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Giants’ Manning reportedly won’t waive no-trade clause

Zach Links, Pro Football Rumors
12 hrs ago

Eli Manning might not be happy about being benched for Daniel Jones, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll ask for a trade. The Giants quarterback has no immediate plans to waive his no-trade clause and facilitate a deal, sources close to the QB tell SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano.

 

There are plenty of reasons for Eli to stay – New York has been his home for 16 years, he has a small family with four kids, and it’s also unlikely that another team would be willing to take on his contract. Many of Manning’s struggles could be blamed on the Giants’ lack of talent and never-ending string of injuries in recent years, but it’s clear that the veteran is a shell of the player he once was.

Considering Manning's $23.2 million salary this year and his poor showing in the first two games of the season, there’s no obvious fit for him anywhere in the league. Of course, if Manning finds himself itching to play, and a QB-needy team is willing to try to turn back the clock, things could change between now and the NFL's Oct. 29 trade deadline.

The Giants would probably like to see Manning retire a Giant and continue to mentor Jones in the interim. Still, it’d be hard for them to say no if Manning asked for a trade.

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New York Giants: Eli Manning deserved better than team's benching

Mike Jones, USA TODAY
17 hrs ago

Eli Manning deserved better than this.

So what if his skills have started to decline? So what that he will receive $17 million to make two starts this season and now will become the backup to rookie Daniel Jones with the New York Giants off to an 0-2 start?

When you’ve carried a franchise to two Super Bowl victories, you deserve to go out in better style. You deserve to avoid the dizzying ways of indecision that have engulfed the Giants franchise over the course of the last two-plus years.

The Giants should have put the quarterback out of his misery long before Tuesday morning, when coach Pat Shurmur informed Manning the team is turning to Jones – the Duke product drafted New York drafted sixth overall in April with intentions of grooming him for the future.

 

As the second-year head coach told reporters, “Eli was obviously disappointed, as you would expect, but he said he would be what he has always been, a good teammate, and continue to prepare to help this team win games.”

Of course he would be disappointed to be stuck with all this.

In the last calendar year, his bosses have expressed a commitment to him and to winning. Yet their actions have suggested otherwise. Just months after giving wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. a long-term contract last August, they shipped the three-time Pro Bowler while failing to replace him with a comparable top weapon. The Giants also opted against re-signing one of their top defensive players (safety Landon Collins). They made efforts to reconfigure their offensive line, yet it remains as ineffective as ever.

The Giants have clearly been in rebuilding mode, yet they haven’t wanted to acknowledge it. They’ve wanted to keep Manning in their jersey for the entirety of his career, yet they’ve failed to adequately support him or make it worth it for him to stick around.

Now, with an 0-2 record and the squad plagued by ineffective play on multiple fronts, they’re making Eli the fall guy and hoping that Jones can give them a spark.

Spoiler alert: This move will not save the Giants’ season. Outside of running back Saquon Barkley, there’s very little to work with on this roster.

Jones may have a little more zip on his passes, and he might be a little more fleet of foot. But he is going to be just as swarmed and overwhelmed by pass rushers as Manning was, just as frustrated by the dropped passes of his wide receivers and just as betrayed by a defense that ranks among the worst in the league in both yards and points allowed.

At best, Jones gains some experience playing at an NFL pace and gets a head start on next year, when hopefully, for his sake, the Giants have better stocked this roster with legitimate talent.

At worst, Jones either gets hurt or looks awful, develops bad habits and has his confidence shot entering Year 2. Hey, at least he’ll have the good solider Eli with whom he can commiserate.

 

But for Manning, it should’ve never come to this. He shouldn’t even be here. When the Giants decided to hit the reset button and part with what little upper-echelon talent they had, they should have said goodbye to Manning as well.

In truth, they probably should have made that move in the 2018 offseason.

Somewhere, Ben McAdoo is shaking his head and chuckling.

He was right, was he not? That’s essentially what the Giants have conceded now that they have officially ended the Manning era. But when McAdoo tried to position the franchise to plan for the future by benching Manning late in the 2017 season, he wound up losing his job the very next week.

 

Giants co-owner John Mara wanted to remain loyal to Manning. He made changes to their front office and coaching staff while sticking with his quarterback. But he hired a general manager in Dave Gettleman who possessed the vision of stripping this roster down and building it back up again with young, affordable talent.

And so, while that restoration project got underway, Manning remained and continued to toil away as the same undesirable conditions he had endured in recent years only worsened.

If Mara really wanted to properly support Manning, he should have ordered moves that would have dramatically upgraded this roster on both sides of the ball. He shouldn’t have allowed the Giants’ roster to deteriorate to the point that it had in the first place. You don’t see the Patriots or the Saints letting Tom Brady’s or Drew Brees’ supporting cast reach such levels of incompetency.

But the Giants’ roster did reach that point. It was indeed a mess and in need of an overhaul.

It’s OK to admit that it’s time for a change. It’s OK to say, “Thanks, but this is the end. It’s not you, it’s me.”

That’s what the Giants should have done for Manning: Given him his freedom so he could sign with a contender-level team that simply lacked a competent quarterback.

But nostalgia can cloud judgement.

Now, the Giants’ restoration project is delayed by a year or two. Manning has already wasted the 2018 season in Giants colors, and he'll waste another as he watches from the sidelines for the next 15 weeks.

