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New York Giants Free Agent Contract Focus: Where is It?

January 19th, 2013 at 12:45 PM
By Jen Polashock

The looming schedule post-Super Bowl will officially begin next on February 18th when organizations can officially place the franchise tag on players if they so choose up until March 4th. Bear in mind that a team can only franchise one player per year and it can be revoked and placed onto another player, if necessary. The new 2013 league year officially opens on March 12 – along with Free Agency. Fasten your 5-point safety harness … this one may very well be a trying one as a New York Giants fan.

The Giants have 19 unrestricted free agents (UFA), three restricted (RFA) and four exclusive rights (ERFA) totaling 26. They will offer safety Stevie Brown a tender and are apparently working on a long-term contract with wide receiver Victor Cruz (not yet tendered). Both are restricted. Tight end Bear Pascoe is the third. The four exclusives: running back Andre Brown, offensive lineman Jim Cordle, defensive lineman Adrian Tracy and defensive end Justin Trattou all pretty much are not under contract, but have only two years of NFL experience, so if the Giants offer them the three-year veteran minimum salary and then that's it – take it or leave the NFL since these ERFA have no ability to negotiate with other teams.

Where the real brass tacks part of free agency comes in is with the unrestricted players. Two of the starting offensive linemen from 2012 are UFA and one has already spoken about testing the market. Both Will Beatty and Kevin Boothe have both anchored the left side of the line for quarterback Eli Manning as well as open up the run game for up and coming running back David Wilson and a healthier Ahmad Bradshaw. The argument on keeping tight end Martellus Bennett in blue was made a few weeks ago. Kicker Lawrence Tynes has been silent, but the need for continuity on Specials should be a priority. Seeing how he, DeOssie and Weatherford are together (on and off the field) is pretty "special."

Mixed feelings come about regarding players like: Keith Rivers (health), Kenny Phillips (knee/health), Osi Umenyiora (money/attitude), David Carr (possibly money/happy as backup) and sadly, Chase Blackburn – although heart of a Giant is never a question, many feel he isn’t the speed at MLB the team needs/lacks.

A handful of UFAs are injury or under-performance issues that are seemingly “goners” in the minds of some: Ramses Barden, Travis Beckum, Sean Locklear, Shaun Rogers and Brian Witherspoon.

A few players that aren’t in the forefront of the minds of Giants fans as far as stay/go, but arguments for maintaining their residence in East Rutherford can be endorsed and here’s why:

  • Domenik Hixon is a threat, when 100%. He wasn’t healthy this season and in 13 games, caught 39 passes for 567 yards and 2 touchdowns. His knee held up, even with some beating. He’s humble, dedicated and loyal; he just wants to play football. #87 has even passed comment on realizing that things aren’t necessarily better elsewhere – where more money may be.
  • Justin Tryon is a gamer on Special Teams. Watch Wilson’s kickoff runback from the New Orleans game. Guess who threw some crucial blocks for #22? Yup, #30. He brought something to that facet of the game that he originally flashed in 2011 (before he broke his arm).
  • Kregg Lumpkin is just a gut feeling here. While Da’Rel Scott would be cheaper, Lumpkin could be more durable and a change of pace back. What was flashed in the Atlanta game struck a chord; there may be something more here to the 5’11” 230 lb. back. Maybe a one year contract to this kid that was sitting out there for the G-Men back in November?

Speculate all you want and play with the roster as if you wore Jerry Reese’s suit jacket – it can be fun, at times. Just don’t lose it when your 80-man looks nothing like the Giants’ heading into training camp.

Photo Credit: Mike Gannon

Also…

Tags: Adrian Tracy, Brian Witherspoon, Chase Blackburn, David Carr, Football, Kenny Phillips, Kregg Lumpkin, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Osi Umenyiora, Ramses Barden, Sean Locklear, Shaun Rogers, Travis Beckum

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16 Responses to “New York Giants Free Agent Contract Focus: Where is It?”

  1.  Krow says:

    I love the speculation. But let’s remember … we only have a small portion of ‘the story’. Just because a certain decision looks crazy we might think differently if we had all the facts.

