Giants Place Franchise Tag on DE Jason Pierre-Paul

The Giants took the first step toward retaining free agent Jason Pierre-Paul by applying the non-exclusive franchise tag to the defensive end on Monday, Dan Duggan of the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

Pierre-Paul was set to become an unrestricted free agent next week. The deadline to apply the franchise tag is this Wednesday at 4 p.m.

By applying the non-exclusive franchise tag, the Giants have ensured that they will have the ability to keep Pierre-Paul. But the situation is not yet resolved.

The franchise tag guarantees Pierre-Paul a one-year guaranteed contract worth approximately $17 million for the 2017 season. The Giants and Pierre-Paul will enter negotiations for a long-term contract that will likely give him more guaranteed money, while lowering his salary cap hit for next season.

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Former Giants OL Geoff Schwartz Announces Retirement

In a letter published on SB Nation, former Giants offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz announced his retirement, ESPN reports.

Schwartz, 30, signed with the Detroit Lions in free agency only to be released by the team before the start of last season.

“I’ve known that I’ve been retired for months, so have others around me. Now y’all know, as well,” wrote Schwartz, who played both guard spots and right tackle during his NFL career.

He was originally drafted in the seventh round out of Oregon by the Panthers and played two seasons in Carolina before heading to the Vikings for one year, the Chiefs for a season and then the Giants for two seasons.

Schwartz was a heralded free-agent signing by the Giants two offseasons ago, but injuries severely limited his impact. Toe and ankle problems limited him to just two games in 2014, and he missed the final five games of the 2015 season when ankle injuries flared up again.

Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul Could Wind Up Being Franchised

It is not a matter of if the Giants want defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to return. It is a matter of whether they can make it happen financially, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com reports.

Pierre-Paul is set to become a free agent after completing his seventh season with the team. He had 7.0 sacks in 12 games before sports hernia surgery ruined his prove-it year.

To erase doubts he could still play at a high level after losing his right index finger and parts of several others in a fireworks accident, Pierre-Paul was among the league leaders with eight batted passes and added 54 quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.

“Do we want him back? Of course we want him back,” general manager Jerry Reese said after the season. “He’s a good football player.”

It’s not going to be easy. Pierre-Paul deservedly wants to get paid with a long-term deal, but the Giants are already heavily invested in their defensive line and have Pierre-Paul and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins as pending free agents. Word on the street is that they are genuinely trying to keep the defense intact, which means bringing back Pierre-Paul and Hankins.

The Giants might need to use the franchise tag on Pierre-Paul for the second time in three years to make it happen. The franchise number for a defensive end is expected to be about $17 million. That might be where this one is headed, at least as a place-holder until a long-term deal is reached.

Giants Re-Sign Tight End Will Tye

Will Tye finished the 2016 season as the Giants’ starting tight end. He’ll be back to try to keep that job next season, Dan Duggan of the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

The Giants have re-signed Tye, according to a person familiar with the situation. Re-signing Tye was simply a formality because he was an exclusive rights free agent (ERFA). Tye’s signing was first reported by ESPN.

ERFAs are players with two or less seasons in the league. Once an ERFA player is tendered, he can only negotiate with his current team. The tender is a one-year minimum salary contract, which means Tye will earn $615,000 in 2017.

The Giants got good value on Tye last season, as he took over as the starting tight end after seven games and played 65 percent of the offensive snaps. Tye had 48 catches for 395 yards and one touchdown last season. The undrafted free agent out of Stony Brook emerged with 42 catches for 464 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie in 2015.

Tye is the third ERFA to re-sign with the Giants this week, joining fellow tight end Matt LaCosse and defensive tackle Robert Thomas. The Giants’ only remaining ERFA is fullback Nikita Whitlock. SNY reported that the Giants will not re-sign ERFA wide receiver Ben Edwards, who spent last season on injured reserve.

Giants Reportedly Getting Money Ready to Bring Back Jason Pierre-Paul

The Giants’ Monday releases of veteran running back Rashad Jennings and franchise icon Victor Cruz didn’t occur in a vacuum, Chris Wesseling of NFL.com reports.

New York’s front office is freeing up salary-cap space, with designs on preventing impending free agent Jason Pierre-Paul from reaching the open market.

“I do expect them to make a legitimate run in the coming days and weeks,” NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said on Monday’s edition of Up to the Minute Live. “They will try and get a deal done before he can potentially hit the free agent market.”

Pierre-Paul made it clear last month that he will not accept another one-year, prove-it contract to remain with the Giants.

He was just hitting his stride, recording 5.5 sacks over a two-game span to close out November, when he went down with a season-ending core-muscle injury that required surgery.

Taking a Glance at the Giants Free Agents as the 2016 Season Finally Ends

The New York Giants were a playoff team in 2016, but still fell short in their attempt to get back to the Super Bowl, and will look to take a bigger leap in 2017.

Checking out the odds to win Super Bowl LII, you can see that the Giants are in the mix, but have things to overcome. If you use someone like totesport for the odds, the G-Men are 20-1 to get to the Super Bowl, behind teams like Dallas, Green Bay, Seattle, Atlanta and even Carolina.