 

By season’s end, he’ll be days away from his 39th birthday with his free agency prospects — and possibly his desire to start over again — diminished further than they would have been the last two years.

 

Meanwhile, the Giants will try once again to get it right. But based on the indecision that has plagued them for years now, it’s anyone’s guess how that attempt to get this thing back on track will go.

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Jabrill Peppers and the Giants’ defense steal the show in Daniel Jones’ MetLife debut

New York Daily News |
Sep 29, 2019 | 4:06 PM

Daniel Jones’ stoic calm is the face of the Giants’ turnaround. Jabrill Peppers’ swagger is its new edgy heartbeat.

Peppers saved his signature Giant performance for the day that the man he replaced, Washington’s Landon Collins, was at MetLife Stadium to see it in person.

Peppers, wearing Collins’ old No. 21 jersey, then sought out Collins after a 24-3 Giants win in Jones’ home debut and trash-talked so fiercely that the players had to be separated.

And Collins, a former Giants All-Pro, thought it was uncalled for as the Giants (2-2) won their second straight since Eli Manning’s benching to create separation from winless Washington (0-4) in the NFC East.

Essentially, Collins thought Peppers acted like he hadn’t been there before after not making many plays in the first three weeks of the Giants’ season.

“I was happy for the dude, and he was hyped and he had a good game, but for him to come start messing with me, that wasn’t the point,” Collins told the Daily News in the visitors’ locker room. “You don’t need to do that. What’s the point of saying it? You know I’m not the type of guy to do that. I back it up, though.”

Peppers played down the dust-up, saying: “It’s all love, man. That’s just football, man. I respect those guys. I respect his career. But this is football. It’s all love.”

Collins’ version was different. He said Peppers said “a bunch of stuff I can’t say.”

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Jabrill Peppers made easy work of Washington. (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Regardless, Peppers was out to make a statement and did it in Sunday’s third quarter with a game-sealing, 32-yard interception return for a touchdown of a pass thrown by Dwayne Haskins in the Washington rookie QB’s debut. The errant throw was forced by pressure from D-lineman Dalvin Tomlinson. Peppers also batted a pass down in the end zone on a goal-line stand.

Coordinator James Bettcher’s maligned defense ruled the day with four total interceptions, including three influenced by veteran corner Janoris Jenkins in a bounce back effort.

Jenkins intercepted Haskins twice in the second half, after tipping a Case Keenum pass on Washington’s first drive to Ryan Connelly for the rookie linebacker’s second pick in two games.

Washington benched Keenum in the second quarter after he missed receiver Trey Quinn deep on two plays where Quinn had got past corner Grant Haley. Haskins also missed an open Vernon Davis for a TD.

Still, the Giants held an opponent to three points for the first time in almost seven years (Oct. 14, 2012, at San Francisco) and for the first time at home in almost nine years (Oct. 3, 2010).

Peppers was required to take a random drug test after the game.

“This was a great game for me to come out here and maybe change the narrative a little bit, both for me as a person and us as a whole defense,” said Peppers, who is out not only to replace Collins but to validate his inclusion in Cleveland’s Odell Beckham trade.

Jones, meanwhile, was far from perfect, throwing two interceptions to Washington corner Quinton Dunbar on back-to-back pass attempts to Sterling Shepard in the second quarter.

He was never going to match his historic Week 3 debut start in Tampa, when he became the first rookie ever to throw for at least 300 yards, pass for two TDs and run for two more.

However, the Giants’ sixth overall pick showed plenty signs of how much further he is along than Washington’s 15th overall selection, Haskins.

Jones opened up a 14-0 Giants lead with 32-yard and 94-yard scoring drives capped by two Wayne Gallman touchdowns, who filled in admirably for the injured Saquon Barkley.

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Daniel Jones improves to 2-0 as the Giants starter. (Adam Hunger/AP)

Jones rebounded from his two picks to lead a 63-yard drive before half to set up an Aldrick Rosas field goal. And in the third quarter he had the offense knocking on Washington’s door at the 5-yard line before rookie running back Jon Hilliman fumbled.

That’s when Peppers lifted Big Blue to sure victory, jumping a Haskins pass intended for tight end Jeremy Sprinkle and making a house call for six points.

“We got bogged down with those turnovers, and we were kind of grinding it out there for a while, so that (interception return) was a big boost for us,” head coach Pat Shurmur said.

“(Jabrill) is a playmaker,” Jenkins said. “It’s just all about getting the ball in our hands, and when he’s got it in his hands, you see what he can do.”

Keeping perspective, Shurmur pointed out that “a team that’s got more firepower” than Washington had Sunday would have turned second half fumbles by Hilliman and Gallman into “two scores.”

Washington was missing five offensive starters: top receiver Terry McLaurin, tight end Jordan Reed, running back Derrius Guice, center Chase Roullier and guard Brandon Scherff.

The Giant defense’s big day also came at a price: Connelly was on crutches after suffering a non-contact injury to his right knee in the fourth quarter and may be out long-term.

The bottom line, though, even with the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots on deck, is that the Giants are 2-0 behind Jones and have a .500 record or better after four weeks for the first time since 2016 under Ben McAdoo.

The hope Jones has created in East Rutherford stands in stark contrast to Washington’s fortunes.

Coach Jay Gruden, who had NFL-high 3-to-1 odds of being fired in August, is officially on the hot seat after his winless team was whistled for 12 accepted penalties.

