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.

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - By the time the draft begins at 8 p.m. next Thursday, Dave Gettleman and his staff will have spent months building the Giants' big board. They will have a pretty good idea by then of what they're going to do - particularly with their two first-round picks.

Then the Arizona Cardinals will make the first overall pick, and everything could change.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass while Green Bay Packers defensive back Eddie Pleasant (35) defends during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass while Green Bay Packers defensive back Eddie Pleasant (35) defends during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

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A week-by-week look at the Giants' 2019 schedule, and some way-too-early predictions that are sure to change a lot:

Week 1 (Sept. 8) - @ Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.

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

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A week-by-week look at the Giants' 2019 schedule, and some way-too-early predictions that are sure to change a lot:

Week 1 (Sept. 8) - @ Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.

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Dave Gettleman
Dave Gettleman

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One of the biggest mysteries in this year's NFL Draft is whether the Giants will take a quarterback, and if they do, which of their first-round picks will they use? It's not even clear which quarterbacks will be available to them at No. 6, or if any of the top ones will be left at No. 17.

For weeks, it has seemed they will go with a defensive player at 6. Lately, some smart NFL people have changed their minds on that. Eli Manning thinks there's a chance the Giants will use one of those early picks on his likely successor. And adding to the intrigue, the quarterback most often pegged to go to the Giants at 6 - Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins - is now a player some think will be available at 17.

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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

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There's just a little more than a week to go and still some mystery - even at the top of the NFL Draft where the smart money is still on Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa going 1-2 to the Cardinals and the 49ers.

If that doesn't happen, it could have a huge impact on the Jets - especially if Murray falls and teams that love him want to trade up.

For now, though, let's assume Murray-Bosa will go 1-2 as expected. If that happens, here's a look at how the Jets' six picks could go:

First round (3rd overall) - DE/LB Josh Allen, Kentucky

Tags: Chris Herndon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 5, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) in action during an NFC Wild Card playoff football game between the Cowboys and the Seahawks at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Jan 5, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) in action during an NFC Wild Card playoff football game between the Cowboys and the Seahawks at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

There's nothing wrong with dreaming, even if the dream is silly. It's OK to wish upon a star, imagine the unimaginable, or hope against hope.

So go ahead and buy your Russell Wilson Giants jersey, because it's your money to waste. No matter what the rumor mill says, no matter what Tyrann Mathieu Tweets, no matter how many times Jimmy Fallon asks him, Russell Wilson is not going to be the quarterback of the Giants. Not this year. Not next year. Not a few years from now.

And probably not ever.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 29, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2018 Orange Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Dec 29, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2018 Orange Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

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If the Giants decide to invest a draft pick in their Quarterback of the Future this year, GM Dave Gettleman made it clear he's not looking for a project. Sure, great quarterbacks have been found in almost all rounds of the NFL Draft.

But most of them have come from the first round. And that's where Gettleman plans to look...

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 28, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts after being sacked by the Washington Redskins during second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 28, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts after being sacked by the Washington Redskins during second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

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The Giants have made it very clear, over and over again the last few years, that they will not force a decision on their Quarterback of the Future if they don't see one they love. They are comfortable putting it off indefinitely. They might even be on the verge of doing it again.

But that would be a mistake, no matter how good the class of quarterbacks looks in the 2020 draft. They can't keep punting this issue into the future. It's time to settle down, even if it means settling at the most important position in sports.

They need to find their Quarterback of the Future now.

Tags: Eli Manning, Josh Rosen, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

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With only two weeks left until the NFL draft kicks off, here's a look at how the Giants might use their 12 picks:

First round (6th overall) - DE/LB Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

Tags: Eli Manning, Josh Rosen, Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Ralph Vacchiano
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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

With just over two weeks left until the NFL draft kicks off, here's our Jets Mock Draft 4.0:

First round (3rd overall) - DE/LB Josh Allen, Kentucky

If you buy into the theory that the Cardinals are taking Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray No. 1 (and I do), be assured that the 49ers will take Ohio State's Nick Bosa with the second pick. That leaves the Jets with the choice of three options: Allen, Alabama DT Quinnen Williams or trade down. They would surely trade down if the right deal comes along. If not, the choice is tough. Many scouts think Williams might be the best defensive player in the draft, but Allen is the edge rusher the Jets so desperately need. Finding edge rushers has proven to be exceedingly difficult (and expensive) so it makes more sense to go with the 6-5, 260-pound Allen here.

