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.

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; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts after a touchdown by New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts after a touchdown by New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There's a new general manager (Joe Douglas), a new head coach (Adam Gase), a new star (Le'Veon Bell), and a new attitude (Gregg Williams and many others). All of that has the Jets thinking this is going to be a great season.

But the "old" quarterback -- 22-year-old Sam Darnold -- is still the biggest reason for hope of all.

The Jets may not be ready to say it publicly, but internally they are thinking playoffs. In fact, they're expecting their first playoff berth since 2010. They may not be ready to win the AFC East, but they feel there's no reason why they can't emerge as an AFC contender.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

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For the second straight offseason, the Jets went on a huge spending spree, and this time it looks like they spent their money more wisely. They brought in stars and players who can truly make a difference.

At least that's what they believe.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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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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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 Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball in front of Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Grover Stewart during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball in front of Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Grover Stewart during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets' offseason has been a wild roller-coaster ride. It started at the bottom when they fired their head coach, peaked during free agency and the draft, then went on a wild spiral downward when they fired their general manager … and then somehow managed to come out of it OK.

In fact, not only do they seem OK now that GM Joe Douglas and his good buddy, head coach Adam Gase, are in charge; they are convinced they are on an uphill climb again. They are loaded with optimism. They feel like they are finally headed in the right direction. They believe a return to the playoffs is near.

Maybe they're right. Or maybe they're fooling themselves. For now, though, there has been an unusual amount of hope and excitement around the Jets as they wrapped up their spring organized team activities and mini-camps. Time will tell if that's warranted or not.

Tags: Chris Herndon, Derrick Jones, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Parry Nickerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - If there's one thing that defined the Jets in the final two years of the Todd Bowles Era, it was their maddeningly underachieving defense. Every year they seemed to have so much talent and potential, but the production just never matched.

The strong belief inside One Jets Drive is that storyline is about to change dramatically under new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Because if he can't get something out of this defense, then it's possible that nobody can.

The 60-year-old Williams was the most interesting, controversial, and by far the best hire that Jets coach Adam Gase made when he assembled his staff over the last few months. And it didn't take long for Williams to leave his mark on the team. His loud, profane voice has dominated spring practices, the same way his defensive players have often dominated on the field...

Tags: Jamal Adams, Jordan Jenkins, Ralph Vacchiano
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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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Joe Douglas excited to join Jets 00:01:49
The Jets introduced their new GM, Joe Douglas. Douglas said his relationship with Adam Gase and Sam Darnold at QB made it a good match.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- In Joe Douglas' first year in the Philadelphia Eagles front office they made a bold trade up in the draft to land quarterback Carson Wentz. Douglas quickly realized two things: The Eagles had the right guy at quarterback, and they needed to move quickly to build a winner around him.

There was an excitement and a sense of hope and purpose back then about the Eagles' immediate future - something that thanks to the presence of quarterback Sam Darnold, the Jets' new general manager is absolutely feeling again now.

"There was a sense of urgency in Philadelphia knowing that we had a young quarterback and we want to put the pieces around him," Douglas said. "I think there's going to be that same urgency here with a young quarterback like Sam. I think once you know you have the right guy, that's the sense of urgency. Let's go win right now. I think that confidence is here right now."

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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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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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets have had their share of dysfunctional coach-GM relationships over the last decade, and there's no guarantee that this one will be any different. Give two alpha males relatively equal power -- or any power, really -- and clashes are bound to happen. There's always a chance things can get bad.

But at least this time the Jets are starting out on the right foot, even if they got there in a backwards way. Because a huge key for any sports operation is for a coach and general manager to share the same vision, to be able to work together and solve their differences in a professional way.

So it's nothing but a good thing that Joe Douglas, the new Jets GM, was the hand-picked choice of new Jets coach Adam Gase. Yes, that's the reverse of how it usually happens. But in the end, it won't matter how they got there, as long as the Jets' two most powerful people begin and remain on the same page.

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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets should have a new general manager in place by next week, and it most likely will be Joe Douglas, the Philadelphia Eagles vice president of player personnel.

But it's not a done deal yet, and it's not a lock that he's going to get the job.

