A Look at the 2017 Giants Schedule with a Glance at the Good and the Bad

The 2017 NFL Schedule is out as well as the 2017 New York Giants Schedule, and here’s a look at the slate for the upcoming season, with the home games in bold:

Sep. 10 at Dallas Cowboys 8:30 PM

Sep. 18 Detroit Lions (Mon) 8:30 PM

Sep. 24 at Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 PM

Oct. 1 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:05 PM

Oct. 8 Los Angeles Chargers 1:00 PM

Oct. 15 at Denver Broncos * 8:30 PM

Oct. 22 Seattle Seahawks 4:25 PM

Oct. 29 BYE

Nov. 5 Los Angeles Rams 1:00 PM

Nov. 12 at San Francisco 49ers 4:25 PM

Nov. 19 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 PM

Nov. 23 at Washington Redskins (Thu) 8:30 PM

Dec. 3 at Oakland Raiders 4:25 PM

Dec. 10 Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM

Dec. 17 Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 PM

Dec. 24 at Arizona Cardinals 4:25 PM

Dec. 31 Washington Redskins 1:00 PM

What’s Good about this Schedule: The G-Men will be looking to make a late push for the postseason, and having three of their final four games at home could go a long way in that. Their only road game in that stretch is against a Cardinals team that could be out of it by the time the Christmas Eve game rolls around.

What’s Bad about this Schedule: A tough start to 2017, as the Giants are on the road 3 of the first four weeks, and four of the first six overall. It could be a tough start for this team as they try to find their footing this season.

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Giants QB Eli Manning in Hot Water Over Memorabilia in Fraud Suit?

Giants quarterback Eli Manning might be finding himself in some trouble after a report today that implicates him in a memorabilia fraud suit that involves direct emails that the two-time Super Bowl winning QB sent regarding game used merchandise.

The suit states that Manning and the Giants falsified game-worn memorabilia, and today the New York Post put out a couple of emails that prove he was directly involved.

Here’s the story from The Big Lead about the case and Manning’s direct involvement.

Per the Post, Manning was asked by his marketing agent, Alan Zucker, to satisfy a contract with memorabilia firm Steiner Sports for “2 game used helmets and 2 game used jerseys.” Manning later sent the following email Skiba, the equipment manager, who asked the quarterback what he was looking for:

“2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli,” Manning allegedly responded from his BlackBerry at 2:08 p.m.

Then he responded to Zucker:

Less than 15 minutes later, at 2:25 p.m., Manning wrote back to Zucker, saying: “Should be able to get them for tomorrow.”

These emails were turned over by Manning last week, and filed into civil court earlier this week. Emails from the inboxes within the Giants organization that would have pertained to the case were not preserved.

While there exists the possibility that Eli could have meant for Skiba to find actual game-worn helmets, this part of the story, if true, is further troubling.

Is Brandon Marshall the Giants Next Plaxico Burress?

Giants quarterback Eli Manning sounds rejuvenated over the addition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports.

Not since he called Plaxico Burress a teammate (2005-08) has the 6-foot-4 quarterback had the luxury of throwing to a towering target. He has one once again in the 6-4 Marshall, who was signed this offseason.

“I think Plaxico was kind of the last one similar to that size,’’ Manning said. “They can be open when they’re not really open. You don’t want to get into a habit, it’s not a jump-ball but you can throw him open. He’s been in lots of offenses and he gets open a lot of different ways, very disciplined in his route-running and understanding concepts. I think he’ll be good for that receiver room and in our locker room, having that veteran presence.’’

Manning got to throw to Marshall for the first time the past few days at Duke University during a passing session attended by several Giants, including Sterling Shepard, Roger Lewis and Tavarres King. Manning said it was “great work’’ and came away eager for more with Marshall.

“I was excited when we made that acquisition,’’ Manning said. “He’s obviously a big target and smart, asks a lot of questions, he’s going to pick up the offense quickly. And he’s excited. He’s excited about coming to this offense and staying in New York and having a No. 1 receiver [Odell Beckham Jr.] on the opposite side of him.’’

Young Giants DE Owa Odighizuwa Announces He’s Walking Away From Football

It appears as if Owa Odighizuwa, a promising young defensive end who has struggled to stay healthy and get on the field in his two seasons with the Giants, is walking away from football, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports.

Odighizuwa took to Twitter on Monday to express his intention to take a break. He tweeted: “I have all love for everyone … at the point and time I believe it’s in my best interest to take sometime to get away from the game.’’

Odighizuwa played in 14 games in 2016, but mostly was used on special teams as the coaching staff did not fully trust him in the defensive end rotation. He had only three tackles all season. As a rookie in 2015, Odighizuwa played in four games, battling through hamstring and foot injuries. He has yet to get a sack in the NFL.

Odighizuwa did not explain why he said he is stepping away. In later tweets he wrote, “I truly apologize that it has to be made known like this. However this is the best platform to express something of the things that has been on my mind for awhile.’’

Giants Have a Multiyear Offer on the Table for DT Johnathan Hankins

From all indications the New York Giants are going to bring back free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, as reports says the team has a multiyear offer on the table.

While it’s obvious Hankins’ goal is a sizable payday, it could be difficult to come by for a player who has only drawn reported interest from one other team, the Dolphins. And unfortunately for Hankins, Miami doesn’t seem particularly gung-ho on the 25-year-old, as it’s only searching for a rotational defensive tackle to play with Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips. On the other hand, Hankins has been a full-time starter in New York since 2014, his second season in the league.

By retaining Hankins, which Jones expects to happen, the Giants would return all 11 defensive starters from last year, she notes. That would be an auspicious development for a team whose defense topped the NFC in DVOA and finished second overall in the league, trailing only the Broncos’ all-world stop unit.

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.

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.