SNY NFL Insider

Ralph Vacchiano

Ralph Vacchiano, award-winning sports reporter and columnist, joined SNY in 2016 as its NFL Insider. Vacchiano will cover the Giants and Jets beats for SNY.tv and be a regular contributor to "Daily News Live" and "GEICO SportsNite." Vacchiano comes to SNY following 15 years as the New York Giants beat writer and columnist for the New York Daily News.

 

Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Vacchiano graduated from Syracuse University in 1991 and began his professional career covering the Buffalo Bills for the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and later covered the Giants and Jets for the North Jersey Herald & News in Passaic, N.J.. During his 19 years at the Daily News, he also covered the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils (1997-2001), and in 2008 he wrote his first book, Eli Manning: The Making of a Quarterback (Skyhorse Publishing).

 

Vacchiano lives with his wife, Kara, and his daughter, Alexandra, in West Caldwell, N.J.

Vacchiano on Odell Beckham Jr. 00:01:34
Ralph Vacchiano discusses Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.'s plans for training camp in July, and what this means for the Giants organization.

METUCHEN, N.J. - Odell Beckham Jr. promised he will be in training camp with the Giants this summer and that he won't be a holdout when camp opens on July 25 in an interview with SNY at his youth football camp on Saturday morning.

Those were Beckham's first comments on his plans for the summer and his unresolved contract situation, and the first clue about how much of a hard line he's willing to take. Just before he left the first day of his camp, he was asked by SNY if we'd see him at training camp and he said "Yes sir. Yes you will."

So no holdout, Beckham was asked? "No," he told SNY. "No holdout."...

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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See the Jets in minicamp action 00:00:59
SNY captures the highlights, routes and deep throws at New York Jets minicamp on Thursday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets are heaping praise on the shoulders of their prized rookie quarterback, but to them it's more than just dreamy hype. They're not just trying to sell everyone on the promise of Sam Darnold. They believe it. In fact, so far he's been even better than they expected.

That's why he has "a real chance" to be the opening day starter, according to a team source.

The 21-year-old Darnold has been that good since the Jets took him with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft. They've been giving him regular first-team reps throughout the spring and through this week's three-day mini-camp. And given how well he's handled them, this summer he can expect even more.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nate Solder (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)
Nate Solder (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -The Giants dodged a major injury scare on Thursday after Nate Solder, their $62 million left tackle, hurt his right leg when he ended up in a pile of bodies on one of the final plays of minicamp - right before rookie guard Will Hernandez and veteran defensive tackle Damon Harrison ended up in a wild fight on the field.

The injury to Solder, though, turned out to be nothing serious after he was examined by doctors on Thursday afternoon. "All good," according to an NFL source.

For a while, that wasn't certain. Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said that after getting an on-field update "I think he's fine." However Solder sounded a little less certain of that after practice, especially since he hadn't been checked out by doctors yet.

Tags: Nate Solder, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) during organized team activities practice at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) during organized team activities practice at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: It's your move, Odell.

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur set the stage for the much-anticipated contract showdown between the Giants and Odell Beckham, Jr. on Thursday, when he said he expects his star receiver will report on time for training camp on July 25.

Shurmur also said he has "no reason to believe" that Beckham won't be able to fully participate -- including in the team drills he sat out this week.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) runs off the field during the halftime break of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) runs off the field during the halftime break of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Two famous former Giants - and famous friends of Eli Manning - were in complete agreement on Saturday night about how the franchise they love had "wasted" the prime years of Manning's career.

Shaun O'Hara and Justin Tuck were absolutely right.

Those years were wasted with poor personnel decisions, too many draft choices that never made an impact, and an unbelievable combination of neglect and wrong moves along an offensive line that too often crumbled in front of the franchise quarterback.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (74) blocks during an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns. (AP)
New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (74) blocks during an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns. (AP)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - For the first time, Ereck Flowers admitted the obvious: He wasn't happy when the Giants signed Nate Solder, or that he was forced to move from left tackle to right. "Of course," he said, it bothered him. How could it not?