The 42-year-old Douglas remains the prohibitive favorite to replace the fired Mike Maccagnan as the new Jets GM, but a team source cautioned that the hire isn't the slam dunk so many believe it is. The Jets appear to be impressed by Scott Fitterer, the Seattle Seahawks co-director of player personnel. And Gase has ties to Champ Kelly, the Chicago Bears assistant director of player personnel, too.

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Daniel Jones on being a Giant 00:02:58
Ralph Vacchiano talked to Daniel Jones after Giants practice. The QB elaborated on how practices have been and what he's learning from Eli.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - There is no quarterback controversy with the Giants. Eli Manning isn't in danger of losing his starting job. And neither Pat Shurmur nor Dave Gettleman really want to head into the season with a rookie starter anyway.

At least not yet.

And that caveat is the part that's going to make things really interesting this summer, in what figures to be an otherwise quiet training camp for the rebuilding Giants. Because while the depth chart with the 38-year-old Manning far ahead of rookie Daniel Jones almost certainly won't change at least until they're deep into the regular season, no one around the Giants can or will say that for sure.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Le'Veon excited to be with Jets 00:03:56
Le'Veon Bell joined Jeane Coakley after his first day on the field as a Jet. The running back said it was like the first day of school.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Le'Veon Bell wants to be a leader for the Jets - much more of a leader than he ever was in Pittsburgh. He knows he has no choice. He knew everyone was watching him closely when he took the field for the first time with the Jets on Tuesday. And his response to the scrutiny was basically: Bring it on.

But what happens next, when training camp begins in late July, will be the true test of just how much of a leader the 27-year-old Bell can be. Because he blew his first shot by deciding to skip the Jets' offseason training program so he could train by himself in Florida. Maybe that's not a decision that will make-or-break his season. Maybe it was his right, since the workouts were "voluntary." But it was still a mistake, especially for a player who hadn't been on a field since the end of the 2017 season.

Bell wants to be a leader? Leaders belong with their team.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Adam Gase
Adam Gase

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Adam Gase would like the Jets to have a new general manager in place by the end of the next week, but he said the timing of that decision - and the identity of the new GM - remains up to Jets CEO Christopher Johnson.

Speaking briefly on the GM search before the Jets hit the field for their first practice of minicamp on Tuesday, Gase - currently the Jets interim GM as well as the head coach - didn't shed much light on the process, except to say "it would be nice" to wrap it up by the time the Jets' offseason program ends next week..

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Adam Gase will act mostly the Jets head coach this week, not the interim GM nor the leader of a search firm. Le'Veon Bell will be in a Jets uniform, mostly because it's mandatory. And young Sam Darnold will finally get a sense of what he can do in his new offense with all his weapons on the field.

For the next three days, as the Jets begin their three-day, full-team, mandatory mini-camp, it will be football first, with all the off-field drama of the last few weeks finally pushed aside. Gase's coaching -- not his front office power play -- will be the center of attention. And there will plenty of interest storylines to watch.

Here are the top five:

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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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)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - There will be no Odell Beckham Jr., no Landon Collins and no Olivier Vernon on the field for the Giants this week. Eli Manning will of course still be there, but his eventual replacement will likely be standing in his shadow the whole time.

So it'll be a new, interesting and somewhat confusing look for the Giants as they begin their three-day, full-team, mandatory minicamp on Tuesday morning. It's either the beginning of the end of the Manning Era, a new start for the Dave Gettleman Era, or maybe even a little bit of both.

One thing's for sure: There will be plenty of interesting storylines. Here are a Top 5:

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Justin Tuck on Collins and Jones 00:02:23
Justin Tuck says Giants fans should be patient with Daniel Jones and that it's a shame that Landon Collins isn't a Giant this season.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

BAYONNE, N.J. -- Like most Giants players from the Super Bowl XLII and XLVI teams, Justin Tuck is a huge Eli Manning supporter. He believes in the 38-year-old quarterback's ability, and he wants the Giants to ride with him as long as they can.

