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Reese Speaks at the Combine

Here are the highlights of Giants GM Jerry Reese speaking at the 2012 NFL Combine:

Reese open to an extension for Umenyiora?

“It could happen,” Reese said. “But we have a lot of issues to look at, and we just have to formulate a good game plan and see if we can get it done. “I think he loves the Giants,” Reese added. “He loves to play football. He’s been with us his entire career, and I think he’d like to retire a Giant.”

To be clear, though, no extension talks have taken place. The Giants are in a tight position with the cap as of this moment, so don’t expect talks to start anytime soon. The Giants have Umenyiora locked up for another season at just under $4 million. They need to be careful here, too. With DE Justin Tuck just two years away from a new deal and superstar DE Jason Pierre-Paul lurking behind him, the Giants ought to be careful and tread lightly.

Manningham a goner?

Major outlets have reported Super Bowl hero WR Mario Manningham will test the open-market, as the Giants and Mannigham’s talks did not go anywhere. The Giants would like to keep Manningham, but not at a starting WR salary, which is what Manningham is seeking.

“I don’t know,” Reese said, when asked about Manningham’s odds of returning. “I don’t htink it’s fair to frame what the odds are on that. He’s a good football player. Obviously, players, when free agency comes around for them, they want to make as much money as possible. We’ll see how it unfolds, but he is a good football player.

As I’ve been saying for a while now, don’t expect to see Manningham back in a Giants uniform next season. Who could step in his place? As Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said, they expect last year’s third round pick Jerrel Jernigan to step in.

“I think we have some good players we still want to come along,” Reese said. “We drafted Jernigan in the third round, so we expect him to make the jump.”

Decision on Jacobs coming shortly?

The first major decision Reese must make is on RB Brandon Jacobs. As you know, Jacobs is due a $500,000 roster bonus in March and is due to make $4.9 million total this season. The Giants, who are tight in the cap, will have to make a decision on Jacobs shortly. There is simply no way the Giants will pay Jacobs, who is no longer a starter, almost $5 million this season.

Expect Reese to talk to Jacobs’ representatives after the combine to see how much of a pay cut Jacobs is willing to take to remain with the Giants. Jacobs is open to it, but at the right price. If the Giants don’t like that price Jacobs is willing to slash away, he’ll likely be a cap causality victim and be released.

TE Troubles

With TE’s Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard both likely starting the season on the PUP list, the TE posiotin is now a need. Don’t expect the Giants to go out and get a stud TE, though.

“If you can get a great player at that position, that’s great,” he said. “I don’t know if we’ve had great players, but we’ve won a couple of Super Bowls with some good tight ends. I don’t know if you can call them great . . . We just look for good players.”

Like I’ve said, they don’t need a stud TE. “We’ll address it somehow,” Reese added, “through the draft or free agency, but we’ll definitely look to address that.”

Much more to come in the next week or so at the Combine. Stay tuned.


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