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New York Giants hire Shurmur as next head coach

By TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer 12 hrs ago


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has been hired as the New York Giants head coach.

The Giants announced the hiring late Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after Shurmur and the Vikings were beaten by the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC title game.

The 52-year-old Shurmur replaces Ben McAdoo, who was fired in early December with the team mired with a 2-10 record and owners and fans upset with his handling of the benching of two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo took over for the final four games and posted a 1-3 record.

"He has an outstanding track record in developing young players, and it is clear his players respond to his guidance and direction," co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch said in a statement.

"We interviewed six talented and qualified candidates, and we feel like Pat, with his vision and experience, is the right person to lead our team."

The Giants won't officially introduce Shurmur until Friday. A winter storm in the Midwest is preventing him from coming to New Jersey on Tuesday and he will be at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, from Tuesday night through Thursday.

Shurmur returns to the head coaching ranks for the first time since leading the Cleveland Browns in 2011-12. He takes over a troubled team that posted a 3-13 record a year after making the playoffs.

Shurmur was interviewed on Jan. 6 by Mara, new general manager Dave Gettleman and assistant GM Kevin Abrams.

Following that meeting in Minneapolis, Shurmur had an hour-long phone conversation with Tisch.

"I can't wait to start working with Pat," said Gettleman. "I know he will provide the type of leadership we need to take our team back to where it belongs. I have followed Pat's career for many years, and he has had great success wherever he has been.

"What struck me during our conversation is that being the head coach of the New York Giants is not too big for him. He is made for this moment and this opportunity."

The Giants interviewed five other candidates, kicking it off with Spagnuolo three days after the season ended.

New York also spoke with New England coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and recently fired Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville, who has since been hired as a running backs coach by the Dolphins. Wilks was hired as the head coach in Arizona on Monday

Shurmur has earned a reputation as a quarterback whisperer. NFC title game opponents Nick Foles of the Eagles and Case Keenum of the Vikings were tutored by him.

With the Giants, Shurmur will get to work with Manning and possibly the No. 2 pick in the draft, if New York uses the pick to pick an heir apparent.

But the Giants also had problems in the locker room. Three defensive backs — Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple were suspended for a game for conduct detrimental to the team.

Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen said Shurmur constantly put players in position to contribute and he doesn't take anything for granted.

"He's not a stubborn guy. He's going to throw stuff out if it's not working, and he's going to find things that guys are good at," Thielen said Monday as the Vikings cleaned out their lockers.

"So I think as a head coach, he's going to do that on both sides of the ball. Special teams, he's going to find guys who can make plays and let them do what they do. So I think he's going to have a lot of success as a head coach."

Shurmur has been a part of teams that have qualified for the playoffs nine times and won seven division titles. He was Philadelphia's quarterbacks coach when the Eagles played in the Super Bowl against New England in the 2004 season.

Shurmur is finishing his second year with the Vikings. He began last season as the tight ends coach and for the final nine games was also the offensive coordinator, the title he retained this season.

The Vikings finished 10th in the NFL in scoring (23.9 points), 11th in total yardage (356.9), and seventh in rushing yardage (122.3) this season.

Shurmur posted a 9-23 record in his two seasons with the Browns, going there after a two-year stint as the offensive coordinator with the Rams. He spent three seasons as the Eagles offensive coordinator after being fired.

Shurmur's NFL coaching career began with a 10-year run (1999-2008) in Philadelphia. He coached in college at Stanford and Michigan State.

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Giants to hire James Bettcher as defensive coordinator Former Cardinals DC to take same job with Giants


The New York Giants will hire former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher to serve in the same role with the Giants, according to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

According to Rapoport, Bettcher, who served as the Cardinals' defensive coordinator from 2015 until 2017, reportedly chose the Giants over the Tennessee Titans, which he also interviewed with. Bettcher was not retained by the Cardinals after Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks was hired to be the head coach of the team.

Bettcher will take over at defensive coordinator for Steve Spagnuolo, who served as the team's defensive coordinator from 2007 to 2008, and then again from 2015 to 2017. Betcher could have a Sean McVay-like impact for the Giants in 2018. McVay is an offensive-minded coach and Bettcher is a defensive-minded coach, but they share in common a passion for the Xs and Os and schematic side of football. Bettcher interviewed for the Giants defensive coordinator position in Mobile at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday and the franchise would be wise to move fast and go all-in on adding him to head coach Pat Shurmur's staff as his defensive coordinator. Bettcher has coordinated an elite defense according to advanced analytics website Football Outsiders over the past three seasons, finishing with the No. 3, No. 3, and No. 4 overall defense, according to FO's DVOA metric, respectively from 2015-2017.

The success of Bettcher's units is only an added bonus to what the Giants would be getting if they hired him as their defensive coordinator. The Giants would be getting one of the brightest young defensive minds in the NFL who could have an impact on the Giants defense similar to the one McVay had on the Rams offense in 2017.

For more quotes from former and current players who Bettcher coaches, some insight on his Xs and Os and schematic prowess, and more on, check out this feature on why Bettcher can make an incredible impact for the Giants in year one.

“I would love to see James Bettcher get the job,” said ex-Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians of the Cardinals head coach opening, via AZ Central, who added that Bettcher is "more than qualified" for the position.

"He’s ready to be a head coach anywhere," Arians said.

“I look at names that people are throwing out right now [as head coaching candidates],” Arians said, via Sports Illustrated. “and I’m shocked that James isn’t amongst them. He is extremely bright, high energy, an excellent communicator. When I first met him at Indianapolis, I knew he was going to be a star.”

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Dave Gettleman watches more tape, confirms Eli Manning will stay Dave Gettleman has finally found the time to watch all of Eli Manning's game tape before making a conclusion for 2018.


Eli Manning will return as the New York Giants starter in 2018.

General manager Dave Gettleman finally had a chance to watch all of Manning's game tape from 2017, and not just the impressive performance against the Eagles late in the season, and he came away impressed with what he saw. Gettleman didn't outright say it, but it's clear he blames the old offensive scheme, play calling, poor pass protection on the offensive line, injuries at wide receiver, and the lack of a running game for Manning's struggles.

According to Calvin Watkins on Twitter, Gettleman said the Giants have talent and “we will build it one brick at a time." Gettleman also said Manning will return and the Philly game was not a “mirage.” Gettleman made these comments at the Senior Bowl in Mobile as the Giants begin their process of scouting the draft prospects in the 2017 class.

Manning has played behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, relatively speaking, for nearly a decade. Former general manager Jerry Reese was never able to rebuild the 2007-2008 Giants offensive line that featured David Diehl, Rich Seubert, Shaun O'Hara, Chris Snee, and Kareem McKenzie. Reese's attempts to rebuild the offensive line focused on throwing the occasional early-round pick on undersized prospects from small schools (Weston Richburg) or project picks from warm-weather schools (Ereck Flowers).


Reese didn't grind game tape and have any convictions on mid-round offensive linemen. Therefore, the Giants rarely used multiple or even one mid-round draft pick on an offensive lineman or two in most draft classes. Gettleman will completely remedy that. During his tenure as Carolina Panthers general manager, Gettleman landed borderline Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner in round three, an above-average right tackle Daryl Williams in round four, and the best left guard int he NFL in Andrew Norwell as an undrafted free agent signing.

