Giants expected to formally commit to QB Eli Manning as starter in 2019

Paul Schwartz of the New York Post examines some of the difficult decisions facing the Giants as the 2019 draft approaches. The Scouting Combine gets underway this week, and when Giants GM Dave Gettleman speaks on Wednesday — which will mark the first time he speaks publicly since the end of the 2018 season — Schwartz expects he will formally commit to QB Eli Manning as the starter for 2019.

After that, though, the picture gets a little fuzzy. Gettleman would love to find Manning’s successor in the draft, but he eschewed high-end collegiate QB talent last year, and the quarterbacks in this year’s class are not as heralded. Gettleman has long maintained he will not grade quarterbacks on a curve just because there is pressure to pick one. The Giants have plenty of other needs to fill, so they will be one of the more interesting teams to follow in the next couple of months.

Let’s take a look at a few more NFC items:

  • In a separate piece, Schwartz looks at three players the Giants will be monitoring closely at the Combine, all of whom fill one of their above-referenced needs: QB Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State), LB Devin White (LSU), and OT Jonah Williams (Alabama). Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com says the team’s top priority this offseason should be adding defensive playmakers, and Dunleavy takes a deeper dive into some of the collegiate prospects Big Blue should examine.
  • The 49ers will certainly add a receiver or two to the top of their depth chart this offseason (like Antonio Brown, for instance), but there should still be plenty of opportunities for third-year player Trent Taylor. Her underwent back surgery in June, and while Taylor ended up playing 14 games last season — compiling 26 catches for 215 yards and a touchdown — he says he never felt fully healthy. But as Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area writes, Taylor believes he is finally back to normal, and thinks a regular offseason of work will prime him for a breakout campaign. Taylor is also looking forward to working with his new position coach, Wes Welker, who certainly knows a thing or two about making hay as an undersized wideout.
  • The Falcons recently re-signed linebacker Bruce Carter and defensive end Steven Means to one-year pacts, and D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution passes along the contract details. Carter will earn $930K (making his contract a veteran minimum deal), and Means will earn $895K. The minimum salary for a player with Means’ service time is $805K, but Atlanta gave him a $90K signing bonus. He will carry a $735K cap hit, while Carter’s cap number is $645K.
  • It appears Cardinals pass-rusher Markus Golden will be allowed to hit the open market next month.

By: Rory Parks

Original Article

Winners and losers from NFL Week 8

Before Sunday’s slate of games got going, there was some serious drama in London as the Jacksonville Jaguars made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

That should have clued us in to the fact that NFL Week 8 was going to get weird.

The league’s most dominant defense was smashed to bits. Adrian Peterson outplayed Saquon Barkley. And a former No. 1 overall pick hit a new low.

These were the biggest winners and losers from NFL Week 8.

QB’s Who Might Be Looking For New Jobs After NFL Season

Written by Joel Corey at CBS Sports.com

Quarterback stability is highly coveted in the NFL because it’s a vital ingredient for sustained success. Some of the NFL’s most significant transactions occur in an effort to get the position settled.

The 49ers made an unexpected move at the Oct. 31 trading deadline by acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo, whose rookie contract expires after the season, from the Patriots for a 2018 second-round pick. Garoppolo has yet to make his 49ers debut because he has been focused on learning the offense. There isn’t a set timetable for Garoppolo to play. Garoppolo is a prime candidate for a franchise tag, which is expected to be in the neighborhood of $23 million to $24 million, if a new deal isn’t in place by early March.

Demand is usually much greater than the supply of desirable quarterbacks typically available in the offseason, but 2018 might be one of the rare instances where this isn’t the case.

Here’s a look at the passers who could be on the quarterback carousel in the offseason:

Drew Brees QB / Saints

Brees recently reiterated his desire to finish his career in New Orleans although he is going to play out his contract, a one-year extension for $24.25 million signed early last season. The Saints no longer have to rely on Brees’ passing for success because of one of the NFL’s most potent rushing attacks and a perpetually weak pass defense that has been fixed. Brees is on pace to throw for under 4,500 yards for the first time since 2009. The 38-year-old demonstrated that he is still capable of winning games with his arm in an improbable Week 11 come-from-behind overtime victory against the Redskins.

Brees’ contract was structured with 2018 through 2020 contract years that automatically void on March 14, the last day of the 2017 league year. This voiding date eliminates the possibility of Brees being given a franchise tag since it is after the designation period ends March 6. If an extension isn’t worked out between the end of the season and the voiding date, the Saints will have an $18 million salary cap charge in 2018 regardless of where Brees plays next year because of the proration from the $30 million signing bonus he received with his 2016 extension.

It might make sense for Brees and the Saints to go year-to-year since Father Time is undefeated. The 2018 money could be converted into a real contract where the voiding of the 2019 and ’20 contract years is delayed until the last day of the 2018 league year in March 2019.