So maybe it took him a little too long to get over the hurt, but Flowers is now able to dismiss that emotion. "It's … whatever, now," is how he put it. His focus instead, he insisted, is on making that transition to right tackle, trying to get better as a player, and proving to his coaches and critics that he can still play in the NFL.

And perhaps even more importantly, he wants to prove that to himself, too.

Tags: Ereck Flowers, Ralph Vacchiano
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Snacks is ready to hit Saquon 00:00:21
Damon "Snacks" Harrison is looking forward to a real practice so he can go against rookie RB Saquon Barkley to "see what he's made of."

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Saquon Barkley has dazzled his teammates with the Giants this spring even though he hasn't taken a hit yet in the NFL.

That first hit, though, is coming soon. And it may happen long before he ever gets into a game.

"I'm excited to get out there in training camp, so I can hit his ass," Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison said on the first day of minicamp Tuesday. "See what he's made of. I told him, it's not Penn State. He's not going up against (DT) Josh Banks at Wake Forest."

Tags: Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Odell Beckham has been "cleared to practice," according to Giants coach Pat Shurmur, even though he didn't really do much practicing at minicamp on Tuesday morning. The star receiver sat out of all the team drills, which had nothing to do with his contract situation, Shurmur said.

Except that it does. Of course it does.

Let's not be naïve. Until Beckham signs on the dotted line of what he expects will be, and could be, the most lucrative contract extension for a receiver in NFL history, his contract situation will loom over everything he does -- even if this lasts into next season. If he had already signed a new deal, would he have been on the field for team drills on Tuesday, eight months after ankle surgery?

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Five Things for the Giants 00:00:31
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reveals the five most interesting things to watch for during this week's New York Giants minicamp.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveNow that Odell Beckham Jr. is planning to attend the Giants' mandatory mini-camp, a major crisis has been averted.

But that doesn't make the three-day camp any less interesting.

As the Giants continue their quick rebuild from the ashes of last year's 3-13 mess, they still have a lot of questions to answer and pieces to fit in before they get to training camp this summer. This week will begin to add some clarity to their picture...

Tags: Brett Jones, Cody Latimer, Eli Manning, Ereck Flowers, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Patrick Omaneh, Roger Lewis, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Five Things for the Jets 00:00:33
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reveals the five most interesting things to watch for during this week's New York Jets minicamp.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The next few weeks and months are all about one thing for the Jets, really - the preparation for The Sam Darnold Era. It's going to begin at some point. The Jets believe it will be glorious.

The only question is: When?

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Dylan Donahue, Jordan Jenkins, Jordan Leggett, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Mauldin, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. runs the ball after a catch and tries to avoid a tackle by Buffalo Bills strong safety Duke Williams during the first half at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. runs the ball after a catch and tries to avoid a tackle by Buffalo Bills strong safety Duke Williams during the first half at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveOdell Beckham Jr. and the Giants may be heading for a contract showdown eventually - but not right now.

The star receiver will be at the start of the Giants' mandatory, full-team mini-camp that officially begins on Tuesday morning, multiple NFL sources told SNY. And he is expected to participate at least on a limited basis during the three-day camp, even though the lucrative, long-term contract extension he's been seeking doesn't seem close at all.

In fact, according to ESPN, he checked in to the Giants' practice facility for his pre-camp physical on Monday afternoon.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The rebuilding of the Giants is basically over, and now they're almost ready to begin the preparation. They have a three-day, full-team mini-camp next week, and then five weeks of training camp starting in late July to find out if they really are better than 3-13.

Just with better health alone they should be. And with some of the key additions they've made, perhaps the playoffs aren't out of reach either. But they do have a bunch of questions they need to answer first.