The Giants are rebuilding to turn things around FAST in the same blueprint as the Rams from 2016 to 2017, Don't miss any of the news on upcoming roster changes and more, take a second to sign up for our FREE Giants newsletter!

Getting back to a focus on the run game will also help Manning. During his wrap-up interview with WFAN to end the 2017 season, Manning told the radio host that he would love to get back to the play-action passing game. This was an offensive concept that went missing under Ben McAdoo. Prospective new Giants head coach Pat Shurmur leans on the play-action passing game more than almost any offensive play-caller in the entire NFL. In 2017, Vikings quarterback Case Keenum ran play-action passes the third-highest percentage of any quarterback in the NFL and had quarterback rating above 110 on those plays.

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Ex-Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams issues warning to Giants about new GM Dave Gettleman

Updated: Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 12:57 AM


Former Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams has a warning for any Giants players who will be playing under new GM Dave Gettleman.

“He’s your problem now,” Williams said Tuesday on WFAN’s “Boomer and Gio” from radio row in Minneapolis. “That’s exactly what I’d tell them. For the vet players that are there now, be very cautious. Once he gets his guys in there, then he develops that relationship with them, and not developing a relationship with the guys that are already there because he doesn’t know them.”

Williams referred to his personal experience of being cut by Gettleman, as well as the exit of five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith, as to why he feels the way he does.

“When you’re down in that locker room you are family ... If I’m friends with you or I’m a family member of yours, when I call you into the office to release you, I handle it in a family member type way,” Williams said. “Like, ‘Hey, we really appreciate everything you’ve done for this organization, really loved everything you’re doing,’ it’s more like breaking up with your girlfriend, ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’ Whatever excuses you give.


DeAngelo Williams is still bitter about the way his career with the Carolina Panthers ended. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

“When you come into an office somebody handling business, ‘Hey man, you’re gone.’ Like, wait, what? ... Nine years. I been here for nine years, I played through injuries ... I give everything you possibly can for an organization and the way they let you go is ‘Hey man, you’re out of here.’ They let Steve (Smith) go through a text message.”

Williams and Smith were both cut after the 2014 season, a year before the Panthers went 15-1 en route to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Broncos, 24-10.

Gettleman was GM of the Panthers from 2013-16 before he was shockingly fired before the start of training camp for the 2017 season.

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Steve Spagnuolo: Ben McAdoo will get another NFL head coaching job

Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 7:04 PM



Steve Spagnuolo believes Ben McAdoo did an "outstanding job" and will be a head coach in the NFL again.

The former Giants defensive coordinator stuck his neck out for the head coach whose job he temporarily took over when McAdoo was fired following a 2-10 start to the season and the benching of quarterback Eli Manning.

"It was a really tough year," Spagnuolo said Wednesday on SiriusXM radio with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan. "I want to say this up front, Ben McAdoo, who was our head coach, in my opinion will be a head coach again. He did an outstanding job. I mean, we just had things kind of snowball the wrong way this year. Sometimes when that ball gets rolling the wrong way it's hard to push it back up and get going in the middle of it."

On top of the losing, the Giants battled a ton of injuries to key players such as Odell Beckham Jr. but also had disciplinary problems with two players getting suspended under McAdoo and others anonymously trashing the head coach to the media.


And that was before the plan to give Geno Smith a chance to play, ultimately resulting in Manning taking a seat to break his consecutive games streak.

Spagnuolo, though, said that seasons like this can sometimes be more valuable for a coach.

"Look, you live and you learn, right? I always think sometimes you get more out of a rough season like that than you do the great ones that we have," he said. "Some bonds are created when you go through adverse situations and we did have that."

Spagnuolo added that he enjoyed working for McAdoo and lauded the entire organization for the way things were handled the final month, in which the Giants went 1-3.



"I didn't want to see Ben go because I believe in him, I loved working for him," Spagnuolo said. "Then we had a month and I'm very, very proud of what the people in the building did, the players, coaches, it was not easy."

Spagnuolo, whose defense was ranked 31st this season, is not currently on any coaching staff.

He was interviewed to earn the Giants head coaching job on a permanent basis at the end of the season, but the organization hired Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

Shurmur then hired Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher to replace Spagnuolo.

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I’m not your mentor: Eli Manning says he won’t train Giants QB successor, but won’t turn his back either

Updated: Saturday, February 3, 2018, 1:36 AM

— Eli Manning The Mentor?

Not really my job, he said Friday.

Eli playing the role of Brett Favre and ignoring Aaron Rodgers?

That’s not him, either.


Manning is back to being entrenched as the Giants’ starting quarterback after being solidly endorsed by the new management team of GM Dave Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur, and seemed indifferent Friday whether they draft either Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen with the second overall pick on April 26.

If the Giants do take Darnold or Rosen with the plan to be Manning’s eventual replacement, he said he will not ask for a trade. He still very much wants to finish his career where it started.

“I have all intentions of finishing my career with the Giants,” he said. “That’s what I want to do. In football, like everything, it’s year by year. See what happens and go from there.”

Eli Manning in Minnesota on Friday ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl, February 2, 2018. (Gary Myers for New York Daily News)

Will he embrace the role of mentor to Darnold or Rosen?


“Yes, in a sense,” he said Friday at a Super Bowl event where he was a spokesman for Courtyard Marriott.

Then he said, “It’s not your job to mentor somebody. I wouldn’t look at it as that role. I would look at it as it’s my job to prepare and compete and be ready to play each and every game. In that process you are always talking football, always helping out the other guys in the room.”

Manning is optimistic about a quick turnaround for the Giants from last year’s 3-13 misery. He was excited to hear Gettleman talk about improving the offensive and defensive lines. He has already met with Shurmur at the Giants facility and has been watching tapes of the Vikings offense, each play’s name written on the screen.

Manning is a diligent student so it’s no surprise that he’s familiarizing himself with Shurmur’s terminology. He says the offense has components from Andy Reid, Chip Kelly and Norv Turner.


He has no history with Shurmur other than meeting with him last summer when Shurmur’s son Kyle, the starting quarterback at Vanderbilt, attended the Manning Passing Academy. They have spoken and met a few times in the last two weeks.

Josh Rosen. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

“Very nice guy,” Manning said. “He’s had success. Excited to get back to work, learn the offense, get guys back in the spring and keep working on it.”

Manning will take the same approach with Darnold or Rosen as he did with Davis Webb and Geno Smith last year. “You are always helping them out. Nothing changes,” he said. “It’s about doing your job, but also helping the other guys around you. Having great communication in the quarterback room has always been important to me.”

But there is a big difference: None of Manning’s backups in the past were brought in specifically to compete with him and eventually take his job. If the Giants invest the second pick on a quarterback, the plan won’t be for him to sit for a couple of years unless Manning, at 37 years old, plays a lot better than he did last season.


When the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers in 2005, Brett Favre made it clear he was not going to help Rodgers take his job. As a result, there was a lot of friction in their relationship. That is not part of Manning’s personality, but he is also protective of his job.

That was evident when Ben McAdoo benched him for one game in December, leading not only to fan backlash, but to Manning being quite upset. Even so, if Darnold or Rosen is a teammate next year, Manning will not ignore them.

“I’m not going to give a cold shoulder to anybody,” Manning said. “You are always trying to help other guys and talk. That’s just part of being a quarterback.”

Sam Darnold. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

He’s not concerned if Gettleman picks a potential franchise quarterback in less than three months. “They have to draft whether it’s for the future or now,” he said. “They got to figure out how to put the best players on the field. Whatever they draft, I’m fine with. It’s about me doing my job and that’s playing quarterback.”