There isn’t anything in Brees’ history to suggest that he would give the Saints a hometown discount. His current contract made him the NFL’s second highest-paid player by average yearly salary when signed. Regaining that place in the league’s salary hierarchy would likely mean a one-year deal for 2018 in the neighborhood of $26.5 million.

Eli Manning QB / Giants

Expected to contend for the NFC East title, the Giants appear to be destined for a top-five pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Wholesale changes (front office, coaching, personnel) might be on the horizon. Manning spending his entire career with the Giants could be in jeopardy because of the disappointing season. Landing a high pick would put the Giants in position to find Manning’s successor. The Giants can’t deal Manning to another team without his permission since he has a no-trade clause in his contract, which runs through the 2019 season. The Jaguars have been most frequently mentioned as a potential destination for Manning because his former head coach Tom Coughlin is Jacksonville’s executive vice president of football operations.

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Eli Screws Giants With Delay Of Game Penalty

Written by Lorenzo Reyes at USA Today.com

 One of the key plays in Monday night’s game between the New York Giants and the Detroit Lions is one that never happened.

And the fault for that, according to Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, fell squarely on one player: quarterback Eli Manning.

In New York’s 24-10 loss, the Giants were driving in the middle of the third quarter. With 5:20 left to play in the period, and facing a fourth-and-goal from the Detroit 2-yard line, McAdoo relayed a play to go for it on fourth down. Eventually, the play clock expired before the ball could be snapped, drawing a five-yard, delay-of-game penalty.

“Sloppy quarterback play,” McAdoo said. “Quarterback and the center need to be on the same page there. We’ve got to get the ball snapped.”

It’s interesting to note, however, that it appeared that McAdoo hesitated in sending in the play call from the sideline. After the third-down attempt fell short of the end zone, New York’s players looked to the sideline while the play clock bled. It was only when about 18 of 40 seconds remained that Manning appeared to receive the call in his helmet to get the Giants in position.

To be sure, that’s usually enough time to get a play off, but as the final seconds ticked off the play clock, Manning appeared to try to make a pre-snap adjustment.

“Because we have a veteran quarterback who has played a lot of football,” McAdoo continued when asked why he didn’t take one of his remaining time outs. “I expect us to get the ball snapped. Usually the clock goes from three, two, one, zero. Once it hits zero, they look at the ball, then look at the clock. Usually we have a tick once it hits zero to get the ball snapped without being a delay of game. I thought we had a chance to get it off.”

After the penalty was assessed, the Giants converted a 25-yard field goal to put the score at 17-10.

Manning, for his part, accepted the blame and agreed with his coach.

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Eli Manning In Hot Water Over Fake Game-Worn Memorabilia

Written by Darren Rovell and Jordan Raanan at ESPN.com

Eli Manning turned over a potentially incriminating email earlier this month in connection with a lawsuit that claims the quarterback, the New York Giants and a team equipment manager knowingly provided false game-worn memorabilia to collectors.

The email was included in a court filing in Bergen County (N.J.) Superior Court by the plaintiffs — collectors Eric Inselberg, Michael Jakab and Sean Godown — who first filed suit three years ago.

On April 27, 2010, Manning sent an email to Giants head equipment manager Joe Skiba asking for “two helmets that can pass as game used.” The email was initiated after Manning was sent a note by Alan Zucker, his marketing agent throughout his career, to come up with some equipment to satisfy his obligation to provide such materials to sports memorabilia company Steiner Sports.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Brian Brook of Clinton, Brook & Peed, told ESPN that the email, included among roughly 200 pages of documents Manning produced as part of legal discovery, was key to specifically linking the quarterback to the lawsuit, which alleges an elaborate scheme to produce, pass off and sell memorabilia as game-used that was not.

Prior to that email, the lawsuit had included only an alleged conversation between Manning and Skiba to put together some equipment that could be described as game-used. The lawsuit alleges that Manning not only had been aware of the passing off of inauthentic items of his as game-used but also was party to their creation.

The suit also alleges that the Giants were complicit by deleting the email from their accounts.

“The email, taken out of context, was shared with the media by an unscrupulous memorabilia dealer and his counsel who for years has been seeking to leverage a big payday,” McCarter & English, the law firm representing the Giants in the case, said in a statement. “The email predates any litigation, and there was no legal obligation to store it on the Giants server. Eli Manning is well known for his integrity and this is just the latest misguided attempt to defame his character.”

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Ben McAdoo Thinks Geno Smith Could Replace Eli Manning

Written by Paul Schwartz at New York Post.com

The quarterback for the Giants, for more than the past decade and for the present, is Eli Manning. The quarterback of the future, the eventual replacement for Manning, is … Geno Smith?

“I can’t see why not,’’ coach Ben McAdoo said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings.

Whoa.

“We’re a long way to go from there,’’ McAdoo said, verbally pumping the brakes just a bit. “To me, Geno, you look at it, you study the guys coming out, you study Geno, I think he’s right in the mix of one of the better players available this year.’’