But if the Giants are going to replace Manning in the near future, Tuck is fine if "Little Eli" turns out to be the guy.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Justin Tuck on Collins and Jones 00:02:23
Justin Tuck says Giants fans should be patient with Daniel Jones and that it's a shame that Landon Collins isn't a Giant this season.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

BAYONNE, N.J. - Justin Tuck can see exactly what Giants GM Dave Gettleman is trying to do with his old team. He knows Gettleman is trying to rebuild the Giants the way they were built back in the 2000s, when they emerged as one of the best franchises in the league.

Of course, that doesn't mean he's happy about every move Gettleman has made.

"I love Landon (Collins)," Tuck said on Monday. "That's probably the one that I'm most pissed about."

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 6, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Justin Tuck retirement press conference during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports (William Hauser)
May 6, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Justin Tuck retirement press conference during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports (William Hauser)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

BAYONNE, N.J. - Justin Tuck can see exactly what Giants GM Dave Gettleman is trying to do with his old team. He knows Gettleman is trying to rebuild the Giants the way they were built back in the 2000s, when they emerged as one of the best franchises in the league.

Of course, that doesn't mean he's happy about every move Gettleman has made.

"I love Landon (Collins)," Tuck said on Monday. "That's probably the one that I'm most pissed about."

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Adam Gase is sticking to his story that he had nothing to do with the firing of Mike Maccagnan and he doesn't really care if nobody believes it. He insists this wasn't a power grab, and denies he's now the real wizard behind the Jets' curtain.

And he's fine that everyone thinks he's lying about that too.

"That's fine. That's why I get paid," Gase said on Thursday. "I get paid to take all the bullets."

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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Adam Gase insisted he didn't pull off a power play inside the Jets' organization. The rest of the NFL isn't so sure that's true.

And that belief, that he engineered the firing for ex-Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan, could impact how potential candidates view the Jets in their search for their next GM.

"It's New York, so of course people are going to want the job," said one NFL executive. "But they're going to want answers about who is really in control. If they know (Adam) Gase and they know they can work with him, that's fine. But anyone who doesn't know him is going to want answers and might find it a tough spot."

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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Adam Gase may be the Jets' new interim general manager, but he insisted that he did not engineer a power play to get the job and push Mike Maccagnan out the door.

In his first comments since Maccagnan was fired last week, Gase quickly dismissed the idea the notion that he had anything to do with that decision. "I disagree with that, as far as a power struggle," Gase said.

"Whoever is hired is going to have the same role (Maccagnan had) -- control of the roster, control of the 53," Gase said. "I will coach the team. That's what I'm going to do. Nothing has changed with that structure."

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Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The firing of Mike Maccagnan last week, just weeks after he ran the draft, and months after he spent $120 million in free agency and helped hire the new head coach, may go down as one of the strangest, craziest moments in the star-crossed history of the Jets.

But that would seem like nothing if they soon decide to trade the recently signed Le'Veon Bell.

They won't, of course. At least they probably won't. One team source texted a flat "No" when asked about the possibility by SNY over the weekend. But the wacky idea still gained some traction over the weekend as many tried to predict what's next for the Jets and their interim GM/head coach Adam Gase. The rumor that Gase would soon trade Bell grew like wildfire when former ESPN NFL reporter John Clayton said in a radio interview on Friday, "I could absolutely see the Jets trading (Bell) before the start of the season."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Adam Gase has barely been introduced to New York yet, beyond a couple of short press conferences and some mean-spirited memes. He hasn't had a chance to lose a game yet. The heat on his seat hasn't even been turned on.

But it will be very shortly, once the ashes settle from the firing of Jets GM Mike Maccagnan, because like it or not, fair or not, and true or not, it sure looks like Gase's fingerprints are all over this shocking move. Whether it was a power play or good, old-fashioned irreconcilable differences, Gase won and Maccagnan lost.

Which means this Jets mess is Gase's now.

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Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts after an incomplete pass in the fourth quarter 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 quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts after an incomplete pass in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

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Kurt Warner was there, 15 years ago, in the most unenviable spot for a starting quarterback. He knew he could still play. He knew he could still win.