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Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during warmups prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports (Steven Bisig)
Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during warmups prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports (Steven Bisig)

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Josh Rosen reported for work bright and early on Monday morning in Tempe, Ariz., beating all of his teammates to the start of the Arizona Cardinals offseason workouts, as if everything was normal.

Of course, everything is not normal for Rosen, whom many around the NFL expect to be traded in the next two weeks. And the second-year quarterback could even end up in a bidding war between the Redskins and Giants in the NFC East.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) reacts to the crowd during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) reacts to the crowd during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The new-look Jets reported for work for the first time under new head coach Adam Gase on Monday, for the start of their offseason workout program. Some roster shuffling and a free-agent spending spree has made them look a lot different than when last season ended.

But the transformation is not complete.

Despite all their free-agent additions over the last 13 months, there are still holes to fill in the Jets' lineup. And with free agency basically over, their last chance to do it is really the upcoming draft. So here's a look at what's left on the Jets' "to-do list", and some of the players they could add at the NFL Draft, which is now about two weeks away...

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Dave Gettleman
Dave Gettleman

The Giants hold the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL draft, which is at least close to where GM Dave Gettleman thinks teams find "gold-jacket players". It's an enormously important pick for this semi-rebuilding franchise.

But their second first-round pick -- 17th overall -- is the most intriguing one.

That's where the Giants appear to have the most options and far more uncertainty than they'll find at the top of the draft. At 6 their choices seem to be to grab the best of what's left of the top-tier defenders or select Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins to be Eli Manning's eventual successor.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) passes the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports (Steven Bisig)
Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) passes the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports (Steven Bisig)

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As the Giants continue to ponder their future at quarterback, Josh Rosen will be part of the discussion at least between now and the NFL Draft.

But what happens if the Arizona Cardinals don't start fielding offers for Rosen until the draft is underway?

That problematic scenario is certainly one possibility, according to multiple NFL sources. At the moment, those sources said, there is no indication the Cardinals have already made Rosen available, even though they are widely expected to draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick. Those sources believe the Cardinals are considering not discussing possible deals for Rosen until after they draft Murray, as a way to keep their options open and not tip their hand.

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New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

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There is less than a month to go until the Giants can use their 12 picks in the upcoming NFL draft. Here's a look at how those picks might go:

First round (6th overall) - LB Devin White, LSU

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Corey Coleman, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan 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 general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

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There is less than a month to go until the Jets can use their six picks in the upcoming NFL draft. Here's a look at how those picks might go:

First round (3rd overall) - DE/LB Josh Allen, Kentucky

Tags: Chris Herndon, Elijah McGuire, Le'Veon Bell, Steve McLendon, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 18, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; 
		New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) with a long 4th quarter 1st down against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)
Nov 18, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) with a long 4th quarter 1st down against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

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Taking one of the five best receivers in the game out of an offense isn't the ideal recipe for success. In an NFL era where explosive passing games rule, players like Odell Beckham seem necessary. The more talent and weapons a team has, the more points they're likely to score.

So why do the Giants seem to think there's a chance their offense will be better now that Beckham is gone?

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Mar 2, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins (QB05) runs the 40 yard dash during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Mar 2, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins (QB05) runs the 40 yard dash during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

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Eli Manning is not going to play forever, even though it sometimes feels that way. And though the Giants won't dismiss the idea of him still being their quarterback in 2020, their ideal scenario remains finding his successor right now.