Kurt Warner was the perfect mentor for Manning in 2004. He was a former Super Bowl MVP looking to re-establish himself as a starter and move on to his next job. Warner and the Giants knew he would be one-and-done. He started the first nine games before Tom Coughlin switched to Manning when the Giants were 5-4 after dropping two straight games.

The pressure will be on Manning to play well in 2018 and turn the Giants around. If he’s doing neither, the rookie will play. “I got to go out there and compete and win games,” he said. “If I am doing that, everything else will take care of itself.”

The Eagles, in the Super Bowl on Sunday, have provided the Giants with inspiration. They went from last place in the NFC East in 2016 with a 7-9 record to first place this season at 13-3, tying the Patriots for the best record in the league.

“I think we can turn it around,” Manning said. “We were an 11-win team the year before. There is talent there. It’s not that much changes from both years. We got to get back healthy and there will be some additions. We just got to play better football. There is enough talent to win a lot of football games.”


Manning said he is not motivated to want New England to beat the Eagles so the Giants will remain the only team to defeat them in the Super Bowl during the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era.

“I don’t think of it in those terms,” he said. “I’m not rooting for one team over the other. I’m going to watch the game just as a fan of football, not a fan of either team.”He obviously hopes he’s back in the Super Bowl next year — but not as a mentor.

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  • 1 month later...

6 teams that won in free agency

Michael Colangelo 14 hrs ago

Free agency feels like it is over with before it started. Thanks to a flurry of signings from Monday night into Wednesday - or announced signings - we can already look at some winners and losers. Some teams made some moves during the free agency period, but it was mostly through trades. The Rams would be on this list for their trading prowess, but we are just focusing on free agency signings.

Minnesota Vikings

Any time a team can land a top, young, franchise quarterback in free agency, they get put on the winners' list. The Vikings were able to convince Kirk Cousins that his best chance to win was in Minnesota. Now the Vikings have answered their revolving door quarterback problem, and firmly set themselves up to make a Super Bowl run over the next few years.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans are turning into Patriots south. Tennessee raided New England's free agents by signing Malcolm Butler and Dion Lewis. They kept Josh Kline and are building on their playoff appearance last year. Butler should help solidify a secondary that signed Logan Ryan in free agency last year and drafted Adoree Jackson in 2017.

New York Giants

The Giants biggest offseason need was to upgrade their offensive line. They went and signed Nate Solder to the largest contract in the NFL for an offensive lineman. Solder should bring some much needed leadership to the Giants front-five. They also picked up Jonathan Stewart who can mentor the running backs group, especially if they decide to invest in one in the upcoming draft.

Chicago Bears

The Bears needed to upgrade their wide receiving corps. They did so by signing Allen Robinson to a reasonable deal for a No. 1 wide receiver. They also added Taylor Gabriel who can help the team stretch the field. They even added a receiving tight end in Treu Burton. They did all of this while retaining Cameron Meredith and resigning Prince Amukamara. Not a bad few days for Ryan Pace and new head coach Matt Nagy.

New Orleans Saints

The goal of the Saints entire offseason plan was to keep Drew Brees. They not only kept the best quarterback in their franchise's history, they signed him to a rather reasonable deal. This allows the Saints to continue to build around Brees. They don't have to sacrifice anything on their defense, which they had to do in the past. They used the extra money to sign Patrick Robinson who will solidify their secondary and Demario Davis who can help in their linebacker rotation.

San Francisco 49ers

The Niners got Jimmy Garoppolo's contract out of the way early and kept Marquise Goodwin on the team with a three year deal. Then they upgraded at running back by signing Jerick McKinnon, and convinced Richard Sherman to sign a team friendly deal. The Niners will be everyone's hot pick to go from out of the playoffs to in the playoffs in 2018.

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Jason Pierre-Paul reacts to being traded by the New York Giants Jason Pierre-Paul found out about being traded away from the New York Giants like everyone else.

Jason Pierre-Paul found out he was traded by the New York Giants like everyone else did on Thursday.

According to NFL Network's Kim Jones, Pierre-Paul did not find out about the trade until after it was completed. He was surprised to not hear from Giants general manager Dave Gettleman before hand.

"At the end of the day, it’s a business. I know that," Pierre-Paul told Jones in a phone conversation. “Tell everyone at the Giants that I wish them the best.”

Pierre-Paul had nothing but love for the Giants organization during his call with Jones. If you expected the embattled defensive end to be bitter than you were wrong.

“Thank you to the Giants for the 8 years I spent there," Pierre-Paul told Jones. "They’re making changes; I understand that. Thank you to fans that supported me, and thanks for the great Super Bowl run that we had.”

Pierre-Paul also told Jones that Gettleman explained the trade to him by telling him they got an "offer they can't refuse." This suggests the Tampa Bay Buccaneers approached the Giants with the trade offer for Pierre-Paul's services. On Thursday, it was announced the Giants will receive the No. 69 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and the No. 106 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft for Pierre-Paul and the No. 102 overall pick.


Pierre-Paul admitted to Jones that the silver lining for him is that he'll be closer to his young son down in Tampa Bay, Florida. He will also be returning to South Florida where he played collegiate football at the University of South Florida.

Gettleman released a statement on the trade shortly after the news was announced.

“We appreciate everything Jason has done for the Giants,” Gettleman said, via Giants.com. “He was a fine player for us, and he helped our franchise win Super Bowl XLVI. We wish him well in the future.”

Things might be a bit awkward in 2018 when the Giants play the Buccaneers and see Pierre-Paul in another uniform lining up across from them. The Giants will host the Bucs and JPP will be making his return to MetLife Stadium. He will likely match up against left tackle Nate Solder or whoever the Giants decide to play at right tackle. If the Giants move Ereck Flowers to right tackle, we can already envision a potential revenge game for Pierre-Paul.

In the last three years combined, Pierre-Paul had just 16 1/2 sacks combined and was never going to be a fit for the Giants' new 3-4 base defensive scheme under new defensive coordinator James Bettcher. The Giants now have four 2018 draft picks in the top-70 overall. We always knew Gettleman loves Hog Mollies and was going to draft a defensive lineman early. His track record as Carolina Panthers general manager told us that much. Now he has one more pick to do it and fill that 5-tech void left by Pierre-Paul's absence. Some have speculated this trade will also bring in the draft's top defensive end -- Bradley Chubb -- into the mix for the Giants with the No. 2 overall pick.

The Giants drafted 45 players during the 2008 through 2013 NFL Drafts. There are now no longer any players from those draft classes still on the Giants roster. The Giants fans can just be thankful ex-general manager Jerry Reese is gone.

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John Mara won't commit to Odell Beckham being a Giant in 2018, 'disappointed' in latest viral video

Updated: Sunday, March 25, 2018, 4:53 PM


ORLANDO — This was the definition of a dramatic pause.

Giants team president John Mara hesitated, breathed and took several seconds Sunday afternoon to answer the question: Could he foresee a scenario in which Odell Beckham Jr. wouldn’t be on the Giants this coming season?

“I can’t answer that one way or the other,” Mara said in a hallway of the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando at the NFL owners’ meetings. “I mean we’re certainly not shopping him, if that’s what you’re asking (laughs). But when you’re coming off a season where you’re 3-13 and played as poorly as we played, I wouldn’t say anyone’s untouchable.”