And he knew his replacement was standing right behind him.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 1, 2018; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Blessuan Austin (1) intercepts a pass in front of Texas State Bobcats wide receiver Javen Banks (12) during first half at High Point Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 1, 2018; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Blessuan Austin (1) intercepts a pass in front of Texas State Bobcats wide receiver Javen Banks (12) during first half at High Point Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Blessuan Austin was the last player the Jets picked in the NFL draft, after 195 players were already selected. But the truth is, if he hadn't torn his ACL twice in the last two seasons, he likely would've been drafted much higher - maybe even the second or third round.

Actually, to Austin, that sounds a bit low.

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Oct 7, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA;Florida Gators defensive lineman Jachai Polite (99) gets the fans pumped up against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Oct 7, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA;Florida Gators defensive lineman Jachai Polite (99) gets the fans pumped up against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

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FLORHAM PARK - The Jets knew all about Jachai Polite's disastrous appearance at the Combine in February. They knew that's the only reason he was still available for them to draft in the third round.

They still knew it was a risk. But they also knew that if it worked out, he could be the dominating pass rusher they've been seeking for several seasons.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coaches against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coaches against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The top of the first round was shaping up like a dream for James Bettcher. As the sixth overall pick got closer and closer, there were still a couple of prized, elite defensive players on the board.

And yes, the Giants defensive coordinator wanted them. He had his eyes on Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Those two have Pro Bowl potential, according to many scouts. They could've changed the makeup of the Giants' defense.

What defensive coordinator wouldn't have wanted one of them instead of Duke quarterback Daniel Jones?

Tags: Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coaches against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coaches against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The top of the first round was shaping up like a dream for James Bettcher. As the sixth overall pick got closer and closer, there were still a couple of prized, elite defensive players on the board.

And yes, the Giants defensive coordinator wanted them. He had his eyes on Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Those two have Pro Bowl potential, according to many scouts. They could've changed the makeup of the Giants' defense.

What defensive coordinator wouldn't have wanted one of them instead of Duke quarterback Daniel Jones?

Tags: Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sixteen new players were drafted by the Jets and Giants two weeks ago, and both teams are confident they landed an outstanding class. Of course, it's early and they won't know for sure until training camp begins which of their rookies will be able to immediately help them out.

It's not hard to project, though, based on talent and - perhaps most importantly - opportunity. So here's a look at the 16 members of the Giants and Jets Draft Class of 2019, ranked in the order they're expected to make an impact on New York football this year.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Brandon Shell, Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sixteen new players were drafted by the Jets and Giants two weeks ago, and both teams are confident they landed an outstanding class. Of course, it's early and they won't know for sure until training camp begins which of their rookies will be able to immediately help them out.

It's not hard to project, though, based on talent and - perhaps most importantly - opportunity. So here's a look at the 16 members of the Giants and Jets Draft Class of 2019, ranked in the order they're expected to make an impact on New York football this year.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Brandon Shell, Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sixteen new players were drafted by the Jets and Giants two weeks ago, and both teams are confident they landed an outstanding class. Of course, it's early and they won't know for sure until training camp begins which of their rookies will be able to immediately help them out.

It's not hard to project, though, based on talent and - perhaps most importantly - opportunity. So here's a look at the 16 members of the Giants and Jets Draft Class of 2019, ranked in the order they're expected to make an impact on New York football this year.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Brandon Shell, Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback draft pick DeAndre Baker (35) runs during a drill 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 cornerback draft pick DeAndre Baker (35) runs during a drill during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sixteen new players were drafted by the Jets and Giants two weeks ago, and both teams are confident they landed an outstanding class. Of course, it's early and they won't know for sure until training camp begins which of their rookies will be able to immediately help them out.

It's not hard to project, though, based on talent and - perhaps most importantly - opportunity. So here's a look at the 16 members of the Giants and Jets Draft Class of 2019, ranked in the order they're expected to make an impact on New York football this year.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Brandon Shell, Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 6, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Jay Ajayi (26) reacts to his touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 6, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Jay Ajayi (26) reacts to his touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Giants did not have a lot of salary cap space, so this offseason was always going to be about the draft for them. Anything else they added was likely come out of the bargain bin of free agency.

And their bargain shopping is about to begin.

