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.

Pat Shurmur's hot seat 00:01:14
After switching to Daniel Jones, Ralph Vacchinao argues the Giants will take a hard look at Pat Shurmur and his offense.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - When Eli Manning raised his last Super Bowl trophy on Feb. 5, 2012, he was at the top of his game. He had carried the Giants that season. He insisted he was "elite" and backed it up.

He had also just turned 31, right in a quarterback's prime, poised for some of the best years of his career.

Then the Giants went out and wasted it all.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Ereck Flowers, Golden Tate, Janoris Jenkins, Jonathan Stewart, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Patrick Omaneh, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jalen Ramsey/Trumaine Johnson
Jalen Ramsey/Trumaine Johnson

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Trumaine Johnson has become a weight around the neck of the Jets defense, and his benching on Monday night likely was the beginning of his end. The 29-year-old cornerback likely won't be in the long-term plans, as the Jets continue rebuilding their defense.

But don't expect him to be replaced by Jalen Ramsey, who has asked the Jacksonville Jaguars to trade him. Johnson's albatross of a contract makes it very difficult for the Jets to do that.

That's the part that makes the latest mess with Johnson so bad -- the fact that he's only in Year 2 of a five-year, $72.5 million contract. He's already been paid more than $26 million, and he's costing the Jets $12 million against the salary cap this season. And the way his deal is structured, they might have to endure his presence on the roster for another two years, at least.

Tags: Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Eli Manning
Eli Manning

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Eli Manning will go down as the greatest quarterback in Giants history, an icon of the franchise, and a symbol of their most recent championship era. It is a lock, obviously, that he will one day be placed in the Giants Ring of Honor.

But it is far from a lock that he will end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He may have a Hall of Fame-caliber resume: two championship rings and gaudy career statistics that rank him in the NFL's Top 10 of all-time. But he is not viewed universally as a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Among the 48 voters who will eventually decide his fate, there is considerable doubt that could even derail his candidacy completely.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dave Gettleman/Eli Manning
Dave Gettleman/Eli Manning

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants believed they had a chance to be a playoff contender this season, and they made a huge bet that Eli Manning could be the one to lead them there. GM Dave Gettleman believed he could do it with a better offensive line in front of him. Pat Shurmur said multiple times he thought Manning had "years" left in his stellar career.

They were so sure that they brought Manning back despite an $11.5 million salary, a $5 million roster bonus, and the fact that he would cost them $23.2 million under the NFL's salary cap.

What a colossal waste of money that turned out to be.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Eli Manning
Eli Manning

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There has been quarterback carnage all around the NFL early this season and plenty of teams that probably could use a veteran like Eli Manning if he were available.

But Manning has a full no-trade clause in his contract, and according to multiple sources he has no immediate plans to waive it.

At least not yet.

Tags: Eli Manning, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Eli Manning
Eli Manning

When the Giants made their last big, permanent quarterback switch 15 years ago, Kurt Warner didn't see it coming. He wasn't happy. He thought he had more time. He was sure he was still the Giants best quarterback.

But as soon as they told him he was being benched for a young Eli Manning nine games into the 2004 season, Warner made it clear to the Giants they should never put him back in.

He knew then what Pat Shurmur needs to know now: Once a move this big is made, there's no turning back. No matter what happens over the next 14 games, no matter how much Jones may struggle, no matter how many losses pile up, Daniel Jones is the Giants quarterback and it has to stay that way.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 23, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler (8) before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Dec 23, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler (8) before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Trevor Siemian will have an MRI on his ankle Tuesday morning, but the injury sure didn't look good. Sam Darnold is already out with mono, possibly until late October. That leaves Luke Falk, who made his NFL debut on Monday night, as the only quarterback on the roster.

So yes, the Jets need help at quarterback and they need it quickly.

Unfortunately, quarterbacks aren't exactly easy to find.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) walks off the field after an injury during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) walks off the field after an injury during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

OK, now what?

It was bad enough when the Jets learned quarterback Sam Darnold was out indefinitely with mono, but now they've lost backup quarterback Trevor Siemian, too. He suffered what looked like a nasty ankle injury in the first half of the Jets' 23-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Monday night. That forced the Jets to turn to Luke Falk, who had been promoted from the practice squad earlier in the day.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemian, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

If the Giants are looking for the perfect spot to make the switch and give 22-year-old Daniel Jones his first NFL start, this isn't it.

But there are ideal windows coming soon.

