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Apr 28 - UPDATE - With their final pick, the Giants selected NC State DT Markus Kuhn. Kuhn came to NC State as a 21-year-old freshman in 2007, and had some production before a shoulder injury caused a medical hardship year in 2009. Kuhn has been part of the team's defensive tackle rotation for the past two years.

With their sixth round selection, the Giants selected Offensive Tackle Matt McCants. A late bloomer who was playing tuba in his high school band before joining the football team as a senior, McCants went on to become one of the top offensive performers in Blazers history.

With their second pick in the fourth round, the Giants selected Auburn OT Brandon Mosley. In just two short seasons, Mosley has not only transformed his body from 270 pounds to 318, he has also transformed his game, as he converted from tight end, to defensive end before arriving on Auburn's campus in 2010.

The Giants got their tight end two days later than many had projected. The team selected Cincinnati's Adrien Robinson with the first of their two fourth-round picks (No. 127 overall). Four picks later, the team chose Auburn offensive tackle Brandon Mosley with the 131st overall pick.

The Giants love to take the best player available, stressing value and using the draft as a means of building and maintaining a deep roster rather than drafting to fill immediate needs. But they've made four picks now, and each of the four appears to have at least something to do with filling a current roster hole.

The Giants continued to add to the offense and address needs in the draft by taking a tight end with their first pick of the fourth round. Cincinnati's Adrien Robinson doesn't have a ton of production to go off from his four years. But he is considered to be athletic and the Giants and TE coach Mike Pope are among the best at developing tight ends.

What the influx of young hyper athletic bad blocking tight ends has done is take TE's who block well and created a niche in the market that only a select few guys can fill. Adrien Robinson is a guy who can fill that role to a T.

Apr 28 GM Jerry Reesee on not moving up a couple of spots to ensure getting players. "We like using all of our picks, and we've moved up to get guys before and it hasn't worked out that great for us. We're a little bit leery of moving up and taking guys. We've done that in the past and I don't think our success has been very good."

Apr 27 - UPDATE - The Giants have four selections Saturday on the final day of the draft, two in the fourth round, and one each in the sixth and seventh rounds. They traded their fifth-round selection to the Cincinnati Bengals for linebacker Keith Rivers. So, Giants fans. Your scorecard thus far has David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech in Round 1, Rueben Randle, WR, LSU and Round 2 and Hosley in Round 3.

Jayron Hosley would have been a much more hotly discussed name at the cornerback position if his sophomore and junior seasons had been flip-flopped. As a sophomore, Hosley led the nation with nine interceptions and added eight more pass breakups. 2011 was not a bad season for Hosley, but injuries slowed his production.
Hosley is a two-year starter at left cornerback who led the Atlantic Coast Conference and ranked 11th in the nation as a punt returner with a 12.67 average. He finished his collegiate career with 12 interceptions (seventh in the school's record books).

The Giants continued to stock up on offensive talent while addressing needs as well by taking Rueben Randle in the second round. Entering the draft, Randle was on the board for the Giants as a potential target in the first round. In fact, they discussed Randle on Thursday night before taking Virginia Tech running back David Wilson.

The Giants think they got the wide receiver to replace the departed Mario Manningham with their second round pick, tabbing LSU's Rueben Randle. Randle, 6-2, 208, is a former high school QB who is still learning the receiver spot but who has a great deal of upside.

The Giants considered LSU's Rueben Randle one of the best receivers in this year's NFL Draft, so good they considered taking him in the first round. When they decided to choose Virginia Tech running back David Wilson, they figured that ended their opportunity to add Randle.

Randle didn't seem to find much consolation in the report that the Giants had considered him as their pick in the first round, and were surprised to see he was still available with the last pick in the second. As for Randle, that meant a full day of sitting in the green room with a dwindling number of the original 26 who arrived before the whole event began.

While Osi Umenyiora is left to presumably play out his contract, the Giants quietly gave a new deal to Umenyiora's teammate, Mathias Kiwanuka. They signed the linebacker (and sometimes defensive end) to a three-year contract extension recently, even though he still had one year left on the two-year contract he signed just eight months ago.
A combination of Ray Rice and Arian Foster. That's how Giants first-round pick David Wilson described himself as a football player during an interview on WFAN (see above) this afternoon. If the running back out of Virginia Tech can come close to those All-Pros then the Giants certainly achieved their goal of getting maximum value at No. 32 Thursday night.

Apr 27 General Manager Jerry Reese - "David Wilson, running back, Virginia Tech. Terrific football player. This guy loves to play football. We like all of that stuff about him. He's fast. He's productive. He can do anything you want him to do. He can catch the ball. He can return kicks..."
David Wilson was sitting at home on the edge of his bed waiting for his phone to ring on Thursday night. When the Giants finally called just before the first night of the draft was over, he screamed. It would've been more appropriate if he had celebrated with a backflip or two.
Wilson, who left Virginia Tech after his junior year, is the first offensive player chosen by the Giants on the first round since Hakeem Nicks in 2009 and the first running back since Wisconsin's Ron Dayne in 2000. He is the first player the Giants have ever drafted from Virginia Tech.

Jerry Reese admits there were several choices at 32 with several players unexpectedly having dropped, but the general manager said Wilson was at the top of their board and also addressed a need. Reese did say it was fair to say Wilson was the second running back on their board.
The only complication in the choice was that there seemed to be far more options on the board than the Giants were expecting at 32. Georgia offensive tackle Cordy Wilson, projected to be a Top 15 pick, was still on the board, as was Alabama defensive end Courtney Upshaw. Speedy Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill and Stanford tight end Coby Fleener were still available, too.


Apr 26 - UPDATE - Giants selected running back David Wilson.
Physically, Wilson might have as much upside as any back in this draft, and from this perspective, he might be the best back to come out of Virginia Tech.
Wilson is an electrifying runner who opted to come out early after an incredible junior year in which he was named ACC Player of the Year. He's extremely explosive and quick-twitched off the snap.
Wilson ran for 1,709 yards on 290 carries for the Hokies last season, a 5.9 yards-per-carry average that was slightly better than the 5.5- and 5.7-yard average he posted in the previous two seasons.
The question facing Wilson is whether all that athletic ability can be harnessed into making him a skilled running back at the NFL level. He opted to leave Virginia Tech a year early.
David Wilson is the first running back the Giants have taken in the first round since 2000, when they took Ron Dayne of Wisconsin, who turned out to be a bust.
Running back David Wilson does 13 backflips (Video)

Just moments from the start of the NFL Draft, Giants announced they signed Shaun Rogers, the veteran defensive tackle who spent last season with the New Orleans Saints. The 12-year veteran -- a three-time Pro Bowl selection who has played for the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns, in addition to the Saints -- will add depth along the interior of the defensive line behind Chris Canty and Linval Joseph.

Apr 26 When Jerry Reese said the Giants were open to finally giving Osi Umenyiora the new contract he's always wanted, the oft-unhappy defensive end definitely heard him. He just didn't believe a word.
Last week, general manager Jerry Reese said there's been "a little bit of talk" between the front office and Umenyiora's camp, though indications are the "little" part of the statement is the most accurate part.
Jerry Reese last week reiterated he is open to considering a contract extension for Umenyiora but a source said there have been no real talks. The source said there is a circulating rumor the Giants would trade Umenyiora if they can get a third-round pick in return.

The Giants have expressed interest in Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Hightower, who had four sacks last season, wants to rush the passer in addition to playing linebacker. If he's a Giant, he might get that shot.

The one thing we do know is the Super Bowl champs don't always draft what most think they need, but rather take the best player on their board. So while everyone knows they can use another running back, offensive tackle, wide receiver, tight end and defensive back, the Giants don't draft for need. Would it really shock you if they took another defensive end or defensive lineman early?

NFC East News
Washington - Robert Griffin III is on his way to the NFC East, but he isn't afraid of facing the Giants vaunted pass rush. Griffin III, whom the Redskins will make the second overall pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft, said Tuesday that the Giants trio of Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora does not scare him.
Philadelphia - Asante Samuel was willing to restructure his contract to play for the Atlanta Falcons. Samuel has 45 career interceptions in nine seasons, fourth among active players. He had only three interceptions in 14 games last season, but his 38 interceptions since 2006 lead the NFL.
Dallas - One of the topics Tony Romo addressed during his news conference Tuesday was the amount of time he has left as the starting quarterback of the Cowboys. Romo, who just turned 32, says he hasn't thought about it because, "Unless you start to regress in your abilities, that doesn't enter your thoughts."

Apr 25 Despite having just won his second Super Bowl, the Giants' Eli Manning joked Jets' Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow have gotten more publicity than him, making him the "third most talked about quarterback in my own city."
Manning was smiling and got a good laugh from the crowd at Ole Miss when he delivered that line during a panel discussion moderated by Fox News' Shepard Smith, so it didn't appear as if he was truly hurt by the lack of attention. Then again, it's not the first time this offseason he's brought the subject up.

Mark Herzlich feels that the Giants' starting job at middle linebacker is his for the taking. "I wish the best for everybody else, but it's still a competition. I want the team to do well, and if it's not the spot that the coaches want me in, then that's one thing. But the way I look at it is, there is a place that I can play and I don't want anyone to take that away from me."

Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks said he'll leave the drafting to general manager Jerry Reese, but when it comes to looking for a replacement for departed wideout Mario Manningham, Nicks thinks the option is on the current roster. Though, Nicks did say that if Reese wanted to draft a wideout, he wouldn't protest.

As the league begins its three-day draftapalooza on Thursday, can anyone identify a juicy off-season morsel about the Giants? That's how Big Blue operates: ego-free, hype-averse, everyone contributing. And that's the team's approach to the draft, all seven rounds and beyond. Most non-Kiperized NFL fans will be glassy-eyed come Saturday, when rounds 4 through 7 take place. That's when Giants general manager Jerry Reese and his staff do some of their smartest business.

The Giants enter this week's draft having selected a defensive player with their first pick (first or second round) in six of the past seven drafts. In the past two years, the Giants went defense with their first two picks, drafting defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive tackle Linval Joseph, cornerback Prince Amukamara and defensive tackle Marvin Austin.

Apr 24 Although the Giants walked away from last season on top of the football world, management is still angered over Jet brass covering those Giants Super Bowl logos with curtains in MetLife Stadium before Jets hosted the Giants on Christmas Eve. Eli Manning won't be returning to ESPN-1050 (the radio home of the Jets) but will instead have a regular gig on WFAN.

There are 32 general managers, 32 scouting directors, 32 NFL head coaches, and countless scouts and player personnel people all around the NFL and all of them seem to have one thing in common: They all like to say "We're going to draft the best player available" in the days and weeks before the NFL draft. What's that you say? Jerry Reese always takes the "best player available"?

