Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz Avoid Injured List; Giants Meet with WR James Jones

Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants

The Giants got good news today, as both of their big play wide outs, Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz, will not start training camp on the injury list, and the team is meeting today with former Packers WR James Jones.

Beckham missed June practices with a hamstring tweak. Cruz is returning from patellar tendon surgery.

Cruz looked “jacked and ready to go,” per NJ.com’s Jordan Raanan, while Beckham was running “just fine” during conditioning tests.

Both players are expected to be eased in over the next few weeks.

The Giants’ potentially dynamic duo could be joined by free agent James Jones.

The former Packers wideout is visiting the G-Men on Thursday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The hope for both sides, per Rapoport, is that the visit will result in a signing.

Jones has been looking for a new home since his release from the Raiders in early May.

Eli Manning Stars in New DirecTV Spot Promoting ‘NFL Sunday Ticket’

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A rather funny take from Giants QB Eli Manning on ‘Sunday Ticket’ on DirecTV.

Former DE Osi Umenyiora Looking to Retire with the Giants

New York Giants v San Francisco 49ers

Former Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora is in talks with the team about a ceremonial one-day contract that would allow him to officially retire as a Giant, Adam Caplan and Dan Graziano of ESPN report.

Umenyiora, 33, spent 10 seasons with the Giants from 2003-12 and won two Super Bowl rings with the team. His 75 sacks as a Giant rank him fourth on the franchise’s all-time list behind Michael Strahan, Lawrence Taylor and Leonard Marshall.

Umenyiora was the Giants’ second-round draft pick in 2003 and had some truly brilliant moments with the team. He had a career-high 14.5 sacks in 2005 and recorded 13 in 2007, the year the Giants would go on to upset the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

Umenyiora also had nine sacks in an injury-shortened 2011 season in which he played just nine regular-season games, but he came back in time to post 3.5 sacks during a playoff run that culminated in the Super Bowl XLVI victory over the Patriots.

Manning’s Agent Says QB “Uniquely Suited to Be Giants Quarterback”

Eli Manning New York Giants v Arizona Cardinals nDi1C15yxyDl

Tom Condon, the agent representing Eli Manning, believes his client is best suited as a Giants quarterback than anybody, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports.

“The Giants have always been a solid organization, and Eli obviously is a unique human being and a terrific guy, so I think he’s uniquely suited to be the New York Giant quarterback,’’ Condon said Wednesday on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “I don’t know of anybody else who could handle that New York media and the scrutiny and all the pressure that goes with that the way that he does. He’s truly is unflappable.’’

Of course, Condon is a biased insider. He seeks a lucrative long-term contract extension for Manning, who is entering the final year of the $97.5 million extension he signed prior to the 2009 season. Manning is set to make $17 million in base salary in 2015, and both he and the Giants hope a deal can be put in place this summer essentially to make Manning a Giant for the remainder of his NFL career.

Condon said “there’s no question there’s high stakes’’ whenever a franchise quarterback is looking for a new contract.

“The quarterback clearly has always been the most important player on the team, but with the rules changes over the last 15 years or so, they’ve highlighted the importance of the quarterback and he’s moved away from the rest of the players in terms of not only compensation but certainly he’s the focal point of the team,’’ Condon said.

The “Worst Non-Active Player” in Giants History? SI Makes Their Choice

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Sports Illustrated has put out a piece on the “Worst non-active player by franchise” for each and every franchise, the G-Men included.

The player that the author the piece, Doug Farrar, picked was truly a bust – that being former DT William Joseph – an awful former first-round pick for the Giants.


William Joseph
DT, New York Giants

Ernie Accorsi made a lot of great moves during his tenure as the Giants’ GM, but picking Joseph in the first round is one he’d no doubt like to have back. Accorsi wanted a defensive lineman in the 2003 draft, but couldn’t move up from the No. 25 pick. In this draft, eight of the first 15 picks were defensive linemen (including Kevin Williams and Terrell Suggs), and Accorsi was left with the low-hanging fruit. He took a shot on Joseph, and Accorsi’s first quote about his new tackle wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. “This player is untapped, he has an upside, and hopefully we can get it out of him,” Accorsi said. Excited yet?