The team has a number of free agents that they will have to make deals with to make another push in 2017, and today we run them down so you can see the things the team will have to deal with this offseason.

Unrestricted free agents (17): Free agency with no strings attached. The Giants can re-sign these players leading up to free agency. But once the new league year begins in March, they can sign with any team at any time.

The UFAs: OT William Beatty; LS Zak DeOssie; TE Larry Donnell; K Robbie Gould; DB Leon Hall; DT Johnathan Hankins; LB Mark Herzlich; RG John Jerry; QB Josh Johnson; QB Ryan Nassib; OL Marshall Newhouse; DE Jason Pierre-Paul; RB Bobby Rainey; CB Coty Sensabaugh; LB Kelvin Sheppard; LB Keenan Robinson; CB Trevin Wade.

Restricted free agents (2): Restricted free agents can negotiate with all teams, but the Giants have the right of first refusal to match any deal as long as they tender the RFAs a one-year offer worth about $1 million.

The RFAs: RB Orleans Darkwa; DL Kerry Wynn.

Exclusive rights free agents (6): Exclusive rights free agents can only sign with their current team, conditional on the team extending a minimum qualifying offer to the player. There is little risk in tendering ERFAs.

The ERFAs: WR Ben Edwards; TE Matt LaCosse; DT Robert Thomas; TE Will Tye; FB Nikita Whitlock.

Out of the unrestricted free agents, the few that the G-Men will have to look to get back go in this order. Pierre-Paul, Beatty, Sensabaugh, DeOssie, Newhouse, and then Hankins.

The good news is the team has a month to start to work out deals for those players, but they will for sure have to get the deals done as once those players hit the market, it’s going to be very tough to get them back into the mix.

They are in a solid position when it comes to free agency, but know there’s work to be done.

Rashad Jennings Feels He’ll Be Back with the Giants in 2017

Rashad Jennings is an obvious candidate to be a Giants salary cap casualty this offseason, but the veteran running back remains confident he will return for a fourth season with the team James Kratch of the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

“I expect to be back,” Jennings said on Monday evening outside Super Bowl LI Opening Night at Minute Maid Park. “And I definitely want to be back. I’ve got one more year on my contract, and I’ve got a lot to prove. I look forward to doing it in New York again.”

Jennings only rushed for 593 yards on 181 carries with three touchdowns in 2016, and gave way to rookie Paul Perkins as the Giants’ main back in the final weeks of the season. Jennings missed three games early in the year due to a fractured thumb, but he finished with 270 fewer yards than he had in 2015 (863) despite only having 14 fewer carries (195 in 2015). Jennings also averaged over a yard less per carry in 2016 (3.3 against 4.4 in 2015).

Jennings said he exited his end-of-season interview with head coach Ben McAdoo feeling good about his future.

“The exit meeting was good. It was very upbeat. It was a good conversation with McAdoo, talking about how the season progressed,” said Jennings, who is in town this week doing media appearances and work for his Rashad Jennings Foundation. He is also a finalist for the NFLPA’s Byron “Whizzer” White Award, which be announced Thursday.

“He asked what things he can do better to capture the team even more. We exchanged some information about that, and he asked me, ‘How do you assess yourself?’

“I said, ‘Obviously, I didn’t have the personal year that I trained for, the personal year that I worked for. I have a hunger and a desire to come back and prove that to myself, and my teammates. We left it off on a good note, I’m excited for the offseason.”

Giants at Eagles NFL Week 16 Notes

THURSDAY NIGHT NOTES:

NEW YORK GIANTS (10-4) AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-9)

December 22, 2016

Week 16 kicks off on Thursday night as the Philadelphia Eagles host the New York Giants (NBC, NFL Network, Twitter; 8:25 PM) in an NFC East showdown. The Giants, who have 10 wins for the first time since 2010, can clinch a playoff berth with a victory. New York defeated the Eagles 28-23 in Week 9 as QB ELI MANNING passed for four touchdowns, including two to WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. Beckham, who has 85 receptions for 1,173 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, joined JOHN JEFFERSON (1978-1980) and RANDY MOSS (1998-2000) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches in each of his first three NFL seasons. Eagles QB CARSON WENTZ, the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, leads all rookies with 339 completions and ranks second with 3,385 pass yards and 13 touchdown passes, while LB JORDAN HICKS is one of two NFL linebackers (THOMAS DAVIS) with at least three interceptions (three) and a sack this season.

REGULAR SEASON SERIES

  GIANTS EAGLES
SERIES LEADER 83-78-2  
STREAKS   4 of past 5
COACHES VS. OPP. Ben McAdoo: 1-0 Doug Pederson: 0-1
LAST WEEK W 17-6 vs. Detroit L 27-26 at Baltimore
LAST GAME 11/6/16: Eagles 23 at Giants 28. New York Giants QB Eli Manning passes for 257 yards & 4 TDs. Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. has 2 TD catches.
LAST GAME AT SITE 10/19/15: Eagles 27, Giants 7. Philadelphia RB DeMarco Murray rushes for 112 yards & TD. Eagles CB Nolan Carroll has 17-yard INT-TD.
REFEREE Clete Blakeman
BROADCAST NBC/NFLN/Twitter (8:25 PM ET): Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, Heather Cox (Field reporter). Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Tony Boselli. SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 83 (NYG), 81 (Phi). XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (NYG), 225 (Phi).