Eli Manning hasn't ventured in to get a peek at the Giants' draft board and he admits he's not intrusive when it comes to making suggestions, saying "I don't get too involved with the process and giving my opinion, 'Hey, draft this guy, draft that guy.' " He does have opinions, though.

Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the Giants second preseason game last year and has not played in a meaningful game since Dec. 2009 when he was a junior at North Carolina.

D.J. Ware has a message for Jerry Reese and the rest of the Giants' front office: "I'm ready." And with that message, Ware is hoping the Giants - if they are going to add a running back to the mix in this week's NFL draft - only bring someone on board for depth purposes and not more than that.

Giants tight end Martellus Bennett sees an opportunity to step in and put up big numbers in 2012 after spending four seasons as Jason Witten's backup in Dallas. As of now, Bennett is in line to be the Giants' starting tight end for that matchup with Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard each coming off torn ACLs suffered in Super Bowl XLVI.

His secrets remain hidden, tucked away in a series of spiral-bound notebooks Chris Snee keeps far from prying eyes. Tiny writing fills both sides of each page, he says, crammed with observations, tendencies and tricks he's gleaned from watching hours of game film on other NFL guards, studying how they attack defensive linemen. And the time has come to start another notebook..

The Giants have a glaring vacancy at middle linebacker that scouts say Dont'a Hightower would fill quite nicely if he is still available with the 32nd pick in Thursday's first round of the NFL Draft. Not only would the defending Super Bowl champions be addressing their hole in the middle with Hightower, but Saban said Big Blue would be helping themselves in numerous other areas, too.

Former Giants
Brandon Jacobs was involved in a high-speed caravan down the Garden State Parkway to Atlantic City that one witness dubbed "Death Race 2012," according a report.
Brandon Jacobs, who is known for his collection of flashy sports cars, told Rides Magazine in October that he often cruises with the Driving Force Club.
Brandon Jacobs told Rides Magazine that one of his cars can get up to "135 or 140 mph," but he's not interested in pushing the limits.
Brandon Jacobs, a seven-year veteran who had played his entire career with the Giants, signed with 49ers in March. Two New Jersey state troopers have been suspended without pay.

Apr 23 How would the Eli Manning passing attack look if it was augmented by a Ray Rice clone running the ball down the throats of opposing defenses? No, this isn't an exercise in fantasy football daydreaming, it's a real-life scenario that could play out Thursday night. Austin says he is 100 percent healthy and eager to get on the field for a game that matters.

Ahmad Bradshaw says he feels better than ever. D.J. Ware is ready to take on a more prominent role. Da'Rel Scott says he is more prepared for his big opportunity. And the Giants' front office must decide whether to take them at their word, whether they are enough to lift a Big Blue running game that was last in the NFL in 2011.

Since the Eli Manning era began in 2004, the New York Giants have gone defense with their first pick in six of the past seven drafts. Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks is the only offensive player the Giants have taken with the first pick they possessed.

The punt return and kickoff return coverage units did not give up a touchdown return in 2011. The Giants infused the coverage teams with youth and athleticism by drafting players like Greg Jones, Jacquian Williams, Tyler Sash and signing Mark Herzlich.

Apr 22 There's only one downside to winning the Super Bowl and it comes on draft day every year when the champs are stuck with the last pick of every round. Not that Jerry Reese is complaining. It worked out pretty well for his Giants four years ago.
While some teams, including the Jets, could look to trade up in the round, the Giants are more likely to trade back in the draft than forward. Reese hinted as much to reporters last week, saying that the Giants see numerous prospects with similar ratings on their draft board.

Apr 21 These are heady times for the Giants. They won Super Bowl XLVI and paraded up the Canyon of Heroes. In less than a month, they'll be wearing new championship rings, the ultimate in NFL bling. They are expected to visit the White House before training camp opens. Everywhere they go, the Giants are hailed for winning their fourth Super Bowl title. So how do they put that all behind them and prepare for the 2012 season?

Kevin Boothe is part of an offensive line that could go through plenty of shuffling before the start of the season. At this point, no one seems to know how it's going to shake out. "have no idea," said Boothe, who played guard and center last season. "But you have to be prepared for anything. Whatever it takes to help the team win."

The Giants are hoping several members of their 2011 draft class are ready to step up into some bigger roles this season. Wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan is in the mix to compete for the vacant third receiver spot. Running back Da'Rel Scott has a shot at the backup spot behind Ahmad Bradshaw. Tackle James Brewer is considered a candidate to compete for the right tackle position.

Michael Boley heard how Jerry Reese mentioned him as a possibility at middle linebacker this season. But Boley says he has yet to be told where he will be playing at this season. "They haven't asked me anything," Boley said on Thursday. "I heard it. [I was] a little bit surprised. But I guess the league we play in, you can't be surprised by surprises. Anything can happen."

Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie, who recently enjoyed his second Super Bowl title, signed a three-year, $3.45 million contract extension through the 2015 season. Kicker Lawrence Tynes is slated to be a free agent after this upcoming season.

Apr 20 Special Report - The theme of the day was, as always, "value above all." So spoke Giants' general manager Jerry Reese. Even if the players is at a position the team considers its strongest, he will be taken because of value. Any position? "Well, we might have to think a little harder about a punter or a kicker, but any other position." Quarterback, too? "Yes, quarterback, too. Without a doubt, if Andrew Luck is down there, you think we wouldn't pick him? If he's there, Luck is a Giant."

It was less than a year ago that Eli Manning unintentionally sparked "The Great Eli-unintentionally sparkedwalmartte Debate," by saying he belonged in the same class of quarterback as Tom Brady. Now there is no debate. The Giants quarterback is a two-time Super Bowl champion.

Victor Cruz reiterated Thursday morning that he has no plans to hold out from any organized activity and promises he will be at training camp on time with the Giants, regardless of whether there is any renegotiating of his existing contract.

Michael Boley admitted Thursday he was a bit surprised when general manager Jerry Reese mentioned his name as a candidate to start at middle linebacker for the Giants this season.

Giants tight ends Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard have been rehabbing their ACL injuries since the post-Super Bowl XLVI celebration. Beckum is much closer to returning to action, though.

Prince Amukamara is still dealing with the effects of a broken bone in his left foot he suffered in training camp last August that forced him miss the preseason and first nine games of the regular season after having an injection put into his foot in mid-March.

Giants defensive captain Justin Tuck, who battled injuries to his neck, groin and shoulder in 2011, says he "laxed" last year but is training for strength and endurance this offseason.

Chad Jones' surgically repaired leg was feeling sore. But nothing could wipe the smile off his face. The New York Giants safety is attempting to make a comeback after having his left leg mangled in a car accident during the summer of 2010.
The former third-round pick is inching his way back toward the field and is hoping to receive clearance to participate in football activities sometime this spring. After that, it's training camp and the long-term goal of putting on a uniform for the first time as a professional athlete.

Apr 19 David Diehl has played just about everywhere along the offensive line and the possibilities for his future position seem endless, too. He was a left tackle at the end of last season. He could be moved to right tackle this season. He also could end up moving back inside to guard. So what are you, David Diehl?

Here is a list of players who visited the Giants this past weekend. They're non-local players and teams can bring in only up to 30 of them, so they're a better indication than the ones who come in for local workouts.

Former Giants
Aaron Ross has received permission from the Jaguars to attend the Olympic Games in August to watch his wife, Sanya Richards-Ross, compete.
Aaron Ross is waiting for the track and field schedule to come out before planning his trip. And since he is battling Rashean Mathis for a starting job opposite Derek Cox, Ross doesn't intend to be gone more than a few days in August.

Apr 18 Giants 2012 Schedule Released
Sept. 5 DALLAS (Wednesday night), 8:30 p.m
Sept. 16 TAMPA BAY, 1 p.m.
Sept. 20 at Carolina (Thursday night), 8:20 p.m.
Sept. 30 at Philadelphia (Sunday night), 8:20 p.m.
Oct. 7 CLEVELAND, 1 p.m.
Oct. 14 at San Francisco, 4:15 p.m.
Oct. 21 WASHINGTON, 1 p.m.
Oct. 28 at Dallas, 4:15 p.m.
Nov. 4 PITTSBURGH, 4:15 p.m.
Nov. 11 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Nov. 18 BYE
Nov. 25 GREEN BAY (Sunday night), 8:20 p.m.
Dec. 3 at Washington (Monday night), 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 9 NEW ORLEANS, 4:15 p.m.
Dec. 16 at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Dec. 23 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Dec. 30 PHILADELPHIA, 1 p.m.

Strength of schedule: The defending champs own the league's hardest schedule based on their opponents' 2011 records. The Giants are the first defending Super Bowl champs to enter a season with the most difficult schedule according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Everyone knew that as the winners of Super Bowl XLVI, the Giants would be faced with a bevy of prime-time games and they are, with five of them filling their 2012 schedule. Three come in the first four weeks of the season, making for a demanding opening stretch.
The Giants defeated the 49ers in San Francisco to reach Super Bowl XLVI in the NFC Championship Game and will return to San Francisco in 2012 for a Week 6 matchup against Brandon Jacobs, Mario Manningham and the rest of the 49ers.
For the first time since 2003 - one season before Tom Coughlin took over as head coach - the Giants will open and finish the regular season at home.
Giants vs. 2012 Opponents Series Record. Giants.com's Michael Eisen takes a closer look at series records versus Giants Opponents in 2012.

According to the game-charting stats of Pro Football Focus, Osi Umenyiora was the Giants' best pass rusher by a fairly significant margin last year. In the site's pass rushing productivity statistic, which measures sacks, hits, and hurries on the quarterback per passing play snap, Umenyiora ranked seventh in the N.F.L., counting playoff games. Tuck and Pierre-Paul ranked 26th and 29th, respectively.

Chad Jones, the Giants' third-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, is attempting a comeback and is in attendance at the team's workouts. The Giants thought very highly of Jones, a two-sport prospect (he was also a left-handed pitcher) at LSU who was expected to contribute right away as a rookie.
Chad Jones is participating in the Giants' offseason workouts, marking his first activities with his teammates since he suffered horrific leg injuries in a June 2010 car accident. It sounds like Jones must still be cleared by the Giants' medical staff before returning to football activities. His working out right now is simply a continuation of his rehab.

Apr 17 Eli Manning is coming off the finest season of his career and he no longer has to convince anyone that he is an elite quarterback. When injuries hit the line, Manning and the Giants' offense still clicked. And Manning enjoyed his best season without much of a running game.

