants Stadium and now at MetLife Stadium. Wouldn't that make them the New Jersey Giants?

Presidential candidate Cory Booker, who is a Senator representing New Jersey after serving as the Mayor of Newark, has some ideas...

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Apr 27, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Austin Droogsma of Florida State poses after winning the shot put during the 124th Penn Relays at Franklin Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Apr 27, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Austin Droogsma of Florida State poses after winning the shot put during the 124th Penn Relays at Franklin Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Each year at training camp, there always seems to be that one player you want to make the 53-man roster out of the 90 men that show up on Day 1. Well, for many, that players just might have to be offensive lineman Austin Droogsma. 

Droogsma certainly has the height and weight of an offensive lineman (6-foot-4, 345 pounds), but that isn't what he played at Florida State. Instead, Droogsma was focused on his track and field career as a shot-putter. He was one of the best in the NCAA, finishing fourth at the indoor championships in 2018. 

But he figured his sports days were over, as he looked for a real world job following graduation. That is until the Giants came calling. 

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Nov 25, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants middle linebacker B.J. Goodson (93) walks out of the tunnel before game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Nov 25, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants middle linebacker B.J. Goodson (93) walks out of the tunnel before game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

A few weeks ago during Giants minicamp, we profiled five dark horse players who turned heads. At the end of the day though, every football player knows that, while minicamp standouts are nice stories, the real competition starts in training camp.

Big Blue training camp starts in a little over two weeks. It's a 90-man competition for 53 spots, and more than a few veterans will be left behind if they don't put up a good showing.

Here are five guys who are on the hot seat for the Giants: 

Tags: B.J. Goodson, Cody Latimer, Corey Coleman, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman
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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants let a lot of big-name, big-talent players go this offseason. In fact, Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins and Olivier Vernon were easily three of the most important players the Giants had.

How will they survive without them? The answer to that will be provided by the performances of several key players this season.

So here's a look at the Giants' 10 most important players for 2019:

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Landon Collins, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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A general view of a New York Giants helmet on the turf before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)
A general view of a New York Giants helmet on the turf before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

The late Jared Lorenzen had a much bigger impact on the Giants than one might have thought. 

Despite attempting just eight passes in his career, Lorenzen played a significant role in arguably the greatest play in Giants' history. 

In Super Bowl XLII against the undefeated Patriots, Eli Manning escaped the grasp of the Patriots' pass rush to find David Tyree down field for the famous Helmet Catch, but Manning may not have been able to make that escape if not for Lorenzen. 

 

Tags: Eli Manning
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A general view of a New York Giants helmet on the turf before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)
A general view of a New York Giants helmet on the turf before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Giants QB Jared Lorenzen has unfortunately lost his battle with health issues, as the family announced his passing on Wednesday at age 38. 

Lorenzen was admitted to the hospital last Friday with an infection as well as dealing with kidney and heart issues. He was battling them while in an intensive care unit, but he couldn't prevail. 

Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones released a statement from Lorenzen's family...

Tags: Eli Manning, Scott Thompson
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May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning answers questions from media during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning answers questions from media during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

You don't have to remind Eli Manning how old he is. Entering his 16th year in the NFL this season, the veteran signal caller is well aware of how young his teammates are compared to his 38-year-old self. 

He's reminded of it when he enters the quarterbacks room at the team facility in East Rutherford, when sixth overall pick Daniel Jones is sitting right there awaiting his turn to take over the Giants (or so the team hopes). 

That transition isn't expected to happen this season. The Giants are entrusting Manning to lead the way on offense yet again, and he's fully prepared to do so. Because on and off the field around his teammates, Manning does feel young again...

Tags: Eli Manning, Sterling Shepard, Scott Thompson
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning reacts after throwing a interception to Indianapolis Colts free safety Malik Hooker during the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar via USA TODAY NETWORK)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning reacts after throwing a interception to Indianapolis Colts free safety Malik Hooker during the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar via USA TODAY NETWORK)

No matter how much money ESPN offered Peyton Manning to do "Monday Night Football," nothing was going to outweigh the price of brotherly love. 

