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Giants LB Markus Golden Looking to Have a Big 2019

Giants outside linebacker Markus Golden says he is back to full health according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

A second-round pick out of the University of Missouri by the Cardinals in 2015, Golden was well on his way to becoming one of the best pass rushers in the league with 12.5 sacks in 2016 before suffering a torn ACL in Week 5 of the 2017 season.

Golden returned for 11 games last season but never looked quite right and the Cardinals let him walk this offseason.

The 28-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Giants worth up to $3.75 million with $2.25 million in guaranteed money hoping to rehab his value and get his career back on track.

The move reunites him with former Cardinals now Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher. “I feel like myself again,” Golden said. “I know I can help the team … That’s why I wake up and work hard.” The Giants are thin at pass rusher, so Golden getting back to form would be a big boost.

Phil Simms Sees a Fit with the Giants and New QB Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones is one of just three quarterbacks chosen by the Giants in the first-round of the NFL Draft in the past 40 years.

Jones joins new teammate Eli Manning and Phil Simms in that exclusive club, and Simms has high expectations for the Giants’ rookie quarterback, Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media reports.

“I think he really fits what Pat Shurmur wants,” Simms said recently, via MSG. “He’s a big guy, who can move around and has a good, solid NFL arm. He was taught really well down at Duke, and all of those things add up.”

Giants OTAs begin Monday when the offense can start practicing against the defense for the first time this offseason, and Jones has only been on the field with his veteran Giants teammates for a week, but he is making a strong impression.

“He’s picking up [the offense] really fast,” Giants tight end Evan Engram said Thursday night at Yankee Stadium, prior to the CC Sabathia and friends Celebrity Softball Game. “They’ve been trying to throw some stuff at him and he’s handled it really well.”

“First off and foremost, I want to see his physical qualities,” Simms said. “Once I see them, let’s start judging who he is as a person. Can he lead? How easy is it for him? Is

Ex Giants RB Barber Feels Saquon Barkley Can Break All Giants RB Records

Tiki Barber is not in the Hall of Fame like football icon Frank Gifford. He didn’t win a Super Bowl like New York Giants greats Joe Morris, Ottis Anderson or Rodney Hampton. But the numbers speak for themselves: Barber is Big Blue’s gold standard at running back.

The retired star says that could change in the next decade. Health and home team permitting, Barber believes second-year back Saquon Barkley will eclipse him, Adam Maya of NFL.com reports.

“If he stays healthy and he stays here, in New York,” Barber said, via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. “My records don’t have a chance.”

Barber, who spent his entire 10-year career with New York, leads the franchise in rushing yards (10,449) and all-purpose yards (17,359) and is second in rushing touchdowns (55). His 586 receptions rank second in team history and are by far the most among running backs. His 4.7 yards per carry is the highest mark of any Giant with at least 2,000 rushing yards.

And yet Barber isn’t too proud to say Barkley will be better.

“He can be one of the greatest ever,” Barber said. “Physically, he’s a freak. I’ll parallel him to Adrian Peterson. When I first met Adrian, I looked at his muscular and body structure and was just in awe. His muscles were popping out of his skin and Saquon is the same way. That portends a durability.

“When you pair that with a passion and desire to be great, you get an Adrian Peterson. Saquon is the same type of player, but he’s much better, because he’s so versatile. Adrian couldn’t catch the ball out of the backfield or line up as a wide receiver. Saquon can do that at a very high level.”

Former Giants Safety Collins Talks About the Tough Move Leaving to go to Washington

Former Giants safety Landon Collins became a very rich man when he signed a six-year, $84 million contract in free agency to join the Washington Redskins in March but he admits he was “heartbroken” the Giants decided to let him go according to Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com.

“I’m starting a new chapter and I’m on a good team,” Collins told Dunleavy. “When I left the Giants, I was kind of heartbroken. I loved the Giants. When I started there, I wanted to finish there. I wanted to be one of those guys to finish his career on one team. They didn’t give me the opportunity to do that. It’s a business. I can’t do anything about that.”