And you had a few questions, too. So one last time before the camps begin, I'll try to answer them here:

Tags: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple, Eli Manning, Ereck Flowers, Janoris Jenkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 29, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) walks off the field with quarterback Alex Tanney (3) at the end of the fourth day of Organized Team Activities. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/Northjersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
May 29, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) walks off the field with quarterback Alex Tanney (3) at the end of the fourth day of Organized Team Activities. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/Northjersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

POMONA, N.Y. - The idea that Eli Manning was in decline was laughable to former Giants center Shaun O'Hara. From what he's seen, his former quarterback hasn't lost anything, even at age 37.

It's just that the team around him the last few years was bad.

"To be honest with you, they've wasted the last few years of Eli's career," O'Hara said on Saturday night at the Landon Collins Celebrity Softball game at Palisades Credit Union Park. "They've wasted his prime. And it's been hard to sit and watch that happen."

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 24, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) kneels during the National Anthem prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)
Dec 24, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) kneels during the National Anthem prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

POMONA, N.Y. - Olivier Vernon, the lone Giants player to kneel for the national anthem all of last season, said he will abide by the new NFL rules and won't kneel this season. 

But he's not happy about the league's decision to step in and force the protests to stop.

"I mean, you never want to be told what to do, really, especially when it comes to your freedom of speech," Vernon said on Saturday night. "But it is what it is."

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The rebuilding of the Giants is basically over, and now they're almost ready to begin the preparation. They have a three-day, full-team mini-camp next week, and then five weeks of training camp starting in late July to find out if they really are better than 3-13.

Just with better health alone they should be. And with some of the key additions they've made, perhaps the playoffs aren't out of reach either. But they do have a bunch of questions they need to answer first.

And you had a few questions, too. So one last time before the camps begin, I'll try to answer them here:

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New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe NFL as a whole would prefer to have its players standing at attention during the national anthem, with no more player protests. For some owners, that's a patriotic gesture. For others, it's simply business. Mostly, though, NFL owners just really want this whole anthem/protest controversy to go away.

That's why it's so bizarre that the league has instead managed to make it infinitely worse.

The NFL knows it too, which is probably why Commissioner Roger Goodell remained so silent when President Donald Trump and the Philadelphia Eagles managed to turn the traditional visit to the White House by the Super Bowl champs into a political football earlier this week. Most of the Eagles weren't planning to go, so the president loudly cancelled the event.

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Sep 24, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr locks arms with punter Brad Wing and tight end Jerrell Adams (89) and offensive lineman DJ Fluker during the national anthem prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports (James Lang)
Sep 24, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr locks arms with punter Brad Wing and tight end Jerrell Adams (89) and offensive lineman DJ Fluker during the national anthem prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports (James Lang)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe NFL as a whole would prefer to have its players standing at attention during the national anthem, with no more player protests. For some owners, that's a patriotic gesture. For others, it's simply business. Mostly, though, NFL owners just really want this whole anthem/protest controversy to go away.

That's why it's so bizarre that the league has instead managed to make it infinitely worse.

The NFL knows it too, which is probably why Commissioner Roger Goodell remained so silent when President Donald Trump and the Philadelphia Eagles managed to turn the traditional visit to the White House by the Super Bowl champs into a political football earlier this week. Most of the Eagles weren't planning to go, so the president loudly cancelled the event.

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The Jets have created plenty of big headlines this offseason, but the news hasn't always been so good. Over the past year alone, four Jets players have been arrested a total of six times, three for driving while intoxicated. That's a terrible look for the Mike Maccagnan/Todd Bowles regime.

But it's not a sign that their disciplinary process is faulty -- at least not according to Bowles. In fact, the Jets coach insisted on Tuesday that despite the rash of arrests "Our disciplinary process is fine."

"There's nothing wrong with the disciplinary process," Bowles said. "The arrests are going to happen and you deal with them as they come."

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Giants GM battling lymphoma 00:00:40
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reacts to the news that Giants GM Dave Gettleman has lymphoma, and discusses how it will affect the team.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: New Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman announced Tuesday that he was recently diagnosed with lymphoma, and will begin treatment "in the very near future."