Now, the Giants may decide that the situation doesn't matter or they may feel like they don't have a choice. They may decide to name Jones their starting quarterback for this Sunday's game in Tampa Bay, even if the situation isn't ideal. The reality is that teams can't always choose a perfect spot for a rookie quarterback to make his debut.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Eli Manning, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Eli Manning
Eli Manning

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Eli Manning Era is over, whether the Giants are ready to make it official or not.

It came to an end on Monday morning when Pat Shurmur reversed course and flung open the door he had been trying so hard to keep closed. Just 20 hours after he said it wasn't time to have the conversation, he decided "it's fair" to now talk about benching the 38-year-old Manning in favor of 22-year-old rookie quarterback Daniel Jones.

At that moment, Manning was done. Only the final arrangements need to be ironed out.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Is Odell right about Williams? 00:00:39
New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and Odell Beckham Jr. had some words this past week, we'll see what happens tonight.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Odell Beckham Jr. made waves last week when he went public with accusations that Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams once told players to purposely injury him.

And that wasn't the first time Beckham thought Williams ordered his players to take the star receiver out.

The Beckham-Williams feud has its roots in 2014, when Beckham was a rookie with the Giants and Williams was fresh off his BountyGate suspension as the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams. In a late December game, Rams defenders appeared to target Beckham multiple times with late or questionably legal hits.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Eli Manning
Giants quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Eli Manning

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Time is running out on the Eli Manning Era, whether Pat Shurmur wants to talk about it or not. Pretty soon there will be nothing to play for in this lost season. The Giants, very clearly, are a mess.

Ironically, that might be the truth that sets Manning free to extend his Giants career a little longer. Because why in the world would the Giants want to throw a rookie quarterback into the middle of this?

Seriously, at this point, that's the best argument for keeping Daniel Jones, the Giants' future franchise quarterback, on the sidelines as this already miserable season unravels. For all who hope that he would be a better option than a 38-year-old Manning, the reality is that he's still a 22-year-old kid who is learning on the job. That's not always the easiest thing to do in the best of circumstances.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants
Giants

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants defense is a disaster and nothing -- not Saquon Barkley, not a quarterback change, not a miracle -- is going to help them salvage the season if the defense continues to play like this.

For the second straight week, the defense was barely a speed bump on the road to another loss, especially in the first half as the Giants fell into a deep hole. The Buffalo Bills racked up 260 yards in the first half alone and scored on three of their first four possessions, all while second-year quarterback Josh Allen was made to look like Johnny Unitas. It all unraveled in a 28-14 loss to the Bills that could have been -- and probably should have been -- worse.

And it's nothing new either. The pass rush is simply nonexistent. Linebacker Markus Golden, imported from Arizona in the hopes that he could revive his career after an ACL injury, had a sack on the second drive. That was good. That was also one of the few times the Giants' pass rush got anywhere near Allen all game. He had all day long to throw, and when he did leave the pocket, no one could catch him.

Tags: Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets decided not to put Sam Darnold on injured reserve because that would've required him to miss the next eight weeks and, according to Jets coach Adam Gase, the quarterback's expected absence is "not going to be that long."

But it could be close.

Though many initially assumed that, after the 22-year-old Darnold was diagnosed with mono, he would return in Week 5 -- right after the Jets bye week -- the Jets just aren't sure he'll be able to be back that quickly. The truth is the Jets don't know yet when to expect him back, multiple sources said.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Gregg Williams
Gregg Williams

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Gregg Williams took the bait, because of course he did. That's exactly what he wanted to do. He didn't have to. He's a grown man, 61 years old, a coach with 30 years of NFL experience. He could have just let those nasty things that Odell Beckham Jr. said about him go.

But that's not Williams' style. He's a brash, harsh, tough guy who at the very least wants to project the image that he'll never back down from a fight. So when he was asked on Friday about Beckham's accusation that Williams ordered his players to intentionally injure the attention-seeking receiver two years ago, Williams began by saying this:

"Odell who?"

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 29, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 29, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - One of Adam Gase's top priorities in the offseason was finding an experienced quarterback to back up Sam Darnold, and the guy he wanted from the beginning was Trevor Siemian.

This is why.

"He's exactly what smart teams want in a backup quarterback," one AFC scout told SNY on Thursday night. "Experience. He's done it before and done it well. There's no learning curve. Just plug him in and go to work."

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets QB Sam Darnold and RB Le'Veon Bell
Jets QB Sam Darnold and RB Le'Veon Bell

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - When the doctors came to Jets head coach Adam Gase on Wednesday night to talk about Sam Darnold, he said he had a feeling that his quarterback had mono. Somehow he just knew in his "gut" that the news was going to be bad.