  2.  kujo says:

    Repost:

    Mauluaga is a better middle linebacker than we’ve had here in a decade. Period. You people are waiting for an ideal that doesn’t exist, at least not usually, and not in the end of the 1st round where consistently excellent football teams like us pick.

    For me, the question is simple–can he better than Blackburn? Hell yes! Is he a perfect prospect? Not by any means. I’d like to see him improve at shedding blockers, and I’m not overly enthused by the angles he takes sometimes. But he’s a damn fine linebacker, head and shoulders better than what we have had for the last 5 or 6 years, and the sort of personality you want in a middle linebacker. His “character issues” amount to being duped by a prankster, not an alcoholic like Maluaga, or a lunatic like BBG’s buttbuddy Burfict, or a d-ck waver like Brandon Spikes, or having extreme bowel movements and gun fetishes like Rolando McClain, or too talkative like Sean Weatherspoon, just not being fast enough like Dont’a Hightower.

    I am not doubting Reese’s draft philosophy, but I am tired of hearing intelligent fans parrot this “not what we’re looking for” bullcrap! I’ll be fine if we don’t take him, but I’m not buying that he wouldn’t be an enormous, and imperfect, upgrade to the most consistently underwhelming unit on this team.

  3.  GIANTT says:

    Couple of thoughts just crossed my mind ( yeah join my wife in declaring how surprised she is that I had a couple of thoughts in one day- a miracle )
    With a record crop of inderclassmen declaring for the draft , this will put a premium on good scouting – can the Giants scouts pull a shocker out of the hat ?
    The second was , I was just reading so and so signed here , the other guy signed there etc . It just struck me as a lot of coaching changes . Given the probability that any new head coach or OC or DC will put in a new scheme and given the fact that it may take a year or so to get comfortable , Id have to say that this will be a plus for the Giants facing the Eagles and even the Cowboys defensively , no ?

  4.  Dirt says:

    Dirt says:
    January 19, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    5) Yes he’s done, and was done in 2012. I should have been more clear that I was talking about 2011.
    ————————————————————————————————

    LMFAO!!! Are we really second guessing the fact that Plax was not bought back for 2011??? The season we won a SB without him and the season that he was so intricate to the Jets success that they told him to get lost and dint bring him back for 2012 even after Holmes went down for the year and they had NO WRS”S???????

    Sometimes the second guessing on this site is mind numbing to say the least..

    —-

    I’ll chalk your tirade up to a lack of caffeine? Surely you missed where I clarified I was talking about 2011.

    And again, upthread I said something to the effect of “It wasn’t a clear, no doubt about it decision, even if not signing him was the right decision”.

    Also, I don’t think I or anyone here ever needs to respond to any comment regarding what the Jets clown show of a front office ever does or doesn’t do. With that said, I agree with you and I’ll say again, yes, he was done in 2012. But in the summer of 2011, before anyone knew Cruz was gonna light up the world, it was worth kicking the tires.

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    After this past season I would not be surprised to see Reese send a shot across the bow of the entire locker room, both players and coaches. Some of his comments make it quite obvious that he is frustrated with the delays in the staff making use of the younger players whom the General Manager believes have talent. That creative tension is good, and one of the many reasons it’s always a bad idea to have one man filling both the GM and Head Coach roles. But might JR dump someone whose exit would shake the complacency out of both the players and the coaches? It would have to be a veteran whom the coaches like and the players respect (an equivalent to Antonio Pierce, whom you all know I thought should have been shown the door two years earlier but whose dumping definitely made some of the players who thought of him as a team leader wake up and notice that any of them could be dispensed with as well).

    While both Blackburn and Diehl are good candidates, their absence from the roster would not shock anyone. Who are other candidates? Boley? Canty? Webster? Bradshaw? Hixon? Most have cap issues related to being cut that could cause problems. But absent a dumb decision to part with Justin Tuck (THAT would shock people, but would also be stupid), I think Reese has to think of something that makes this team wake up from what appeared to be a self-satisfied slumber in 2012. Maybe there were more personnel issues than we thought, but in any case the team did not play up to its talent. Poor coaching in some cases, poor play in a lot of cases, and a lack of that last degree of intensity that is required to win in the NFL, all led to the team’s mediocre showing.