So would Mara listen if a team called to ask for a Beckham trade?

“You always listen to those things,” Mara added, “but that’s not a scenario I would like to see happen.”

Earlier in the interview, though, Mara had been asked directly if Beckham is untouchable in the wake of the Jason Pierre-Paul trade, and he’d answered: “I think when you’re 3-13 that nobody is untouchable.”

Mara said he was “disappointed” in Beckham’s presence in a recent viral video that appeared to show Beckham and a model with drugs and a pepperoni pizza in bed. And though Mara hasn’t spoken to OBJ about the video since, Mara made clear such behavior makes it more difficult for him to make a long-term commitment to the player.


“I think that’s something you certainly have to take into consideration, yes,” Mara said. “I think too often he allows himself to get put in bad situations and he needs to use a little better judgment … I don’t know what was in that video exactly, but I’m tired of answering questions about Odell’s behavior and what the latest incident is. I think he knows what’s expected of him, and now it’s up to him.”

Odell Beckham is the hot topic in as the NFL owners gather for meetings in Orlando. (Seth Wenig/AP)

Mara acknowledged also that he wasn’t just now growing tired of Beckham’s antics. Mara admitted he was already at that point in January at Pat Shurmur’s introductory press conference when Mara had suggested Beckham meet with Shurmur to discuss how he should “act.”

“Yeah, I think you could say that (I’d reached that point in January), yes,” Mara said. “I think it’s been an ongoing process, and listen: he knows what we expect of him. And now it’s up to him.”

Mara additionally said he thinks it’s “a possibility” that the Giants will have Beckham play on the fifth and final year of his rookie contract.

“I don’t think we’ve made a determination on that just yet,” Mara said. “In terms of the contract, that’ll get done when it’s supposed to get done, but again, he knows what we expect of him and now it’s up to him. And I still believe that he’ll be able to show us what we expect of him, but it’s up to him.”

Of course, that would be up to Beckham, too. He could hold out if he wishes for the money he believes he’s owed. He certainly has looked strong and recovered from his broken left ankle in videos he’s posted on Instagram. And the Giants’ offense that was just OK with him was ludicrously bad without him for most of 2017.

Mara, who basically guaranteed last summer that it was a matter of when and not if that Beckham would get a megadeal, now is lukewarm to the idea.

“I think at some point (we’ll get it done), but who knows,” Mara said.

Laura Cuenca, a French Instagram model seen in a video with the Giants' Odell Beckham in which he is eating pizza in bed, says the football star was not doing any drugs, despite what it may have looked like. (New York Daily News)

GM Dave Gettleman declined comment on all matters in the Ritz lobby to the Daily News Sunday morning. Assistant GM Kevin Abrams, the man who hammers out the contracts, is here in Orlando, too.

Shurmur, at least, told The News Sunday afternoon at the Ritz that he met with Beckham in California during his recent quarterback prospect tour and had a “great” meeting with OBJ.

“I had an opportunity to visit with Odell and got a chance to get to know him a little better,” Shurmur said.

Mara speculated Shurmur and Beckham may have discussed his viral video but Shurmur declined to describe their conversation in detail any further other than noting they did not talk football or his future with the team because they’re not allowed.

It’s worth asking, though, in light of Mara’s comments and the Pierre-Paul trade: Will Shurmur even get a chance to coach Beckham this fall?

“I don’t think there’s anything on the horizon right now,” Mara. “But you never know.”

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Steve Tisch dismisses Odell Beckham video as 'background noise' The New York Giants co-owners each offered very different comments on the Odell Beckham Jr. contract situation.


(Photo: William Hauser, USA TODAY Sports)


Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants are in the very earliest stages of contract negotiations,

Co-owner Steve Tisch offered more details on the contract situation with Beckham and the Giants from the NFL owners meetings in Orlando on Monday. According to ESPN's Dan Graziano, Tisch seemed unphased by Beckham's recent viral video.

Tisch's comments did not match up perfectly with what Giants co-owner John Mara said about Beckham's upcoming contract, the leaked video, and more from the owners' meetings over the weekend. Mara refused to call the star wide receiver "untouchable" in trade talks when discussing him at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando.

"Giants co-owner Steve Tisch says he hopes Odell Beckham is with the Giants in 2018. Calls recent video "background noise." Says of potential long-term contract, "At the moment, conversations between Dave Gettleman and Odell's representatives are at the earliest, most premature stages." - Graziano

“I think when you are 3-13, nobody is untouchable,” Mara said to Giants reporters at the owners' meetings. “There is nothing on the horizon right now, but you never know.

Of course, Mara made it clear the Giants are not interested in trading the generational talent and this is a scenario they hope to not see come to fruition.

“We are certainly not shopping him. But, again, when you are coming off a season where you are 3-13 and played as poorly as we played, I wouldn’t say that anybody is untouchable. . . You always listen. But that’s not a scenario that I would like to see happen.”

Mara's comments are in stark contrast to everything he has said about Beckham in the past. During previous conversations with the media, Mara has stated he has plans for Beckham to retire as a member of the Giants. It has become abundantly clear Giants ownership is disappointed in Beckham's inability to stay out of the headlines this offseason. Earlier this month, a controversial viral video leaked that showed Beckham in a Paris hotel room with an Instagram model.

Mara admitted that he hopes Beckham uses better judgment to help avoid viral videos like that one leaking again.

“I think too often he allows himself to get put in bad situations, and he needs to use a little better judgment. ... I don’t know what was in that video exactly, but I’m tired of answering questions about Odell’s behavior and what the latest incident is," Mara said at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, via WFAN.

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John Mara confirms Odell Beckham Jr. is not on the trade block John Mara just dropped the hammer on the Odell Beckham Jr. trade rumors.


(Photo: Jerry Lai, USA TODAY Sports)


Odell Beckham Jr. will most likely remain with the New York Giants for the 2018 season and beyond.

After more than 24 hours of speculation formulated from multiple anonymous sources about Beckham's intentions to hold out if not given a new contract and about the Giants dangling their star receiver in trade talks, co-owner John Mara dropped the hammer on these anonymous reports.

"He's not on the block," Mara said on Tuesday evening, outside the Ritz-Carlton hotel at the NFL's annual owners' meetings, via SNY. "Is that going to stop clubs from possibly calling us? No. But he's not on the block. We're not shopping him around.

Mara confirmed that the only player who was technically "untradeable" on the roster is left tackle Nate Solder due to the dead salary cap ramifications of moving on from him after he signed a massive four-year, $62 million deal earlier this month.

"We're not looking to get rid of him, OK?" Mara said. "I'd like him to be a Giant. But if you're asking me for a 100 percent guarantee, nobody has that-except maybe Nate Solder because we couldn't afford the appreciation (on his newly-signed four-year, $62 million contract)."

Mara claims the story has taken its own legs and created a stir on social media and outside of the organization. There hasn't been much talk about the rumor inside the Giants' organization. This statement aligns with what general manager Dave Gettleman told the media earlier on Tuesday when he relayed that neither Beckham himself or his agent have said a word to the Giants about the anonymously-sourced reports.

Mara also added that he is not going hang up the phone if another team calls them about trading for Beckham and blows them away with an offer they can't refuse.

"There's no harm in having people call.

"It's certainly a conversation we would have to have if somebody overwhelmed us," Mara said. "Yes."