Eli Manning has stared down the Patriots defense not once, but twice, leading the Giants to come-from-behind victories in two Super Bowls. He has excelled on the greatest stage the NFL has to offer and earned two Super Bowl MVP awards. But he's admittedly a bit nervous for the next stage he climbs up on.
When Peyton Manning hosted "Saturday Night Live" five years ago he wasn't completely out of his element. He had acted in school plays and starred in several popular commercials. For Eli Manning, hosting SNL will be something very new.

Giants players returned to the Timex Performance Center for their Offseason Program on Monday. This is the first time a large segment of the team has been together since two days after the Super Bowl, when the championship was celebrated at a ticker tape parade in lower Manhattan and a rally in MetLife Stadium. The players greeted each other with handshakes, hugs and backslaps.

Bear Pascoe made an early appearance at the TIMEX Performance Center on Monday, and it wasn't just a planned visit. Pascoe has signed his exclusive right tender and will remain with Big Blue for at least the 2012 season. Pascoe will backup newly signed Martellus Bennett. His one-year tender is worth $540,000.

John Mara has served on the NFL Competition Committee for a dozen years and during that time its most vital mandate has remained unchanged. Player safety has been and will continue to be at the forefront of all committee discussions and decisions. Mara can envision a day when a far more radical change is made and NFL games are played without kickoffs.

Apr 16 Eli Manning's following in his brother's footsteps again. The Giants QB will host "Saturday Night Live" on May 5, with musical guest Rihanna.
According to this list, there have been nine NFL players or coaches to host SNL (not including Carl Weathers, whose fame was due to acting). That means Manning will be - fittingly - No. 10.
For now, Eli Manning has two Super Bowl rings to his older brother's one. But it remains to be seen whether he can put out anything as funny as the following two clips.

Apr 14 Chase Blackburn began last season far from the Giants, sitting in his home in Ohio and preparing for life after football. He won't begin the 2012 season the same way, though. Blackburn re-signed with the Giants on Friday, a source confirmed, inking a one-year $825,000 deal with the only NFL team he has ever played for.
Chase Blackburn became one of the NFL's feel-good stories last season when he signed with the Giants midseason and within five days was intercepting Aaron Rodgers at middle linebacker against the Packers.
With Keith Rivers arriving via a trade and the Giants talking about possibly moving Michael Boley to the middle, Blackburn might not be in line for a starting job again this season.
It's likely the Giants will be highly disappointed if Keith Rivers doesn't find a way onto the field as a starter once the summertime competition comes to an end.

Osi Umenyiora is still waiting for the Giants to give him a contract extension. But the two-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection is realistic about the situation as he enters the final season of his deal. "There's no anger," Umenyiora said at an event at an NFL pop-up store in Midtown.

Paterson to honor Victor Cruz with weekend parade. The city will finally get to celebrate Super Bowl champion and native son Victor Cruz with a parade on Sunday, a homecoming postponed until the newly minted celebrity could find the time.

John Mara has served on the NFL Competition Committee for a dozen years and during that time its most vital mandate has remained unchanged. Player safety has been and will continue to be at the forefront of all committee discussions and decisions.

Apr 13 The Giants have long known that Osi Umenyiora is unhappy about being underpaid. Turns out he's not too crazy about being underutilized, either. Umenyiora, who has more sacks than any other Giant (27.5) over the last three seasons, spent 2011 playing behind Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul. On Thursday, he hinted that he wouldn't be excited to fill that role again.
"It would be a wonderful thing to do to start your career with one team and finish it with one team. I would love to do it," said Umenyiora, who has played nine seasons with the Giants. "Is it realistic? Is it reality? Who knows. I don't like being a backup, I can tell you that. So, who knows how that is going to shake out."

Giants general manager Jerry Reese says his goal is "to create competition at every position." There is no doubt Reese succeeded in doing just that with the acquisition of linebacker Keith Rivers, who arrives from the Bengals in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick.
Rivers, a 2008 first-round pick of Cincinnati out of USC, is hoping to move past what has to this point been an injury-plagued pro career. He spent all of last season on the injured list after undergoing wrist surgery in July, and clearly sounds like a man eager to prove he can make it in the NFL.

NFL News
The New Orleans Saints have named Joe Vitt as interim coach, despite the top assistant's six-game suspension for his role in the club's bounty system.

Apr 12 Special Report - The Giants seem to have acquired linebacker Keith Rivers from the Cincinnati Bengals for their fifth-round draft pick on April 28, when the fourth through seventh rounds will be completed. That fifth round pick is 32nd and last in the round. Why so cheap for a kid who was drafted as the ninth overall selection in the 2008 player draft? Injuries, injuries and more injuries.
It's unclear exactly where the Giants envision the 6-2, 242-pound Rivers playing. He's been a weak-side linebacker for his entire career and the team currently has Michael Boley to play that spot with Mathias Kiwanuka on the strong side. Jerry Reese recently mentioned Boley as one of the candidates to compete for the opening in the middle. It's possible the Giants believe Rivers can move inside as well.

Shortly after news broke of the Keith Rivers trade being finalized, veteran offensive lineman Sean Locklear tweeted he's signed with the Giants. "It feels great to be signed to a team again! Just signed with the G-Men!," Locklear wrote on his Twitter account. "Can't wait to get back and get started. God is Good!"
Locklear spent last season with the Redskins and the previous seven with the Seahawks. He's played in 105 regular-season games, with 82 starts. He turns 31 on May 29 and can play either tackle spot, although he has a preference.

Jonathan Goff was lost for the year with an ACL injury prior to the season opener. The Giants said they wanted the unrestricted free agent back. But now it appears the Giants will move forward with a group that includes Boley, Rivers, Mathias Kiwanuka, Jacquian Williams, Jones, Herzlich, Clint Sintim (who is coming off a second knee injury) and Spencer Paysinger.

The Giants, fairly quiet this off-season, crammed a lot of activity into one day on Wednesday, capping it off with the signing of cornerback Antwaun Molden to add some depth to their defensive backfield. The Giants are stockpiling cornerbacks in order to create as much competition as they can in training camp.

Former Giants
Brandon Jacobs: Giants' O-line shared my struggles. Jacobs had done all he could do in New York, and frankly, he'd already given Tom Coughlin the best football in his body.
Brandon Jacobs: On if it's still possible to run straight ahead for a first down on third- or fourth-and-short: "Oh, no question. You can definitely do it. You gotta have the attitude to do it, and also you gotta have the offensive linemen in front of the back to be able to get it done."

Apr 11 NFL.com released a list of the top quarterbacks heading into 2012, and Eli Manning came in at No. 1. That second ring goes a long way. Left off NFL Network's list of top 100 players last season, Eli Manning went about his business and led the Giants to another championship. In order, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers rounded out the top five.

Giants tight end Jake Ballard faces long road back. He knew something wasn't right, before his knee buckled, before he collapsed on the sideline cradling his left leg against the pain that contorted his face. He doesn't know exactly what happened, but he thinks he already had torn his ACL, then damaged cartilage when his knee buckled while testing it.

Free agents Jonathan Goff, Quentin Groves, Gary Guyton and Bryan Kehl have all worked out for the Dolphins, the team confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
Goff is probably the only starting talent of the bunch. Assuming he's healthy and barring any other signings or high draft picks, Goff would absolutely project as a potential starter in Miami alongside Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett.
Word is the Giants were trying to sign him to a short-term deal with compensation that didn't exactly thrill Goff, who also visited the Cleveland Browns recently.

Former Giants
Brandon Jacobs signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers. The contract has a base value of $1.575 million.Sources said at the time the Giants were offering $1.5 million. There were indications he was open to returning shortly before signing with the 49ers. The only problem is, as many players find out, a team's offer while you're still in the building isn't always the same as when you leave.
Bill Parcells will remain retired, following speculation he could serve as a one-year replacement for suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.
Bill Parcells is unlikely to become the New Orleans Saints' interim coach, according to multiple reports. Parcells prefers to remain retired.

Apr 10 Giants free agency tracker. The Giants are saving their money to pay some of their younger stars down the road. They still could sign some free agents on the cheap. Here's the updated list of their own free agents and free agents signed from elsewhere.

To be a successful NFL running back, one has to have the commitment to work hard, want to win his battles, and show patience in letting his blocks develop. In other words, if you're Giants running back DJ Ware, be yourself.

Assuming nothing changes, Victor Cruz will play next year under the contract he signed as an undrafted free agent, under which he will earn $490,000. That's a pittance compared to his contribution on the field, which, last year, amounted to 1,536 yards, which was the most yards ever by a Giants wide receiver and the third-most in the N.F.L.

Apr 7 After making an impact in 2011 on Special Teams, Safety Tyler Sash is ready for a bigger role in the Giants Defense. Sash turned heads in 2011, primarily for his motor on special teams. With his help, the unit produced some of the most dramatic moments for the Giants late in the season and into the playoffs.

Kenny Phillips is in his fifth season with the Giants. The team's first-round draft choice in 2008, he has been a fixture in the secondary since his arrival and a starter since his second year. The Giants selected him with the 31st overall selection of the 2008 draft. He was the first safety selected by the Giants in the first round of the NFL Draft since Shaun Williams in 1998.

Everyone knew Justin Tuck spent much of last season battling through painful neck issues and, as much as he didn't enjoy the discomfort, Tuck understood it was part of the game as offensive linemen tugged on his facemask, yanked at his helmet and basically tried to get that aching neck to feel a whole lot worse than it already did.

Former Giants
Dave Tollefson agrees to terms with Raiders after five seasons with Giants. Even before free agency started, it was evident Dave Tollefson wasn't coming back to the Giants. The only question was where he was headed.
Carl Banks says Gregg Williams' fiery pre-game speech was a bit over the top, but still part of life in the NFL. Banks did say Williams had crossed the line when he mentioned Crabtree's knee, saying, "He (Crabtree) becomes human when we (expletive) take out that outside ACL." But even then, Banks pointed out, the Saints didn't attack Crabtree.

Apr 5 Preseason Games
Week 1 (Aug. 9-12): At Jacksonville -- Tom Coughlin returns to his old stomping grounds.
Week 2 (Aug. 16-19): At Jets -- Giants get their first taste of Tebowmania.
Week 3 (Aug. 24): vs Chicago -- Last preseason game Giants lost Terrell Thomas and more.
Week 4 (Aug. 29): vs New England -- Likely no Super Bowl rematch between Tom Brady and Eli Manning in this preseason finale.
The Giants were 2-2 in the preseason in 2011, beating Chicago and New England and losing to the Jets and Carolina. They are 16-16 in the preseason in Coughlin's eight years as head coach.

Martellus Bennett spent years learning from Dallas' stellar tight end Jason Witten. Bennett signed a one-year deal with the Giants in hopes of proving what he can do as a starter after playing behind Witten. He will have every opportunity to prove himself with Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard recovering from ACL knee surgeries.

