SI Grades the Giants in Their NFC East Off-Season Report Card

Sports Illustrated has released their grades for the offseason to this point, including of course the Giants and the rest of the NFC East.

Here’s some of what the site had to say about the Giants to this point in the offseason.

Strangely enough, that Giants’ pass rush also had another upper-echelon defensive end: Jason Pierre-Paul. He was re-signed for $62 million over four years. Like Vernon, Pierre-Paul is a monster against the run. And it’s not like these two can’t put the heat on quarterbacks. Both just need to do it more regularly.

Typically an impotent pass rush fells a defense. But the Giants have something no other team has save for the Broncos: three high-quality pure cover corners: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie plus last year’s newcomers, Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple. As long as these guys are on the field, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo can dial up any blitz imaginable. And he does. Spagnuolo can be especially creative with his blitzes out of two-safety coverages, which is unusual (in most blitzes there’s just one safety back).

The only tenuous thing with this defense is its depth. If any of the corners are out, it’s in trouble. Recall the playoff loss last year at Green Bay. Rodgers-Cromartie left with a thigh injury on the first series. That compromised part of the man coverage’s reliability, which wiped several blitz packages off Spagnuolo’s play sheet. Eventually Aaron Rodgers exploited this.

Grade: B+

You can read the rest of what SI has to say about the Giants, as well as the NFC East by clicking HERE

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Giants Co-Owner Mara on Team’s Not Signing QB Colin Kaepernick: “It’s an Emotional, Emotional Issue”

Six years ago, Colin Kaepernick was a second-round selection of the 49ers. Three years ago, he led them to the Super Bowl. Nine months ago, everything changed when he stepped outside the bubble of sports and became a lightning rod for taking a knee during the national anthem—his way of protesting the continued oppression of minorities in the United States.

Kaepernick has not gathered much interest from NFL teams, seemingly because of perceived backlash from fans over his protest. Giants co-owner John Mara shed some light on the situation to Jenny Vrentas of MMQB.

“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Mara said.. “If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, more so than any other issue I’ve run into.”

Mara said signing Kaepernick wasn’t discussed by his club this offseason, although the Giants never were a likely landing spot for him; they already have a franchise quarterback and were looking to find Eli Manning’s eventual successor in the draft. But the letters Mara received offer a league-wide glimpse into some of the unusual circumstances surrounding Kaepernick’s job search.

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.

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.