2011 New York Football Giants Preseason Report
Following the first five days of full-blown free agency, we have seen a number of guys leave teams that we didn’t think they’d leave, see guys make more money than we thought they were worth, and the supposed “Crown Jewel” of the free agent crop actually take LESS money to join an incomplete team. In other words, there’s a lot to wrap your mind around regarding this preseason thus far, and there won’t be much time to evaluate rookies, second year players who didn’t play much last year and new acquisitions via free agency.
However, here is where things stand with the Giants as of 5 PM, July 30, 2011 at press time:
— WR Steve Smith still unsigned, states via Facebook that he hopes to have news very soon regarding his deal.
— DE Osi Umenyiora reports to training camp this afternoon, but refuses to speak to GM Jerry Reese regarding contract negotiations. Umenyiora was being fined $30,000 per day missed in camp.
— RB Ahmad Bradshaw is still unsigned, but in negotiations with the team.
— WR Plaxico Burress, sources say, allegedly says he is not going to return to the team, and that a secret deal has been struck with the Philadelphia Eagles long before any of the meetings with Pittsburgh and the Giants were consummated.
SN: Where are the Eagles getting all this money, if they assumed Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s salary in the Kevin Kolb trade, franchise tagged Michael Vick, signed Jason Babin and Nnamdi Asomugha, as well as former Packers’ DT Cullen Jenkins (as I write this)? They were up against the cap like everyone else in the NFC East last year, and they haven’t shed THAT much in cuts and trades. Worth asking.
Smith appears to be on the fast track to recover from his injuries suffered in the 2010 season. FB Madison Hedgecock was cut on Thursday. TE Kevin Boss is still in negotiations, but he is almost certainly going to be the second to sign after Bradshaw’s deal is complete. The Giants’ defense will be completely set after the Umenyiora deal is taken care of; with the re-signing of DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka.
DE and team captain Justin Tuck asserts that people might want to realize that “this might get done sooner than you expect” — regarding Umenyiora’s dispute. Now that Osi is in camp, I believe it will be ironed out with a major two-tiered signing bonus and a backloaded contract that is cap-friendly, freeing up more space to enable the team to sign the aforementioned internal target free agents.
If the regular season began today, and of course it doesn’t — this is what the projected starters would look like:
* – Denotes signing to be formality
** – Denotes player could begin season on Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list
David Baas OR Adam Koets.
NULL (Keith Bulluck is 7th on the priority signing list and may go to Detroit Lions).
Tom Coughlin (extended through 2012 Season).
Special Teams Coordinator
The Giants are returning many players who were either injured last season or had subpar years according to their standards. As we know, 41 turnovers will not occur again, and barring injury, we have one of the top 5 talented teams in the league. As usual, wise Giants fans prefer to fly under the radar and since we usually are not inclined to make big splash moves in free agency, that helps. The most notoriety that can come from any signing this offseason is the will-he/won’t-he with WR Plaxico Burress.
Every one of our remaining top targets will eventually sign. RB Brandon Jacobs’ deal was restructured with the sole, expressed purpose of signing RB Ahmad Bradshaw first. WR Steve Smith will most likely receive a 1 year deal to rebuild his marketability for the 2012 free agent year, coming off a serious set of leg injuries in 2010. If he gets a second year, it will be solely out of good faith negotiations on the part of the Giants. However, such a deal restricts Smith’s ability to test the free agent waters in 2012, and is therefore unlikely.
I will try to keep these reports coming on a daily basis throughout training camp, but schedule permitting. Feel free to share any thoughts or updated moves as the days progress on this column entry or the applicable column for that day.