The cancer was discovered during the 67-year-old's annual physical, Gettleman said in a statement. Doctors are still working to determine the exact course of his treatment, but Gettleman said he plans to continue to work during the process.

"The doctor's outlook for the treatment and the prognosis is positive," he said. "And so am I."

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Landon Collins talks return 00:00:16
New York Giants safety Landon Collins reveals his return to the field is coming soon, as he continues his rehab from offseason surgery.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - One of the biggest stars and best players on the Giants is heading into a contract year with no signs an extension is near. He's rehabbing his way back from an injury and is pretty close to being fully cleared by doctors, maybe even in time for the mandatory mini-camp next week.

Yet there are no fears of a contract holdout with safety Landon Collins, and no stress about the situation like there always seems to be with Odell Beckham, Jr. Collins has been with the team all spring. At no point did the Giants flirt with the idea of trading him. And no one has ever thought the two sides were headed in the wrong direction.

But the truth is, just like Beckham, Collins heads into his contract season with something to prove before he lands the big-money deal he desires. And before they give him that lucrative contract extension, the Giants want to make sure he's still the player and leader that they've always expected him to be.

Tags: Landon Collins, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) during organized team activities practice at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) during organized team activities practice at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Odell Beckham, Jr. wasn't at the Giants' practices this week, which didn't matter much since he hasn't been cleared to fully practice anyway. But he's getting "pretty close" according to head coach Pat Shurmur.

And that means a showdown between the Giants and Beckham could be getting pretty close too.

It may never happen, of course. It's possible the Giants and Beckham truly have reached a peace, or at least a mutual understanding of where their contract negotiations are heading. But two months ago there was that report that Beckham "will not set foot on a field without a contract extension" -- a report Beckham has yet to publicly dismiss.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Shurmur sees good from Flowers 00:00:54
New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur talks positive signs from OL Ereck Flowers after Giants OTAs on Tuesday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - When the Giants' practice ended on Tuesday and most of the team headed towards the locker room, Ereck Flowers stayed out on the field to work with the man who replaced him at left tackle. He did the same thing last week, too.

And maybe that's a sign that the Giants' young, enigmatic tackle really is ready to take advantage of his fresh start.

That wasn't a given two weeks ago when Flowers was still in Miami refusing to take part in the Giants' offseason program. According to Landon Collins, Flowers was apparently unhappy that the Giants signed left tackle Nate Solder. And while unconfirmed, that reason seemed to make a lot of sense.

Tags: Ereck Flowers, Ralph Vacchiano
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Vacc talks Odell OTA attendance 00:01:10
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano talks about Odell Beckham Jr.'s attendance during the offseason, after he didn't appear at OTA's on Tuesday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Odell Beckham Jr. was not at OTA No. 4, and because it's Odell Beckham Jr., that will end up being a semi-big deal.

But it's not. At all.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 3, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins (21) recovers the fumble ahead of Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (33) during the third quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)
Dec 3, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins (21) recovers the fumble ahead of Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (33) during the third quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Landon Collins has always sounded sure he'd be ready to go by the start of training camp, even after needing a second surgery on his fractured forearm last month. On Tuesday, he sure looked like he'd have no trouble meeting that goal.

The Giants' two-time Pro Bowl safety was a surprise participant in both individual drills and 7-on-7 drills during the team's organized team activity (OTA) session on Tuesday. He was definitely limited, and he wore a red pinny over his jersey to signify he was barred from any contact. But he did enough, just five weeks after surgery, to make it seem clear he's ahead of schedule.

Tags: Landon Collins, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley catches a pass during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS  (Danielle Parhizkaran)
May 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley catches a pass during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The players were not in pads, the contact was limited and there was no tackling at all. That makes it hard to evaluate anyone, particularly a running back like Saquon Barkley.

