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#pounditMonday, September 28, 2020

Articles tagged: New York Giants

Report: Giants want to trade down from No. 4 spot in draft

Dave Gettleman

Dave Gettleman has never traded down in the first round of a draft in his eight years as an NFL general manager, but that run may come to an end on Thursday night.

The New York Giants currently hold the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, but numerous reports have indicated they are looking to trade down from that spot. ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio and Jordan Raanan both said Thursday that the Giants want to move back, and Raanan was told Gettleman has made it a “top priority” because he wants to add more picks on Day 2.

That would obviously be out of character for Gettleman, but it would make sense for the Giants. They already drafted a quarterback last year in Daniel Jones, so they are not interested in Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert. They could certainly use offensive line help, but there are several offensive linemen that are expected to be first-round picks. Even if the Giants don’t land one of the top players at the position like Alabama’s Jedrick Wills or Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, they could still easily land a starting-caliber lineman later in the round.

Two teams in the top five may have already agreed to swap picks, but the Giants should have no problem finding a team that wants to move up to No. 4 if the price is right.

Report: Giants have done a lot of research on Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert

The New York Giants spent the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft on Daniel Jones, and general manager Dave Gettleman clearly believes the former Duke star can become a franchise quarterback. However, that hasn’t stopped the team from gathering extensive information on one of the top players at the position heading into this year’s draft.

The Giants have dedicated a significant amount of time to researching former Oregon star quarterback Justin Herbert, Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Media report. The gathering of intel has included new head coach Joe Judge having FaceTime conversations with Herbert.

It seems extremely unlikely that the Giants would use another top pick on a quarterback, especially after Jones showed some promising flashes last season. New York has the No. 4 overall pick, and you have to wonder if they leaked that information in an attempt to make QB-needy teams think they may have to trade up if they want to assure themselves an opportunity to draft Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa.

Gettleman is not big on draft day trades, but Peter King of NBC Sports reported on Monday that teams picking in the top 10 believe the GM is open to trading back this year. If you combine that report with what Rapoport and Garafolo said, it’s not hard to imagine the Giants are trying to increase the value of the No. 4 pick.

There has been a wide range of opinions regarding where Herbert will be drafted, but it would be a surprise if he slips past the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 6. Most teams view him as either the second- or third-best quarterback in the draft behind Joe Burrow.

5 must-watch games on NFL Game Pass

Marshawn Lynch

The coronavirus pandemic has brought most of the world to a halt, and that includes the world of sports. Every major American sport has been paused, delayed or canceled for the year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your fill.

In an effort to offset the lack of sports, the NFL has decided to offer up Game Pass for free for several months, giving fans the opportunity to watch any game their heart desires from the 2009 season on.

Here are five games (and one bonus game) that are absolutely worth your time.

5. Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints (January 8, 2011)

Of course this game was destined to make the list — how could it not? It was a miracle that the 7-9 Seahawks, who were in their first year under head coach Pete Carroll, made the playoffs at all. Then they topped it off by upsetting the heavily favored Saints in front of more than 66,000. The two teams battled back-and-forth for four quarters, and the game was neck-and-neck until under 4:00 remaining when Seattle put what amounted to a game-clinching touchdown on the board. The win sparked a revolution in Seattle and propelled the Seahawks into power for the next half-decade. Am I forgetting something? Oh, that’s right … that game-sealing touchdown came courtesy of Marshawn Lynch, who broke countless tackles on the way to the end zone, leaving the crowd in such chaos that is actually registered on sensitive earthquake-detection equipment. The run was aptly named the “Beast Quake.”

4. New York Giants vs. New Orleans Saints (November 1, 2015)

Louisiana native Eli Manning returned home to take on Drew Brees and the Saints early in the 2015 season, and no one could have foreseen what was coming. Manning and Brees put on a show for the ages, combining for over 850 yards and 13 touchdowns as their teams put up 100-plus points. It was an aerial display — the likes of which the NFL has rarely seen — with big plays coming with remarkable frequency. The two teams battled back-and-forth from the jump, and that persisted until the final seconds. With the game tied 49-49, the Saints sent in kicker Kai Forbath for his first and only field goal of the game, which he drilled down the center from 50 yards out as time expired, giving New Orleans a thrilling victory. If you’re into high-powered and nearly unstoppable offense, this is the game for you.

3. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Rams (November 19, 2018)

One of the most hyped games in recent memory, the high-powered Chiefs took on the equally high-powered Rams on Monday Night Football, which drew an average viewership of 16.7 million — one of ESPN’s most-viewed NFL games since 2016. And the contest certainly delivered, as both Kansas City and Los Angles got their licks in throughout the contest. In the end, the Rams and Chiefs became the first teams to score 50 points each in a game, while the game itself closed as the third-highest scoring contest in league history. Their 14 combined touchdowns were also the second-most ever. In the end, the Rams walked away victorious as Jared Goff hit Gerald Everett for a score with under 1:50 remaining. Of course, the Chiefs would eventually get the last laugh as they proved themselves more sustainable, winning the Super Bowl a year later.

2. Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals (January 16, 2016)

A few weeks removed from the Cardinals absolutely dismantling the Packers — Aaron Rodgers’ worst loss ever — the two teams were back at it in the divisional round of the playoffs, and they delivered an instant classic. The game itself wasn’t exactly the sharpest football you’ll see, but that doesn’t make the game any less thrilling. Facing elimination late in the fourth quarter, Rodgers, who is known as a Hail Mary master, connected on two — the first coming on a fourth down, and the second coming as time expired. That pushed the game into overtime, but veteran receiver Larry Fitzgerald refused to be outdone, taking the first pass of overtime 75 yards down the field. Two plays later, Fitz took the shovel pass to the house, sending Arizona to the NFC Championship Game. It was arguably one of Fitzgerald’s grittiest and gutsiest performances, which overshadowed Rodgers’ late-game magic.

1. Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints (January 14, 2018)

You want wild and unexpected? It doesn’t get much more wild and unexpected than this. After falling behind the Vikings 17-0 in the divisional round of the playoffs, Drew Brees and the Saints slowly chipped away, clawing their way back into the game before eventually taking a 21-20 lead with just over 3:00 remaining in the fourth quarter. But that’s when things began to get a little crazy. Kai Forbath, playing against his former team, regained the lead for Minnesota after connecting on an impressive 53-yard field goal with just 1:29 remaining. But Brees & Co. struck back quickly, converting on a 4th-and-10 before connecting on a field goal of their own, giving them a 24-23 with just 25 seconds remaining. It would take a miracle for Minnesota to win, and the Minnesapolis Miracle is exactly what they got. With 10 seconds remaining from their own 39-yard line, quarterback Kirk Cousins aired it down the field for wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who went up for it and braced for impact. But that impact never came as the New Orleans defender whiffed, leaving Diggs nothing but room to run in for thew game-winning score, sending the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game as their hometown fans erupted and nearly brought down the stadium.

Bonus: New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles (December 19, 2010)

I’m admittedly a fan of the Giants and cover them for a living, so there is some level of bias that goes into these lists, no matter how hard I try to remain neutral. However, when compiling the top 5 here, I couldn’t bring myself to list this game. I also couldn’t bring myself to leave it off the list entirely. Therefore, as a bonus suggestion, I present to you the Miracle in the Meadowlands II. All punter Matt Dodge had to do was boot a ball out of bounds and all would have been well. Instead, he sent it right to DeSean Jackson, who subsequently took it to the house with :00 on the clock, giving the Eagles a victory and essentially ending any remaining playoff hopes the Giants had. It was an amazing game for anyone who isn’t a Big Blue fan.

5 NFL teams that have improved the most this offseason

Jon Gruden

It’s been a big offseason of moves across the NFL, and some teams have really stepped up and used their cap space smartly. Many teams that have struggled recently have aggressively tried to turn their fortunes by adding key free agents and making big trades.

Which teams have done the best with this? Here are five NFL teams that have improved the most during the offseason so far.


Dion Lewis to sign one-year deal with Giants

Dion Lewis

Dion Lewis has a somewhat surprising new home after his release from the Tennessee Titans.

Lewis has signed a one-year deal with the New York Giants, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.

The Giants have a running back in Saquon Barkley, so this is a surprise. Lewis, however, can lighten the workload, offer an alternative on passing downs, and serve as a different option on third down plays. That means it’ll be a complementary role for Lewis, but he’s done well in that sort of role for both the New England Patriots and the Titans. He also has a connection with Giants coach Joe Judge, a former Patriots assistant.

There was some thought that Lewis might want to reunite with Tom Brady in Tampa, which would have made a lot of sense. For whatever reason, though, that has not happened.

James Bradberry, Giants agree to three-year, $45 million deal

James Bradberry

The New York Giants have made a big move to solidify their secondary, as they agreed to a three-year contract with former Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry on Monday.

Bradberry will sign a three-year, $45 million deal that includes $32 million guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Bradberry’s $15 million annual salary is just a tick less than the $15.05 million Xavien Howard gets from the Miami Dolphins. Both players will likely be topped by former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones when he finds a new home.