In four years with the Giants, he managed just four sacks and 20 solo tackles; he followed that up with two unremarkable seasons with the Raiders. The last most people heard from Joseph, he was pleading guilty to charges that he fraudulently cashed tax refund checks. Unhappy Giants fans might insist that it wasn’t the first larceny Joseph had performed in his life.

Giants Looking to Ink Eli Manning Before or Early Into Training Camp

Arizona Cardinals v New York Giants

The Giants would like to get a deal done with quarterback Eli Manning before the start of or during the early part of training camp, a move that they hope would keep him in New York the rest of his career.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning was perfectly content playing out the final year of his contract, but according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, he might not have to.

On Monday night’s Total Access, Rapoport noted that the Giants hope to do a deal before, or early on during the team’s training camp. That would give Manning the security of a long-term deal and set the table for a Philip Rivers contract as well.

Due to the way this offseason developed, there’s no doubt the Giants want to reward and hang onto any semblance of a franchise player they may have. Manning is one of the best 15 quarterbacks in football and is an obvious candidate to play his entire career with the Giants.

Rivers is a QB to watch when it comes to the money that the Eli is going to command. The San Diego QB is another QB entering the final year of his deal, and if the Chargers get him done before Eli, it’s only going to drive up the price of Manning.

Deadline Passes for Giants and Jason Pierre-Paul To Ink a Deal

New York Giants v New York Jets

ESPN reports that Jason Pierre-Paul and the Giants didn’t come to a deal by the 4pm deadline today, meaning that he can’t sign with the team long term until at least the end of the 2015 season.

The deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term contracts with their teams has passed and, as expected, the New York Giants and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul did not agree to a deal.

By rule, Pierre-Paul is now prohibited from signing a long-term deal until after the 2015 season concludes.

The Giants weren’t inclined to sign Pierre-Paul long-term anyway, preferring to franchise him this year and evaluate whether it made sense for them as a long-term free-agent investment next offseason. But even if a slim chance remained, it disappeared on the weekend of the July 4 holiday, when Pierre-Paul suffered serious damage to his right hand in a fireworks accident. Pierre-Paul had his right index finger amputated and surgery performed to repair fractures in his right thumb.

Pierre-Paul’s long-term future with the Giants has only become more uncertain since the incident. The Giants and Pierre-Paul also have questions to answer about this season. It is unknown when he’ll be able to play, when he’ll be able to practice and what form his compensation for this season should take.

Pierre-Paul still hasn’t signed the $14.813 million franchise tender, which means he’s not technically on the Giants’ roster and they can’t place him on the non-football injury list at the start of camp.

He is not planning to sign that tender until he’s sure he can pass the team’s physical, at which point they couldn’t put him on NFI because he would no longer be injured. Pierre-Paul does not want to be put on NFI because that would mean the team would not have to pay him for games he misses. If he were on NFI at the start of the season, he’d have to miss at least the first six games.

It remains possible — even likely — that the Giants and Pierre-Paul come to some sort of settlement, perhaps one that reduces his franchise tag number but guarantees that he receives all of the new, lower number. But those discussions are a long way from happening, and at this point the Giants are giving Pierre-Paul time to heal physically and emotionally before addressing the financial aspects of his immediate future. The passing of Wednesday’s deadline without a deal officially ensures that Pierre-Paul will be eligible for unrestricted free agency again next March.

Flights to New York City can be booked through Hipmunk.com to get to Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford. New York City hotels can be booked as well for fans looking to create a football destination vacation before the NFL season kicks off.

Former 49ers Great Ronnie Lott Gives Jason Pierre-Paul Advice on Injury

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

Nearly 30 years later, Ronnie Lott still remembers every sensation he felt when he made the decision to amputate part of his finger. And he vividly remembers the shock when he finally saw what he had done, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports.

“When the doctor took off the bandage to my hand he said, ‘How does it look?’?” Lott recalled on Friday during an appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show.” “I’ll never forget, I was sitting there going, ‘Man, that looks like ET’s head.’?”

