Giants to Add Two Defensive Vets – Duke Ihenacho and Devin Taylor

The Giants are making some moves on their hopeful improving defense, as NewsDay reports the team is bringing in a couple veteran defensive players.

The Giants are adding depth to a defense that is returning almost entirely intact from a season ago, agreeing to terms with two veteran free agents, safety Duke Ihenacho and defensive end Devin Taylor. Both players are expected to sign their contracts on Thursday morning and could be on the field with their new team for the OTA practice later in the day.

Ihenacho (6-1, 208) has played five NFL seasons, the last three for Washington. In 2016 he made 10 starts for the Giants’ NFC East rival and tallied 66 tackles.

Taylor (6-7, 275) played the last four seasons with the Lions. Last season he started 16 games and had 4.5 sacks.

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Giants Ink 2017 Second-Round Pick Dalvin Tomlinson to a Four-Year Deal

The first member of the Giants’ 2017 rookie class signed his contract less than two weeks after the draft. Second-round pick Dalvin Tomlinson signed on Wednesday, Dan Duggan of the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

Tomlinson’s four-year contract is worth $4.57 million with a $1.46 million signing bonus. His salary cap hit for 2017 is $831,184.

Tomlinson and the rest of the draft class, as well as undrafted free agents and tryout players, will report to the Giants’ facility for the first time on Thursday. The team’s three-day rookie minicamp begins on Friday.

A Rundown of All the New York Giants 2017 NFL Draft Picks

Sports Illustrated has a complete rundown of all of the Giants 2017 Draft Picks and some commentary as well.

Round 1, Pick 23 (No. 23 overall)

Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss: If you happened to follow the SI draft rankings, it was Engram and not David Njoku who slotted in as this class’s No. 2 TE, behind O.J. Howard. In that context alone, this is a sneakily strong pick by GM Jerry Reese. It’s also a classic Giants pick, as it bypasses the team’s glaring need at linebacker despite Reuben Foster’s fall and Zach Cunningham’s availability. Offensive tackle could have been in the cards, too, but this pick will continue to push the Giants toward a throw-first-ask-questions-later offense. Engram, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard … how does a defense defend this attack?? GRADE: A-

Round 2, Pick 23 (No. 55)

?Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama: By taking Evan Engram in Round 1 (a pick that drew an A-minus grade here), the Giants sort of pushed themselves out of the early O-line market. This was a good range for the D-line, however, and the Giants needed help there after losing Johnathan Hankins. Tomlinson is a big, difficult-to-move body for the middle. GRADE: B?

Round 3, Pick 23 (No. 87)

?Davis Webb, QB, Cal: The Eli Manning succession plan is in place. That’s at least in theory what was happening with this pick. The first-round hype on Webb earlier this week was hard to figure, but as a sit-and-wait QB in this round, it’s a fit. If he turns out to be that Round 1-caliber player, the Giants will have their answer whenever Manning calls it a career. GRADE: B?

Round 4, Pick 34 (No. 140) Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson

Round 5, Pick 23 (No. 167) Avery Moss, DE, Youngstown State

Round 6, Pick 16 (No. 200) Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pittsburgh

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.

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.