It is still somewhat of a mystery why the Giants made so little effort to retain one of the best defensive players in the NFL. Since being selected in the second round in the 2015 draft out of Alabama, Collins has been a 2016 first-team All-Pro selection and three-time Pro Bowler for the Giants. But the team signaled they were prepared to move on from Collins last fall when his name surfaced numerous times in discussions near the trading deadline in late October. After that happened, Collins publicly stated he did not want the Giants to use the franchise tag on him in 2019.

Things deteriorated from there. “They never made an offer,” Collins said. “I knew when they were about to trade me how it was going to go. Very, very eye-opening.”

The Giants seem confident in their decision to let the 25-year-old Collins walk away in the prime of his career, although you have to wonder is they felt a little uneasiness when the safety signed with an NFC East division rival. They are going to face a very motivated Landon Collins at least twice a season for the next six years.

Giants Ink Former Cowboys Backup RB Rod Smith

The Giants added depth to the running back spot on Wednesday, signing former Dallas Cowboys running back Rod Smith.

The 27-year-old joined the Cowboys in 2015 and has served as a back-up to workhorse running back Ezekiel Elliott for the majority of his four-year NFL career.

He entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State.

Smith visited the Bengals before signing with the Giants. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound ball-carrier had 127 yards and a touchdown on 44 carries in 16 games last season.

Smith started in the Cowboys’ regular-season finale against the Giants, rushing for 35 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries in a 36-35 victory.

New Giants QB Daniel Jones Ignoring All the Naysayers

Daniel Jones was in Nashville at the NFL draft and not in New Jersey to hear and sense the angst and shock when his name was called out as the Giants’ selection with the No. 6 overall pick.

Plenty of athletes have not exactly been welcomed with open arms by their new fan-base. Jones sounds as if he realizes this and is not sweating it, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports.

“I haven’t paid too much mind to that,’’ Jones said recently on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “I think the key to playing quarterback, being consistent as a quarterback is keeping your head in the same place. That just comes down to your confidence in yourself. Your confidence has got to come from inside of you. If you’re looking externally for confidence you’re also going to be affected by the negative as well.

“Just find your confidence in yourself in knowing what you can do as a player, as a person, I think that’s the way that works and the best way to handling a lot of that stuff.’’

The Giants like a whole lot about Jones the player and athlete — and are particularly taken with Daniel Jones, the person and personality. They view him as having the perfect temperament to follow in the footsteps put down by Eli Manning as next in line as the starting quarterback and, one day, the face of the franchise.

“I’m looking forward being teammates with him,’’ Jones said of Manning. “Being able to learn from him every day. I think that’s a special opportunity. I’ve spoken to him once [since getting drafted] and he just congratulated me and said he’s excited to have me up there. I think I understand he’s got a job to do, I’ve got a job to do so we’re gonna do the best we can to help the Giants win as many football games as we can, whatever my role is.’’

“I think it will be good just to get in the building and meet a lot of the people and just kinda get started,’’ Jones said. “It will be our first opportunity to get out on the field with the coaches and start learning the offense, start building some chemistry as a group. Just looking forward to getting in there and starting to get comfortable with everyone.’’

Giants Add DT Dexter Lawrence and CB Deandre Baker on First Night of NFL Draft

After adding a quarterback in Daniel Jones with their first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Giants added what they hope will be two pieces on defense, drafting Dexter Lawrence and Deandre Baker with picks 17 and 30.

Lawrence is a defensive tackle from Clemson at 6-foot-5, 342 pounds. He is a huge interior defensive lineman with excellent length and good quickness for his size.

He rarely gives ground one-on-one and is capable of anchoring against double-teams. He’s a developing pass-rusher who flashes the ability to collapse the pocket but lacks a counter move.

The team traded up to 30 to get Deandre Baker, a cornerback from Georgia who is a naturally instinctive corner who does a good job reading receivers and has an excellent feel for route combinations.

He has quick feet, fluid hips and good body control. He has above-average length and ball skills. He’s tough and wraps up in run support.

Giants Draft Eli’s Replacement; Take Duke QB Daniel Jones with the 6th Pick in the Draft

The Giants went QB in round one of the 2019 NFL Draft, taking the player they will look to replace Eli Manning with, that being Duke QB Daniel Jones.