Mara then dropped one final hammer on the rumor that never made any sense in the first place.

"I don't how much more clearly I can say it," he said. "I don't want him to be traded. I want him to be a Giant. But I can't sit here and tell you that it is 100 percent guarantee that that's going to happen. I can't say that about any player-except Nate Solder."

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Colin Cowherd devises Browns trade for Odell Beckham Jr. A trade for the three-time Pro Bowl talent seems unlikely.

The New York Giants have set the market price for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. as two first-round picks. They are not actively pursuing a trade but the door is left ajar for that possibility. When the reports began to leak out earlier this week, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry was quick to recruit his former LSU teammate to northeast Ohio.

FS1's Colin Cowherd devised a potential trade involving the Browns and Giants. Cleveland would sent the No. 4 overall selection and either a second (the team has three) or third round pick (the team has none in 2018) to New York in exchange for the three-time Pro Bowl talent. The Browns would take USC quarterback Sam Darnold No. 1 overall in that scenario while the Giants would have a number of different opportunities with the No. 2 and No. 4 overall selections.


In theory, the idea sounds intriguing but there are some issues. The Browns are not going to part with the No. 4 overall selection for a player that has been a distraction on and off the field with his tantrums and the latest hotel escapade. The 25-year old has also missed 17 games over the past four seasons.

The media looks at any first round selection as the same. Cleveland's No. 4 overall selection and the Los Angeles Rams' No. 23 overall selection are not the same. In this wishful scenario, General Manager John Dorsey is not giving up the No. 4 overall selection and additional picks. He is not giving up the No. 4 overall selection period. Any team that acquires Beckham would do so knowing that he is asking for $20 million annually. The figure would represent nearly 9-percent of a team's salary cap.

Beckham is a luxury for Cleveland as well. In addition to Landry, Cleveland has Josh Gordon and former first round pick Corey Coleman at the wide receiver position. If Gordon stays clean, Beckham is unnecessary.

The Browns hired Beckham's former wide receivers coach with the Giants and LSU, Adam Henry, this off-season. Landry and Beckham spent three seasons in Baton Rouge learning from the coach. A reunion would likely be welcome.

In 2005, the Minnesota Vikings shipped 28-year old wide receiver Randy Moss to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for the No. 7 overall selection, a seventh round choice and linebacker Napoleon Harris. It could potentially cost more to acquire the 25-year old Beckham. However, teams have seen a watered down trade market this off-season with players like Robert Quinn, Jason Pierre-Paul, Marcus Peters, Tyrod Taylor, Landry and others being moved for less than their value.

Since being taken with the No. 12 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, Beckham has accumulated 313 receptions for 4,424 yards and 38 touchdowns in the regular season. In his lone playoff appearance, he recorded four receptions for 28 yards.

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Dave Gettleman leaves door open to possible Dez Bryant signing Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant could find a new home with the New York Giants.



Dez Bryant could be joining his buddy, Odell Beckham Jr., in New York. (Photo: Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports)


Dave Gettleman may have been caught off guard when asked, but the New York Giants general manager did not deny the possibility of signing former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant while speaking during his pre-draft press conference on Thursday.

During the press conference, reports broke on Twitter about the Giants parting ways with veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Gettleman was asked about the release and confirmed that Marshall had been waived with a “failed physical” designation.

The very next question was about New York’s potential interest in Bryant, a free agent who has not been shy about his desire to stay in the NFC East so he can face his former team twice a year. Gentleman cracked a wide smile at the question, chuckled then answered.

“I have interest in everybody,” Gettleman said. “We do our film work, and you never know.”

Gettleman and the Giants may be trying to hide their interest in Bryant, but the receiver has been very open about his desire to come to New York. In fact, he recently sat down with Mike Fisher of 247Sports to discuss that exact topic.

“The Giants,'' Bryant told Fisher, "got a helluva defense, they're going to pay OBJ (fellow wideout and pal Odell Beckham Jr.), so coming back. Playing with him, Sterling (Shepard) ... the tight end (Evan Engram), (QB Eli) Manning? Crazy. ... They draft (Penn State running back Saquan Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick)? That'd be crazy!”

Interesting, Bryant mentioned just about everybody except Marshall in those comments…

Bryant, 29, is a former first-round draft pick (24th overall, 2010) and the Cowboys’ all-time leader for touchdown receptions (73). Dallas made the controversial decision to cut him last week, saving the team just over $8 million against the salary cap.

Bryant has been to the Pro Bowl three of the past five seasons, but he has not eclipsed 1,000 yards or posted double-digit touchdowns since his 2014 All-Pro campaign. That was also the last season Bryant played with a healthy Tony Romo at quarterback.

One of the biggest reasons behind Bryant’s release was his inability to develop a chemistry with young Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. That would not be an issue in New York, as the Giants have a veteran quarterback in Eli Manning who has made connections with dozens of pass catchers over the years.

Marshall turned out to be a total bust of a free-agency signing, playing in only five games and completing his Giants tenure with a measly 18 catches for 154 yards. Acquiring Bryant would give Manning another dangerous weapon in his passing arsenal and help Giants fans wash the taste of the awful Marshall signing out of their mouths.

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David Diehl: The Giants will be incredibly competitive in 2018

ByDAN SCHNEIER 19 hours ago

David Diehl is a big believer in the revamped New York Giants roster for the 2018 season. More specifically, Diehl believes that the Giants will undergo a lightning-fast turnaround on the offensive side of the ball after failing to score 30 points in any single game during the entire Ben McAdoo era as head coach. In 2017, the Giants entered the regular season with the same against coaching staff, the same offensive scheme, essentially the same stable of running backs (plus Wayne Gallman), essentially the exact same offensive line, and then injuries struck early at the wide receiver and offensive line positions. A lot has changed on offense for the Giants heading into the 2018 season.

“You’re going to be looking at a completely different offense,” Diehl told NJ Advance Media. “Now you have Saquon Barkley, to Will Hernandez, to Nate Solder, and now coming back with a healthy Odell Beckham Jr., you’re looking at a dangerous offense that can do a lot of things. A lot of people have been talking about Pat Shurmur coming in, and we know the success that he was able to have in Minnesota, but people aren’t talking enough about Mike Shula, who was the offensive coordinator in Carolina who was able to use Christian McCaffrey unbelievably last year.

“Add that Saquon Barkley piece along with an upgraded offensive line and Eli Manning, a veteran quarterback like he is, I know it’s going to be a completely different season and it’s going to be an incredibly competitive football team.”

Diehl brings up an excellent point that hasn't been touched on very often when evaluating the new Giants offense for the 2018 season -- the addition of offensive coordinator Mike Shula. Although head coach Pat Shurmur will be calling the offensive plays, he will utilize concepts from the offense Shula ran in Carolina with the Panthers over the last five seasons. You can bet that Shurmur will lean on Shula's expertise for how to best utilize a running back like Saquon Barkley in the passing game in a similar fashion to how he used McCaffrey during his rookie season. Both Barkley and McCaffrey entered the NFL as sure-fire pass-catching running backs who earned praise from just about every scout for their route-running ability. Barkley finished with Pro Football Focus' top receiving grade among all running backs and the most yards per route run of any running back in the 2018 NFL Draft. During his rookie season, McCaffrey finished with the most targets (113) and the third-most receptions (81) among all running backs.