Unfortunately for Gase, he was right.

And it's likely going to get much, much worse.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Adam Gase sounds off 00:02:07
Jets coach Adam Gase talks about losing Quincy Enunwa, adding kicker Sam Ficken, and fixing the team's mistakes fast enough to have success.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - On his first chance to play Monday Morning Quarterback with his team, Adam Gase didn't hold anything back. His anger was evident. His words were harsh. And his finger was pointed directly at his players.

It was an unusual public display of day-after emotion, especially for anyone who lived the four years of Todd Bowles, a coach who rarely showed a public pulse. It was interpreted in some places as Gase rolling his Jets players under the proverbial bus and taking no blame for the Jets' opening-day disaster.

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Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Jets head coach Adam Gase spent months building his offense around the receivers he had, insisting the group was better, more diverse than most people thought. Quincy Enunwa, as his tough, sure-handed possession receiver, was a big part of that equation.

So what is Gase going to do now?

The short answer in the NFL is always "next man up," but it's never that simple when a key player is lost during the season. And it could be particularly difficult for Gase to replace Enunwa, who is now lost for the season with another neck injury, because there's no one on the Jets roster who can really do what the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder could.

Tags: Chris Herndon, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Eli Manning
Giants quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Eli Manning

It is not time for Daniel Jones to start. It is not time for the Giants to surrender the season and begin looking towards the future. It is not time to finally and officially declare Eli Manning "done."

But a few more performances by the Giants like the one in Dallas on Sunday, and the start of the Daniel Jones Era might be pretty close.

That really has nothing to do with Manning, the Giants' 38-year-old currently starting quarterback. As easy a target as he may be, he wasn't the reason the Giants were blown out, 35-17, in Dallas on Opening Day. But in the end -- his end -- there seems to be an increasing possibility that his own play won't matter.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The game was far from over late in the third quarter when the Giants were deep in Cowboys territory. They were moving the ball, on the verge of scoring, facing a third-and-2 from the Cowboys' eight yard line.

It was the perfect time to place the ball in the hands of their best player, who just happens to be one of the most dynamic players in the league. So the Giants lined up, the ball was snapped, and Eli Manning turned and handed the ball to…

Eli Penny?

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

It's possible that the Giants defense is actually worse than anyone thought.

That's hard to believe, considering how low expectations were, but it was like they were barely there in the Giants' 35-17 opening day loss in Dallas. They got no pass rush at all, and their secondary was a mess of poor coverage and broken plays. The result was a 405-yard, four-touchdown performance by Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, who looked like he was running a 7-on-7 drill all day.

It was embarrassing, really. Also it was not surprising. It was clear the Giants weren't going to be able to generate much of a pass rush this season, and they drew a tough assignment anyway against the Cowboys' powerful offensive line. But the coverage was worse than advertised, particularly starting corner Antonio Hamilton, who was literally shoved around throughout the game. 

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets react to tough 17-16 loss 00:01:23
Le'Veon Bell reacts to his first NFL game in over a year, plus Sam Darnold and C.J. Mosley react to giving up the least in the 4th quarter.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Sam Darnold got out of the Jets' game against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night in one piece.

And that's pretty much the best thing that can be said about his game and the Jets' offense in their 28-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night.

Right from the start, Darnold and the Jets' offense looked as out of sync as they've been all preseason. There were fumbles, breakdowns, bad throws, drops, and more than enough bad blocking to go around. Yes, he still didn't have Le'Veon Bell in his arsenal, and he was also missing three-fifths of his starting offensive line.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Adam Gase ahead of game one 00:01:12
Jeane Coakley talked to Adam Gase before his first official game as head coach. He's excited for what the offense can do.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The arrival of Sam Darnold gave Jets fans something they had been lacking for years: Hope. And that hope for the future got stronger as the new franchise quarterback got better late in his rookie season.

Now, that hope has become excitement and expectation. Even Darnold admits things are different this season. Even he knows that what he did last season was just the start.

"I think I was in a different place," the 22-year-old said. "Just being a rookie going into my first game, I was just feeling a little bit different. I wasn't nearly as comfortable as I am now."

Tags: Chandler Catanzaro, Jamison Crowder, Jason Myers, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Eli Manning and Saquon Barkley
Eli Manning and Saquon Barkley

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Nobody on the outside really likes this Giants team, or thinks it will be any good this season. But on the inside, the feeling is much different.