STATS

PASSING Eli Manning: 322-508-3491-25-13-89.3 Carson Wentz (R): 339-540-3385-13-13-78.5
RUSHING Rashad Jennings: 154-497-3.2-2 Ryan Mathews: 137-615-4.5-8
RECEIVING Odell Beckham Jr.: 85-1173-13.8-10 Jordan Matthews: 71-792-11.2-3
OFFENSE 320.6 340.4
TAKE/GIVE -3 +2
DEFENSE 347.5 344.2
SACKS Olivier Vernon: 8.5 Fletcher Cox: 6.5
INTs Landon Collins: 5 Jordan Hicks, Rodney McLeod: 3
PUNTING Brad Wing: 46.2 Donnie Jones: 45.4
KICKING Robbie Gould: 30 (18/21 PAT; 4/4 FG) Caleb Sturgis: 120 (24/25 PAT; 32/37 FG)

NOTES

GIANTS: QB ELI MANNING has 559 pass yards (279.5 per game) with 6 TDs & 2 INTs for 94.9 rating in past 2 vs. Phi. Is 7th player in NFL history with 4,000+ career completions (4,017)…RB RASHAD JENNINGS has 394 rush yards & 2 TDs in past 5 meetings…WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. has 26 receptions for 354 rec. yards & 4 TDs in past 4. Has 35 TD catches since 2014, most in NFL. Is 1st player in NFL history with 80+ catches & 1,000+ rec. yards in each of 1st 3 seasons. WR STERLING SHEPARD ranks 2nd among NFL rookies with 592 rec. yards & ties for 2nd with 7 TD catches. WR VICTOR CRUZ has 3 rec. TDs in 4 games at Phi…DE OLIVIER VERNON has 7.5 sacks in past 7. Has 2 sacks in past 3 vs. division. CB DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE had INT in Week 15. S LANDON COLLINS is only player with 5+ INTs (5) & 3+ sacks (3). Leads NFC safeties with 108 tackles…EAGLES: QB CARSON WENTZ ranks 2nd among NFL rookies with 3,385 pass yards & 13 pass TDs. Has 88.5 rating in 6 career home games…RB RYAN MATHEWS has 5 rush TDs in past 6. RB DARREN SPROLES is only player in NFL history with 30+ rec. TDs (30), 20+ rush TDs (21), PR-TD (7) & KR-TD (2)…WR JORDAN MATTHEWS has 3 TD catches in past 4 vs. NYG. Has 26 receptions for 322 yards & 2 TDs in past 4 at home vs. division. In past 2 meetings, TE ZACH ERTZ has 17 receptions for 249 rec. yards (124.5 per game). Has 524 rec. yards (87.3 per game) in past 6 vs. NFC East…DT FLETCHER COX has 2.5 sacks in past 2. Has 6.5 sacks & FF in past 7 at home. LB JORDAN HICKS had INT in Week 15. Has 5 INTs since 2015, tied for 2nd-most among NFL LBs. CB NOLAN CARROLL aims for 3rd in row vs. NYG with INT.

Dallas Asks the NFL To Step In About the Giants Using Walkie-Talkies in Sunday’s Game

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A week after the Giants accused the Steelers of using footballs that were not fully inflated, now they are being accused of their use of walkie-talkies on the sidelines during their win over the Cowboys on Sunday night.

SI.com had the story earlier on Thursday:

At the Cowboys’ behest, the NFL is investigating the Giants’ use of walkie-talkies on the sidelines, the New York Post reports.

The league is investigating whether or not the Giants broke the rules when head coach Ben McAdoo used the device to call plays and communicate with quarterback Eli Manning during New York’s 10–7 win over Dallas on Sunday. Manning’s headset malfunctioned in the fourth quarter, causing the Giants to switch communication methods. Dallas filed a formal request for the NFL to investigate.

It will be interesting to see if anything at all comes of it, likely nothing, but nevertheless it’s another shot fired in the longtime feud between the two NFC East foes.

Odell Beckham Jr. Fined For Verbally Abusing Official After Sunday’s Loss in Pittsburgh

Odell Beckham Jr.

On New York Giants player is going to be lighter in the pocket book after he was fined today for verbally abusing an on-field official after Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh.

Wide out Odell Beckham Jr. was hit with a fine of 12,154 for his action after the 23-13 loss, a game that snapped the G-Men six-game win streak.

You knew that ODB wasn’t happy after he went after referee Terry McAuley and his official crew to reporters after the game. Beckham had a call go against him in the first quarter that ended up pinning the Giants back, and the next play they were hit with a safety that gave the Steelers a 2-0 lead.

Beckham went so far as to suggest that McAuley and his crew not work Giants games in the future.

The report says this is Beckham’s fifth known fine of the season, but the first directly involving an official.