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May 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur holds a press conference at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)
May 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur holds a press conference at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - More than a decade ago, Tom Coughlin stormed into the Giants' offices vowing to restore "Giants pride". And while Pat Shurmur hasn't exactly stormed into the building, he's on a similar mission: To restore the "Giants way"

Those are basically the same things: A reminder of the need for players to be professionals, to treat people with respect -- lessons he began teaching the rookies and tryout players at the rookie mini-camp this weekend. Shurmur, like Coughlin before him, believes there is simply a right way to do things...

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The Giants' Ereck Flowers appeared at the 2015 NFL combine. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
The Giants' Ereck Flowers appeared at the 2015 NFL combine. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Landon Collins revealed what seemed obvious last week, that the reason Ereck Flowers is skipping the Giants' offseason program is because he's "unhappy" with the team for replacing him at left tackle with free agent Nate Solder. That had long been everyone's assumption anyway.

Still, Giants coach Pat Shurmur wishes Collins had kept that to himself.

"Yeah, well that's not for Landon to talk about," Shurmur said Saturday morning during Day 2 of the Giants' rookie mini-camp. "I think the important thing is let's let Ereck talk for Ereck when he gets here and we'll worry about that later. Really, I don't think our players should be talking about another player's situation."...

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Lauletta talks Giants' QBs 00:02:23
SNY NFL insider Ralph Vacchiano talks to Giants rookie QB Kyle Lauletta about learning from Eli Manning and competing with Davis Webb.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The old theory on how to develop young NFL quarterbacks was to throw as much as possible at them right from the beginning. Coaches wanted to see how much they could handle and to get them used to feeling overwhelmed.

"In a former life, way back when, what you did with the rookies -- this was like shock treatment," Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said on Friday. "You blew them up physically, emotionally, mentally and then by the time Monday came around, they're like, 'Holy smokes.'"

Anyone who remembers Eli Manning's first rookie mini-camp with the Giants knows that approach could lead to short-term disaster, even though coaches were sure it fostered long-term success. Regardless, when it comes to new Giants quarterback Kyle Lauletta, Shurmur's approach this weekend at the Giants' rookie mini-camp figures to be much different than that...

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley speaks to a reporter before rookie minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)
May 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley speaks to a reporter before rookie minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - There has been no easing of Saquon Barkley into the spotlight by the Giants, not when GM Dave Gettleman has already hyped him as a Hall of Fame-caliber player who has been "touched by the hand of God." That is a heavy load to place on the 21-year-old's shoulders.

But to Barkley, the second overall pick in the NFL draft, the weight of Gettleman's words and expectations don't feel like a big deal at all.

"I'm so happy that I have a guy that believes in me and believes in my talent," Barkley said. "But it's not really expectations he set for me. It's something he saw on film. He believes in me. He believes I can achieve that one day...

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets have four quarterbacks on their roster, which seems like one too many. They cut Bryce Petty last week to clear at least a little room on their depth chart, but they still have another move to make. Or maybe two.

Whatever they end up doing, the Jets' quarterback situation isn't as clear cut as some think, from the identity of the Opening Day starter all the way down to the likely odd-man out. As Todd Bowles said last weekend, the Jets are "open to anything right now" -- especially at quarterback.

"We're going to let it all play out before make those kinds of decisions," he said.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Saquon Barkley (Penn State) is selected as the number two overall pick to the New York Giants in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)
Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Saquon Barkley (Penn State) is selected as the number two overall pick to the New York Giants in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

He is already considered a "gold jacket" player in the eyes of the man who drafted him, and if that wasn't enough, Giants GM Dave Gettleman said Saquon Barkley is so good he's been "touched by the hand of God."

That's a lot of hype, which is why so many expect him to put on a dazzling display - even on Day 1...