The Giants don't view free agency as some huge shopping mall stocked with all kinds of desirable goodies. Sure, if they see someone they like who plays a position where they need help, they're not above making an aggressive move to get him. Antrel Rolle is a good example from two years ago.

Former Giants
Tiki Barber and wife Ginny finalize divorce on 11-year marriage. The hard-charging Giant plans to marry the former intern, knockout blond Traci Lynn Johnson, this Spring.


Apr 4 The offseason program starts up in two weeks, the organized team activities begin next month and a veteran minicamp arrives toward the end of June. That's a considerable workload for the Super Bowl champion Giants, but their top running back, Ahmad Bradshaw, is expecting to sit it all out.

Victor Cruz has said that he is dissatisfied with his current contract - which will pay him just $540,000 this season - but at an NFL jersey unveiling event in Brooklyn on Tuesday, he made one thing clear: That frustration will not spill onto the football field. There will be no training camp holdout, Cruz promised.
"I'm not frustrated at all. I'm just trying to go in there and play football," he said of his current contract. "When I was young it wasn't about money, it wasn't about fame and fortune. It was just about playing football. So regardless of how short-term this career can be, I just want to go out there and play. All of that stuff will take care of itself."

The Giants and Jets retained their uniform style but the Seahawks went for a complete makeover. There's a new, deeper blue, the introduction of "wolf grey" as a color, and neon lime green outlines around the numbers and down the sides of the pants.
The biggest change to the Giants' overall uniform (in addition to the cleats that will not be team colors instead of white or black) will be their wearing only one pair of pants this season, as opposed to the home and away pants they've worn since changing their uniforms before the 2005 season.

Nike unveiled its new NFL uniforms. There aren't any significant changes to the Giants uniforms. They will still have the white and blue jerseys but their pants will be the road pants all season long.

Apr 3 Ahmad Bradshaw anticipates taking on a more vocal leadership role with the Giants now that Brandon Jacobs is no longer with the team. Bradshaw has a point when he says he's voiced his opinions in the past.
Ahmad Bradshaw says he wants the ball in his hands more often this season, either as a ball-carrier or a pass-catcher but for the immediate future he won't be doing much of anything as he continues to heal from another procedure to help heal is right foot.

Giants fans in the state are split 48-45 in favor of saying the Giants are "a New Jersey team that happens to have a New York name." That's within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. As for changing the team name to "New Jersey Giants," those same fans oppose the idea 53-41 percent. New Jersey residents oppose the idea by varying margins across the age spectrum.

With all of the talk surrounding Mario Manningham's departure and the question of who will step up into the third receiver position, why is Ramses Barden's name not on the top of the list? Barden hasn't done enough in his first three seasons to merit that consideration. In three years he's played in 17 games and caught 15 passes. Yes, injuries have been a factor in lack of production. But so has Barden's inability to develop as rapidly as the Giants hoped.

The Giants are scheduled to have their Super Bowl XLVI ring ceremony on Wednesday, May 16th at Tiffany & Co., and as recently as Thursday morning, offensive lineman Chris Snee said he had not yet seen a picture of the rings.

Former Giants
Amani Toomer says losing Mario Manningham is going to have an impact on the Giants offense. "It's easy to take two receivers out of the game - easier - especially when your running game isn't going as well as it had been in the past. Now you have to look for someone else to make the plays or get their running game going because there's going to be a big vacuum there without him."

NFC East News
Eagles five-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters ruptured his Achilles tendon this week and will undergo surgery next week. The starting left tackle sustained the injury-which could keep him out for all of next season-while training in his native Texas, the team said.
Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman (5-8 record, 25 turnovers, 72.4 passer rating in 2011) shouldn't be a starter. Backup John Beck (0-3, five turnovers, 72.1 rating) is an even worse option, hence the decision to give St. Louis their first and second picks in next month's draft and their first-rounders in 2013 and 2014 for the second overall selection to use on Griffin or Luck.
Cowboys signed a team-record seven newcomers and re-signed one of their own in free agency, including cornerback Brandon Carr, guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau, backup quarterback Kyle Orton, fullback Lawrence Vickers, linebacker Dan Conner and receiver Kevin Ogletree.

Mar 31 It's been an interesting week for the Giants on the running back front. Former Giant Brandon Jacobs signed with the 49ers earlier this week and then came news on Friday that the Giants will lose backup running back Andre Brown for the first four games.
Brown, perhaps best known for the song he came up with after the Giants won the Super Bowl and singing it during the championship parade in New York City, spent the 2011 season on the Giants practice squad.

Mar 30 Chris Snee underwent elbow surgery last week but expects to be ready for Giants offseason training activities. The team's best offensive lineman told reporters about the procedure at an appearance to promote the NFL's pop-up store at 41st Street and Sixth Avenue. Snee's surgery was a clean-out procedure, according to a source.
Snee also spoke about his coach and father-in-law, Tom Coughlin, getting a contract extension, which is imminent. Snee said he hopes the questions about Coughlin's job security will be quieted but doesn't expect them to be.

After initially saying the Tim Tebow trade was "none of my business" and describing the NFL's most polarizing player in glowing terms, Tom Coughlin scratched his head at Ryan's purported plan to replace Mark Sanchez with Tebow in the Wildcat formation as many as 20 snaps a game. "Once you start to develop your [starting quarterback], you like him with the ball in his hand as much as you possibly can."

Former Giants
Bill Parcells, Sean Payton and New Orleans Saints bounty scandal: The Rooney Rule - Bill Parcells and his eligibility for the Pro Football Hall of Fame - Payton having any contact with the team and its players - Payton working in television - Questions and answers.

Brandon Jacobs' first year was 2005, Eli Manning's first full season as a starter and Tom Coughlin's second year as a coach. It was an exciting, auspicious year: The Giants went 11-5 and outscored their opponents by 108 points.

Mar 29 Early Wednesday morning, at the NFL owners meetings in Florida, Tom Coughlin told reporters it was "a possibility" that the Giants would re-sign Brandon Jacobs. But not anymore.
Brandon Jacobs, whom the Giants released on Mar. 9, has reached a one-year agreement with the San Francisco 49ers a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed. Jacobs will join Giants teammate Mario Manningham, who signed with the 49ers last week.
Jacobs signed a one-year contract worth up to $2 million, which goes to show how lacking the market was for him and how unwilling the Giants were to offer anything more than slightly over the minimum for a 29-year old running back.

With a possible new contract in hand next season, Tom Coughlin expects defensive end Osi Umenyiora to join him. Coughlin told reporters he plans for Osi Umenyiora, who has one season left on his contract at a base salary of $3.975 million, to be back in 2012.

Devin Thomas agreed to a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears. Thomas, who joined the Giants in Nov. 2010 after being claimed off waivers from the Carolina Panthers, has not lived up to the expectations that came with being a second-round pick of the Washington Redskins in 2008. But he played a substantial role down the stretch during the Giants' Super Bowl run.

Former Giants
Bill Parcells led the Giants to two Super Bowls rings and also coached the Jets. If Bill Parcells decides to come out of retirement for a third time to coach the New Orleans Saints this season, it will be for one reason only.


Mar 28 The Giants will open the 2012 season against the same opponent they defeated to conclude the 2011 season. The defending Super Bowl champion Giants will host their NFC East rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, in MetLife Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 8:30 p.m. The game will be televised nationally by NBC - just as both Giants-Cowboys games were last season.
It's become a league tradition for the Super Bowl champs to kickoff the schedule. The defending champion is 8-0 in the season-opening games since that tradition began in 2004. The Giants beat Dallas twice in the 2011 regular season's final four weeks - including the season finale - allowing them to not only capture the division but also earn a playoff berth at 9-7.

Former Giants
Sean Payton will consult with mentor Bill Parcells about who should coach the Saints next season, with the former Giants and Jets head coach a possibility.

NFL News
Moving kickoffs up 5 yards last season did exactly what the NFL sought: reducing concussions. "The kickoff rule had an effect on the game," said Rich McKay, chairman of the league's competition committee. "There was a 40 percent reduction in concussions on that play."

Mar 27 Jerry Reese suggested that outside linebacker Michael Boley can be an option at middle linebacker next season. The veteran Michael Boley is an outside linebacker by trade and Reese was probably just throwing his name out there, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility especially if the team feels Jacquian Williams, also a rookie last season, can step in as the full-time starter on the outside.
Jerry Reese and the Giants have remained relatively quiet since the first week of free agency but there's definitely a reason why. As expected, the Giants are waiting to see what becomes available on the cheap in the free agency market. Reese again mentioned Ramses Barden and Jerrel Jernigan as guys who can help offset the loss of Manningham.

Giants owner John Mara has become one of the NFL's more prominent owners. Mara said the Cowboys and Redskins got off "lucky" in their punishment for front-loading contracts during the 2010 uncapped year.
The Redskins and Cowboys are arguing the $46 million in salary cap penalties for circumventing the rules in last year's uncapped season were too harsh, but Giants owner John Mara does not think they were harsh enough.

The NFL announced that the Giants will receive a compensatory fourth-round pick in next month's draft. in addition to one in the fourth and fifth rounds each. The Giants now have eight picks in the draft - two in the fourth round and one in each of the other six - to shore up the depth chart.

Former Giants
Steve Smith signs one-year deal with Rams, according to report. The Rams are banking on Smith to return close to his 2009 form when he caught a Giants single-season record 107 balls for 1220 yards and seven touchdowns.

Sean Payton is still trying to figure out his next move, and has reached out to former NFL coach Bill Parcells for advice. Parcells, the former Giants and Jets coach, said on Monday he has spoken to Payton about how to handle the season - but nothing more.

Mar 24 The new ESPN pre-draft power rankings are out and guess who's on top of the world... the New York Giants. "The Giants have lost significant pieces from their Super Bowl team and won only nine regular-season games in 2011, but they are the defending champs. They will be the team to beat."
General manager Jerry Reese said in the wake of winning the Super Bowl. "Look at your roster first - is the guy that you need already on your roster - before you go out and look for someone somewhere else."

Carl Banks' life has been a success story, both in and out of football. With the Giants, he was one of the premier run-stoppers of his era, a standout on the teams that won Super Bowls XXI and XXV, a Pro Bowler in 1987 and a member of the NFL 1980's All-Decade Team."

Former Giants
Mario Manningham had begun his exploration process as a free agent believing he would cash in on his memorable Super Bowl XLVI performance with a sizable contract worthy of a No. 1 wide receiver. As it turns out, that wasn't the case.