Shurmur, on the other hand, had the NFL’s second-highest preseason odds to be fired at 5-to-1 and has surged toward respectability with a team led by a couple of intriguing contrasts.

At quarterback he has Jones, who entered the stadium Sunday dressed plainly in a button down and khakis, looking like a Duke fraternity brother working on Wall Street.

And on defense he has Peppers, who departed in a stylish maroon suit, black sunglasses and black loafers, strutting like a Hollywood star who’d just stepped off the set of HBO’s “Ballers.”

“I’m always going to come out there and play like my hair is on fire,” Peppers said.

There’s a thing about fire, too: it spreads.

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Giants activate WR Golden Tate from suspended list, cut Bennie Fowler

By Charles McDonald
New York Daily News |
Oct 01, 2019 | 2:38 PM

The Giants activated wide receiver Golden Tate from their suspended list to their active roster on Tuesday. To make room for Tate on the roster WR Bennie Fowler was released.

Tate will make his first regular season appearance for the Giants on Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the Minnesota Vikings after missing the first four games of the season due to a violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Tate was banned for taking a prescribed fertility treatment that was on the NFL’s list of prohibited substances.

Prior to joining the Giants on a four-year deal in the offseason to offset the loss of Odell Beckham Jr., via trade to the Browns, Tate racked up 7,214 career receiving yards in nine seasons as a member of the Seahawks, Lions and Eagles. His best season came in 2014 when he earned his lone Pro Bowl honors after a 99 catch, 1,331 yard season with the Lions.

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Golden Tate is back in the mix for the Giants after 4-game PED ban. (Frank Franklin II / AP)

During his suspension, Tate was working out at his home in San Diego, waiting for the opportunity to get back onto the field.

“No, there was no vacation.” Tate said in his press conference on Monday. “We live in San Diego, that’s where our home base is for me. I have trainers, massage therapists, and rehab people there. I just went back home and worked my tail off, tried to stay ready and get better and hang with the family.”

Tate will join Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram as the Giants’ third receiving option. His addition couldn’t come at a better time with the Giants starting to find an offensive identity behind rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Tate said that he’s been pleased with Jones’ hot start to the season.

“I wouldn’t say I was surprised, I’m delighted, I’m liking what I’m seeing for sure.” Tate said. “He’s been handling the moment very well and hopefully he continues to improve each day and each game.”

Tate had four catches for 53 yards during the preseason. The Giants also released wide receiver TJ Jones and signed linebacker Josiah Tauaefa off of their practice squad.

Fowler, who started two games for Big Blue this season and had 12 catches for 99 yards, was targeted just five times since Jones took control of the offense with just two grabs for 8 yards.

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Daniel Jones throws 3 interceptions as Patriots defense smothers Giants

New York Daily News |
Oct 10, 2019 | 11:40 PM

FOXBOROUGH — For a moment, he was Danny Dimes. But for most of Thursday night, the Patriots made Daniel Jones look more like Danny Dime a Dozen.

Bill Belichick’s defense smothered the Giants’ rookie quarterback for three interceptions and two other throws that should have been picked in a 35-14 Giant loss at Gillette Stadium.

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James Bettcher’s defense stood tall and kept the Giants (2-4) within one score deep into the fourth quarter, but Pat Shurmur’s team wasn’t satisfied to have given the undefeated reigning Super Bowl champion Patriots (6-0) a run.

The feeling in the visitors’ locker room was that the turnovers had cost the Giants a chance to win. And that sentiment started with Jones.

“I didn’t play well by any means,” Jones said. “I don’t think it was overwhelming. I just think it was bad plays, bad decisions.”

Jones had the excuse of playing without weapons Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and Wayne Gallman on offense. Their injuries were part of the reason that the Giants were the largest Vegas underdogs in franchise history at 17 points.

A blocked punt returned for an early Patriots TD was a key turnover. And rookie running back Jon Hilliman’s fourth quarter fumble — returned for a touchdown by Kyle Van Noy to put the Patriots up two scores — was the turnover that iced Big Blue’s second straight defeat.

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New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy dives over New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones to score a touchdown after returning a fumble he recovered in the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) (Elise Amendola/AP)

But the Giants playmakers’ absences had nothing to do with Jones’ three interceptions. He put the ball up for grabs too often.

He nearly threw pick on the first drive. He was intercepted by Duron Harmon on the second drive, throwing high and beyond Golden Tate with Stephon Gilmore batting the ball into the air.

He was nearly picked on the third drive. He was intercepted by John Simon on an ill-advised throwaway attempt on the sixth drive.

And then Jones’ third interception, on the first possession of the second half, was a killer. He had driven the offense 48 yards to the New England 30-yard line and failed to recognize the coverage and threw the ball right at Gilmore.

“I think each of them are different issues,” Jones said of the interceptions. “The first one was late and (I) forced it. The second one I just kind of held onto the ball too long and should have tried to throw it away earlier. And the third one was just a bad decision. Just a bad read.”

Jones finished with his worst stat line yet: 15-of-31 passing for 161 yards, a TD, three INTs and a 35.2 quarterback rating.

Jones did demonstrate resilience on the Giants’ seventh drive, after his second INT had just given Tom Brady a short field for a 20-yard touchdown drive and a 14-0 Patriots lead.

Jones came back on the field and dropped a 64-yard dime to Golden Tate against Jonathan Jones for the touchdown with 6:05 left in the half.