Undergoing a complete turnaround on the offensive side of the ball is not impossible in the NFL. The Los Angeles Rams did it in 2017 after adding a franchise left tackle in free agency (Andrew Whitworth) along with a few more pieces at wide receiver and on the offensive line to go along with a brand new offensive scheme under first-year head coach Sean McVay. The Rams legitimately went from worst to first -- in 2016 they scored the fewest points per game (14) and in 2017 they scored the most points per game (29.9).

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Ben McAdoo breaks silence by ripping Giants tackles, NFC East

BySTEVEN TARANTO 14 hours ago

6_7613048.jpg(Photo: Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports)

During his year-and-a-half tenure as head coach of the New York Giants, Ben McAdoo became known as being milquetoast - Seemingly unwilling or unable to discipline his team and establish himself as master of the Giants' locker room. In the time since he was fired following the Giants' complete meltdown in 2017, McAdoo seems to have found a harsher tone if nothing else.

In speaking publicly for the first time since being fired by the Giants after a loss to the Oakland Raiders and the benching of quarterback Eli Manning, McAdoo praised the Giants' offseason to the New York Post while spitting as much fire as he possibly could towards the rest of the NFC East and those who contributed to his downfall.

"I think (the Giants are) gonna win the division," said McAdoo. "I think Philly, how much success has Philly had? I think they’re gonna have a hard time handling success. Dallas, I like their offensive line, but how long have we been saying that? Their defense, they got a bunch of young guys playing DB, Sean Lee is banged up a lot, and their D-line, they got a bunch of guys getting in trouble all the time. And Washington is Washington, right?"

McAdoo also didn't hold back in assessing the Giants' left tackle situation, starting by stating that he didn't think well of new left tackle Nate Solder's abilities.

"Getting a left tackle in there will help them in a lot of ways," said McAdoo. "I don’t think (Solder's) a very good player, but I think it will help them in a lot of ways where they needed help in that room in the past and they haven’t had anyone to do that."

McAdoo then dished it out on former left tackle and current right tackle Ereck Flowers, whose inability to develop protecting Manning's blindside was arguably the biggest indictment of McAdoo's abilities as a head coach. McAdoo stated that he does not have confidence that Flowers will be able to become a serviceable right tackle.

"(Flowers) can’t bend, you got to be able to bend," said McAdoo. "You can run around him on (the right side) just like you can on the other side, Eli just gets to see it, which may help Eli. It’s not the blind side, it’s in his vision, so if he’s comfortable with what’s going on over on the left side, it can help him move in the pocket a little bit better."

McAdoo didn't feel terribly sorry for former left guard Justin Pugh and center Weston Richburgeither, stating that the Giants made the right decision to let the two go to the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers in free agency respectively.

Since his exit from the Giants, McAdoo has relocated to Florida between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach. He is being paid by the Giants for the 2018 season, and plans to find another coaching job in 2019.

After being named the successor to Tom Coughlin following the 2015 season, McAdoo's head coaching career started with an 11-5 season and playoff appearance in 2016. But McAdoo's success came largely thanks to the Giants emerging as an elite defense in 2016, as his offense plodded along and struggled to gain even easy yards. McAdoo's luck ran out in 2017, when offensive ineptitude resulted in the Giants losing their first five games before McAdoo was fired following a 2-10 start to the season.

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What to watch, and who to watch, as Giants open camp

By Paul Schwartz

July 24, 2018 | 5:54pm

Modal Trigger




Biggest comeback

Odell. Odell Beckham. Odell Beckham, Jr. OBJ. Superstar wide receiver. Bleached blond hair. Tattoos galore. Shirt-wearing optional. Rubs elbows with all sorts of celebrities. Played in only four games last season, coming off surgery to repair fractured left ankle. Wants a new, massive, multi-year contract. Deserves it. Looked great in limited action this spring. Now 25, coming back to prove he is fully healthy and warrants a new deal as franchise face.

Biggest position battle

Darian Thompson started all 16 games last season at free safety but by no means has anything locked up this time around. This is a new coaching regime and the general manager (Jerry Reese) who made him a third-round pick in 2016 is gone, as well. Thompson came out of Boise State reputed to be a rangy ball-hawk, but other than opening eyes early in his rookie year before he went down with a foot injury, there hasn’t been much there. Curtis Riley, signed in free agency after two years as a reserve with the Titans, had a solid spring and will challenge Thompson for the starting spot alongside strong safety Landon Collins. Riley, 26, is a converted cornerback. “He’s got really great feet and hips and range,’’ defensive coordinator James Bettcher said.

Most fascinating newcomer

Saquon Barkley

Hmm, let’s see. A guy who everyone knows just by mentioning his first name gets picked No. 2 in the NFL draft, is called a “generational talent’’ and looks as if he were created in a running back laboratory. His No. 26 jersey is already one of the NFL’s top-sellers, and he hasn’t played a down yet. Yeah, it is safe to list Saquon Barkley as the Giants’ most fascinating newcomer. Heck, he’s one of the most fascinating newcomers in the past decade, maybe longer. We dare you to take your eyes off him this summer.

Coach’s toughest challenge

Pat Shurmur must resist the temptation to throw Beckham out there too early or too often. Sure, the Giants need to see if their prime offensive weapon is as good as new, and Beckham does need to get in sync with the new offensive system. Really, though, getting knocked around in training camp practices or, heaven forbid, in one of those tedious preseason games, is not what is needed here. Sept. 9 vs. the Jaguars is the only target for Beckham to hit, and Shurmur in his first year with the Giants must always keep that in the front of his mind.

Modal TriggerWill HernandezAP

Most intriguing rookie

Look, it is an easy fallback position to list Barkley virtually everywhere when it comes to “most’’ this or “greatest’’ that. Someone has to pave the way for the kid, right? So, let’s go with Will Hernandez. He is penciled in as the starting left guard, and everyone in the building is in love with his bullish demeanor on the field — he got into scraps in springtime OTAs, for goodness sakes. We cannot forget, though, that there will be growing pains and that the team he played for last season (Texas-El Paso) did not win a single game. Chris Snee, the player Hernandez is often likened to, was an immediate starter but needed time to gain his footing. Along the way, figure Hernandez will get under the skin of several defensive combatants.


Most notable absence

Jason Pierre-Paul


That corner locker occupied by Jason Pierre-Paul will be inhabited by someone else, as the last link to the heralded defensive lines of the most recent Super Bowl eras is gone, traded away to the Buccaneers. Pierre-Paul was not a huge presence in the locker room, and his impact on the field diminished the past few seasons, but he was a fixture on the line for eight years. There was only one JPP. The freakish athleticism never left him, but that horrific fireworks accident permanently damaged his right hand, and he was never the same after that. Still, he started all 16 games in 2017 and led the team with 8.5 sacks.

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Odell Beckham Sick Diamond Crosses ... Implanted Into Teeth!


8/5/2018 12:30 AM PDT

Odell Beckham Gets Sick Diamond Crosses Implanted Into Teeth

Odell Beckham is taking training camp ice baths to a whole 'nother level ... 'cause the NY Giants star just got a handful of diamonds implanted into his teeth!!

OBJ had the procedure done a few days ago ... and it wasn't cheap -- coming in at around $5,000 -- and his dentist tells TMZ Sports it wasn't exactly easy to do, either.

"I got my ceramus to make a porcelain veneer that looked just like his tooth," New York dentist Dr. Lee Gause says.