Mar 23 David Carr gives the Giants a sense of security without ever stepping on the field. Carr didn't throw a regular season pass during the team's 2011 championship season. But he is a former overall No. 1 draft choice who has thrown 2,264 NFL passes and who gives the Giants a proven producer at quarterback should something happen to force Eli Manning off the field. The Giants announced that Carr has re-signed to return as their backup quarterback in 2012.

Mar 22 The free-agent signing period is now more than a week old and the Giants still have 13 unsigned unrestricted free agents. At least two of them are now exploring their options.
Defensive end Dave Tollefson will head to Seattle to meet with the Seahawks Thursday into Friday and linebacker Jonathan Goff has visited the Cleveland Browns.
Jonathan Goff could end up being a bigger pickup for Cleveland than one might think, if he returns to 2010 form. That being said, the Giants also remain interested in re-signing Goff, so there's a bit of competition there..

Former Giants
Ron Erhardt, a former NFL head coach who was the Giants' offensive coordinator when they won Super Bowls XXI and XXV, passed away. He was 80. Erhardt was on the Giants' staff from 1982 to 1991.
Ron Erhardt gave Bill Parcells his first NFL coaching job as linebackers coach for the Patriots in 1980. Erhadt would eventually work with Tom Coughlin for three seasons when Coughlin joined the Giants staff as a wide receivers coach from 1988-90 before becoming the head coach at Boston College.
Ron Erhardt spent 10 seasons with the Giants, including eight as the offensive coordinator under Bill Parcells. Those seasons including five playoff berths, three NFC East championships and two Super Bowl titles - one with Phil Simms at quarterback and the other with Jeff Hostetler;
Sean Payton has been suspended by the NFL for the 2012 season after an investigation into a "bounty program" perpetuated by the club. Two assistant coaches and GM Mickey Loomis were suspended, too. The team loses $500,000 and two draft picks which, for NFL teams, are more valuable than cash.
Sean Payton stunned by suspension: "I'm not OK". The Saints may now have either offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael or former Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, who was slated to replace Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator, step in as the head coach.

NFL News
In NFL, entrancing culture of violence begat bounties. Count us among those who are bemused by the Draconian flush hit Roger Goodell applied to the Saints today, because it's always hard to know how to react to football people who feign shock by violence -- no matter what form it takes -- when most of their Sunday afternoon utterances are hosannas to violence.

Mar 21 Giants will return to Albany for training camp. Just as co-owner John Mara promised, the Giants will again make the University at Albany their training camp home this summer. One change the Giants will see is that they'll have one fewer field to work with. What was known as Field 1 might be a pile of dirt, as that is the future site of the school's new $24 million football stadium.

Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw declared himself healthy Tuesday and ready for whatever the team asks him to do next season. With the recent release of Brandon Jacobs, the Giants may need to depend on Bradshaw to produce like he did in 2010, when he had a career-high 276 carries and 1,235 yards.

Former Giants
Aaron Ross and his two Super Bowl rings are on their way to Jacksonville. Just over 48 hours after wide receiver Mario Manningham left for San Francisco, Aaron Ross became the latest free agent to leave the Giants.
Aaron Ross was there for the Giants when they needed him. He stepped in at cornerback when Terrell Thomas was lost for the season after tearing his ACL in August, playing in all 20 games - making 19 starts - as the Giants went on to win Super Bowl XLVI.

NFL News
The first man to wear No. 18 for the Denver Broncos doesn't mind if Peyton Manning wants to use it for a while. Frank Tripucka was the first quarterback for the fledgling AFL franchise, back when the operation was run on a such a shoestring budget, it gave its players used brown-and-white uniforms. The former star at Bloomfield High and Notre Dame was in his 30s and winding down his career when he landed in Denver.

Mar 20 The Giants enter week two of free agency having strengthened the depth in the secondary while also adding a tight end in Martellus Bennett. They re-signed two of their biggest free agents in Terrell Thomas and Steve Weatherford. The next guy they likely want to re-sign is Jonathan Goff.

Steve Weatherford officially signed his five-year contract on Monday and vowed not to get complacent. "It's been unbelievable," Weatherford said. "This is a dream come true."

Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who is cashing in on his recent fame with off-the-field engagements, has hired a new agent, Malik Shareef, to handle his football business.

Madden coverboy: Cruz vs JPP. The Madden NFL Cover Vote campaign is on again and Giants fans can vote in the play-in round for which Giant they want to compete for the Madden NFL 13 cover vote.

NFL News
Peyton Manning will become the next quarterback of the Denver Broncos, barring a snag during intensified contract negotiations. Once the Manning deal becomes official, Denver will try to trade Tim Tebow, according to sources.
Tim Tebow established himself last season by leading the Broncos on a six-game winning streak, which against all odds led them to the playoffs. Peyton Manning's potential move to Denver will make their current quarterback Tim Tebow a hall of fame player.

Mar 19 For the second straight year, Eli Manning will have to find a new third wide receiver. Last year, Steve Smith left a void in the offense that many wondered if the Giants would be able to fill. Mario Manningham is gone after signing with the San Francisco 49ers late Saturday night. Jerrel Jernigan: Played in eight games his rookie season in 2011 but had no catches. Ramses Barden: Has 15 receptions for 174 yards in 17 games over his three-year career. Domenik Hixon: He has 63 receptions for 838 yards and four touchdowns in four years as a Giant.

Mar 18 Mario Manningham's departure was something that the Giants had been expecting. He caught 39 passes for 523 yards last season, but he had wanted more. The speedy wideout hoped to be paid handsomely, and he began the offseason by telling the Ohio Vindicator, "I just want the ball more, that's all." Neither thing was likely to happen in New York, not with 1,000-yard receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz entrenched as starters and the Giants battling to get under the salary cap.

Former Giants
Mario Manningham helped the Giants beat the 49ers in January's NFC Championship. But on Saturday night, he decided to join them. San Francisco and the free agent receiver agreed to a two-year contract, a source said, ending his four-year tenure with the Giants.

Mar 17 In a move that provides long-term stability at the punting position for the first time since Jeff Feagles retired two years ago, the Giants agreed to terms with Steve Weatherford on a five-year, $12.75 million contract.
Steve Weatherford offered the Giants an advantage every time he walked on the field in the playoffs. The punter often helped them win the battle of field position, offering a consistency that they sorely lacked during their nightmarish 2010 season. Weatherford, 29, averaged 45.7 yards per punt last season and was dominant in the playoffs.

Stadium News
New Jersey's quest to build one of the nation's largest shopping centers has long been plagued by money problems, but now a new obstacle has emerged: potential opposition from two professional football teams, the Giants and Jets.

NFC East News
NFC East free agency moves.

Mar 16 The Giants signed a former Dallas Cowboy, have brought in another one for a visit and now have added a one-time Washington Redskin. The team signed defensive back Chris Horton, according to his agent Gary Uberstine. Horton, He's expected to contribute on special teams with the Giants.
Horton, 6-1 and 215 pounds, played for the Redskins from 2008-10, though his final two seasons were cut short by injuries. He started 15 of the 29 games in which he played and was credited with 122 tackles (91 solo) and had three interceptions, five passes defensed and a sack.

Former Giants
Jeremy Shockey is currently unemployed, an unrestricted free agent who is clearly on the downside of an NFL career that began with a bang in 2002 when the Giants took him in the first round of the draft. Shockey, according to a published report, has informed the Giants he'd like to return.

Mar 15 Martellus Bennett signed a one-year, $2.5 million contact with the Giants today and hopes to emerge as the team's every-down tight end after four seasons of being Jason Witten's backup in Dallas.
Martellus Bennett has spent four seasons learning from Jason Witten in Dallas. And now he's ready to become a starting tight end in the NFL. "I think at times you got glimpses but I was in a limited role."
His best season was in 2010, when he caught 33 passes for 260 yards. He also occasionally expressed frustration with his limited role - something he echoed two weeks ago in an interview on ProFootballTalk.com's PFT Live.
Bennett was a 2008 second-round draft pick of the Cowboys out of Texas A&M. The Giants undoubtedly see him as a two-way tight end, big enough to block and athletic enough to make plays downfield.
"My wife and I were watching the Super Bowl," said the newest Giant, "and I said, 'Both tight ends just tore their ACL. We could end up in New York."

The Giants have re-signed backup quarterback David Carr, who will be entering his fourth season with the team. Terms of Carr's deal with the Giants were not immediately available.

Former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs was cut by the Giants last week, but that doesn't mean it's a guarantee he won't return, according to Justin Tuck. "Obviously [Jacobs] has been here since I've been here. We came in the league together in 2005 and I hear there is still a chance that he might be back."
A Jacobs return seems like a long shot. The Giants cut Jacobs on Friday, a move that helped them avoid paying a $4.9 million roster bonus. Ever since the Super Bowl, Jacobs had talked of returning for the right price, and he seemed open to restructuring his contract, but no deal was reached.

Mar 14 When Terrell Thomas re-signed with the Giants, it was obvious Aaron Ross will be headed elsewhere. Perhaps the landing spot will be in Cincinnati. The free-agent cornerback will visit the Bengals on Thursday, according to someone informed of Ross' upcoming itinerary.
It made sense that the Giants would be interested in re-signing cornerback Terrell Thomas, and it made sense that Thomas wanted to return to the team that made him a second-round draft pick in 2008.

After one disappointing season in Oakland, Kevin Boss is soon to be a free agent again. The Raiders, according to ESPN and other sources, will release Boss, and it sure seems like a match made in heaven that he could return to the Giants.
The Giants may not make big headlines in free agency but they are moving quickly. They are bringing in tight end Martellus Bennett for a visit and it might not take long for the former Cowboys player to join a team in need of an athletic tight end.

The Giants a year ago didn't exactly break down the doors once NFL free agency began, re-signing some of their own players, Ahmad Bradshaw and Kevin Boothe, and going outside the organization with the signings of punter Steve Weatherford and center David Baas. The Giants made bigger news with players they did not re-sign, Steve Smith and Kevin Boss.

Hours after retaining the services of cornerback Terrell Thomas, the Giants added four more players, including two cornerbacks who spent part of the 2011 season on injured reserve. The familiar names are corners Michael Coe and Justin Tryon. The newcomers are tackle Joel Reinders and tight end Larry Donnell.

The Giants filled the final two vacancies on Tom Coughlin's 2012 coaching staff by hiring two assistants from the college ranks. Matt Rhule, formerly of Temple University, will be the Giants' assistant offensive line coach, while Lunda Wells has left LSU to become the team's offensive assistant.

Mar 13 Special Report - Of all the memories that come unbidden when thinking about Brandon Jacobs, the gigantic Giant running back who was released last week, several categories come to mind: --- Too big to fail, so why did he? --- Angry, impulsive, mercurial. --- Powerful, driven, often brutish. --- Sometimes brilliant, often disappointing. Jacobs was 6-4 and 265 and yet there were far too many situations when he failed on third-and-one and fourth-and-one.

