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With Julian Edelman Off Market, New York Giants Could Rekindle Interest in WR Josh Cribbs

April 10th, 2013 at 2:35 PM
By Paul Tierney

'Josh Cribbs' photo (c) 2010, Erik Drost - license: The New York Giants were hoping to land return man and backup slot receiver Julian Edelman this offseason in hopes of solidifying their wide receiver corp. and allowing David Wilson to step aside as the return man. With Edelman back as a member of the New England Patriots, the Giants are likely to take another gander at the free-agent market, hoping that they can swipe another quality free-agent on a salary cap friendly deal.

Earlier this offseason, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plains Dealer reported that the Giants could have an interest in Josh Cribbs. Although Cribbs reportedly failed a physical with the Arizona Cardinals, he could still make sense for the Giants.  

Cribbs failed his physical because he had not yet fully recovered from surgery on a torn meniscus in his knee. The Cardinals wanted to give his knee more time to heal before committing any money to him, but with that opens the door that Cribbs could find a better situation for himself on the open market.

After spending the entirety of his nine-year NFL career in a Cleveland Browns uniform, it's likely Cribbs want to play for a contender this season. The Giants can offer him a two-time Super Bowl MVP at quarterback, ample opportunities to make plays with the ball in his hands and a legitimate chance to win a ring.

If the Giants are interested in picking up quality depth at wide receiver, an interest that appears sincere given the team's interest in Edelman, Josh Cribbs is a quality fallback option. Cribbs played in all 16 games last season for the Browns, but only amassed 7 receptions for 63 yards. Cribbs has shown an ability to remain healthy throughout his career, as he has only missed one game over the last four seasons. It's indisputable that his numbers have declined as of late, but given that he would not be relied upon as a starter for the Giants, he's still athletic enough to find a contributing role on this roster.

The Giants have a decision to make on special teams next season. With David Wilson presumably taking over starting running back duties, it's unlikely that the team allows him to double as a kick returner as well. Jerrel Jernigan is still on the Giants roster, and would provide an affordable replacement for WIlson as kick returner, while also playing as a backup slot receiver. If the Giants feel that Jernigan will be effective enough to contribute in both of those capacities, then it makes sense for the team to pass on Cribbs. But given the team's interest in Edelman, there is at least some uncertainty within the front office in Jernigan's skill-set.

The Giants are being held hostage by Victor Cruz's contract negotiations at the current moment. It's likely that Cruz sings his long term agreement just before the draft, which would pay him just over $7 million annually. However, if Cruz does not sign his contract but elects to sign his tender and play this season for $2.89 million, the team will have significantly more salary cap space to operate with. With such uncertainty surrounding how much salary cap space the team has available, the Giants are stuck handing out one-year contracts for the league minimum.

Jerry Reese has done a nice job at finding quality depth in Aaron Ross, Mike Patterson and Dan Connor to play for the team at bargain prices. It remains to be seen if Josh Cribbs will fall into that category as well, as the Giants may still be looking to add depth at wide receiver.


Tags: Aaron Ross, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Dan Connor, David Wilson, Football, Jerrel Jernigan, Jerry Reese, Josh Cribbs, New England Patriots, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz, wide receiver

16 Responses to “With Julian Edelman Off Market, New York Giants Could Rekindle Interest in WR Josh Cribbs”

  1.  Sintexo says:


    GOAT56 says:
    April 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM
    That’s where I have seen him projected but he could go higher. I think the WR group is real the epitome of this draft. Not that impressive at the top with elite prospects but there’s not much difference in the first 15-20 prospects. Another prospect I like that will likely go in the later rounds and similar in build and transition from QB is Marcus Davis from vtech.

    •  Sintexo says:

      I’ve been reading the posts/comments on here for a few months now, but haven’t join in the conversation yet. I’m originally from CT, but I’ve been at VTech for six years now (2nd year grad student), and was stoked to see the Giants draft Wilson and Hosley last year. Regarding Davis though, I have my doubts. He has made some amazing plays while here, but if we drafted him, we’d have to force him to learn to block. I can’t recall one play where I’ve seen him block on a play, and is highlighted in the video here.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        If he’s a 5th-7th round pick at WR and his worse flaw is his blocking but he has the size to do so we may really have something. WRs main job is still to catch the ball. Given that if he played in the next few years he wouldn’t be starting and playing on passing downs anyway it’s not a big deal.

        I like WRs for Eli that can catch the ball in traffic. That’s more Eli’s still to fit it in there so physical WRs like Nicks, Randle and Harper or Davis are good matches with him.