Tags: Eli Manning, Ereck Flowers, Ralph Vacchiano
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Daily News Live: Giants 00:03:31
Pat Leonard joins to panel to discuss John Mara's comments on Odell Beckham Jr's contract situation and his participation in OTAs.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Odell Beckham Jr. is back on the good side of the Giants organization again after that brief and silly trade scare back in late March. They're even back to acknowledging he is part of their future, and John Mara promised that at some point Beckham's much-anticipated contract extension "will get done."

But that doesn't mean it'll happen now or in the immediate future. Even Mara admitted to feeling no "sense of urgency" to strike a deal. The contract, he said on Tuesday night, "will get done when it's supposed to get done." And that's fine. Everybody should relax because there shouldn't be a sense of urgency...

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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The Giants cleared some space on their roster ahead of their rookie mini-camp this weekend, cutting five players, including safety Ryan Murphy who played in three games with them last year.

Murphy, a special teamer, was the only one of the five who had gotten a game for the Giants. They also cut guard Damien Mama, whom they signed off the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad last Dec. 23.

The other three were receiver Caanan Severin, running back Terrell Watson and punter Austin Rehkow.

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Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Christian Hackenberg has apparently made major changes to his throwing motion in an attempt to revitalize his stalled NFL career.

He just never bothered telling his current team about his plans.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Sam Darnold fumbled the first snap of team drills on his first two days in a Jets uniform, and he fumbled five snaps overall. That was eye-opening because he had some fumbling issues at USC that were a cause for concern for some.

But get over it. It was the first two days of an NFL career that likely will last more than a decade and he was working with a tryout center who's NFL career will likely be over by Sunday afternoon. In the bigger picture, there was a lot to like about the Jets' 20-year-old franchise quarterback who looked poised, accurate and showed off a strong arm throughout the weekend...

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Jets rookie mini-camp 00:03:14
Jeane Coakley and Manish Mehta discuss Sam Darnold and the rest of Gang Green's rookies at their rookie minicamp in Florham Park on Friday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Just a few minutes after ending the first practice of the Sam Darnold Era, Todd Bowles began taking questions on his brand new Franchise Quarterback. The world wanted - and needed - to know: How did Darnold look on Day 1?

"He was great!" Bowles screamed as he pounded the podium in front of him. "I want him to play right now!"

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

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The media crowd around Sam Darnold ran three deep, and it was so big that he had to take questions in two separate waves. He was grilled on everything from whether he'll start the season opener to whether he can bring a Super Bowl championship to the franchise.

And he hadn't even put on his Jets uniform for the first time yet.

But that's what faces Darnold in his new life as the Jets' long-awaited Quarterback of the Future, where the expectations are simply Super Bowl or bust. He's been aware of that from the moment he was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft last week, that his whole reason for being here is to end the Jets' long Super Bowl drought.

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Jets draft USC QB Sam Darnold 00:01:02
Former USC quarterback Sam Darnold was chosen by the Jets with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The star of the show on Friday and Saturday will be wearing No. 14, and there's no way around that for Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. It comes with the territory of being the third overall pick in the draft and the franchise quarterback the Jets have been dreaming of for nearly 50 years.

But Darnold isn't the only player on display as the Jets rookies, a few veterans, and a handful of tryout players, take the field for the start of a three-day rookie camp on Friday afternoon. It's closed to the public, but here are just a few of the players and things the Jets and the media will be watching...

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USC’s Sam Darnold poses on stage after being picked by the New York Jets during the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)  (David J. Phillip/AP)
USC’s Sam Darnold poses on stage after being picked by the New York Jets during the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: It was 14 years ago, almost to the day, when Eli Manning first stepped on a football field at the Meadowlands, eager to show why the Giants made him their Quarterback of the Future. Less than two weeks earlier the Giants had traded up in the draft to get him. All eyes in New York were now on him.

And what they saw was disastrous. Manning looked lost, struggling to figure out even the most basic plays and over- or under-throwing almost every target. He was fumbling snaps. He was firing passes into the tackling dummies set up at the line of scrimmage. He looked almost frightened as his head swiveled from side to side. When it was over, then-Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was asked if there were any positives he could take from Manning's debut performance.