"And then, on that porcelain veneer, I got a diamond cross made from Odell's Osieler that he actually made on a 3D rendering that I printed and sent to his shop."

Gause tells us he then locked in the Osiels on Odell's canine teeth ... and they ain't removable unless Beckham returns to the dentist's chair.

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Leonard: Odell Beckham finally opens up about trade talk, his relationship with the Giants, contract and fighting back from broken ankle

Aug 04, 2018 | 2:10 PM

Odell Beckham Jr.’s presence at the Giants’ training camp podium Saturday was a small miracle in itself.

After breaking his left ankle last fall, after the infamous partying video from France surfaced in March, after the Giants discussed trading Beckham with the L.A. Rams in the spring, after the club dragged its feet the rest of the offseason on beginning negotiations on a contract extension - this day so often came close to never happening.

Beckham’s ability to get back here, healthy and seemingly happy, frankly says more than most words can.


“I literally watched my world feel like it turned upside down,” Beckham, 25, said Saturday morning of his ability to get back to such a positive place, both in his mind and in the OBJ-Giants relationship, after so much tumult and uncertainty. “I watched relationships close to me devour and things go wrong and things go sideways. It was a lot of pain I went through in the last 10 months.

“So (I’ve been) just taking it day by day,” he continued, “and trying my best to just make my mindset, ‘Every day I wake up I’m gonna be happy; I’m gonna do this right, I’m gonna do the very best that I can in whatever it is.’ Whatever it is that I was doing, just changed my mindset. And it’s helped me out a lot with everything. It’s helped me out a lot.”

Beckham, breaking a 304-day silence of not speaking with the New York media, also admitted he took the news personally of the Giants-Rams trade talks - first reported by the Daily News - but grew through the experience.

“It’s sort of, I don’t know, noise, rumors, you never know,” Beckham said. “And I used to say all the time, ‘Don’t take it personal and stuff.’ And I still - I took things personal. And I really have gotten that out of my heart to not take anything personal. And with doing that, it’s less things that I used to worry about out of the equation. So once you can really put that in your heart - don’t take it personal - and you can feel that, it’s a completely different story.”

He’s right. This is a completely different story than the one that was being written in the spring. And there are a lot of reasons why, primarily Beckham’s determination to evolve, to rehab vigorously, and to play nice with the Giants after they pushed him to the brink - including taking the risk of going back on the practice field without a new contract.

“(It’s) calculated,” Beckham said. “Calculated. You’re out there, you control your body, and we’re practicing, and these are your teammates, so we’re all working together. There’s no extra pushing and shoving and doing too much. So it’s all calculated, and I remember not being able to walk at all. So to be able to be back on the field doing what I love, it’s truly an amazing feeling.”

Remember, though, Beckham and the Giants aren’t out of the woods just yet.

There is no indication they are any closer today than they were last week on the terms of a Beckham contract extension. No one knows his and the Giants’ plans for playing him in the preseason, and if their plans align.

And his lone ominous answer Saturday was in response to the question of whether he had any deadline in mind, like the start of the regular season, when he’ll prefer that talks stop.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Beckham said.

Beckham, who said last year that he wanted to be the highest-paid player in the league, also said “of course” he still wants to be the NFL’s highest-paid receiver. But he understands his expectations must be within reason.

“Of course,” Beckham said. “I mean, who doesn’t want to get more money? Everybody does. So realistically, you’ve just got to be realistic with yourself. You see what happened over the offseason (with other player contracts). I can’t really worry about anybody else. Just let them figure it out and whenever it happens, it’ll happen.”

Beckham did say he is “optimistic” a deal will get done and "confident it’ll all work itself out.”

He didn’t want to take credit for getting negotiations started by not holding out from training camp, as Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack have done in Los Angeles and Oakland, though it certainly had an impact. Beckham said mostly he wanted to get back to playing football and that he doesn’t “believe” in holding out.

“After I see my ankle snap and it feels like your world turns upside down, life’s just different,” Beckham said. “Honestly, for real, I’m just happy to be back out there running around. I don’t believe in any of that (holdout) stuff. I feel like they’ll get it done when they get it done. I’ll let my agent and them figure it out. I’ll just come out here, try to get all the plays down, focus on being the best that I can be. So it’ll happen when it happens.”

Beckham also interestingly shared that maybe two months ago his ankle was still not fully there, but in the last month he’s been “getting back to as close to 100 (percent) as I can.”

“I had been feeling it as I was working out, and it’s kind of like over the last month I’ve taken a huge stride,” Beckham said. “I remember maybe two months ago it wasn’t as smooth and I wasn’t getting out of cuts, and you kind of get that frustration and just you want to get back to where you’re at. But now that I’m here, it’s been a lot of hard work put in, lot of doctors, lot of treatment, lot of rehab, lot of pain you went through.

“I don’t really feel it (anymore),” he added of the ankle. “I don’t think about it much. Or I try not to. It’s still always there. But I’m getting back to as close to 100 as I can for right now. It’s been a long process, I can say that.”

It’s been a long road back for Beckham from his lowest physical point early in the rehabilitation.

“I love football,” he said. “Football was always how I could let everything out, and just being able to be back out on the field. I remember waking up four in the morning and crawling upstairs to my bed and laughing to myself like, ‘This is gonna be a hell of ride for you to get back to where you’re at,’ And now I’m here and there’s still a lot more for me to do. So truly I’m just thankful that God is able to put me back out there.”

His goals now?

“The same every year,” Beckham said. “Be the best that I can be. Hang one of these banners up.”

A Super Bowl banner. High hopes. But why shoot any lower? This is Odell Beckham Jr., superstar receiver, defier of odds.

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5 things to watch as Giants take on Lions at Detroit's Ford Field
AUG 17, 2018 | 7:00 AM

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – The NFL regular season is rapidly approaching, and the Giants have only three more preseason games remaining to determine the roster they'll take in to Week 1's opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium.

So here are five things to watch Friday night when Big Blue takes on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field:

Odell Beckham practices against the Lions this week, but will be see any game action Friday? (Carlos Osorio / AP)

Odell Beckham Jr. sat out the Giants' first preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at home, but he practiced this week against the Detroit Lions. Will Shurmur put Beckham in a game? Does Beckham actually intend to play in a game without a new contract, after his camp said in March that Beckham wouldn't step on a football field without an extension? "I've got a plan, so it will get revealed (Friday) night)," Shurmur said Thursday, continuing to be coy. Beckham added: "Coach and I have a game plan. We usually figure it out and we just go from there. So we'll see what it is for this week and then worry about next week when it comes."

Davis Webb looks to rebound from a weak opening effort last week vs. the Browns. (Adam Hunger / AP)

Davis Webb's 2018 preseason debut against Cleveland was disappointing (9-of-22, 70 passing yards; one rush, six yards), but it was his first game of any kind since an Aug. 31, 2017 preseason game in New England prior to last season, and he was "amped up" and uncharacteristically overthrowing receivers. Webb had a strong Wednesday practice against the Lions, although he's had others since the Cleveland game with hiccups, too, leading Shurmur to say on Monday: "I think it's important as a quarterback … to complete your passes." The Giants need Webb to be efficient and capable both for the short-term as Eli Manning's primary backup and as the potential long-term solution as his successor. Rookie third-string QB Kyle Lauletta played better in the Cleveland game than he had in practice prior.

PAID POSTWhat Is This?