The Giants can use a big power back now that Brandon Jacobs has been released. And San Diego free agent Mike Tolbert believes he can be a nice replacement for Jacobs. Tolbert said he is "definitely" interested in the Giants as free agency begins on Tuesday.
Jerry Reese's search for a tight end may have just been made easier by the Raiders, who will release former Giants tight end Kevin Boss, a source told ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter. Now, there's a possibility that the Giants could potentially bring both Boss and Steve Smith back.

The Giants have cleared nearly $12 million in cap space by restructuring Eli Manning's contract and releasing Brandon Jacobs. But they were $9 million over the cap recently, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. So the expectation is that the Giants will try to re-sign a few of their own free agents but not do a ton of spending, while being fiscally responsible since they have to pay their own young stars down the road.
They also can choose to "borrow" $1.5 million in cap space that will count against them sometime in the future. They also could restructure another contract or two. They also could sign punter Steve Weatherford to a long-term deal that would presumably lower his cap space. The Giants probably won't bring back many of the 19 UFAs, and those that return will likely do so with short-term, hardly lucrative deals.

Mar 12 Chase Blackburn saved the season with his fourth-quarter interception of Tom Brady. But like Mario Manningham, the linebacker will be a free agent Tuesday, when the market opens for business. And so will Devin Thomas, the hero of the NFC Championship game, when he recovered two special teams fumbles that led to the conference title.
Sentiment vs. practicality will come into play with veterans Dave Tollefson, Deon Grant and Chase Blackburn, players with age or physical limitations but hard-to-replace leadership qualities. Even after Manning's contract restructuring shaved $6.75 million and Brandon Jacobs' release saving $5 million off the 2012 salary cap, the Giants remain cap-strapped.

Mar 11 Life was about as good as it could get for Terrell Thomas last summer. He was hyped as a future Pro Bowl cornerback. He was a week away from the start of talks on a new contract that would make him a very, very rich man. Then, in an instant, it all went wrong.

It was some Christmas Eve at MetLife Stadium when the Giants administered a 29-14 beatdown on the Jets and afterward, as their paths crossed on the field, a fired-up Brandon Jacobs shouted "It's time to shut up, fat boy!" directly into the ears of Rex Ryan. Wouldn't it be something if the next thing Jacobs whispers into Ryan's ear is "Got a job for me, Coach?"

Mar 10 The Giants got a great deal out of Brandon Jacobs in his seven years with them but a parting of the ways has come. Unable to reach to an agreement on a restructured contract, the Giants on Friday terminated the contract of the bruising running back, a player who was a part of two Super Bowl championship teams.
Brandon Jacobs' fiery personality made him a physical force on the field. It also made him a headache at times. This past December, with Ahmad Bradshaw benched for the first half against the Dallas Cowboys because of a curfew violation, an inspired Jacobs picked up the slack by running for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Brandon Jacobs, 29, was due a $500,000 roster bonus March 17 and a base salary of $4.4 million, which the Giants were not going to pay for a backup running back on the downside of his career. The team asked him to take a second paycut in less than a year.
The 29-year-old Jacobs would've had to accept a massive pay cut for the second time in seven months to remain with the Super Bowl champions - something he had made it clear he was unwilling to do. Once that was clear, the Giants had little choice but to cut him after a disappointing season in which he gained just 571 yards on 3.8 yards per carry.

At 29 going on 30, Brandon Jacobs might be slowing down but he's not breaking down. Even the Giants realize that. Still, they've said goodbye to their 2005 fourth-round pick. "I might be leaving, but my name will stay," Jacobs, the franchise's fourth-leading rusher with 4,849 yards and the leader in rushing touchdowns with 56, said in the team's press release.
Jacobs played seven seasons for the Giants. He holds the franchise record with 56 rushing touchdowns and is fourth in franchise history with 4,849 yards and fifth with 1,078 rushing attempts. He also caught 80 passes for 730 yards and four touchdowns.

Mar 9 A little more than a month after Eli Manning helped the Giants to the Super Bowl championship, he's helped them in their attempt to keep the champs together. The two-time Super Bowl MVP agreed to a sizeable, but simple, restructuring of his contract which clears approximately $6.75 million in salary cap space for the Giants in 2012. Manning doesn't lose any money.

Mario Manningham believes he is a No. 1 receiver, believes he should get paid like a No. 1 receiver, and believes there's an NFL team out there that agrees with him. If he's correct, then he's unquestionably played his last game for the Giants.

Tom Coughlin said at the NFL Scouting Combine last month he didn't believe Ahmad Bradshaw would need surgery on his foot. That's apparently still the case, though the Giants' running back did require some form of procedure recently.

We're over a month away from the NFL draft but ESPN draft experts, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have done three mock drafts each, two since the NFL Combine. Both Kiper and McShay have the Giants going tight end in their last two mock drafts and they both picked the same tight ends in each of their last two mock drafts as well.

Justin Tuck and Tony Richardson spoke at the Global Sports Forum in Barcelona, Spain. In a country where futbol, not football, reigns, the Giants defensive end and former Jets fullback served as American ambassadors of their sport at the Global Sports Forum Barcelona. The NFL Players Association arranged for them to speak on a panel at the Forum entitled, "When the NFL comes to Barcelona." They also toured the US Consul and will speak to schoolchildren tomorrow.

Mar 8 The reshaping of the Giants' roster has begun. The team recently told right tackle Kareem McKenzie - who has manned the position for the Giants since 2005, starting 105 games in that span - to "go shopping" for another team, according to a source in the organization. It will not bring him back for another season.

The contract that WR/KR Domenik Hixon signed with the Giants was about as low-risk as they come. It's a one-year deal worth $615,000 with no signing bonus and they're able to cut him at any time if he has any problems with his twice-torn ACL. The bottom line is it's a no-risk deal for the Giants. If he's not healthy, they cut him. If he is, they've got a steal.

Mar 7 Eli Manning would love for the Giants to keep Mario Manningham but he also understands what can happen in free agency. "You never know what is going to happen," Manning said. "With free agency, over the years, I have kind of learned that if you get caught up in it and wondering and debating and asking about it, it is not going to solve anything. You got to sit and let it ride out and see what happens."

Former Giants
Plaxico Burress is opening the door - again - for a potential reunion with the New York Giants. In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio's Rich Gannon and Adam Schein on Tuesday, Burress was asked if he would consider a return to the Giants with Mario Manningham poised to leave via free agency.
Plaxico Burress says it's 'always a great possibility' he'll return to the Giants. Does it seem likely the 34-year-old Burress would make a good fit at this point? Of course not. But here we are in that magical period before the start of free agency where everything is possible.

NFL News
Peyton Manning and the Colts to split after 14 seasons. The Colts will reportedly release Peyton Manning before he is due a $28 million roster bonus on Thursday. Manning missed the entire 2011 season due to a severe neck injury.

Mar 6 The Giants have placed their Franchise Player designation on punter Steve Weatherford, the team announced today. By appointing the franchise tag to Weatherford, the Giants have seemingly bought more time to negotiate a new deal with Weatherford. Weatherford can negotiate with other teams, but if that team wants to sign the player and Giants choose not to match the offer, the Giants will receive a first-round draft choice.

Mario Manningham says there has been no progress made between his camp and the Giants on a new contract and he is set to hit free agency next week as expected. Appearing in Times Square at the screening of the official New York Giants championship DVD, Manningham reiterated he wants to remain a Giant.

Eli Manning has played against the New Orleans Saints twice in the past three seasons. And the Giants quarterback says he does not recall a moment when the Saints delivered a dirty or illegal hit. Manning said he understands that a defense's main goal is to get after the opposing quarterback. But trying to send a player off the field on a cart is inexcusable.

Mar 5 The official "Super Bowl XLVI Champions: New York Giants" DVD and Blu-Rays will go on sale on Tuesday and a few Giants players will be appearing around the area this week to sign copies starting midnight on Monday night.

Released today by Vivendi Entertainment and NFL Films, this DVD - The Post got a sneak preview - begins with clips of the Giants' stunning upset of the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII then fast-forwards to the present to reveal just how "eerily similar" the first championship run was to the second.

Mario Manningham had already gotten a sneak peek at the Super Bowl XLVI Champions DVD he and four of his teammates helped premiere this evening. In particular, the Giants' wide receiver noted the part where Patriots coach Bill Belichick tells his defense to continue focusing on Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and force Eli Manning to go elsewhere during the late stages of the Super Bowl.

Mar 4 Alex Webster, a great Giants player for 10 seasons who was later the team's head coach, passed away yesterdayin Port St. Lucie Hospital in Florida. He was 80. Webster was a running back for the Giants from 1955-64. He was a vital contributor to the 1956 NFL Championship team and he played in five other championship games. Webster was the Giants head coach from 1969-73. He was inducted into the Giants Ring of Honor last Dec. 4. More than 47 years after playing his final game, Webster is fifth on the Giants' career rushing list with 4,638 yards. Webster averaged 3.9 yards a carry and ran for 39 touchdowns.
The last time he was on the field as a Giant was in December, the Sunday when people felt the Giants' run to the Super Bowl really began, when they were tied with the Packers at 35-35 with a minute left before Aaron Rodgers took his team down the field for the field goal that won the game. Webster was there that day as an old man, being inducted into the Giants' Ring of Honor with Carl Banks and Brad Van Pelt and Mark Bavaro. "It's been a long time, good thing I got here while I'm still alive," Webster said that day. "The Mara family took very good care of me. My whole Giants career was wonderful."

Mar 3 After coming to the Giants' rescue, Chase Blackburn might not be welcomed back. Blackburn is once again a free agent and despite his heroics, the Giants haven't called. "Chase loves being in New York with the Giants, that's all he knows and all he wants to know," Richard Katz, Blackburn's agent said. Goff, coming back from reconstructive knee surgery, is expected to re-sign. Herzlich is considered a prospect at middle linebacker. The Giants are not viewing Blackburn as the answer at that spot, though he is just 28.

The Giants vowed to pay Domenik Hixon. Now, he wants to "repay" them for sticking by him. The veteran wide receiver and returner signed a contract for an undisclosed length and amount to return for a sixth season with the Giants. The previous two have included a total of only two games for Hixon because of two tears to his right anterior cruciate ligament. Still, the team believes he can come back strong. Obviously, so does Hixon.
Two knee surgeries in two years have not diminished Domenik Hixon's desire to play for the Giants, nor the team's eagerness to have him in uniform. The wide receiver and return specialist missed all but two games in 2010-11 because he twice underwent surgery to repair a torn right anterior cruciate ligament. Despite those injuries, the Super Bowl champion Giants believe Hixon can be a productive player. And Hixon wasn't interested in shopping his services around to other franchises.