Everyone in the Giants' building seems to really like what they've done with this team.

"We don't really listen to the talk outside," Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said. "We feel like we are a better team than we were a year ago. … I like the way we have built our team. I like some of the changes we made personnel wise.

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - When news broke of Ezekiel Elliott's six-year, $90 million contract extension (with $50 million in guaranteed money) on Thursday, Saquon Barkley was happy for his fellow NFL running back. Just not for the reasons everyone thinks.

He said he didn't give a second of thought to what it might mean for him when his own four-year, $31.1 million contract is over (presumably after the team exercises its fifth-year option in 2022). And remarkably, not a single friend or family member has brought that up to him either - at least not yet.

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Few players in Giants history had rocketed to superstardom as fast as Odell Beckham Jr. did. In what seemed like an instant, he became a household name and got caught up in the instant access and lack of privacy in the social media age.

There were times the Giants felt like it was too much for Beckham. 

They have no such worries about Saquon Barkley, their newest superstar.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) prepares for a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) prepares for a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Jamal Adams recruited Le'Veon Bell hard during the offseason, and did his best to convince the Jets' front office to follow his lead. It was clearly his biggest offseason priority.

Why?

"Simple, man," Adams said. "I just want to win."

The Jets will start to find out on Sunday afternoon whether Bell was worth Adams' time and the Jets' money. They signed him to a four-year, $52.5 million contract in March with $35 million in guaranteed money, as the crown jewel of their two-year free-agent spending spree. In many ways, he was also the last big piece of their long rebuilding plan.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets QB Sam Darnold and RB Le'Veon Bell
Jets QB Sam Darnold and RB Le'Veon Bell

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets' offseason featured more than enough storylines to last for years.

They fired one coach, then hired a new one. Then they fired a GM, and hired a new one. Along the way, they spent well over $100 million in guaranteed money in free agency, bringing their total to well over $200 million over the last two years.

Their hope -- their belief -- is that all of that turmoil and transition will pay off this season with their first playoff berth since 2010. Of course, a lot still has to happen for the Jets to get there.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.

The one thing that is certain about the Giants is that they are a team in transition -- or at least they will be soon. There's a new quarterback and a new era on the horizon.

How this season goes will determine how soon that future will come.

So yes, the Eli Manning-Daniel Jones dynamic and when/if the inevitable switch is made will be the dominant story of the Giants' 2019 season. There's no way to avoid that. But that isn't the only storyline to watch...

Tags: Eli Manning, Lorenzo Carter, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

If there was one thing the Giants wanted to make clear after their first regular-season practice on Monday, it's that, "We're a better team than we were a year ago," as Pat Shurmur said. No Odell Beckham, no Landon Collins? It's no problem to them.

Yes, they were 5-11 last season so that bar isn't particularly high. And yes, there is an element of, "What else are they supposed to say?"

But the Giants really do seem to believe in addition by subtraction, that by removing a handful of big-name stars they've been able to build a better team -- no matter what the outside world thinks.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, Eli Manning, Kevin Zeitler, Landon Collins, Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden, Mike Remmers, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Oshane Ximines, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Gregg Williams
Gregg Williams

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The first time Gregg Williams stood in front of the Jets' defense after a practice, some of his players were shell-shocked. He was loud. He was harsh. He was brutally honest.

He didn't care if any of his players were embarrassed or hurt. In fact, that was the point.

And nobody was spared.

Tags: CJ Mosley, Jordan Jenkins, Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets + Giants make roster cuts 00:01:25
SNY Insider Ralph Vacchiano analyzes the roster cuts that both the New York Jets and New York Giants made today.

What happened with the Jets and Giants during Saturday's 4 p.m. cut deadline and how did each New York team get down to 53 players on each roster?

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano dissects the top moves for both teams and explains the next steps.

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Jets + Giants make roster cuts 00:01:25
SNY Insider Ralph Vacchiano analyzes the roster cuts that both the New York Jets and New York Giants made today.

What happened with the Jets and Giants during Saturday's 4 p.m. cut deadline and how did each New York team get down to 53 players on each roster?

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano dissects the top moves for both teams and explains the next steps.

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Jets GM Joe Douglas
Jets GM Joe Douglas

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

All NFL teams are required to cut their rosters from 90 players to 53 by 4 p.m. on Saturday.

That means the Jets, who had 90 players on their roster, must make 37 moves.