So who can they get? For this year, there seem to be only six possibilities, using either of their two picks in the first round of the NFL Draft, or maybe through a trade. Here's an early ranking of the contenders based on the likelihood that they'll end up as the Giants' guy:

Tags: Eli Manning, Josh Rosen, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) reacts to the crowd during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) reacts to the crowd during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

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In an ideal world, Adam Gase would have a Von Miller or a Cameron Wake - two premiere pass rushers who he's seen up close how they can disrupt an offense and change a game. Every team needs a player like that, and it's clear that's something his Jets are missing.

It also seems pretty clear that's the kind of player the Jets will be seeking in the first round of the draft -- if a player like that is even there...

Tags: Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

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PHOENIX - For a team that went on a wild, free-agent spending spree for the second time in 13 months after firing their coach three months ago, the Jets have been awfully quiet lately. No controversies. No scandals. Nothing but the business of football really.

And that's just the way they seem to like it … at least for now.

Tags: Darron Lee, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

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PHOENIX - Perhaps you've heard, the Giants have a plan. They've been pretty insistent on that over the last week. Also, their purge of some of their most popular players was "just business". It certainly wasn't personal with Odell Beckham, whom all the key people in the organization insist they genuinely liked.

All that, of course, is part of the company line. But what have we really learned about what the Giants think and are doing over the last four days? After speaking to co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch, coach Pat Shurmur, and multiple sources inside and outside of the organization, here are 10 takeaways from the Giants' time at the NFL's annual owners meetings at the Arizona Biltmore hotel:

Tags: Eli Manning, Josh Rosen, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

PHOENIX - The Giants are planning to investigate every possible option when it comes to finding their Quarterback of the Future, and that includes a potential trade for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen.

But here's the thing: At the moment they have no idea if Rosen is, or ever will be, available.

And nothing that happened at the NFL owners meetings this week has cleared that mystery up.

Tags: Josh Rosen, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) reacts after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (not pictured) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) reacts after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (not pictured) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

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PHOENIX - Le'Veon Bell may have been the biggest prize in the Jets' free-agent frenzy, but he might not have been their most-important acquisition.

At the very least, linebacker C.J. Mosley was just as important to Adam Gates and the Jets.

The new coach raved about his new defensive leader during the NFL coaches breakfast at the annual owners meetings on Tuesday morning. The Jets signed Mosley to a five-year $85 million contract with $51 million in guaranteed money. And Gase still sounded like he couldn't believe his good fortune that the 26-year-old linebacker was available at all.

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Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets co-owner and chairman Christopher Johnson looks on from the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets co-owner and chairman Christopher Johnson looks on from the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

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PHOENIX - Christopher Johnson refuses to deliver a playoff mandate to his Jets. Mike Maccagnan will only concede his team looks better "on paper." And now Adam Gase has joined the muffled chorus by saying only that his team "should be in the conversation in December."

For a franchise that gave the world Joe Namath and Rex Ryan, they sure seem to have forgotten that fortune favors the bold.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 22, 2016; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants co-owner John Mara (left) and quarterback Eli Manning during NFL Fan Rally at the Victoria House prior to game 16 of the NFL International Series against the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Oct 22, 2016; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants co-owner John Mara (left) and quarterback Eli Manning during NFL Fan Rally at the Victoria House prior to game 16 of the NFL International Series against the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

PHOENIX - The Giants are not trying to rush Eli Manning out of their organization. That's not what their search for his successor is all about. Any urgency they feel is all about taking advantage of all that Manning has to offer.

They want their next franchise quarterback to learn from the master while he's still here.

"Well, I certainly believe that Eli does everything the right way behind the scenes," Pat Shurmur said at the annual NFL coaches breakfast on Tuesday morning. "And I certainly believe that's something a young quarterback can value from seeing. That's part of Eli's charm, is how well he works, how well he prepares, how professional he is about doing his job. 

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary (DL37) runs the 40 yard dash during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary (DL37) runs the 40 yard dash during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

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PHOENIX -- Pat Shurmur knows that time is running out on Eli Manning's career, and he'd like to find his successor "sooner rather than later." But the Giants don't feel any urgency to do it in this year's NFL draft.