Will Beatty was without a job when he proposed to Rebecca Helwig last June. And though neither could be sure when Mr. Beatty would return to work, Ms. Helwig confidently suggested they wed on Feb. 11, 2012. "I said you'll probably be busy with the Super Bowl, so let's do it the following weekend, when I know you're free," she recalled. Though a detached retina kept him off the playoff roster, he cheered for his teammates on the sidelines at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where the Giants beat the New England Patriots, 21-17.

ESPN Report card analysis: Front office: Grade: A+: This grade comes for many reasons but mostly because the Giants won the Super Bowl and the roster that won it all was put together by Reese and his staff.

Former Giants
Plaxico Burress still hasn't ruled out a return to the Jets, but he's making it clear his heart is really in Philadelphia. Two days after telling a Philly radio station that "nothing else would make me happier" than to play for the Eagles, the soon-to-be ex-Jet continued his relentless campaign to join them on Thursday.

NFL News
New Orleans Saints players and at least one assistant coach maintained a bounty pool of up to $50,000 the last three seasons to reward game-ending injuries inflicted on opposing players, including Brett Favre and Kurt Warner, The league said between 22 and 27 defensive players were involved in the program and that it was administered by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, with the knowledge of coach Sean Payton.


Mar 2 Tom Coughlin took nearly three weeks to name a replacement for Mike Sullivan as quarterbacks coach. When all was said and done (as Antrel Rolle now likes to say), he tabbed the guy who was right down the hall to replace him and found another guy in the building to plug in for that guy.
The Giants have promoted Sean Ryan to quarterbacks coach and Kevin M. Gilbride to wide receivers coach. "Continuity is important," head coach Tom Coughlin said in a story on the team website. Coughlin did not allow Gilbride to interview with Tampa Bay after losing two assistants on the offensive staff, Sullivan and Jack Bicknell Jr., who left to become the offensive line coach at Kansas City.

With the start of free agency less than two weeks away, the Giants have been busy getting their approach in order in terms of identifying which of their soon-to-be unrestricted free agents they want back and looking at potential contract restructurings. Two soon-to-be unrestricted free agents the Giants apparently want back are cornerback Terrell Thomas and receiver Domenik Hixon, both of whom missed the 2011 campaign with knee injuries.

Giants running back Brandon Jacobs confirmed his representatives have spoken with the team about his future and that the organization is asking him to take a significant pay cut. The seven-year veteran running back says he would consider one, though not a significant slashing of the $4.9 million he's owed in the final season of his contract.
Brandon Jacobs is willing to compromise to stay with the Super Bowl champions. He says he's just "not willing to sell my soul" to do it. The price of his return may not be that high, but it will still be significant if the big running back hopes to extend his Giants career beyond the next two weeks.

ESPN Report card analysis: Coaching: Grade: A: This grade is as high as it is because of the way the Giants finished, winning the Super Bowl by winning their final six games when they absolutely had to and the team responding to Tom Coughlin and his staff when the season was on the line.

NFC East News
The Eagles placed the franchise tag on two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson Thursday. Still to be determined is whether they did it to buy time to negotiate a long-term deal with him or so they could trade him.
The Cowboys have just won one playoff game since 1996 and are coming off their second straight year in which they missed the postseason. Yet owner Jerry Jones has no doubts that his team can compete for a Super Bowl next season. He felt that way last season when the Cowboys finished 8-8 and in third place in the NFC East.
The Redskins re-signed center Will Montgomery to a reported four-year $12 million contract on Feb. 24 with no signing bonus. The deal brings the entire starting offensive line of 2011 into the fold for 2012. Washington also re-signed little-used defensive lineman Darrion Scott on Feb. 27.


Mar 1 Giants running back Brandon Jacobs confirmed his representatives have spoken with the team about his future and that the organization is asking him to take a significant pay cut. The seven-year veteran running back says he would consider one, though not a significant slashing of the $4.9 million he's owed in the final season of his contract. " want to stay in New York a whole lot, man, because this is where I started," Jacobs said in an interview with NBC-4's Bruce Beck,

Aaron Ross and Sanya Richards-Ross have something most people don't, Super Bowl rings and Olympic Gold medals! What takes prominence in a trophy case - Super Bowl rings or Olympic gold medals? If you're Aaron Ross or his track-star wife, Sanya Richards-Ross, you have to answer these types of questions. The 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

ESPN Report card analysis: Special teams: Grade: B+: A huge weakness from the season before became a strength at times. The Giants drastically improved their punting game thanks to the signing of Steve Weatherford. Weatherford's punting was exceptional at times and he basically was almost as consistent and even clutch at what he did as Eli Manning was at quarterback.

Feb 29 The Giants will host the 2012 NFL regular-season opener on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. A rematch with the Packers is a possibility. Here's the unusual part: the game will be played on the Wednesday after Labor Day, not Thursday.
A Wednesday night NFL game is extremely rare; the last time one was played was Sept. 22, 1948 when the Rams defeated the Lions 44-7. The tradition of having the Super Bowl winner play in the opener began in 2004 and the defending champs are unbeaten in those season openers.

The agent for wide receiver Domenik Hixon wrote in an email on Monday night he's "hoping to finalize a contract very soon" to return Hixon to the Giants for his seventh NFL season. Hixon, who has torn his right ACL twice in the past two years, has played only two games in the past two seasons combined.

On Tuesday, the final installment of the seven-day process in Indianapolis, it was the defensive backs' turn at the NFL Scouting Combine. A year ago that group included Prince Amukamara, who notched top performances in the 40-yard dash (4.43), vertical jump (38.0 inches) and broad jump (128.0).

ESPN Report card analysis: Secondary: Grade: B: It was a rough start to the season for Perry Fewell's secondary. The defensive coordinator lost his most productive cornerback Terrell Thomas and corners Bruce Johnson and Brian Witherspoon to season-ending injuries. First-round pick Prince Amukamara also broke his foot in his second practice of camp.

Former Giants
Plaxico Burress is set to become a free agent on March 13 and he's made no secret of where he wants to sign. Burress, a year after playing for the Jets following a stay in prison after his successful stay with the Giants, wants to join the Eagles. It is highly unlikely Burress will be part of the Jets again.

Feb 28 The Giants and representatives for Brandon Jacobs spoke in Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine but did not come to an immediate resolution about the running back's future, according to someone informed of the discussions between the sides. The person, who requested anonymity because neither side has spoken about the meeting or the details of any conversations, said the team is interested in bringing back Jacobs for an eighth season with the organization. The only question is for how much?

With Mario Manningham's Super Bowl heroics indelibly etched into the minds of every Giants fan, the free-agent wide receiver's recent suggestions that he may not return to the team are putting a damper on hopes of a championship repeat. In the 12 games that Manningham played, Manning averaged nearly a yard less per pass attempt and had a QB rating of 89.5.

ESPN Report card analysis: Linebackers: Grade: B: During last year's draft, fans wanted the Giants to draft a linebacker in the first round. When they didn't, fans wanted Jerry Reese to sign a linebacker in free agency. And when Jonathan Goff and Clint Sintim went down with torn ACLs in the preseason, the calls for adding a linebacker grew to a deafening pitch. But in the end, the Giants only added Chase Blackburn to the mix late in the season and were able to win a Super Bowl with the linebackers on the roster.

Feb 27 One of the heroes of Super Bowl XLVI looks headed for greener pastures. GM Jerry Reese declined to speculate on Mario Manningham's future with the team, but he also did not deny a report that contract talks with the receiver have stalled, a likely sign that Manningham is headed for free agency next month.
"You always have to make some hard decisions," he told The News. "If you can't make a hard decision in this business, you shouldn't be in this business. There's always change," he added ominously, "and there will be change this time."

Mario Manningham said he is "75 percent" sure he will sign with another team in free agency. According to a report by CBSSports.com, Manningham has his eyes on joining former Giants quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan in Tampa Bay. Manningham said that there were many benefits of playing with a top-notch quarterback like Eli Manning. But Manningham added that he would like a bigger role and more targets.

Feb 26 General manager Jerry Reese said it would be unfair to project the odds of receiver Mario Manningham returning to the Giants next season, but it sounds as though it is far from a good bet. "He's a good football player, and obviously players, when free agency comes around for them, they want to make as much money as possible," Reese said today. "So we'll see how it unfolds."
Jerry Reese left the door open to the possibility of working out a long-term contract extension for defensive end Osi Umenyiora. "We've got a lot to talk about. It could happen," Reese said he has not yet met with Umenyiora or his representatives since the season ended but him not ruling out working on an extension is news.
As far as whether they will will keep running back Brandon Jacobs, who is due a $500,000 roster bonus next month, Reese would only say the Giants "are still in that process." Complicating the issue is the Giants will likely have to scramble to get under the league's salary cap, which isn't official for next season but is expected to be around $122 million per team.

It appears the Giants are looking for Jerrel Jernigan to step up this coming season, especially if Mario Manningham departs in free agency. On Friday, Tom Coughlin mentioned Jernigan as one of the young players that could potentially step up with opportunity this coming season. And on Saturday, GM Jerry Reese said the team has expectations for last year's third-round pick.

The marketing of Victor Cruz is in full throttle - and even includes a memoir. Cruz's transformation from a kid out of a poor city neighborhood to an inspirational wide receiver courted by Madison Avenue has been a months-long process that shifted into overdrive once the 25-year-old added "Super Bowl winner" to his resume.

What a difference a year makes - at least for Mathias Kiwanuka. This time last year, the Giants linebacker was battling a career-threatening neck injury. He was so unsure of his future that he began a list of possible careers after football. Now, the 28-year-old is celebrating a Super Bowl he won in his hometown of Indianapolis and has a baby on the way."

Feb 25 Tom Coughlin, back in Indianapolis at the NFL combine, talks about his undying passion and drive to win another title. Coughlin returned to the scene of his football triumph Friday, back in Indianapolis for the annual NFL Scouting Combine.
John Mara said he and coach Tom Coughlin would talk about a contract extension soon after the Super Bowl win. "We haven't talked seriously," Coughlin added. He is under contract through the 2012 season. He joked that they are considering a 15-year extension, noting that during the season he said he'd coach into his 70s.