"He had excellent huddle command," Coughlin said. That was a joke, of course, meant to lighten the mood after Manning's first practice, which was destined to be over-analyzed locally and nationally for days. He looked nothing like a franchise quarterback that day -- certainly nothing like the Super Bowl MVP he'd become 3 ½ years later. It's worth remembering that story when Sam Darnold makes his debut for the Jets at their rookie mini-camp on Friday afternoon...

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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: It was clear long before the Jets drafted Sam Darnold that neither Bryce Petty nor Christian Hackenberg would be the Jets' Quarterback of the Future.

Petty became a thing of the past, first.

The 26-year-old Petty, a fourth-round pick out of Baylor back in 2015, has been released by the Jets, according to an NFL source. He leaves having made seven starts over the last two seasons, completing 53.1 percent of passes for 1,353 yards with four touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In those starts, the Jets went 1-6...

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveEreck Flowers' decision to skip the Giants' voluntary offseason program could definitely be considered ill-advised -- assuming he was getting any advice at all.

If he was, he was getting mostly bad advice, considering his tenuous position with the Giants. He had already lost his spot at left tackle, and his attitude led to a benching late last season. And now he's so infuriated the new regime that the Giants were open to trading him during last week's NFL draft. He's also already cost himself $12.5 million, because the Giants did not pick up the fifth-year option of his contract for that amount by the 4 p.m. deadline on Tuesday.

On all fronts it seems like his relationship has soured with the Giants past the point of no return...

Tags: Ereck Flowers, Ralph Vacchiano
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Hughes critiques Jets' draft 00:02:29
Jeane Coakley and Connor Hughes discusses the Jets' 2018 draft class and what to expect from the team in the upcoming season.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Aaron Rodgers sat for three seasons behind Brett Favre, then threw for 4,000 yards as one of the NFL's best quarterbacks in his first season as a starter. Eli Manning only sat for nine games as a rookie before being handed a starting job, and he struggled for the next three years. Ben Roethlisberger ended up starting in Week 3, went 13-0 and helped the Steelers get to the AFC championship game. The next year, they won a Super Bowl, albeit through no fault of his own.

There are many ways, obviously, for the Jets to deal with a young, franchise quarterback like Sam Darnold. They all want to play from the start, of course. Meanwhile, their coaches always want them to sit and learn, if there's time. It has worked both ways, and it has failed both ways, and success isn't guaranteed no matter the plan.

Tags: Josh McCown, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets draft USC QB Sam Darnold 00:01:02
Former USC quarterback Sam Darnold was chosen by the Jets with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Aaron Rodgers sat for three seasons behind Brett Favre, then threw for 4,000 yards as one of the NFL's best quarterbacks in his first season as a starter. Eli Manning only sat for nine games as a rookie before being handed a starting job, and he struggled for the next three years. Ben Roethlisberger ended up starting in Week 3, went 13-0 and helped the Steelers get to the AFC championship game. The next year, they won a Super Bowl, albeit through no fault of his own.

There are many ways, obviously, for the Jets to deal with a young, franchise quarterback like Sam Darnold. They all want to play from the start, of course. Meanwhile, their coaches always want them to sit and learn, if there's time. It has worked both ways, and it has failed both ways, and success isn't guaranteed no matter the plan.

Tags: Josh McCown, Ralph Vacchiano
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Kyle Lauletta highlights 00:00:32
SNY rolls the highlights of Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta who the New York Giants picked in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When the Giants drafted running back Saquon Barkley on Thursday, it looked like they decided to punt their search for their next franchise quarterback into the future. Then they drafted a quarterback in the fourth round on Saturday, making it clear the future at that position is definitely on their minds.

No one knows, of course, if Richmond's Kyle Lauletta, the Giants' fourth-round pick, will ever develop into being worthy of being Eli Manning's successor. No one knows if he'll even turn out better than last year's third-round pick, Davis Webb. The Giants can't be sure that either of them will ever replace Manning when his effectiveness as an NFL quarterback is done.