Especially not with all the pass-rushers and defensive players who could be available for them instead.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Darron Lee (58) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Darron Lee (58) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

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PHOENIX -- As Jets GM Mike Maccagnan sat in a conference room when he spoke to reporters on Monday afternoon, he wasn't standing under a banner that read "Mission Accomplished." He knows he still has work to do to turn the Jets into playoff contenders.

But this offseason, Maccagnan made it pretty clear that he did what he set out to do.

Tags: Avery Williamson, Darron Lee, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

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PHOENIX -- As Jets GM Mike Maccagnan sat in a conference room when he spoke to reporters on Monday afternoon, he wasn't standing under a banner that read "Mission Accomplished." He knows he still has work to do to turn the Jets into playoff contenders.

But this offseason, Maccagnan made it pretty clear that he did what he set out to do.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Maccagnan wants to make moves 00:01:31
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reports from the NFL Owners Meetings, where Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has designs on more draft picks

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PHOENIX -- Jets GM Mike Maccagnan sounded hopeful a few weeks ago that teams would get so desperate to draft one of the top quarterbacks this year that he could land a windfall in trade for the third overall pick.

With one month to go until the NFL draft begins, it sounds like that hope is still part of his plan.

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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 36-35 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) leaves the field after losing to the Dallas Cowboys 36-35 at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

PHOENIX - Dave Gettleman dreams of finding the Giants' next franchise quarterback, and ideally he'd have him sit and learn behind Eli Manning for a year. John Mara likes that idea too, but isn't opposed to waiting until 2020 to find that next quarterback, too.

By then, of course, Manning will be gone. Or maybe he won't be.

In other words, a quarterback transition that should have been in the works for years still isn't finalized, and might not be for a while.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 22, 2016; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants co-owner John Mara (left) and quarterback Eli Manning during NFL Fan Rally at the Victoria House prior to game 16 of the NFL International Series against the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Oct 22, 2016; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants co-owner John Mara (left) and quarterback Eli Manning during NFL Fan Rally at the Victoria House prior to game 16 of the NFL International Series against the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX --- The Giants have committed to Eli Manning as their starting quarterback in 2019, but what about having him back in 2020, too?

Don't laugh, because there's a scenario where it could happen that's not completely farfetched. And it's worth noting that neither of the Giants' co-owners would rule it out.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) dances during warmups before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) dances during warmups before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

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PHOENIX -- There was no doubt Odell Beckham Jr. could be a headache for the Giants. He had a knack for creating unwanted headlines and distractions, and he was a lightning rod for controversy -- much of which he created for himself.

But co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch wanted to make it very clear they genuinely liked their star receiver. They did not order GM Dave Gettleman to get rid of him. And they absolutely do not think that Beckham is a "bad guy".

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants owners talk Odell 00:01:38
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reports from the NFL Owners Meetings, where the Giants owners talked about the trade of Odell Beckham Jr.

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PHOENIX -- John Mara never once thought the Giants would actually trade Odell Beckham Jr. until just days before they actually did. And even in the final hour, he needed one last car ride home from the office before he gave his "reluctant approval" to the deal.

And he only did because, despite Beckham's "unique talent", Mara believes the Giants could be a better team in the future given what they received from the Cleveland Browns in return.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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John Mara, owner of the New York Giants, during a press conference at Quest Diagnostics Training Center to introduce Pat Shurmur as new head coach. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
John Mara, owner of the New York Giants, during a press conference at Quest Diagnostics Training Center to introduce Pat Shurmur as new head coach. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

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PHOENIX -- Giants co-owner John Mara loves Eli Manning and everything he's done for the franchise. But the idea that he's keeping the 38-year-old quarterback around out of "sentimentality"?