    Perhaps he should go into the next few months saying that in any borderline decision about a player and his contract the default position should be that the veterans have to give up some money or hit the road. If 4-5 respected veterans whom the players and coaches figured would be around don’t wind up with contracts, or get cut even at the expense of a cap hit, perhaps that won’t be such a terrible thing. We need every player feeling a bit less “secure” in 2013 than perhaps they did in 2012.

  6.  demo3356 says:

    Here is my final response to anyone still swallowing the Burress “Kool aid”.. After this I’m done talking about him other than fond memories of the 2007 rub.
    Guy was a great player for us from 05-07 and was the key component to what made our offense what it was. these aren’t my words, these are the words of Defensive Masterminds Wade Phillips and the great Jim Johnson. PLax was a mans ma for us in 2007 on a bad ankle and his performance in the 07 NFC Championship game was probably the most dominant I’ve ever seen by a WR on a big stage. Every time I see that clip of him catching the game winning TD vs the Pats I get the chills. I’ll always be grateful for those memories
    That said Plax Single handedly shot away a very likely repeat in 2008 with his stupidity. Really a loaded gun in sweat pants in a NYC club? Really? We were 11-1 and absolutely killing people on a weekly basis. With Plax as a must double (or triple) team on every snap our running game had lanes to slice up any defense. Once Plax was lost for the years Jim Johnson aid the blue print for 8-9 in the box and plugging every running lane. Season went downhill fast and we all now how that ended. Oh yeah, before Plax shot himself we had already beaten all 4 conference finalists (Pitts / Balt / Philly and Arizona) with 3 of the victories being on the road.
    Then upon release from Prison, was Plax all apologetic and asking to come home and try to make it up to the Giants? No, Deush nuts left prison in a Philly hat and was sucking Eagle c’ck talking about how he’s love to play for Philly. Next when he realizes Philly has less than zero interest in adding to their convict rehabilitation program, he shuns our offer to go to our cross town rival and play for the Jets. With Plax the Jets still finish 7-9 missing the playoffs and then the Jets immediately cut ties with Plax amongst rumors of him being surprise, surprise, a bad locker room guy.. The giants without Plax go on to win another Super Bowl. The Giants didnt need Plax. Plax needed the Giants but was too stupid to make the right decision and joined the 3 ring circus known as the Jets.. Its too bad because he could have been a member of the 4 ring model franchise know as the New York Football Giants had he not been a complete jack ****…

  7.  GmenMania says:

    Repost:

    A couple thoughts on the draft and FA:

    1. There are a couple of guys at need positions that we can get in the second or third rounds, possibly. A couple of them are Khaseem Greene, OLB from Rutgers, Menelik Watson, OT from FSU, Kevin Minter, ILB from LSU, and Chase Thomas, OLB from Stanford. Minter and Thomas both have good size and are very productive tackle-wise. Minter probably goes in the second, Thomas in the third. Menelik Watson is a very solid player in a deep tackle class, and could solidify the RT position for years to come. Potential second or third rounder. Greene is probably less likely, as he’s more of a WILL than a SAM or MIKE, but he’s a very good tackler, and could go in the second.

    2. In FA, I think that there will be a bunch of guys who could be cost-effective pickups for us: OG Ramon Foster, ILB Dannell Ellerbe, DT Sammie Hill, and CB Keenan Lewis. Foster is a 26 year-old guard who was on the Steelers, and may be looking for a starting job. If Boothe leaves, which I don’t think he will, Foster could replace him. We could also sign Foster as a backup and tell him that when/if Snee retires soon, he will replace him. Dannell Ellerbe will probably be more expensive than the other guys on this list, as he may be viewed as the successor to Ray Lewis in Baltimore. But if we could get him for $4 million a year for say, three years, then he could maybe be the MIKE we have been looking for (he’s 27). Sammie Hill was on a DT-loaded Lions team, and is solid against the run. Could be had cheaply as a 3rd, run-stuffing DT (he’s 27, and weighs 330 pounds). Last guy, Keenan Lewis, I saw mentioned on here before as a cost-effective second or third corner. Had an ok season with the Steelers last year, but showed promise at the end. Could be a good replacement for Webster, if we end to up cutting him, or just a good 3rd corner.

  8.  GmenMania says:

    UUT

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