New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that professional sports teams are clear to resume training in the state, and his colleague in New Jersey has now followed suit.
On Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy gave pro sports teams the green light to reopen their training facilities as long as they follow health and safety protocols. That will allow the Jets and Giants, who reside in New Jersey, to move from virtual workouts to in-person activities.
UPDATE: Professional sports teams in NJ may return to training and even competition – if their leagues choose to move in that direction. We have been in constant discussions with teams about necessary protocols to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, and personnel. pic.twitter.com/yMrCFtSyqY
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 26, 2020
The NFL has told teams they can reopen their facilities as long as their local governments approve, and several teams have already received clearance. Since New York and New Jersey were two of the hardest-hit states by the virus, it is a good sign that sports have been given the green light in those areas.
While sporting events will undoubtedly look a lot different than we’re used to when they resume, things appear to be trending in the right direction.
The only way NFL players have been able to work with their teammates this offseason is via virtual calls and video chats, but New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker has been told to stay away from those for the time being.
Baker and fellow NFL cornerback Quinton Dunbar were arrested this week and charged with multiple counts of armed robbery. They were both released on bond Sunday, but Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reports that the Giants have told Baker he should stay away from virtual workouts and meetings while his legal issues play out.
NEW: DeAndre Baker has been told to stay away from the #Giants’ virtual meetings for the time being and focus on his legal issues, according to a source familiar with the club’s thinking.
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) May 17, 2020
Baker posted $200,000 bond on Sunday morning and Dunbar posted $100,000. The judge used a simple formula of $25,000 per charge, and Baker is facing four counts of armed robbery and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. Dunbar is facing four counts of armed robbery. The terms of the release state that neither player is permitted to leave the state of Florida.
Baker and Dunbar have been accused of robbing victims at a party in Florida of expensive watches and cash and making a getaway in luxury vehicles that were waiting outside the party. One witness said Dunbar and Baker lost roughly $70,000 at a party in Miami a few days earlier. Another witness said Baker and another man flipped over a table and brandished firearms and began to rob those in attendance of cash and watches at the party in Miramar on Wednesday night.
Attorneys for both Dunbar and Baker insist the men are innocent, and they claim to have testimony from multiple witnesses that proves it.
The New York Giants’ offense may look similar to the old Cowboys.
New Giants head coach Joe Judge spoke with reporters on a conference call Tuesday and talked about the team’s offense. Rather than the style of offense they ran under Mike Shula last year, the new offense will be like what Jason Garrett ran in Dallas.
Interesting (to me) that #NYG HC Joe Judge said the offense is “not a carryover” in any way from what NYG ran last year. Said it will be “similarly based” off what Jason Garrett ran in Dallas.
— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) May 12, 2020
Garrett was the head coach of the Cowboys for 10 seasons and was their offensive coordinator before that. The offense under him wasn’t as wide-open like last year’s under Kellen Moore.
What does this mean for the Giants?
You might expect some more of a running focus and perhaps some conservative ways. That would be a disappointment for a young offense featuring Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram and Golden Tate.
NBA teams have begun to open up their facilities on a limited basis, prompting some to wonder if the NFL might be close behind. While it may happen, team gatherings are still a ways off.
Giants coach Joe Judge explained that he simply wouldn’t feel comfortable asking someone to fly from California to New Jersey in order to take part in a team activity.
Joe Judge on getting his team together now or in the near future:
"I have a tough time right now asking a player to fly across the country from California when I probably wouldn’t be the first one most willing to throw my two sons on the plane to go the other way.''
— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) May 12, 2020
This is just one of the issues with team gatherings. As long as social distancing guidelines remain in place, it will be hard to get a full team together in one place safely.
As for on-field workouts, we appear to be some way away from that. Judge won’t face this worry quite yet.
The New York Giants are hoping for Daniel Jones to make a big second-year leap in 2020, and Eli Manning believes his retirement will help the former Duke star accomplish that.
With Manning now out of the picture, Jones will enter training camp and the season as the Giants’ starter. Manning said during an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday that he expects Jones to benefit from the fact that Eli retired.
“I think it will be easier this year for him to kind of step up as that leader,” Manning said, as transcribed by Matt Citak of Giants.com. “Last year was probably awkward for him, me being there, me being in meeting rooms and just kind of the whole dynamic. Me being gone and, hey, he is the quarterback, he is the guy, for him to have that control and the authority over receivers and offensive line.”
Manning said he watched Jones do all the right things to earn the respect of his teammates last season, and Eli believes being able to take on more of a leadership role will help Jones develop.
“Now he can elevate that where now he’s in charge,” Manning said. “The questions are coming to him from the coordinator, he’s going to have to give his voice and his opinion on things.”
Manning certainly has a point. Even though he entered the season as the Giants’ starter last year, it was only a matter of time before Jones took over. Manning is an icon in New York, however, and many fans did not want to see him benched. That had to have made things uncomfortable for Jones and many others in the locker room.
While Manning may have seemed bitter toward Jones after the QB change was made last year, getting the rookie some experience was the right move for the Giants. That should pay off in 2020.
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.
Entering today was told the top priority for Giants was to move down. They want to add more picks, likely in Day 2. Need a willing partner though. One of few teams I'd heard was Jaguars, but as of last check that didn't seem likely.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) April 23, 2020
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.
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.
A draft tidbit to file away for Thursday: The #Giants have spent a lot of time researching #Oregon QB Justin Herbert, a process that’s included FaceTime conversations with coach Joe Judge, per me and @MikeGarafolo. NYG has been exhaustive in its draft prep at No. 4.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 20, 2020
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.