Well, that really riles Mara up.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

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PHOENIX - Mike Maccagnan's long rebuilding of the Jets should theoretically be complete now. Maybe not completely complete, as in they're ready to make a run to the Super Bowl. But, after two years of lavish spending and high draft picks, being a playoff contender shouldn't be unrealistic.

Not that Jets CEO Christopher Johnson is going to give Maccagnan a playoff mandate. But surely, the expectations have to be as high as a playoff berth now, right?

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX -- Dave Gettleman has dismantled a big chunk of the Giants' roster, while spending the team's money in some odd places. He's left a fan base angry, confused, and beginning to lose patience and hope.

In the end, though, Gettleman's plan only really needs the approval of his bosses, and it's safe to say that even though team ownership doesn't meddle in football decisions, co-owner John Mara would have had to approve most of these offseason moves. There's no way a big deal such as the Odell Beckham trade would've happened if ownership wasn't in on it from the start.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to 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; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets have only six picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, and with so many holes on their roster, they'll need to use them wisely. It's still early, but here's a look at how those six picks could go:

First Round (No. 3 overall): DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama

Tags: Chris Herndon, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dave Gettleman - Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Dave Gettleman - Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants now have 12 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, which gives them a chance to fill a lot of holes and strengthen a lot of weak positions. It's very early, but here's a look at how those 12 picks could go:

First Round (No. 6 overall): DE Rashan Gary, Michigan

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) shakes hands with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) after their game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) shakes hands with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) after their game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Dave Gettleman was absolutely right when he said "This narrative that Eli (Manning) is overpaid and can't play is a crock." Of course he can play. Just look at his numbers from last season. And he's not even one of the Top 10 highest paid quarterbacks in the league anymore.

Yet somehow over the last few years, Manning's detractors have taken his late-career decline to ridiculous extreme. They make it sound like he's a 50-year-old who can't heave the ball 10 yards anymore, while he's eating up half of the team's space under the salary cap...

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Dave Gettleman was absolutely right when he lamented the fact we're living in an "instant gratification world" during his conference call on Monday. There's a rush to judge everything, a demand for an immediate payoff. Everyone wants to be first with a knee-jerk reaction or a juvenile social media take.

And so it was with the Giants' trade of Odell Beckham Jr. and, really, their entire offseason. Gettleman didn't get nearly enough for his star, some screamed. He has no plan, yelled others. Tweet by tweet, it was clear the world of keyboard warriors believed he didn't have a clue.

Tags: B.J. Hill, Cleveland Browns, Dalvin Tomlinson, Eli Apple, Evan Engram, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning reacts after throwing a interception to Indianapolis Colts free safety Malik Hooker during the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar via USA TODAY NETWORK)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning reacts after throwing a interception to Indianapolis Colts free safety Malik Hooker during the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar via USA TODAY NETWORK)

By the end of the 2019 season, Eli Manning will have been paid more than any player in NFL history. And he's about to get $5 million closer to his goal.

The Giants' 38-year-old quarterback will, as expected, get his $5 million roster bonus - yet another signal that Manning will be the Giants' starting quarterback this year. According to his contract, he is due the bonus if he's on the roster by the end of the fifth day of the league year.

Technically, Sunday is five days after the start of the new league year, but Manning's bonus will kick in on Monday, according to an NFL source.

Tags: Eli Manning, 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)

Dave Gettleman has made a series of head-scratching moves that sometimes seem to contradict each other. Meanwhile, a fan base already angered by nearly a decade of failure, gets whiplash trying to figure him out.

So what is Gettleman doing? Apparently only Gettleman knows. To the media and to the paying customers, he said on Monday that it's none of our business.

He's wants everyone to trust the process. He wants everyone to trust him

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

The Giants were 5-11 last year and missed the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons, and now the consensus seems to be that things will only get worse. There's little hope outside the Meadowlands after GM Dave Gettleman tossed Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins and Olivier Vernon away.

Yet Gettleman still thinks he can build a winner this season. Even new receiver Golden Tate insisted "I don't think we're as far off as people may think." Pat Shurmur has pointed to the 12 games the Giants played last season which were decided by a touchdown or less, including eight they lost, as a sign that it's a short leap to competitive football.