He can chuckle now, but his experience back in 1986 was mostly about pain, which is what Lott said lies ahead for Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. And while Lott said Pierre-Paul can absolutely overcome the physical pain of losing his right index finger after a Fourth of July fireworks accident and return to playing at a Pro Bowl level, the emotional pain might be the bigger obstacle to overcome.

“He’ll be able to play with it and he’ll learn how to deal with it,” Lott said. “But the moment of not seeing it, the moment of looking at your hand and looking down and realizing you have that phantom (finger), where you use your finger but you don’t see it, there’s a lot of things emotionally that he’ll have to deal with. He’ll have to learn how to understand that it’s not there and that there are things that will play tricks on his mind.”

Lott, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2000, dealt with that in the spring of 1986 after he broke his left pinkie finger near the end of the ’85 season. He had broken it so many times, doctors told him it would never fully heal and they recommended amputation. Lott agreed, though he said he struggled for six months afterward with the reality of what he had done.

“When they took (the bandage) off, you look at your hand and you go, ‘Wait a minute. It’s gone,’” Lott said. “And (there’s still) all the sensations of knowing that it’s still a part of your spirit, part of who you are.”

Giants DE Pierre-Paul Not Likely To Sign His Tender Till He’s Sure He Can Pass Physical

New York Giants v Jacksonville Jaguars

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is unlikely to sign his $14.81 million franchise tender until he’s confident he can pass the team’s physical, league sources told Ed Werder of ESPN on Friday.

If Pierre-Paul, who had his right index finger amputated Wednesday as a result of a fireworks accident, were to sign the tender, the Giants could put him on the nonfootball injury list at the start of camp. If he’s still on that list at the start of the regular season, he has to miss at least the first six games, and the Giants could elect not to pay him for those games. But if Pierre-Paul doesn’t sign the tender before camp, then he gains some control over when he gets on the field and could prevent the team from starting him on the nonfootball injury list to begin the season.

Pierre-Paul, the team’s leader in sacks last season, has undergone multiple surgeries, including amputation of his right index finger and having pins inserted into his thumb to stabilize fractures. A source said doctors have told Pierre-Paul the fractures will require about six weeks of healing. That timetable would not have Pierre-Paul physically capable of returning until the Giants’ second preseason game at the earliest.

“Jason is focused on the process, getting through the medical stuff, and then he will deal with the other stuff,” the source said.

Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul Has Right Finger Amputated

Houston Texans v New York Giants

SI.com reports that the news on Jason Pierre-Paul isn’t good – as reports are he had his right index finger amputated Wednesday, making his future with the team and on the field even more in doubt.

Here’s the story from SI.

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had his right index finger amputated on Wednesday, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter added that a medical source expects Pierre-Paul to play this season, “sooner than people think.” NJ Advance Media’s Jordan Raanan reported Pierre-Paul was still in surgery when the amputation was reported, and that the amputation was done to “minimize damage.”

Pierre-Paul, a Deerfield Beach, Fla., native, injured his hands in a fireworks accident on the Fourth of July in Florida. Multiple reports on Wednesday said Giants officials who flew to Florida to check on him were not able to meet with him at the hospital and ultimately returned to New York. Pierre-Paul also reportedly has not responded to messages from teammates.

A team source told the New York Daily News the Giants had no knowledge of the amputation until Schefter’s report.

The Giants, Pierre-Paul and his agent, Eugene Parker, have declined to comment.

The Giants placed their franchise tag on Pierre-Paul in March, but he has yet to sign the franchise tender that would pay him $14.813 million next season.

The deadline to reach a long-term deal is July 15; the Giants reportedly pulled a $60 million long-term contract offer to Pierre-Paul earlier this week. Pierre-Paul was not expected to accept the offer, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.

The Giants drafted Pierre-Paul, 26, with the 15th pick in the 2010 NFL draft out of South Florida.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Pierre-Paul has recorded 286 tackles, 42 sacks and eight forced fumbles over his five seasons.