There it is. The Giants look at Smith — the reclamation project cast aside by the Jets, signed to a modest one-year contract — as possessing as much value as, or more value than, the top quarterbacks available in this year’s draft. General manager Jerry Reese and co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch have acknowledged that Manning, at 36 years old, will not last forever and that the organization has to start thinking about his successor.

There is no need, McAdoo said, to “necessarily have to go chasing that or looking for that, but if somebody’s there, you fire away, you take him.’’

Perhaps the Giants already have taken him. Smith, despite all his mental and physical scars from his four years with the Jets — he is coming off a torn ACL and will be limited in the spring — is just 26 years old.

“You take a look at Geno, he has a compact throwing motion, you like his profile, he has a quick release, gets it out of his hand, a ton of arm strength, he’s mobile, so it will be interesting,’’ McAdoo said.

“I find it very exciting. A guy who has his skill set is hard to find. You can’t find guys out there that have that type of arm talent, the quick release, the throwing motion and the feet to go with it. And he’s a competitor. It’s exciting to bring a guy in and work with a guy like that. See where you can take him.’’

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Eagles Beat Giants As Eli Plays God Awful in Philly

Written by Jordan Ranaan at CBSSports.com

The New York Giants didn’t take care of business Thursday night. They might have won the battle of the stat sheet, but they didn’t win the battle on the scoreboard.

The Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 24-19 after falling behind early. They were never able to climb all the way back. Their offense struggled in the red zone and they were minus-2 in turnover margin.

Without the benefit of film review, here were the Up/Downs from the disappointing loss, which kept the Giants from clinching a playoff berth:

UP

S Landon Collins: He was all over the field and finished with nine solo tackles, including two for a loss. Included in that was a tremendous play Collins made on a goal-line stand in the third quarter. He knifed into the backfield to grab the ankles of running back Ryan Mathews before he was able to get airborne on fourth-and-goal. The only potential knock on Collins was on Nelson Agholor’s 40-yard touchdown reception. Someone in the secondary blew the coverage. It’s still to be determined whether that was Collins.

CB Trevin Wade: He had a spike in playing time with Janoris Jenkinssidelined by a back injury and performed well. Wade made a tremendous tackle on a third-down screen pass that seemed destined for big yards in the first quarter, had a pass defended late in the game and even saved the day on special teams by recovering a Dwayne Harris fumble on a punt return. It was a good evening for Wade all around.

WR Victor Cruz: The veteran receiver had his most productive game of the season upon his return to the place where he tore his knee in his last visit during the 2014 season. Cruz showed he can create enough separation while catching eight passes on 13 targets for 84 yards. He had five receptions in the previous six games combined. It was a mildly successful return to Lincoln Financial Field. It would have been storybook if he would have been able to make a key play on the final drive.

DOWN

QB Eli Manning: He started off so poorly that it was impossible to overcome. Manning was throwing wobblers and knuckleballs in the wind. He looked uncomfortable. His interception into the arms of Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was a head-scratcher that hurt badly. Jenkins returned it for a touchdown. Manning seemed to panic on the play. He finished with three interceptions and couldn’t get the Giants into the end zone. They were 1-of-5 in the red zone. Manning’s passing numbers were bloated. He threw for 356 yards, but also threw a Giants team-record 63 passes. His 61.3 passer rating says it all. It wasn’t his best effort.

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Ben McAdoo Ready to Change Culture with Giants


Written by Connor Orr at NFL.com

New head coaches are typically allowed a certain amount of leeway when it comes to interior decorating at a team’s facility, but the Ben McAdoo era looks and feels similar to what came before at first glance.

The clocks are still five minutes fast — former coach and current NFL senior advisor Tom Coughlin told McAdoo not to mess with them on McAdoo’s first day as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2014 — and the Lombardi Trophies are still polished and on display in the main lobby. The corridor between the cafeteria and the locker room is still lined with pictures of the team’s most legendary players on one side and silver-plated versions of newspaper articles from their championship runs on the other.

But continue north, down a hallway that leads to the player parking lot, and you’ll finally realize that day-to-day management has changed hands.

Welcome to the Giants’ new weight room.

“All great athletes are great movers,” head strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman, hired this year after McAdoo’s promotion, said during a tour of the facility early Tuesday morning. “Not all great athletes are the strongest guys, but they’re all efficient and they move well. Our mission is to maximize their strength, speed and power and minimize the amount of orthopedic stress we put on the body.

“Obviously, we’re going to stress their bodies, but when we talk about orthopedic stress, we’re talking about joint stress. We’ve put together a room that allows us to do all of that efficiently.”

The 35-yard-long open-concept workout facility is the most definitive evidence that the team is moving into another era. Rows of new Keiser machines — hulking, multi-use racks where players can perform anything from squats to gravity pull-ups — line the area from end to end, with removable plyometric boxes at the foot of each contraption. Players have certain lifts customized by speed to their position. There are charts measuring perceived exertion. More space between machines means more room for dynamic warm-ups to protect players against strain.

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