It was the first touchdown pass the Patriots defense gave up all year.

“How he approached the huddle, you would have never thought he’d have thrown a pick,” Tate said of Jones. “He showed that he has short-term memory, bounced back, knew it was a long game, we were still in the game, it was early. You’ve got two choices: to feel sorry for yourself or go out there and make a play. I think he came back and made a tremendous throw and next think you know we’re down by seven.”

Then less than two minutes later, Lorenzo Carter strip-sacked Brady, Markus Golden returned the fumble 42 yards for the touchdown, and the game was 14 apiece with 4:38 to play in the first half.

“Next thing the defense comes up with a sack fumble and we’re tied up — against the almighty Patriots,” Tate said.

But the Giants would not score another point. They went 2-for-10 on third downs. And while Shurmur wasn’t in a talkative mood, his review of Jones’ decision-making was a common theme.

“We had a couple (throws) today where obviously you can’t do that,” he said, “but he’s aggressive with the ball. We’ll get that cleaned up.”

Jones insisted the Giants came in “confident” and “expecting to win.”

But center Jon Halapio said there was one reason the Giants lost: “We have to clean up the turnovers. Ball security.”

And Jones put it on his shoulders, where the blame belonged.

“We’re pushing to play better, and by no means are we panicked or at all looking or questioning ourselves,” he said. “But we know we gotta play better, and I certainly know I gotta play better.”

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Giants drop third straight as Daniel Jones’ turnover problems continue

New York Daily News |
Oct 20, 2019 | 4:14 PM
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New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones leaves the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Alarm bells are going off in East Rutherford.

Daniel Jones’ turnover problems plagued the Giants again Sunday in a rainy 27-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, with the rookie quarterback giving the ball away three times in a third straight defeat. And a shockingly poor run defense surrendered three TDs to backup back Chase Edmonds.

But head coach Pat Shurmur’s shortcomings put a cherry on top. His team wasn’t ready to play early, spotting the Cardinals a 17-0 lead and prompting boos from the home crowd. And then Shurmur’s late fourth quarter play-calling was inexplicable.

Shurmur enabled Jones to check to a draw to Saquon Barkley on 3rd-and-18 on the Giants’ own 30-yard line, trailing 24-21 with 3:11 to play. Barkley, who had reinjured his right ankle midgame, gained three yards.

“Yeah, because I wanted to keep Saquon involved,” Shurmur said of his belief a run play would work there. “It was an audible against two deep (safeties). I made the decision I was gonna go for it on fourth down, and that’s why that came out.”

“The check was based on the look from the defense,” Jones said.

The Giants’ head coach then went for it on 4th and 15, rather than punting down three, and Jones was sacked by Patrick Peterson. He fumbled away his third turnover to Haason Reddick, Zane Gonzalez kicked a field goal to stretch the lead to six, and that gave Arizona 17 points off Giant turnovers.

Shurmur stubbornly insisted he figured his defense would hold Arizona to a field goal taking over at the Giants’ 17-yard line, which is why he went for it on fourth down. But unless Shurmur can predict the future, what he actually did with those two play calls was give Kliff Kingsbury’s offense a chance to end the game outright with a touchdown.

“It was gonna play out the way I thought,” Shurmur said. “(We) stop ’em, right? Stop ’em. We’ll make em kick a field goal at the very least, then we’ll go down and score a touchdown. Plus, I want to get a chance to make it on 4th and 15. That’s why. And that’s the way it played out. We had the ball with a chance to go out and score a touchdown to win the game. That’s how it played out, and we didn’t do it.”

The Giants (2-5) got the ball back, but their offense was smothered for Jones’ third fumble (recovered by Nate Solder), a Barkley drop, and a couple more huge hits on Jones.

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Arizona Cardinals' Chandler Jones, front, recovers a fumble by New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones during the second half. (Adam Hunger/AP)

Jones in all was sacked eight times and completed 22 of 35 passes for 223 yards to go with a touchdown, an interception and two fumbles lost. And the Giants’ players were disgusted with their performance.

“It obviously just sucks. Straight up,” right guard Kevin Zeitler said of the offense. “That’s as blatant and blunt as you can be. It sucked today.”

The harsh reality was that Dave Gettleman’s Giants, from his No. 6 overall pick on down, were outplayed by the 2018 bottom-feeder that picked at No. 1 in April’s NFL Draft. Kingsbury and QB Kyler Murray, both rookies, prevailed, committing no turnovers against the Shurmur-Jones Giants regime.

Murray, the top pick in the draft, didn’t light up the stat sheet (14-of-21, 104 yards; 28 yards rushing). The Giants defense contained his rushing ability. Passing wasn’t easy for either QB in the rain. And the Cardinals were terribly sloppy and undisciplined, flagged for 10 accepted penalties.

But Edmonds, a Fordham product, carried 27 times for 126 yards and three rushing TDs — all to the left side, where ex-Giant Justin Pugh was playing left guard. Two of Edmonds’ TDs had no blue Giant jerseys anywhere close to him.

And worrisomely, safety Mike Thomas said the Cardinals’ offense had hit the Giants in the mouth with a different game plan than they’d seen on tape the first six weeks.