Below is our running list of their cuts and other transactions, based off information from sources, players, agents and other published reports:

Tags: Brandon Copeland, Chris Herndon, Elijah McGuire, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jul 2, 2019; Lyon, FRA; The United States forward Carli Lloyd (10) looks for teammates during semi-final play against England in the Women's World Cup soccer tournament at Stade de Lyon. The U.S. won 2-1.Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports  (Michael Chow)
Jul 2, 2019; Lyon, FRA; The United States forward Carli Lloyd (10) looks for teammates during semi-final play against England in the Women's World Cup soccer tournament at Stade de Lyon. The U.S. won 2-1.Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports (Michael Chow)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets kicking situation is a mess. They've been through two kickers so far, and it's a good bet they'll add a third when they scrape someone off the waiver wire on Sunday. With eight days to go until the regular season they have a problem. A very big problem.

So why can't Carli Lloyd be the solution?

She won't be, of course, and there are good reasons for that. But at this point, the 37-year-old star of the U. S. women's soccer team couldn't really be much worse. Jets kickers are just 6 for 9 on field goals this summer after current kicker Taylor Bertolet missed three field goals in the preseason finale on Thursday night. Worse, Bertolet and now-retired kicker Chandler Catanzaro are only a combined 3 for 7 on extra points.

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Giants quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Eli Manning (Vincent Carchietta)
Giants quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Eli Manning (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Daniel Jones exceeded all expectations this summer and was more impressive than anyone could have expected a rookie quarterback to be. He looked ready to play. He showed the Giants' future is in very capable hands.

The only remaining question is: How soon will that future be?

Or to put it another way: Eli Manning may be the Giants' starter, but how short is his leash?

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Brian Fluharty)
(Brian Fluharty)

Daniel Jones wrapped up a nearly perfect preseason with another nearly perfect game - or at least one perfect series in the Giants' preseason finale.

And that's likely the last anyone will see of the sixth-overall pick until the Giants are ready to make a quarterback switch and put an end to Eli Manning's Giants career.

In the meantime, there's another big quarterback decision coming up for Giants coach Pat Shurmur. We know he loves Jones. We know he thinks Jones has made a ton of progress this summer. And we know he thinks Jones is ready and able to play.

Tags: B.J. Goodson, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Golden Tate, Kyle Lauletta, Paul Perkins, Wayne Gallman, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jadeveon Clowney
Jadeveon Clowney

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

If new Jets general manager Joe Douglas really wants to trade for Jadeveon Clowney -- the Houston Texans' holdout pass rusher -- it won't be easy to do. It also won't be cheap.

And a deal for Clowney would come with great risk.

Here's a look at the Clowney situation, the risks involved, and the five reasons why a deal to the Jets might not be possible:

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Sep 30, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) and linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) celebrate a tackle for a loss in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Sep 30, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) and linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) celebrate a tackle for a loss in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

The Houston Texans now seem willing to trade Jadeveon Clowney. But it might be a hard trade for the Jets to pull off.

It's not that the Jets aren't interested (they are) or that the Texans wouldn't send him to New York (of course they would). It's just that there may be far too many obstacles on both sides to make a blockbuster deal like this happen.

And other teams seem like a much better fit for the unhappy star.

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New York Giants running back Rod Smith (45) reacts with center Jon Halapio (75) after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. (David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants running back Rod Smith (45) reacts with center Jon Halapio (75) after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. (David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When Daniel Jones makes his first start for the Giants on Thursday night, he won't have many starters around him. For nearly every key player on the team, the preseason is over.

The preseason finale in New England is all about the backups, and dozens of players still fighting for roster spots.

Who will make it and who won't? Here's a pre-game look at the Giants' projected 53-man roster, which could change considerably depending on how their game against the Patriots goes:

Tags: Cody Latimer, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Nate Solder, Russell Shepard, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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Manning on the move? 00:01:18
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reports on rumors of a possible trade involving Eli Manning and the Indianapolis Colts after the retirement of Luck.

Colts QB Andrew Luck's abrupt retirement Saturday, after just six years in Indianapolis, has left the NFL world in a state of shock.

While the Colts are rolling with fourth-year pro Jacoby Brissett under center as the 2019 season approaches in two weeks, could veteran Eli Manning become an option at some point?

With rumors circulating in recent days and the rise of rookie Daniel Jones in mind, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano analyzes the possibility of the Giants' possible trade with the Colts.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Indianapolis Colts, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets talk making improvements 00:01:37
Gase, Darnold and Bertolet on continuing to improve the Jets offense and Bertolet trying to solidify kicking game

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Sam Darnold got out of the Jets' game against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night in one piece.