Starting on Tuesday, the Giants figure to be in the market for a right tackle, maybe an edge rusher, and probably plenty of depth, when the free-agent signing period heats back up again. That's the first day that free-agent signings do not count against the NFL's compensatory draft pick formula, which determines comp picks for the next draft, and takes into account free agent signings, losses, money spent and performance. Any player a team signs Tuesday won't count against his new team.

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Dec 2, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) makes a catch in front of Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Dec 2, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) makes a catch in front of Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The list of Jets' needs seemed pretty obvious when the offseason began. Yet several months in, they still haven't done much to plug holes at center, edge rusher and cornerback, in particular.

So it's a good thing for them that free agency isn't over. In fact, Wave 2 is about to begin.

Starting on Tuesday, the free-agent signing period figures to heat back up because that's the first day that free-agent signings do not count against the NFL's compensatory draft pick formula. That formula, which determines comp picks for the next draft, takes into account free agent signings, losses, money spent and performance. But any player a team signs starting tomorrow, won't count against his new team.

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Gettleman and Jones intertwined 00:00:46
For better or for worse, Ralph Vacchiano argues Dave Gettleman's legacy is attached to the success of Daniel Jones and the Giants.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Ernie Accorsi used to joke that the first line of his obituary someday would note he was the man who brought Eli Manning to the Giants, and he couldn't avoid that no matter how it worked out. Two Super Bowls later, that has turned out to be a good thing.

Dave Gettleman can only hope it'll be the same for him with Daniel Jones.

Tags: Eli Manning, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets went through the opening six weeks of free agency without signing a center, and they made it through seven rounds of the NFL Draft without taking one, too.

So it should be pretty obvious by now: Jonotthan Harrison is their guy.

The 27-year-old Harrison re-signed with the Jets shortly before the free agent market opened in March, inking a two-year, $5 million contract with $2.5 million guaranteed. At the time, it looked like he was being brought back for depth at the center position, with the Jets' seemingly on the prowl for a different starter.

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Giants Draft Recap 00:01:56
New York Giants were able to fill a lot of glaring holes on their defense despite using a top 10 pick on Duke QB Daniel Jones.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There was universal (and unfair) outrage over the Giants' first-round pick. And as much as they needed a quarterback of the future, it's a fair point that Duke's Daniel Jones likely won't help the Giants this year.

That, many said, was proof that Gettleman was lying about his "win now" philosophy. That, they argued, showed the Giants really were a rebuilding team.

But it's hard to argue that based on what Gettleman did with the rest of the draft.

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Jets Draft Recap 00:01:37
New York Jets were able to get a stud in Quinnen Williams but after that it was a little boom or bust.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Mike Maccagnan only had six picks in this NFL Draft, and couldn't come up with more despite his best efforts. So he had to take some risks to fill the holes on his rebuilding team.

And the Jets need those risks to very quickly pay off.

Those risks, and the fact that Maccagnan couldn't accomplish his goal of adding picks - especially in the second round -- are why the Jets' overall draft grade is only C-plus, despite the A-plus pick of Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams in the first round. Maccagnan actually wanted to trade down from the third overall pick, but it was hard to fault him for staying put and taking a player some scouts thought was the best defensive player in the draft.

Tags: Chris Herndon, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 29, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman addresses the media at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 29, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman addresses the media at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Three of the Giants' first four picks on the first two days of the draft were defensive players. That's no surprise, since Giants GM Dave Gettleman made it clear his team lacked defensive playmakers last year.

But given Gettleman's love of "Hog Mollies" and how badly the Giants need depth along their defensive line, it's pretty clear that the Giants' "Dance of the Elephants" - as the late George Young used to call it - is coming soon.

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New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, the Jets found an anchor for the middle of their defense (Quinnen Williams), a possible edge-rushing monster (Jachai Polite) and a future starting tackle (Chuma Edoga).

That's a nice start. But the Jets still have holes to fill. And they only have two more picks to go.

When Day 3 of the NFL Draft begins this afternoon, the Jets will only be holding a fourth-round pick (105th overall) and a sixth-rounder (196). That's not a lot for a rebuilding team that still needs help at center, cornerback, receiver, tight end, backup running back, and depth at any number of other spots.

Tags: Chris Herndon, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants draft Oshane Ximines 00:00:47
New York Giants add a much needed pass rusher in 'sack machine' Oshane Ximines. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano analyzes the Giants? 3rd rounder.