“You know what, it’s a situation where there’s no excuses that can be made,” he said of the defense and special teams. “We’ve got to execute better earlier. We’ve got to figure out hey, OK, they’re not doing anything that they were doing, you know, maybe the first five or six weeks of the season. They’ve transitioned to this. And make those adjustments maybe a little faster. And go out there and just make plays. That’s it. Tackle. Set edges.”

Cardinals edge rusher Chandler Jones was absolutely dominant, the latest harsh reminder that Gettleman has no player like him on his roster: five tackles, four sacks, three tackles for loss, four QB hits, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Daniel Jones’ first two turnovers, however, were the rookie quarterback’s fault.

The Giants’ QB, who now has 12 turnovers to eight TDs in six game appearances, threw an interception to linebacker Jordan Hicks on the Giants’ first drive that gave the Cards a short field and a 14-0 early lead.

“Just a force. I shouldn’t have thrown it,” Daniel Jones said.

Then, in the third quarter trailing 17-14, Daniel Jones showed no awareness waiting too long for a screen to develop as Chandler Jones swiped a fumble out. It was the kind of head-scratching mistake, frankly, that got Eli Manning benched in Week 3. Murray and the Cardinals punched another TD in for a 24-14 lead.

“(I should) probably try not to hold it that long. I think you need to throw it in the ground and go on to the next play,” the Duke product lamented. “I’ve got to do a better job getting rid of the ball, getting through my reads, and getting the ball out … Taking care of the ball is a big thing and has been. To not do that today is disappointing.”

In the Giants’ three-game losing streak, Jones has three touchdowns and seven turnovers.

Others cost the Giants dearly, too.

Golden Tate short-armed a pass in traffic over the middle early, a lack of effort that upset the crowd. Aldrick Rosas missed a 37-yard field goal in the third quarter. Evan Engram, back from injury, had a huge drop of a deep pass on the final drive before halftime, costing the Giants points.

The Giants had come back from the early 17-0 deficit in the second quarter with a 28-yard Daniel Jones touchdown pass to Rhett Ellison. Then Michael Thomas blocked a Cardinals punt in the end zone that fullback Eli Penny recovered for a touchdown to make it 17-14.

It almost marked the third straight week the Cardinals had coughed up a lead of 14 points or more.

But the Giants failed to score going into the half as left guard Will Hernandez was flagged for a holding penalty that sprung a big Barkley run, and Engram’s drop devastated the drive.

“You can’t spot a team (17) points,” middle linebacker Alec Ogletree said. “You try to win games like that, you can’t live like that. You’ve got to come out and play well from the start of the game to the end. I think we came out real slow early. We kind of picked it up. But you can’t spot a team (17) points and live in that world.”

Where the Giants are living is the basement of the NFC. Unfortunately, it is a dark place they know well.

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Giants can’t be sellers at NFL trade deadline for self-preservation’s sake

New York Daily News |
Oct 25, 2019 | 7:00 AM

If the Giants lose a fourth straight game to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, they will look like a team primed to sell mode approaching Tuesday’s 4 p.m. NFL trade deadline.

There is enormous incentive for GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur to be buyers instead of sellers, though.

The incentive? Self-preservation. Their jobs.

Think about it from Gettleman’s and Shurmur’s perspectives:

If they sell contributing veterans off an already subpar roster in exchange for mid-to-late-round draft picks, it would not only concede this season but potentially send it off a cliff toward another 3-13 or 5-11-type record.

Granted, this season might be moving in that direction already at 2-5, but this regime is already a year behind where it’s supposed to be in turning the Giants back into a contender. It can’t continue to regress.

The NFC East is wide open, begging for a team to come and grab the division title. The Giants should be contending for it, and they might have if they had undergone a rebuild in 2018 with an eye on competing this fall.

The Cowboys (4-3), while in first, lost three straight between Weeks 4 and 6. The Eagles (3-4) are reeling and beatable. Washington (1-6) has no offense. Yet the Giants aren’t even beginning to contend.

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For the sake of their jobs, GM Dave Gettleman (l.) and head coach Pat Shurmur (r.) can't afford to put less talent around rookie Daniel Jones the rest of the way. (Julio Cortez/AP)

If, two years after the 3-13 catastrophe of 2017, co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch review the 2019 season and see just as non-competitive and unpromising a roster, all bets are off.

This is why Shurmur, while reluctant to use the term “buyers,” said Thursday that the Giants are “always looking to upgrade” when asked to characterize their trade deadline approach.

He needs to win, and in order to win, his Giants need more talent; not less. See this week’s signing of Deone Bucannon to upgrade at linebacker as Exhibit A.

“I think we’re always looking. I don’t know (about) the buying or selling thing,” the coach said. “I think you’re always looking to upgrade. I think that’s where we’re at roster-wise.

“It’s a matter of record,” he continued. “We’ve made major changes to the roster in the last two years. I mean, it’s just the way it is. We’ve made major changes. We’re very young, got a lot of young players playing. It’s just the reality of it. So I wouldn’t say buyer or seller. We’re just always looking to upgrade.”

The Giants aren’t just young, obviously. Veterans have played prominent roles over the last two seasons, too.

Ownership has had a hand in this regime’s lack of progress, obviously, beginning with the hiring of Gettleman. The decision to try to win now in 2018 by building around Eli Manning for one last ride was a catastrophic mistake.

Gettleman has tried to revise history by claiming this was a long-term rebuild all along, but the reality is he believed he was going to turn the Giants into a winner with Manning immediately while also building for the future.