Here’s some highlights on Jones:

And a scouting report on Jones from Walter Football:

Strengths:

Above-average accuracy
Can throw a fastball into tight windows
Good height
Able to loft in touch passes
Throws a very catchable ball
Stands tall in the pocket despite the rush
Good field vision at times
Moves his eyes
Works through his progression
Can throw receivers open
Can push the ball downfield
Throws a good deep ball
Has more mobility than many realize
Can buy time or pick up yards on the ground
Good size for a NFL starting quarterback
Intelligent
Shows the ability to read defenses
Knows where his receivers are on each play
Upside

Weaknesses:

Will throw into coverage that he shouldn’t
Needs to improve timing
Holds the ball too long
Could shorten his delivery
Broken collarbone in 2018

Summary: Duke’s head coach, David Cutcliffe, is one of the most valued and respected quarterback gurus in football. He was the coaching mentor to both Peyton and Eli Manning, and at Duke, Cutcliffe provided Jones very good preparation for the NFL over his three years as the Blue Devils’ starting quarterback.

As a freshman, Jones connected on 63 percent of his passes for 2,836 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. In 2017, he completed 56 percent of his passes for 2,439 yards with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Jones had his best season in 2018, despite dealing with some injuries. He completed 61 percent of his passes on the year for 2,674 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Many around the league thought Jones would return for his redshirt senior year, but he decided to jump to the next level and declared for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Video: Giants Taking QB Daniel Jones in Latest NFL Mock Draft

The NFL Draft is now 48 hours away, and in the latest video on ESPN, their latest Mock has the Giants going QB in round one, taking Daniel Jones.

Odell Beckham Jr. Crushes the Giants in a Rant on Twitter

Odell Beckham Jr. crushed the Giants organization in a Monday Twitter rant as “a place that’s ok wit(h) losing,” clearly set off by GM Dave Gettleman’s frequent trolling of OBJ in allusions to his detrimental impact on the “culture,” Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reports.

“Ask any one of my teammates of who I was as a teammate and a man and a person,” Beckham said in response to a fan who called him a ‘cancer.’ “Yes I’m cancer to a place that’s ok wit(h) losing because I want to win that BADDDD. Ur absolutely correct!”

Beckham, 26, called it “crazy” and “disrespectful” that the Giants only issued a stock Gettleman press release thanking OBJ “for his contributions” after his March trade to Cleveland.

“‘We didn’t sign him to trade him,’” Beckham wrote, mocking Gettleman’s empty pre-trade words. “You don’t get married to get a divorce … I tried my best, the situation I had been in since I got there never changed … we were still losing. PERIOD… money doesn’t bring happiness brotha… remember that.”

Beckham also spilled dirt on some Giants late-season drama involving coach Pat Shurmur and threatened to share more if his name keeps getting dragged through the mud by the passive-aggressive Gettleman.

“I gave them everything I had (every) Sunday. Just put some respect on my name that’s all I’m sayin!” Beckham said to a fan who’d pointed out Gettleman has been ‘disrespectful’ to him. “I ain’t sayin nothin, (and) trust me I got a LOTTTTT of info that people don’t kno(w) about so, so keep my name outcha mouth the way I do yalls! Ya diggg.”

Beckham tweeted he had begged Shurmur to be on the sidelines for the Giants’ final four games last season while injured but that Shurmur had told him “no.”

“Ask the coach,” Beckham wrote. “I beggged him to go to each and every one of those games actually for my team(mates) and to be on the sideline for the home games… he told me “No”,,,, anything else sir. (That’s to whoever tweeted askin why I didn’t travel while I was hurt….) next.”

Beckham, for example, laughed at a hype video of Manning’s recent workouts with current Giants receivers. A fan said “never saw one video of (Manning) doing this @obj on a CONSISTENT basis smh(.) see how they act brand new when homie gone.”

Beckham tweeted an emoji zipping its mouth shut. “*Takes the high road* I’m working on the best me! That’s all I can say,” he said.