According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, two sources close to Manning revealed that the future Hall of Fame quarterback declined a lucrative deal in April to join the "Monday Night Football" booth this season largely because he did not want to analyze Eli Manning

Peyton was offered the opportunity to join the booth in April, but the Giants are scheduled to appear on "Monday Night Football" twice this season and Eli's decline over the last few years has been a focal point of the team. That should be amplified even greater this season with sixth overall pick Daniel Jones waiting in the wings. 

Tags: Eli Manning
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Aug 14, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Detailed view of a New York Giants helmet on the sidelines in a preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports (Andrew Weber)
Aug 14, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Detailed view of a New York Giants helmet on the sidelines in a preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports (Andrew Weber)

Former New York Giants quarterback Jared Lorenzen has been hospitalized with an infection, as well as kidney and heart issues. Lorenzen, 38, has been in the hospital since Friday with his family by his side, they announced in a statement. 

According to the family's statement, Lorenzen had not been feeling well before being admitted to the intensive care unit.


Nov 12, 2018; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) prepares to take the snap against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Nov 12, 2018; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) prepares to take the snap against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Eli Manning is undoubtedly a glass half-full kind of guy. 

The Giants quarterback expressed optimism that the offense can be better in 2019 than it was last season, despite the team's decision to trade away Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns. 

"I think we can be productive and score more points and be a better offense," Manning told NFL Network this weekend. 

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr.
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New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones watches Eli Manning during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones watches Eli Manning during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

If Pat Shurmur is leaving the door open for a quarterback competition, Eli Manning isn't buying it. 

The Giants quarterback told NFL Network's Rhett Lewis in an interview that will air Friday night that he does not think there is a quarterback competition between himself and first-round pick Daniel Jones. 

"I mean no, I don't feel like it's a competition," he said at the Manning Passing Academy. "I feel like I've got to do my job and I've got to compete every day and try to get better every day. That's the way it's been my whole life and that's just the way I've always approached practice every day to improve, to earn my place on the team, to earn the respect of the teammates and do it each year."

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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

After the Jets spent big money this summer, making splashes with the additions of Le'Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, Jamison Crowder and Quinnen Williams, there has been a renewed buzz around Florham Park.

Meanwhile, their stadium-mates, the Giants, continued their roster revamp in controversial fashion - they said goodbye to stars Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins, drafted a quarterback sixth overall and turned the keys over to an extremely young defense.

While the Giants are still rebuilding, the Jets are going all-in with a young quarterback, a budding defense and a new coach.

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard
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May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants corner back Sam Beal answers questions from media during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants corner back Sam Beal answers questions from media during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Of the many position battles at Giants training camp, the cornerbacks competition may be the most intriguing to watch this season. 

Giants GM Dave Gettleman brought in three rookies in the 2019 NFL Draft, all of which will be vying for a starting role opposite veteran incumbent Janoris Jenkins.

The biggest spotlight will shine on Georgia product Deandre Baker, who the Giants traded back into the first round to snag. There is also Notre Dame's Julian Love -- arguably one of the top steals in the Draft -- and Washburn's Corey Ballentine, who will certainly be a fan favorite to make the team after the unfortunate events that saw his best friend shot and killed, while he was left in the hospital as well. 

Tags: Janoris Jenkins, Michael Thomas, Scott Thompson
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Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) makes a catch during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) makes a catch during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Say what you want about your opinion on the Giants trading away star WR Odell Beckham Jr. His former teammates miss him. 

"Just his presence," Sterling Shepard told The Post's Paul Schwartz, adding that there has been an adjustment period to get used to him not in the locker room. "He's a great guy, he's loved around this facility. Just his presence, I guess."