Half-committing to two directions left the Giants fully committed to neither. That’s what happens when you see a fork in the road and commit to neither route: you go nowhere.

Saquon Barkley is a great player, but his talent hasn’t made a difference in this team’s results.

Waiting an extra year to draft a quarterback left the Giants’ offense floundering under Manning last year and now sputtering as Jones learns this season.

Getting rid of talented players in Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins and Olivier Vernon has left the Giants — wait for it — less talented.

Gettleman and Shurmur need talent to win more games. They don’t need draft picks to hand off to the next GM and head coach.

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Giants call players-only meeting after squandering Daniel Jones’ 4-TD performance and suffering fourth straight loss

New York Daily News |
Oct 27, 2019 | 4:12 PM

DETROIT — The Giants’ leaders have called a players-only meeting for Monday in New Jersey to stop their season from crumbling as their future franchise quarterback blossoms.

For while Daniel Jones became the first rookie Giants QB ever to throw four touchdown passes in a road game, the operative word in Sunday’s postgame locker room was the F-bomb.

A fourth straight loss, 31-26 to the Detroit Lions, had coach Pat Shurmur snapping at the lack of execution blocking a first quarter blitz that led to a Jones fumble and Lions defensive touchdown.

“It wasn’t his fault he got f---in’ hit,” Shurmur said. “Excuse me. It wasn’t his fault. Excuse me — I apologize. That was really unprofessional of me.”

Strong safety Jabrill Peppers said the coaches aren’t the problem for the Giants (2-6). It’s the players. And on Monday, they intend to fix this and clear the air. Everything is on the table.

“We need to hold everybody accountable, from a man to a man,” a charged-up Peppers said. “We have great game plans week in and week out, we’ve just got to execute them, myself included. We’re tired of this feeling. We’re better than what we’re putting on tape. We’re better than the results.”

Saquon Barkley then revealed he was at fault for not picking up blitzing linebacker Jarrad Davis, and he took responsibility for not falling on Jones’ backwards pass that ex-Giant Devon Kennard returned for a touchdown.

In doing so, Barkley set a strong example for the kind of accountability the Giants’ players seem to be hoping for out of Monday’s closed-door session.

 

“There’s no excuse. That’s not who I am,” Barkley said of that play. “That’s not the type of player I am. That’s not the reason why I’m a captain. I’ve got to have better effort on that play … I lacked effort there in my opinion. I’ve got to be better for my team.”

Meetings like this can turn around a season, and even if they don’t, sometimes they can root out if someone isn’t fully on board.

It will be worth monitoring if veteran corner Janoris Jenkins, who is being shopped approaching Tuesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline, will need to (or intend to) show to Monday’s meeting.

“Tuesday’s my birthday,” Jenkins told The Athletic of the trade deadline uncertainty. “I don’t give a f--- what they do. I’ll just come and play football like I do every week. So whatever happens, happens.”

Peppers said the Giants’ players will cut no breaks for rookies in their meeting due to experience, and they’ll treat veterans the same way coming off this downer to the Lions (3-3-1).

“No slack gets cut. What is it our eighth game?” he said. “You’re not a rookie no more. After the preseason you’re not a rookie no more. We’ll take mistakes if you play hard and things like that, but we’re not cutting no slack to anybody, from the oldest guy on the team to the youngest guy on the team. If you’re out there, you’re expected to do the job at a high level and you do that job. There’s a lot of people out there depending on you to do that job.”

One trend the Giants are desperate to end is their horrible habit of falling behind big early.

In their four-game losing streak, they’ve fallen behind 10-0 to the Vikings, 14-0 to the Patriots, 17-0 to the Cardinals, and 14-0 to the Lions.

“It’s been three weeks of the same thing, you know?” said Peppers, who forced a late Lions fumble the offense couldn’t cash in. “Not coming out as hot as we can. Not making enough plays. Not executing enough. And then we find ourselves in crunch time, where now we gotta claw and fight back instead of putting pressure on the other team. That changes the whole dynamic of the game, man.”

The upside is that Jones, 22, the No. 6 overall pick in April’s draft, looked every bit like a franchise quarterback on Sunday. He completed 28-of-41 passes for 322 yards, four TD passes, the fumble, and a 124.2 QB rating.

52EYHAGQ2ZGIZHI34645O4WAYI.jpg
Lions middle linebacker Jarrad Davis sacks Giants quarterback Daniel Jones during the first half. (Paul Sancya/AP)

No Giants rookie QB had even thrown three road touchdown passes in a game since Phil Simms in 1979. Jones had thrown four total touchdowns in the Giants’ previous four games combined. He hit Darius Slayton twice, and Evan Engram and Barkley for scores Sunday.

“I don’t think anyone here has any doubt Daniel is this team’s QB of the future,” right guard Kevin Zeitler said.

The offense turned the ball over on downs twice late inside the Detroit 40 and 20-yard lines, but even then, Jones was moving the ball using leading receivers Golden Tate (eight catches, 85 yards) and Barkley (eight catches, 79 yards, TD).

I mean, I think we’ve known we can move the ball on people,” Jones said. “We’ve known we can score points.”

Mistakes are killing the Giants, however, especially early mistakes.

On Sunday it was Jones’ fumble. It was a blown coverage that looked to be the fault of rookie corner DeAndre Baker on a Matt Stafford 49-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Hall. It was Aldrick Rosas’ missed extra point after Slayton’s touchdown.