Shurmur and Lions coach Matt Patricia each interviewed this past winter for the job the other has now. In a not-so-impossible alternate universe, Patricia could have been the one leaving New England's defensive coordinator post to succeed Ben McAdoo with the Giants, while Shurmur could have been making a homecoming from his Minnesota offensive coordinator job to take over for Jim Caldwell in the Motor City. Instead, Shurmur will be on the visitors' sidelines Friday wearing the royal blue, while Patricia will be in light blue on the home side with that ever-present pencil behind his ear. Their concurrent careers in both organizations will be fascinating to follow, starting with their first head-to-head as head coaches on Friday night.



The Giants have no clear solution in their secondary due to injuries, inconsistent play and lack of depth. Strong safety Landon Collins and shutdown corner Janoris Jenkins are studs, but outside corner Eli Apple needs to assert himself, Curtis Riley needs to grab ahold of the free safety spot that the Giants seem to want him to win, and either Donte Deayon needs to get healthy or someone has to step up and become a reliable slot corner. Not to mention the Giants can't afford any injuries to D-backs, either, given a lack of depth. Veteran journeyman B.W. Webb is their best bet, and it would be nice to see undrafted rookie Grant Haley step forward to grab ahold of a key role, too. Haley could be that man in the slot, for example, but he needs to start making more plays, and fast.




Outside of Saquon Barkley's dazzling 39-yard run on the first play against Cleveland last week, Barkley and Jonathan Stewart combined for just seven rushing yards on six combined carries behind the Giants' rebuilt first-team offensive line. The front five need to get a better push and control the line of scrimmage to protect an immobile Eli Manning and keep defenses on their heels. Even though Barkley isn't expected to play, the line still needs to make gains with Stewart and Wayne Gallman as the next men up, and maybe even the hard-running Jalen Simmons' and Robert Martin will get stronger looks.

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Victor Cruz officially retires, joins ESPN as NFL analyst

ByDAN SCHNEIER 30 minutes ago

3528486.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs(Photo: The Star-Ledger, USA TODAY Sports)

Victor Cruz has officially hung up his cleats and played his last snap as an NFL wide receiver. The former undrafted free agent turned New York Giants star receiver was hoping to give it one more shot this year in training camp, but as Week 3 of the preseason approaches, Cruz has made the final decision to move on to another venture.

“The game of football has just given me so much,” Cruz said via Uninterrupted. “My journey hasn’t been the easiest; it’s definitely had some ups and downs, and some rough patches.

“This last chapter of my life was a great one. To win a Super Bowl, to play in a Pro Bowl and to have my daughter born throughout all of this as well.”

Cruz will now start a new journey with ESPN as a football analyst.

"As I officially close one chapter of my life and begin another, I could not be more thrilled to join another championship team at ESPN," said Cruz. "I'm excited to get started and share my insight and analysis with the viewers and fans of the NFL."

You can watch Cruz's entire speech here.

There are a number of plays that will always be remembered by Giants fans when it comes to Cruz's career with the franchise, but his 99-yard touchdown reception against the New York Jets on Christmas Eve in 2011 not only tied an NFL record but it also ignited the team's second Super Bowl run under quarterback Eli Manning. Cruz's long touchdown catch and run shifted the momentum of the game just before halftime, as Manning would later credit him for when reminiscing on that victory. If Cruz doesn't make this play, the Giants likely do not win this game. If the Giants lose this game, they most likely miss the playoffs and never have a chance to battle their way back to meeting and defeating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl for the second time.


Cruz finished the 2011 season for the Giants with 82 receptions for 1,536 receiving yards and nine touchdowns as one of the NFL's most dominant wide receivers that year. It was also his most dominant season with the Giants franchise.

Cruz finished his career with 4,549 receiving yards, 25 touchdowns, and averaged 15 yards per reception as one of the most explosive (predominantly) slot wide receivers in the modern era of NFL football.

The Giants have a franchise saying that goes, 'Once a Giant, always a Giant' and we fully expected Cruz to sign a one-day contract with the team so he can retire a member of the franchise. Cruz will always be remembered in Giants lore and he is an inspiration to undrafted free agents everywhere who are trying to make something of themselves in the NFL.

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Saquon Barkley's extended injury absence is a concern, says Eli Manning, because rookie is 'missing some valuable time'
AUG 21, 2018 | 7:00 PM

Head coach Pat Shurmur said of Barkley: “We like the path he’s on.” But really the priority is having both Beckham and Barkley ready for Week 1 of the regular season Sept. 9 against Jacksonville, so it wouldn’t be shocking if both skill players sat out until then.

Shurmur reiterated that the Giants will “try to be smart with” Beckham coming off last season’s injury, but Beckham is completely healthy, so the coach appears also to be trying to do right by Beckham’s desire not to risk too much this offseason without a new contract.

It’s almost as if they have an unspoken agreement: if Beckham gives Shurmur his all in practice — including in last week’s joint practices against the Lions in Allen Park, Mich. — then Shurmur will take care of resting him for games.

The coach knows how important Beckham is to his team’s chances of winning this season.

Both Shurmur and Beckham have been mum on that agreement other than saying they have a plan, but on Tuesday Beckham did seem to get a little too risky on one rep, making a leaping catch of a fade against Eli Apple and landing hard on both feet before falling back to the ground.

Beckham bounced back up good as new, but the next time the Giants’ first-team offense lined up, Hunter Sharp had taken Beckham’s place, which is really the “smart” thing to do.



Shurmur, in discussion of Manning and Beckham perfecting their crafts in different ways, said the QB and receiver are “not from the same generation,” adding: “They give me grief because I talk about (Eli’s) age. It’s real. Unless they faked his birth certificate, I think he’s 37.” And that set the table for a Manning standup routine later Tuesday.

Manning said of how he tries to relate to younger teammates with different tastes: “I do a lot of dancing.”

“They give me grief because I talk about (Eli’s) age. It’s real. Unless they faked his birth certificate, I think he’s 37.”

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“There’s a lot of dancing going on, a lot of dancing, which I find very curious,” Manning added hilariously. “The music, I miss out on some of the music and social media, some of the things they’re on. For the most part, I can figure it out.”

He also said his trademark joke of changing the languages on people’s phones isn’t as easy to pull off against them.

“You know, they all have pretty good, secure passwords,” Manning said. “Odell’s (Beckham’s) isn’t ‘1313’ anymore, so they’re starting to change their passwords on me a little bit. I have to regroup and find a new system.”

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Evan Engram goes down with concussion after Giants TE gets sandwiched by two Jets linebackers
AUG 25, 2018 | 1:20 AM

The Giants lost another top offensive weapon to injury Friday night when tight end Evan Engram went down with a concussion.

Engram went to the locker room with 5:10 remaining in the second quarter after being sandwiched by Jets linebackers Avery Williamson and Darron Lee. Engram had nowhere to go to avoid the double hit after catching an Eli Manning pass in a tight window.

Engram was shaken up and down on the field for a time before walking off under his own power. Williamson’s hit appeared to catch Engram up high.

Giants already were resting top running back Saquon Barkley (left hamstring strain), who only returned to limited practice on Wednesday. And Odell Beckham Jr., while he looks fully healthy, sat out a third straight preseason game and of course is coming off last year’s season-ending left ankle surgery.
Tight end Rhett Ellison also had his night ended early with an eye injury but told the Daily News afterwards that he just got poked in the eye and was fine.
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