Beckham has always been one of a kind since entering the league, and it showed in his awe-inspiring play that was matched with an exuberant personality as well. Whether it was making his signature one-handed grabs like it was just another day on the gridiron, or dancing in around practice with players like Shepard and Saquon Barkley, Beckham was always keeping things light and fun. 

Tags: Cody Latimer, Evan Engram, Odell Beckham Jr., Russell Shepard, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Scott Thompson
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Sep 18, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) screams before a game against the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 18, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) screams before a game against the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Odell Beckham Jr. is attempting to smooth over his comments about the Giants in a Complex Magazine interview earlier this week. 

After revealing that he was never going to live up to his potential "mentally, physically, spiritually," in New York, the Browns receiver tweeted multiple times on Saturday afternoon about his love for New York and the Giants organization, but also thanked the "haters" he dealt with, too. 

"I'm thankful GOD gave me and opportunity to play my first years where he did," Beckham tweeted. "I'm thankful for every memory and experience I had there. The good and the bad. I'm thankful for every hater and supporter, for every fan. I will always have luv 4 that place. But we ALL have moved on."

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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Offensive Rookie of the Year winner Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants during media availabilities for the NFL Honors show at the Fox Theatre. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Offensive Rookie of the Year winner Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants during media availabilities for the NFL Honors show at the Fox Theatre. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Baker Mayfield is true to his word. 

The Browns quarterback followed through on a friendly wager he had with Giants running back Saquon Barkley on who will win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

The two agreed that the loser would have to buy the winner a chain, but the loser gets to pick what the chain says. 

 

Tags: Saquon Barkley
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Oct 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) runs to the locker room during the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)
Oct 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) runs to the locker room during the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)

The Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns three months ago, but the star receiver is still not done talking about his former team. 

Beckham, who has expressed some bitterness with the Giants since being traded, vented some more about Big Blue in a Q&A with Complex Magazine this week where he sounded as if he was the one who wanted out of New York. 

"I just felt with the Giants I was just stuck at a place that wasn't working for me anymore," he said in a Q&A with Complex Magazine. "I felt like I wasn't going to be able to reach my full potential there; mentally, physically, spiritually, everything I felt capable of doing, I just couldn't see it happening there.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr.
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May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) speaks to media during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)
May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) speaks to media during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)

Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones has seemed unflappable since being selected No. 6 overall in the NFL Draft. And his demeanor hasn't changed now that he's heard boos at Yankee Stadium before taking a single snap for Big Blue.

"I certainly don't pay a whole lot of attention to it," Jones said Tuesday during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show . "You're aware of it. I'm focused on what we're doing here and focused on trying to practice as well as I could these past six weeks and show some progress over these six weeks. So, at the end of the day, I'm grateful to be part of this franchise, get this opportunity and looking forward to keeping it going."

After getting booed on Monday night by what amounted a smattering of a subset of fans in the Bronx, two of Jones' teammates came to his defense.

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 (SNY)
(SNY)

Monday night at Yankee Stadium, Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones was enjoying the Yankees and Rays game when he was showed on the jumbrotron in between innings. But instead of cheers for the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft from the Giants fans in attendance, he heard a chorus of boos instead

Well, his teammates aren't too happy about that. 

Tight end Evan Engram quote tweeted our news story about the incident, and he wants an explanation from the fans...

Tags: Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley
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May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback draft pick Daniel Jones (8) looks on during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports  (Sarah Stier)
May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback draft pick Daniel Jones (8) looks on during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)

It did not take long for Giants QB Daniel Jones to experience his first Bronx Cheer. 

Big Blue's rookie quarterback was at Monday's Yankees game against the Rays when he was showed on the Yankee Stadium jumbotron and was welcomed with a chorus of boos, according to those in attendance at the game. 

Jones, 22, has not even been a member of the Giants for two months despite the harsh greeting by New York. 