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Oshane Ximines was a pass-rushing machine during his four years at college, and that sure seems like it's exactly what the Giants need.

But the big question with their third-round pick will be whether the first player to ever be drafted out of Old Dominion can transfer that production to the NFL.

The Giants obviously think so, since they took him with their only Day 2 selection on Friday, 95th overall. The Giants had a terrible pass rush last season, which promised to be worse after they traded Olivier Vernon to Cleveland. And after they didn't take an edge rusher in the first-round on Thursday, they knew they had to grab one in Round 3.

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Less than 24 hours after the Giants drafted Eli Manning's eventual successor, Mike Francesa made a dramatic, on-air announcement that the Giants quarterback would no longer be doing his weekly radio spot on his WFAN show. Those two things, he said, were directly related - a sign of Manning's unhappiness about what the Giants just did.

But that doesn't appear to be the case at all.

The Giants actually told WFAN weeks ago that Manning was no longer interested in doing his weekly appearance, according to a source familiar with the situation, and it apparently had nothing to do with the Giants' draft plans. He has been doing a weekly radio appearance for his entire 15-year career, and simply wasn't interested in doing it anymore.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Daniel Jones is selected as the No. 6 overall pick to the New York Giants in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)
Daniel Jones is selected as the No. 6 overall pick to the New York Giants in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

No one knows for sure if Daniel Jones will be the next Eli Manning or the next Dave Brown. No one is sure whether the Giants' drafted him far too high, or if they were right that he wouldn't have lasted all the way to No. 17.

The only thing that's certain about Jones right now is that the Giants had a strong conviction that the 21-year-old was the right guy to be their future "face of the franchise" and a worthy successor to Manning's throne. They felt so strongly about him that they weren't willing to mess around and tempt fate. They took him the first chance they got, with the sixth overall pick.

And good for them. That's exactly what they're supposed to do.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE -- Jets GM Mike Maccagnan tried hard to trade down in the first-round of the NFL draft, hoping to acquire a second-round pick. In the end, he couldn't do it.

But he is expected to keep trying on Day 2.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE - The Giants had a busy first day of the NFL draft, ending up with three first-round picks before it was all over. Day 2 figures to be a lot quieter, at least at the moment.

Since they gave up their second-round pick (37th overall) when they traded back into the first round to select Georgia cornerback DeAndre Baker, the Giants currently have only one pick on the second day of the NFL draft. And they'll have to wait a while, too, because they don't pick until the 32nd selection of the third round - 95th overall.

Now, the Giants do still have six Day 3 picks and they are willing to trade some of them if they can move up from 95 to something closer to - or even in - the second round. But most likely they are going to miss out on some of the top prospects who were leftover after the first round.

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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Daniel Jones (Duke) is selected as the number six overall pick to the New York Giants and poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Daniel Jones (Duke) is selected as the number six overall pick to the New York Giants and poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE - Dave Gettleman's decision to draft Duke quarterback Daniel Jones on Thursday night wasn't surprising, but not many thought he'd do it with the sixth overall pick. The general belief seemed to be that the Giants were eyeing Jones with their second first-round pick - No. 17.

But the Giants were absolutely convinced that if they wanted Jones, they couldn't wait that long. If they did, they might be facing him twice a year instead.

That was at least part of why the Giants jumped early on the 21-year-old Duke quarterback - a fear that several teams, including the Washington Redskins, were interested in him as well, according to a team source

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE -- The Arizona Cardinals hold the keys to the entire first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. And they just might hold the keys to the Giants' future as well.

There is no doubt the Giants will be watching closely tonight when the Cardinals make the first overall pick, sometime around 8 p.m. Arizona is widely expected to select Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. And once they do -- or if they do -- it'll be clear that their current quarterback, Josh Rosen, will be available in a trade.

The Giants have already had internal discussions about the possibility of trading for Rosen, as SNY has reported, and an NFL source said they've also spoken to the Cardinals, too. Those conversations, the source said, were very preliminary and were just an attempt by the Giants to get an idea of the Cards' intentions and what the price for Rosen might be.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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