And that's pretty much the best thing that can be said about his game and the Jets' offense in their 28-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night.

Right from the start, Darnold and the Jets' offense looked as out of sync as they've been all preseason. There were fumbles, breakdowns, bad throws, drops, and more than enough bad blocking to go around. Yes, he still didn't have Le'Veon Bell in his arsenal, and he was also missing three-fifths of his starting offensive line.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ty Montgomery , Ralph Vacchiano
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Douglas talks player evaluation 00:01:31
Jets GM Joe Douglas discusses upgrading roster, kicking situation and def. coordinator Gregg Williams

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Maybe he's just being cautious, but new Jets GM Joe Douglas wasn't ready to guarantee a playoff berth on Saturday night. He wouldn't even commit to meaningful games in September. He preferred to keep his hopes to himself.

And maybe that's good, because the more Douglas spoke, the more this much was clear: No matter how good anyone thinks the Jets are right now, there's still a lot of work left to do.

The good news, though, is Douglas believes there's still time left and opportunities for him to do it. During a surprise press conference a few hours before the Jets took on the Saints in the third preseason game on Saturday night, the rookie GM discussed holes on his roster at corner, receiver and edge rusher, for starters. 

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Nov 18, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) celebrates after recording a sack against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Nov 18, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) celebrates after recording a sack against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Jets don't want to say the word, because they don't want to put too much pressure on themselves. But they know this is the year their rebuilding project is supposed to pay off. They've spent too much money and made too many high draft picks not to be a playoff team.

But if they're still really not sure that they're there yet, if they still feel like there's something missing, there's one really good way to push themselves over the top:

Make a blockbuster trade for Houston Texans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney. And do it now.

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 (David Kohl)
(David Kohl)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It's gotten lost in Daniel Jones Mania, but Eli Manning is having a pretty good summer, too.

The veteran starter - who is still the Giants starter - has been solid during the preseason so far in the three series that he's played. This time, in a 25-23 win in Cincinnati, Manning had a deceptive performance, going 4-for-8 for 41 yards. But two of those incompletions were drops by receiver Cody Latimer, including one in the end zone that forced the Giants to settle for a field goal on Manning's lone drive.

Manning is now 9-of-13 for 86 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions. It's a small sample size, obviously, but good for a passer rating of 113.0.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (David Kohl)
(David Kohl)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Maybe Baker Mayfield really was surprised when the Giants drafted Daniel Jones sixth overall. But nobody should be shocked anymore.

The 22-year-old rookie quarterback continued his stellar preseason by putting on another show in the Giants' third preseason game in Cincinnati on Thursday night. He completed 9-of-11 passes for 141 yards, playing the final 20 minutes of the first half.

Through three games, he's 25-of-30 (83.3 percent) for 369 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. That's a passer rating of 140.1.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws the ball during the first half against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws the ball during the first half against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The third preseason game used to be the big test for the starters. But that's just not the way it is anymore. Even Pat Shurmur, who believes the preseason still has value, doesn't expect to play his starters very long in Cincinnati tonight.

He said he expects things to go much like they did the first two games. That means no Saquon Barkley. No Sterling Shepard. Eli Manning will get a series, maybe two, and the starting offensive line will get that, plus maybe another series with rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Then Jones will go until halftime.

In the second half … well, make sure to have your roster handy. You'll need it.

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Daniel Jones on Baker's comments 00:00:56
Giants QB Daniel Jones reacts to critical comments by Browns QB Baker Mayfield, saying "everyone has a different way of doing things."

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Welcome to your new world, Daniel Jones. Get used to it.

Baker Mayfield may have been wildly out of line when he ripped the Giants for making Jones the sixth overall pick in the draft, but the truth is he's just the latest in a very long line of Daniel Jones critics. Giants fans seemed horrified by the pick. Many in the media crushed it.

Tags: Baker Mayfield, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Chicago Bears didn't play a single starter against the Giants on Friday night and Mitch Trubisky and Khalil Mack probably won't play this preseason at all. It's the same in L.A., with Jared Goff and Todd Gurley. Saquon Barkley probably won't play this summer either, and Le'Veon Bell has already been ruled out.

A decade ago - less, even - such a mass sit-out would have been unthinkable in the preseason. Players played in increasing amounts in at least the first three games. Coaches felt they had to, in order to get ready for the regular season.

So what happened?

Tags: Avery Williamson, Eli Manning, Le'Veon Bell, Neville Hewitt, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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