Tags: Eli Manning
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Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones (8) and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) warm up during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones (8) and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) warm up during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants ended the offseason feeling pretty good about themselves, even though they arguably spent the last five months losing more talent than they gained. They are big believers in addition by subtraction, and they feel they've added some pretty good pieces, too.

It'll be a few more months until we know whether GM Dave Gettleman's plan was genius or ill-conceived, and whether his big makeover of the team's culture will result in any more wins. But during the spring organized team activities and mini-camp, there were a few hints about which direction the Giants were headed.

So here are 5 things we've learned about the Giants this spring:

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants offensive lineman Jon Halapio (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants offensive lineman Jon Halapio (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

When Jon Halapio beat out Brett Jones for the starting center job on the Giants' offensive line last training camp, expectations were high for the 27-year-old. 

He didn't have much of a chance to live up to them, going down with a fractured ankle during in Week 2 against the Cowboys and missing the remainder of the season. Halapio watched from the sidelines as the team stumbled to a 5-11 record and the play of the offensive line initially drew criticism, before continuity led to more rushing success for Saquon Barkley later in the season. 

"He was really playing well for us before he got hurt a year ago," coach Pat Shurmur said earlier this offseason. "So we had high hopes for him last season. It appears he has come back 100 percent and is back in there just like he was when he left us."

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Jan 3, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (88) reacts after a first down catch against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. The Eagles won 35-30. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
Jan 3, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (88) reacts after a first down catch against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. The Eagles won 35-30. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

It has been four years since Hakeem Nicks played football professionally, but the former Giants wide receiver hopes he still has something left in the tank. 

All it took was a little push from Eli Manning to find out. 

Nicks worked out at the XFL's "Summer Showcase" on Friday at Montclair State University in front of XFL New York/New Jersey coach Kevin Gilbride, Nicks' former offensive coordinator, hoping to make a return to professional football. 

Tags: Eli Manning
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Sep 2, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Western Michigan Broncos defensive back Sam Beal (1) intercepts a pass intended for Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jalen Greene (10) during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Western Michigan 49-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Sep 2, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Western Michigan Broncos defensive back Sam Beal (1) intercepts a pass intended for Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jalen Greene (10) during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Western Michigan 49-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The 2019 New York Giants season is rapidly approaching, and there is still a lot to be sorted out along the depth chart. One of the best parts of minicamp and summer workouts is finding out which potential dark horses have a chance to make the 53-man roster and make an impact.

Here are five guys who have stood out so far:

Corey Coleman (WR/KR):

Tags: Alec Ogletree, B.J. Goodson, Saquon Barkley
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New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Former Giants WR Hakeem Nicks isn't done with his football career just yet. 

The XFL is hosting Summer showcases all over the country to find the best players for their inaugural season in 2020. And the Super Bowl champion will be among the participants in the New York tryout on Friday, according to the official Twitter account. 

Nicks last played in the NFL on a contract with the Saints. However, he was waived on Aug. 8, 2016 and hasn't been in the league since. But the 31-year-old isn't about to hang up his cleats for good just yet. 

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Pat Shurmur might as well have fired a starter's pistol into the air on Tuesday to signal the beginning of a quarterback controversy that will last through Giants training camp and beyond.

His words had the same jolting effect. After he was asked if rookie quarterback Daniel Jones could beat out Eli Manning and be the opening day starter, he could have just said "No."

Instead, he said this: "I think we are going to play the very best player and I know we are dancing around the words there. Right now, Eli is getting ready to have a great year and Daniel is getting ready to play. You see what happens with it."

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Evan Engram (88) carries the ball during training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Evan Engram (88) carries the ball during training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Giants TE Evan Engram just can't catch a break. 

The Ole Miss product didn't have the sophomore season he was hoping for after a solid debut back in 2017. Injuries that included a concussion as well as hamstring and knee ailments kept him out five games. And when he was in the game, Engram didn't seem like his normal self as he battled back to full strength. 