Bradberry started 60 games over four seasons with the Panthers and became one of the best cornerbacks in football during that span. He stepped into the No. 1 cornerback role after Josh Norman was released and signed with the Washington Redskins, and Bradberry proved that the Panthers made the right move. The former second-round pick had three interceptions and 12 passes defensed last season.

Giants approve replacement Super Bowl ring for Steve Weatherford

Earlier this week, retired New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford revealed that his Super Bowl XLVI ring had been stolen as part of a string of neighborhood break-ins.

Weatherford said in a Facebook post that he gave his wife permission to put the ring in her purse following a speaking engagement, and that the entire purse and some other items were then stolen from their car.

“No, it’s not a joke⁣,” Weatherford wrote in a social media post. “Recently, a string of car break-ins happened in my neighborhood — all in one night, eight cars were broken into.

“I gave my ring to my wife the night before after speaking at an event, she put it in her purse, and… Well, if anyone sees a Super Bowl XLVI ring on eBay with a name largely engraved on the side –⁣ WEATHERFORD (spelled like that) — kindly text me.”

As part of Weatherford’s plea, he expressed hope that Giants co-owner John Mara would approve a second mint of his ring courtesy of Tiffany & Co., which would be paid for through insurance money.

The good news? TMZ Sports reports that the Giants have given the thumbs up to Tiffany & Co. to create a replacement ring for Weatherford.

The New York Giants tells us they will allow Tiffany & Co. to make a replacement Super Bowl 46 ring for Weatherford.

Remember, the former Giants punter has insurance on the missing ring … but isn’t allowed to get a replacement without the green light from NYG ownership.

According to the team, that ain’t a problem … ’cause the G-Men tell us they’re actively working on getting in touch with Steve, and are down to make him a replacement.

Weatherford spent four season with the Giants from 2011-2014 and set a Super Bowl record against the New England Patriots by downing three punts inside the 10-yard line.

Giants had to make special arrangements for Eli Manning’s retirement presser

Eli Manning

Eli Manning will hold a press conference on Friday to formally announce his retirement from the NFL, and that is kind of a big deal for the New York Giants. It is such a significant event, in fact, that the team’s normal press conference setup was not enough to accommodate it.

Manning’s press conference was held inside the Giants’ field house rather than the auditorium. There have been multiple coaching changes and star players coming and going over the years in New York, but ESPN’s Jordan Raanan says that is the first time he has seen that particular setup.

The debate over whether or not Manning is a Hall of Famer has already begun raging, but his importance to the Giants can’t be overstated. He helped the franchise win two Super Bowls, one of which spoiled what would have been the only 19-0 season in NFL history.

Tom Coughlin has already paid tribute to Manning in an emotional statement, and that is the type of tone we can expect to see from a lot more people on Friday.

Freddie Kitchens to join Giants’ coaching staff

Freddie Kitchens Browns

Joe Judge is filling out his coaching staff with the New York Giants, and he is adding some familiar names, including Freddie Kitchens.’s Matt Zenitz reported on Tuesday that Kitchens is expected to be part of Judge’s staff on the Giants.

Kitchens was fired after going 6-10 in his lone season as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. The step up to head coach was a massive leap for Kitchens, who had only been a position coach in the NFL until 2017 and was only promoted to offensive coordinator after Todd Haley and Hue Jackson were fired in 2018. He was overmatched as head coach but may be back to a more comfortable assistant-type role now (Jason Garrett will be their offensive coordinator).

In addition to Kitchens, the Giants are hiring Jody Wright.

Bret Bielema is another coach who will be on Judge’s staff, as that news was also reported on Tuesday.

Garrett will be the Giants’ offensive coordinator and Patrick Graham their defensive coordinator. Other roles on the staff are unclear.

Jason Witten could have interest in joining Giants?

Jason Witten

Could we see Jason Witten play in the NFL for a team other than the Dallas Cowboys?

The veteran tight end has not ruled out playing in 2020, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN. However, Witten’s role in new Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy’s offense may be nonexistent, meaning he might have to look elsewhere if he wants to keep playing.

Mortensen suggests that one possible landing spot for Witten could be New York. The Giants just named Jason Garrett offensive coordinator, and Mortensen left the door open to the possibility that Garrett might bring his longtime tight end with him.

Witten’s on-field contributions are more limited these days. He caught only 63 passes in 2019, and his 529 receiving yards were his lowest total since his rookie season. He still contributed four touchdowns.

Evan Engram would still get the lion’s share of work at the tight end position, but there may be some feeling that Witten could be a valuable mentor in Garrett’s offense. Of course, the 37-year-old will want to be more than a mentor, too.