        •  F0XLIN says:

          Daniel Jeremiah said a few weeks agoon on Path to the Draft, he has never been in one war room (I think he was in 6) where WR blocking ability was brought up. It’s a non issue for teams, added bonus if they can/do out of the gate

          •  Sintexo says:

            Interesting. Was just something I’ve noticed and taken note of, because there have been many plays where our RB had a decent chance to break a run for long yardage, but the play was killed in the backfield because the one guy he had to beat bounced right off Davis and got to him.

            •  GOAT56 says:

              He’s saying blocking can be thought. It’s mostly an effort thing especially for a WR 230. He will get cut in the NFL if he doesn’t put the effort in to at least be decent.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    Re: F55 DT post from last thread

    I assume Ansah and Jordan are gone. I like Carradine if he clears medically but don’t like Werner or Jones.

    A DT is not crazy I just don’t see the fit. Richardson is the most like upper tier DT to be available but he’s basically a younger maybe better version of Jenkins. Austin is also a similar type of DT. So we would carry 3 pass rushing DTs? It seems unlikely in my view especially when you consider Jenkins got 3 mil guaranteed so he will be on the roster. If a guy like Star fell or we had Williams rated highly that would be more interesting because we are not married to Patterson or Rodgers so a big run stopping DT could make sense. But I just see the Patterson signing as a signal we are not going DT high in the draft.

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    I like Edelman more as a WR. I think Cribs is a return guy who was elite but I don’t know if that’s true anymore. If he signed for the vet min then no problem. But I see him in the 2 mil range and that doesn’t interest me. I rather draft a player to be our Cribs and have him under control for 4 years while helping out on returns right away and possessing upside as a WR.

    •  Paul Tierney says:

      I don’t know about the $2 million range. He caught seven balls last season and has only taken 1 punt or kick return back for a touchdown over the least three years. He’s a vet minimum guy in my opinion, and if wants anything more than that I’d be fine with handing that role to Jernigan. I’d actually rather see Jernigan in there than Cribbs, as I still think he has the ability to develop into an effective weapon.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I have far from given up on Jerigan as a WR. I just think he’s a slot WR who for obvious reasons can’t play there. As PR I’m ready to turn the page because I think it’s in his head. As a KR I think he still has some value though his ball security worries me a bit at his size on KRs.

        I wouldn’t add Cribbs at even at the vet minimum because I rather use that roster spot to develop someone for the the long term. Murphy is already a one year guy we don’t need to surround Eli with so many WRs who might not return. That said if we sign him for the vet min it’s not big deal.

  4.  KingAndrewXXIII says:

    Please, no. Cribbs is over the hill…and is very one-dimensional. That dimension being a KR, which at this stage of his career, I am not sure that he is any better than anyone currently on the roster or that could be after the draft…and could prevent us from bringing in a young guy who is going to be better and cheaper. No thanks.

    Have to repost this from the last thread, as I didn’t see that there had been an update. Looking to the draft, a few 2-4 round type receivers that I wouldn’t mind taking a look at, in no particular order: Stedman Bailey, Markus Wheaton, Quinton Patton, Da’Rick Rogers, Ryan Swope and Marqise Goodwin. I think in terms of the skillset, that Bailey, Wheaton and Swope compare more to the role that Cruz plays now. I like Robert Woods as well, but I can’t see him really lasting until our 2nd round pick.

    I hope that we can get Cruz re-signed and focus on the re-tooling of this OL and the defensive side of the ball…but we are going to have to see how it plays out. If he doesn’t sign by the draft, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an earlier pick spent of a WR.

    •  wlubake says:

      I like Rogers’ skill set. Tough SOB who would be willing to play over the middle in a Cruz role.

      •  KingAndrewXXIII says:

        Rogers reminds me a little bit of Dez Bryant…and being a knucklehead has cost him a little bit in terms of draft stock. Would love to get this kid.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      The player I like in that role is Josh Boyce from TCU. He has no hype and probably made a bad move coming out early but his skills and size scream NFL slot WR. Probably a 3rd day only pick though given he does project on the outside well or isn’t a KR or PR.

  5.  jfunk says:

    While JR has a ton of DTs on the roster now, almost all of them have nothing guaranteed and are on cheap deals.

    Those signings eliminated DT as a desperate need for 2013, however don’t think he wouldn’t still take a guy he likes that is on the board when the time comes.

    He’s not going to let Rogers or Kuhn get in the way of drafting the DT of the future if he thinks he’s sitting right there in front of him.

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