Stafford finished with 342 passing yards and three TDs, including two to Kenny Golladay, who racked up 123 yards.

Encouragingly, Jones joined Barkley, Peppers and plenty others as team leader showing accountability postgame.

“I think we didn’t do enough to win. I didn’t do enough to help us win,” Jones said.

“Everyone’s upset. Everyone’s frustrated, sick to their stomach,” Barkley added.

It is not lost on the Giants that their next game is on Monday Night Football, either, hosting the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys (4-3). So it’s now or never to get this right.

It wasn’t clear exactly who specifically called Monday’s players-only meeting. Defensive captain Alec Ogletree claimed all 53 players did. Fine. The reason?

“We’ve lost how many in a row?” Barkley said. “Something needs to be addressed.”

“I hate losing more than I like winning,” Peppers said. “We’re gonna get this thing figured out, because we’ve got a big test coming up on a big stage next week. And we’re gonna be ready to play.”

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Odell Beckham's Comments After Browns-Patriots Prove Exactly Why Giants Traded Him

Braulio Perez
3 hrs ago

When the New York Giants shockingly decided to send their best player in Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland, the organization was looked at with disgust. How could they let OBJ leave town? What a bunch of clowns!

Eight weeks into the new season, the tone has 100% changed. Things have been anything but smooth for Beckham Jr. and the Browns, as they're now 2-5 following a disheartening loss to the Patriots on Sunday.

To make matters worse, OBJ's comments after the defeat were flat out uncalled for. You think Freddie Kitchens is going to like seeing this?

 

Death, taxes, OBJ questioning his team's game plan, "only controlling what he can control" like that third-down dropped pass.
The #Giants were holding him back though, right? 1f60f.png
34 of 61 targets, 488 yds, 1 TD in 7 games.
Julio Jones just put up 100+ w/ the corpse of Matt Schaub.

 

Beckham ending his comment by saying, "You can only control what you can control" is totally absurd. He's making it sound like he did everything he could do for the team to win, but the rest of the guys didn't get the job done.

For him to say he pretty much caught everything that came his way...dude, seriously? Is the man so selfish he needs to defend his performance in such a lopsided loss?

Unfortunately for Beckham Jr. and the Browns, No. 13 continues to make more noise when the ball is not in his hands. He and Jarvis Landry have combined for one touchdown this year. What a disaster.

Maybe the Giants weren't so dumb to get rid of him. Sure, they're also struggling and aren't fielding much of a competitive team, but at least they're year-long headache of dealing with Beckham Jr. is now Cleveland's issue.

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Giants’ soft late-season schedule offers chance to show they’re making progress
New York Daily News |
Nov 05, 2019 | 7:44 AM

The Giants’ schedule softens now after Monday night’s 37-18 loss to the first-place Dallas Cowboys, and that brings both optimism and pressure for Pat Shurmur’s team to perform.

Next Sunday’s clash with the despicable Jets (1-7), for example, sets up seemingly as the perfect Big Blue remedy to restore some good feeling heading into a Week 11 bye.

However, losing to the Jets or even sleepwalking through an ugly win would make the bad taste in the Giants’ mouths even worse.

Four of their final seven opponents are in last place in their division or tied for last by record: the Jets (1-7), Bears (3-5), Dolphins (1-7) and Washington (1-8).

 

The seven opponents’ combined record (23-27, 38.3 win %) is considerably worse than the teams the Giants have faced through their first nine games (39-35-2, 51.3 win %).

So the Giants (2-7) will have a chance to string together some wins, but just like Monday night’s second test against Dallas (5-3), the opportunity will mean nothing if they don’t take advantage.

JTK46NP7LZGCPDRSNG4NW4A4VM.jpg
Daniel Jones (8) waits for a play from head coach Pat Shurmur, middle, and offensive coordinator Mike Shula. (Paul Sancya/AP)

“Everything we want is still out there,” Saquon Barkley said Friday. “Our goal and every team’s goal is to go to the playoffs and compete for a Super Bowl. Is that still out there for us? Yes, it is, and even though everyone wants to say what they want to say about our team, we understand everything that we want is still there.

“We’re not focused (Monday) to have this game, win, and then go compete for the NFC East,” he added. “You can’t go compete for the NFC East if you don’t just focus on tomorrow, and that’s another day to practice, get better, and prepare yourself for Sunday.”

Here is a look at the second-half schedule that sets up favorably for the Giants to hopefully build a better feeling entering 2020, having finished 5-11 last season and started this fall at 2-7. All are 1 p.m. Sunday starts except Week 14 Monday Night Football in Philly.

Week 10: at Jets (1-7)

The Jets are such a hot mess that the Giants are actually favored by one-and-half-points in this game, despite being losing their fifth straight Monday night to the Cowboys. Everyone in New York has been looking forward to Daniel Jones vs. Sam Darnold, Volume One — and now to Leonard Williams’ revenge — but the Jets are so pathetic after losing to the tanking Miami Dolphins that it’s hard to muster the same enthusiasm.

The Giants can’t lose this game, though. The only thing going for them from a public relations standpoint is that the Jets are a bigger mess. Laying an egg here could send them into the bye week on a six-game losing streak wearing a dunce cap on the back pages.