But they know how hard it could be for them to find their next Eli Manning.

Tags: Davis Webb, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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The Giants' Ereck Flowers appeared at the 2015 NFL combine. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
The Giants' Ereck Flowers appeared at the 2015 NFL combine. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Time appears to be running out on Ereck Flowers' career with the Giants.

In fact, the former first-round pick, and one of the biggest busts of the Jerry Reese Era, could be an ex-Giant by the end of the day if the Giants are able to find a trade partner before the end of the NFL Draft on Saturday. They are very unhappy with his decision to skip the team's voluntary offseason program and their patience with him is running thin, according to a team source.

Giants GM Dave Gettleman seemed to make that very clear when he was asked about Flowers on Friday night...

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USC’s Sam Darnold poses on stage after being picked by the New York Jets during the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)  (David J. Phillip/AP)
USC’s Sam Darnold poses on stage after being picked by the New York Jets during the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Just a year and a half ago, Sam Darnold was a backup quarterback on a USC team struggling to rediscover its place on the national stage. He had actually been recruited at first to play linebacker, one of the positions he played in high school until his starting quarterback got hurt.

So yes, life has come at the still-only-20-year-old Darnold fast over the last few years.But that's nothing compared to what's coming next.

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New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: ARLINGTON, Tex. - Sam Darnold wasn't just the Jets' first-round pick. He was their two second-round picks too. That was part of what it cost them to trade with the Indianapolis Colts to move up in the first round from No. 6 to No. 3.

Obviously they think it was well worth it, especially after the consensus No. 1 quarterback in the draft fell right into their hands. But they'll have plenty of time to ponder that on Day 2 of the NFL Draft now that they have no second-round picks at all. They do have a third-round pick -- the eighth pick in that round, 72nd overall -- and they have the theoretical ability to trade up into the second round if they want and if they can. They also have plenty of needs, including most notably an edge rusher which figures to be their primary target, if one is there, on Friday night.

So who could they be targeting in Round 3? It's a little hard to figure, not knowing yet who'll be off the board in Round 2. But here's a look at some of the names the Jets will likely be watching...

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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning throws a pass in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning throws a pass in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Dave Gettleman has been raving about Saquon Barkley privately and publicly since he first watched him on film back in March. In the end, he couldn't pass on a player he said "was touched by the hand of God." So with the second overall pick, it was an easy choice to select "the unanimous best player in our draft."

But Gettleman's choice wasn't just about the dynamic, 21-year-old Penn State running back.

It was about the Giants' 37-year-old quarterback, too.

Tags: Davis Webb, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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UTEP Miners offensive lineman Will Hernandez goes through workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
UTEP Miners offensive lineman Will Hernandez goes through workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Here come the Hog Mollies?

After all the talk about winning with big men, strengthening the lines, and rebuilding the Giants from the inside out, it's almost impossible to believe that Giants GM Dave Gettleman will go in any other direction on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. He got himself a dynamic playmaker in running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 pick on Thursday night.

Now it's time for what former Giants GM George Young used to call "the dance of the elephants."

Tags: Ereck Flowers, John Jerry, Ralph Vacchiano
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Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (Jeff Roberson/AP)
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

So much for the future. The Giants are undoubtedly trying to win now.

Faced with a chance to set themselves up for the post-Eli Manning decade by selecting their Quarterback of the Future, the Giants chose a running back that can instead help them in the present. And that's what they're counting on -- that a transcendent talent like Barkley can help them make one last Manning-era championship run.

Maybe that's a lot to hope for coming off a 3-13 season, but the new Giants regime of GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur believe they're not far off. They believe injuries and bad chemistry and attitude destroyed last year's team, and the truth about what the Giants are falls somewhere between last year's 3-13 disaster and the somewhat lucky 11-5 2016 team.

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