Are they all delusional? Or is there really a chance the Giants could be … good?

Tags: Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) stands next to general manager Dave Gettleman during NFL football training camp, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) stands next to general manager Dave Gettleman during NFL football training camp, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Dave Gettleman has made it clear he wants to find the Giants' Quarterback of the Future, and he seems intent on doing it sooner than later.

But don't be so sure that he'll do it in the draft this year.

Despite the fact that the Giants have two first-round picks, and are in good position at No. 6 to take one of the first quarterbacks available, multiple NFL sources caution that the Giants seem to have other things in mind. They are looking into all the first-round quarterbacks, and taking one is definitely a possibility, a team source said.

Tags: Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets put their faith in Mike Maccagnan on the day in December when they fired coach Todd Bowles. Ownership was making it clear it believed in the general manager's plan and vision. Christopher Johnson had faith that Maccagnan could carry it out.

So armed with nearly $100 million in salary cap space as they headed into free agency, Maccagnan headed into one of the most crucial offseasons this star-crossed franchise has ever had. He needed to win big. He needed some splashy signings.

And he certainly didn't disappoint.

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Dave Gettleman - Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Dave Gettleman - Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Just 15 months ago, the Giants hired Dave Gettleman to fix the franchise. He earned praise for a series of early housecleaning moves. He seemed tough and honest, and it looked like he had a handle on the franchise's biggest problems.

Now, suddenly, his new title is "embattled GM".

Tags: Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Mike Remmers (74) celebrates after the game against the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Jan 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Mike Remmers (74) celebrates after the game against the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants have made far more headlines from the players they've lost than the players they've gained in free agency so far, whether it was from signings or trades. They entered the market with many holes to fill.

And even after signing receiver Golden Tate and edge rusher Markus Golden on Thursday night, they still have a bunch more to fill.

Unfortunately for them, they don't have a lot of salary cap space to spend. But there are still a few players left on the market who could be a fit:

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Giants add veteran Golden Tate 00:00:45
New York Giants add veteran receiver Golden Tate on a 4-year, $37.5 million dollar deal. NFL insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses the signing.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Buried at the bottom of the Giants' press release announcing the big Odell Beckham Jr. trade on Wednesday, was a quote from GM Dave Gettleman about his offseason plan.

"You can win while you build a roster," he said.

And the deal he struck with receiver Golden Tate on Thursday is proof he's going to try.

Tags: Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 17, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) warms up before a game against the New York Giants at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 17, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) warms up before a game against the New York Giants at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Before free agency even officially began, the Jets had handed out $173 million worth of contracts on four new players, and that went with another $51.7 million in deals to bring back four of their own. They even tried to hand out another $100 million or so in contracts, before edge-rusher Anthony Barr changed his mind and center Matt Paradis signed somewhere else.

So the Jets have been busy, and there's no doubt that with the additions of running back Le'Veon Bell, linebacker C.J. Mosley and receiver Jamison Crowder, they are better than they were a few days ago.

But they're not done yet. They still have some cap room to spend and some holes to fill. Lucky for them, NFL free agency is still really only beginning and there are a bunch of good players left to sign:

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Analyzing the Giants' rebuild 00:01:02
After trading Odell Beckham, Jr., the Giants look to be in rebuilding mode, but what part of the team will GM Dave Gettleman address first?

The Giants are set to pay Eli Manning $16.5 million this season and his salary cap hit is a robust $23.2 million. That seems excessive for a 38-year-old quarterback of a team that's shedding its stars and is clearly rebuilding for the future.

But the Giants still plan to keep Manning for the 2019 season. And at the moment, it appears they'll be paying him all that money, too.

The stunning trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns on Tuesday did not alter any of those plans, multiple sources have told SNY. Manning is still expected to be the Giants' starting quarterback at the start of training camp, at the very least. And there is no indication at all that they'll attempt to cut his pay...

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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