Tom Coughlin sounded the alarm here at the combine last year that the Giants needed a center entering the draft. Of course, the Giants didn't end up drafting a center but they did sign David Baas in free agency. This year, Coughlin says tight end is the priority after the Giants watched Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum tear their ACLs in the Super Bowl.
At this time last year, the Giants thought they had some promising young players like Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard. But they couldn't have predicted the smashing success Cruz had. Now everybody wants to know who will be the next Giant to step up and emerge if given the opportunity. Coughlin talked about several of his young unproven players at his Combine presser.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said that three of his defensive linemen - Justin Tuck (shoulder), Chris Canty (knee) and Linval Joseph (ankle) - had post-Super Bowl surgery. "They're always a concern because of the date," Coughlin said of the procedures. "Hopefully we can get them back fast."
Of the three, Canty's knee operation was the most surprising. Coughlin wouldn't specify the procedure or the injury, although an NFL source described it as a clean-out that didn't involve major ligaments and wouldn't prevent the defensive tackle from being available for the start of next season..

Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham will hit the free-agent market, according to a report by ProFootballTalk.com. His chances of re-signing with the team appear slim. The 38-yard toe-tapping catch in the Super Bowl was a money maker for him, no doubt, and there would surely be a team out there ready to pay him what the Giants aren't willing and/or able to pay. Plus, as Manningham showed when he ran the wrong route on the next play after the big catch in the Super Bowl, he still makes the occasional mental mistake.

The Giants currently have just two cornerbacks under contract for next season -- Corey Webster and Prince Amukamara. "It's up to them," Aaron Ross said. "It's completely up to them if they want to bring me back or not. I don't get into it too much. I don't worry about it. My agent, he'll take care of it." His heart may be in East Rutherford, but Ross repeated that the NFL is a business and wouldn't say whether he would give the Giants a hometown discount.

ESPN Report card analysis: Defensive line Grade: A: It was a roller coaster-like season for the defensive line last season. Osi Umenyiora opened camp refusing to practice over his contract, temporarily was allowed to seek a trade before coming back for three practices only to opt for surgery on his knee. But this might've been the biggest blessing in disguise for the Giants.

Feb 24 Giants running back Brandon Jacobs and his family would love to remain in the area for at least one more season, but his future with the team is uncertain. Perhaps it will become clearer this weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
GM Jerry Reese and his staff will be looking at draft prospects for the upcoming draft. They will pick 32nd in the first round. While the Super Bowl champs could go the usual route of drafting best player available, there are some areas the Giants can address in the draft.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers asked to speak to Kevin Gilbride, Jr., about their vacant quarterbacks coach position, but the Giants denied them permission, according to a source with knowledge of the request. The Giants have already lost two offensive assistants since their Super Bowl win.

Feb 23 Giants Super Bowl Wallpaper: ESPN - To honor the Giants put together a set of four desktop backgrounds, posting one of them a day through Saturday, starting with the Eli Manning Edition.

NFL News
NFL clarifying rules on trading penalty yards for time. Can the league prevent teams from using extra defenders with only the risk of a 5-yard penalty when clock time is more valuable than yards? Giants co-owner and competition committee member John Mara took the situation to an extreme Wednesday at the group's meeting. "I asked, 'What happens if a team puts 13 or 14 players out there? Is it still just a 5-yard penalty,' " Mara said.

Former Giants
Harry Carson has nixed a bid to run for Congress as a Democrat in New Jersey. The 58-year-old retired Giant and Football Hall of Famer told The Associated Press in January he had been considering a run against five-term Republican Rep. Scott Garrett in a northern New Jersey district. Carson reportedly told Bergen County Democratic officials late Tuesday that he has decided not to run.

Feb 22 Brandon Jacobs has one year remaining on his contract, and amid strong speculation he will not return to the Giants, the running back said he expects to be back next season. "I have spoken to my agent, and I do expect to be fully back with the New York Giants next season," Jacobs said yesterday on Sirius XM NFL Radio.

Feb 21 Osi Umenyiora says when it comes to his contract situation this year, he is going to take the silent route. The defensive end said on SportsCenter on Monday morning that he learned being vocal and airing out his gripes with his contract last year did him no good.
Appearing on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning," Umenyiora said a trade to another team - one that would presumably give him a new, big contract - isn't out of the question. "I can see it going either way," he said, per a transcription of a few quotes from the interview by ProFootballTalk.com.

Feb 20 Eli Manning is right in the thick of his prime. He has shown he can make players around him better and carry the offense. And with a little help from his running game and defense, the Giants franchise quarterback can take the team to the Super Bowl. The Giants just have to keep their Iron Man healthy.

Feb 18 Gian-Paul Gonzalez, 28, a teacher at the Jose Marti Freshman Academy in Union City, gave a chapel service to the New York Giants the day before their Christmas Eve game against the New York Jets. "I said 'I want you to fully commit to being all in on something," Gonzalez recalled. Justin Tuck took it from there, making "all in" the team's mantra over the final two regular-season games -- including a 29-14 pasting of the Jets -- and four post-season games, all victories.

The Giants lost five defense backs due to injuries during the season and were down three in the beginning, something that's "unheard of," defensive back coach David Merritt reflected. At one point they were 7 and 7. "It always ends with us" in both Super Bowls, the defensive backs either stopping or allowing the winning score, Merritt said.

Giants wide receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks won't get any performance-based pay from the NFL this year. The program, begun in 2002, has been suspended the past two seasons. Tight end Jake Ballard and defensive tackle Linval Joseph, both of whom earned $450,000 in base salary in 2011, are two other players who probably would've received a check close to their salary.

Feb 17 David Diehl was at MetLife Stadium to talk wrestling with a few of the WWE's stars. Little did he know, they were ready to speak with him about football. "All of them talked about the game and watching it," the Giants' left tackle said after the press conference to announce Wrestlemania will be held at MetLife Stadium on April 7, 2013.

His New York Giants just on Feb. 5 knocked off the New England Patriots 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis giving Bear Pascoe, a Porterville native, his first world championship. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound tight end is already set on the 2012-13 season. "Starting next week I'll be back in the weight room," Pascoe said during a phone interview Thursday. "Then I'll meet up with [Giants backup quarterback and former Fresno State Bulldog] David Carr in Bakersfield."

The Anna L. Klein elementary school gymnasium was rocking as 200 cheering seventh - and eighth-graders welcomed New York Giants starting safety Antrel Rolle with Queen's "We are the Champions" blared over the sound system. "In my household, education came first; I wasn't allowed to get C's on my report card," said Rolle.

Former Giants
Mike Sullivan held his introductory press conference in Tampa, and thanked his old employer for the opportunity. On a yet-to-be-determined date, New York is slated to host Tampa Bay in the 2012 season. Sullivan now joins first-year head coach Greg Schiano, who left Rutgers for the opportunity to lead the Bucs.

Feb 16 Special Report - The Super Bowl XLVI Champion New York Giants took an interesting path on their way to the title, to say the least. Let us remember. Most coaches like to break down their team's 16-game schedule into quadrants, much like the four quarters of a game, and figure that success in each fourth translates into overall success and a ticket to the post-season.
FIRST QUARTER - The first four games of the regular season began with a whimper in an inexplicable loss to Washington.
SECOND QUARTER - Another inexplicable loss, this one to Seattle, opened the second fourth of the schedule.
THIRD QUARTER - At various times, the Giants were without Tuck, Jacobs, Bradshaw, David Baas, Manningham and on and on.
FOURTH QUARTER - With their collective backs against the cold, hard brick wall of another lost season... ahhh, just the way they liked it.

After a breakout season with the Giants, Jake Ballard now faces a grueling rehab for an ACL tear in his left knee that could force him to miss the start of next season with the Super Bowl champions. Ballard, 24, said he'll have surgery next Tuesday in New York City.

Chad Jones still has a long road back to an NFL field, but he hopes to be able to take the next steps on (or around) April 16. The plan right now is for the injured safety to join the Giants' offseason workout program, which opens that day, nearly 22 months after he almost lost his leg in a horrific car accident.

Feb 15 As the Giants were moving deeper through the playoffs, teams were firing coaches, hiring new ones and assembling coaching staffs. "A lot of the jobs had been filled up by the time we were done," said Jack Bicknell Jr., who spent the past three years as the Giants' assistant offensive line coach.
Giants assistant offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. accepted the offensive line coaching position in Kansas City this week. It's tough to leave. If I didn't have an opportunity to go from an assistant to a head O-line guy, trust me, I wouldn't be leaving, obviously. Bicknell said the hardest part is leaving the players he coached.

The Giants have 21 free agents. Several are major contributors, including Kareem McKenzie, Aaron Ross and Mario Manningham. Brandon Jacobs is due a $500,000 roster bonus in March. Osi Umenyiora may complain about his contract again. Put your GM hat on for a minute: What do you do? Who do you let walk?

NFC East News
NFC East offseason needs: Washington Redskins: Quarterback.
NFC East cap review: Redskins in the money.

Feb 14 Brandon Jacobs was forced to swallow his pride and take a sizeable pay cut last summer just to get one more season with the Giants. Now he's prepared to do it again."Like I said the last time: As long as it's fair," Jacobs said from Orlando, where he was ready to step into the ring for Spike TV's "TNA Impact Wrestling."

Giants QB Coach Mike Sullivan is leaving the Giants after being named Saturday as the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but not before leaving his stamp on the team. Sullivan was one of seven coaches who had been on the staff during Tom Coughlin's entire eight-year tenure as head coach.

Feb 13 After opening up New York's Fashion week, Victor Cruz traveled to the west coast, where he and teammate Mario Manningham were presenters at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards last night. The two Giants wide receivers, coming off their team's Super Bowl victory, handed out the "Best Rock Performance" to the Foo Fighters. Meanwhile, Cruz found time to do his patented salsa dance onstage inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Feb 12 "I've never seen a movie this good," said Giants co-owner Steve Tisch. He should know, since his other job is movie producer, and even he might have rejected a script as absurd as the Giants' 2011 season. The story of 2007 was hard enough to believe, and this one was a perfect parallel. It even ended with almost the exact same, last-minute, come-from-behind Super Bowl win.

The Super Bowl champion Giants say they're planning to return their training camp to Albany this summer. Team VP Pat Hanlon told Albany-area media outlets the Giants expect to follow up on franchise president/CEO John Mara's pledge to bring the camp back to upstate New York.

Giants take a superstitious route to Super Bowl title. On their way out of the parking lot of a Clifton supermarket, Lawrence Tynes and long snapper Zak DeOssi were nearly sideswiped by a woman in a minivan. "So every time from that time on we waited for a minivan to come and we'd pull out in front of it," Tynes said. "I swear."

The New York Giants seemed to answer every question that doubters and critics had with their stirring run to the Super Bowl. So now, a different set of questions arises for the Giants -- the questions that a world champion faces when going into an offseason looking to defend its title. Here are the first five issues the Giants will have to answer, in no particular order.
Here are the rest.

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