Unfortunately, his third year isn't getting off to the best start either. Engram has been dealing with another hamstring injury that has kept him out most of the OTAs as well as the three-day minicamp last week...

Tags: Evan Engram, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Scott Thompson
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Shurmur on Giants QB competition 00:00:54
New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said rookie QB Daniel Jones could be ready to start Week 1 but Eli Manning is the current starter.

It's been great to see and hear that the Giants' sixth overall pick in Daniel Jones has been impressing during the team's voluntary practices as well as their three-day minicamp. 

Jones' new teammates and coaches have noticed by the day that he became more comfortable with the offense, and in turn, his confidence rose. 

"You can see him getting confident," Evan Engram said of Jones after minicamp. "Anytime you're coming in as a rookie, you're going to be a little shaky or a little nervous. You kind of see him starting to brush that off, get into his groove and take advantage of everything he's given."

Tags: Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Scott Thompson
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Aug 1, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins (21) and running back Saquon Barkley (26) react after an intercepted pass by Collins during training camp in East Rutherford. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Aug 1, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins (21) and running back Saquon Barkley (26) react after an intercepted pass by Collins during training camp in East Rutherford. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

There was a time when Landon Collins wouldn't want to hit Saquon Barkley during practice. Well, now he doesn't have a choice with the Redskins. 

Collins, who once praised Barkley's physical attributes that made him such a tough running back to bring down, will now be tasked to keep him in the backfield twice a year. And he says he's ready for that commitment. 

"I've been ready to tackle Saquon," Collins told NorthJersey.com's Art Stapleton at the Landon Collins Celebrity Softball Game over the weekend. "That's my guy, though. All love to him and he's been doing his thing as we all know. But when I get to meet him in the hole this time, it's going to be full-go."

Tags: Landon Collins, Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
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May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) runs between drills during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)
May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) runs between drills during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)

It may not be much, but minicamps give a quick glimpse into what the new pieces to a team can bring in the upcoming season. 

Daniel Jones, the Giants' No. 6 overall selection back in April, may be the exception as he is currently behind Eli Manning on the depth chart. But his development this season will be a major storyline, even if he isn't on the field getting NFL reps. 

During the three-day minicamp in East Rutherford, Jones surprised in many facets like his foot speed, arm strength that didn't appear average like the scouting reports said, and his overall performance during team drills. Working with the second team, Jones was very efficient while going through his progressions quickly and fire strikes across the gridiron.

Tags: Eli Manning, Scott Thompson
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New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins calls a play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins calls a play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

POMONA, N.Y. - Landon Collins spent the first four years of his NFL career in Giants blue, dreaming of staying in that uniform forever. 

Less than three months after joining the Redskins, though, all those warm, fuzzy feelings for the Giants are gone.

"Honestly, I feel more of a Redskin now after going through OTAs, being there for a while, hanging out with them and having a great time," Collins said. "I feel like I'm at home.

Tags: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Ereck Flowers, Landon Collins, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 30, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Shaun O'Hara at NFL Network press conference at Georgia World Congress Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 30, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Shaun O'Hara at NFL Network press conference at Georgia World Congress Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

POMONA, N.Y. - The former Giants who won championships with Eli Manning have long been his biggest defenders. But even they understand that the end is coming for their quarterback.

They just don't think the end is here yet.

"I chuckle at the reports you hear weekly about how Eli can't play quarterback and he's washed up," said former Giants center Shaun O'Hara. "Nothing could be further from the truth. The Giants have lost a lot of games the last few years, but they're not all Eli's fault -- and none of them are because Eli can't throw the ball."

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Lorenzo Carter (59) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Lorenzo Carter (59) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Giants' pass rush has long been one of the franchise's trademarks. From Lawrence Taylor to Michael Strahan to Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, the Giants' defense does its best work when it's rushing the passer.

It's no coincidence that the Giants' defense has declined recently as the pass rush disappeared.

The Giants have been a bottom-five team in sacks in three of the last four years. The one time they were better, they made the playoffs.

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