Week 11: BYE WEEK
Week 12: at Chicago Bears (3-5)

The Bears offense is truly broken with QB Mitchell Trubisky floundering, and even their once-feared defense is letting down. Chicago still has a much more talented roster on paper, but Matt Nagy’s club has lost four straight and is vulnerable. For the Giants to continue demonstrating progress, Daniel Jones and Big Blue need to keep games like this close and win a fair percentage of them.

Week 13: vs. Green Bay Packers (7-2)

Aaron Rodgers’ squad made Las Vegas a lot of money on Sunday by losing in a surprisingly one-sided upset to the host L.A. Chargers. This visit from Matt Lafleur’s Packers will be humbling for the Giants, however, if the secondary doesn’t clean up its major miscues leading to explosive plays week in and week out.

Week 14: at Philadelphia Eagles (5-4), Monday Night Football

The Eagles’ secondary is terrible. Jones should throw for three touchdown passes in each game against Philly. Carson Wentz and the division rival Eagles haven’t exactly clicked on offense, either. This is a beatable Doug Pederson team. If the Giants are in fact improving through the season’s second half, they should split their two remaining meetings with the Super Bowl LII champs from 2017.

Week 15: vs. Miami Dolphins (1-7)

Brian Flores’ team is playing hard, but the organization’s personnel decisions have the Dolphins tanking (intentionally set up to fail) to get a high draft pick and to accumulate more draft assets along the way. Ryan Fitzpatrick can sling it but also will put the ball up for grabs. Again, like facing the Jets, the Giants have a major opportunity here to get a win — but losing to Miami could be catastrophic.

Week 16: at Washington (1-8)

Rookie QB Dwayne Haskins was unprepared and overwhelmed when he replaced Case Keenum in his Week 4 debut against the Giants. By Week 16, we’ll see if Haskins is capable of exacting revenge on the Giants, who passed over him in April’s draft and picked on him in their first meeting.

Week 17: vs. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)

Jones’ progress and the Giants’ results leading up to their regular season finale will determine just how big this game is for the organization. It will be important no matter what for Shurmur’s club to demonstrate it’s headed in the right direction, which is ownership’s mandate. But if the Giants have regressed, lost more games to bottom-feeders and slipped further into irrelevance, more could be on the line here than just a win or a loss.

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Giants’ Zak DeOssie officially lands on IR amid shady circumstances

Pat Leonard
New York Daily News |
Nov 30, 2019 | 2:48 PM

The Giants officially placed long-snapper Zak DeOssie on injured reserve Saturday and signed Colin Holba off the practice squad to take his place.

DeOssie, 35, the two-time Super Bowl winner, showed up suddenly on the Thanksgiving Day injury report with knee and wrist injuries.

Reports say he has a torn meniscus in one of his knees. However, DeOssie had practiced fully on Wednesday, was not listed at all on the injury report, and coach Pat Shurmur said DeOssie did not get hurt in Wednesday’s practice.

New York Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie watches against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
New York Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie watches against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

Shurmur initially had claimed Friday that DeOssie hadn’t practiced all week and was corrected to confirm he’d practiced Wednesday.

 

 

The entire situation, which one team source said came out of “left field,” is extremely curious.

It must just be a coincidence that DeOssie suddenly has a season-ending injury at a time when the Giants are frustrated with his bad snaps affecting missed field goals and games.

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Grading Dave Gettleman’s key moves as Giants GM

Pat Leonard
New York Daily News |
Dec 03, 2019 | 6:00 AM
 
 
 

The Giants are 2-10 this season, 7-21 in the last two, and out of the playoffs for the third straight year and the seventh time in the last eight seasons.

 

It’s time to grade Gettleman’s moves in his attempt to resurrect the franchise since his hiring on Dec. 28, 2018, and to recognize how the Giants’ architect has left them worse off than when he arrived.

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman watches as his team runs drills at the NFL football team's training facility Wednesday, June 5, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman watches as his team runs drills at the NFL football team's training facility Wednesday, June 5, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

2018 NFL DRAFT: THUMBS DOWN

Gettleman held the No. 2 pick in most rounds of this draft and still isn’t seeing results. Saquon Barkley won 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year on a 5-11 team. He is an incredible talent and could be one of the best backs in the NFL for the next decade, though he has regressed in year two by making costly mistakes, including in pass protection. And it’s been tough to find running room with defenses keying on him. The future feels bright, but the present is maddening.

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Left guard Will Hernandez has been up and down and had one of his worst games against the Bears. He’s a tough and good teammate but needs to play better. Third-round edge Lorenzo Carter has mostly been a non-factor. B.J. Hill’s underperformance led Gettleman to trade for Leonard Williams this fall. Fourth-round QB Kyle Lauletta got arrested last season and is no longer on the team. Fifth-round DL RJ McIntosh barely played last year and played one snap Sunday. Third-round supplemental corner Sam Beal never played last season and just started seeing limited action this year.

ODELL BECKHAM TRADE: THUMBS DOWN

You know how Beckham lamented in the offseason that Gettleman sent him to Cleveland “to die?” There are many people around the situation who agree Gettleman’s trading him to Cleveland and not California or New England was personal, intended to humble OBJ and limit his marketability. There are also plenty of players in the Giants’ locker room who have wondered aloud this season how explosive Daniel Jones and Beckham would have been as Giants teammates. Instead, Gettleman and Pat Shurmur offloaded the super-talent in exchange for strong safety Jabrill Peppers, a mid-first round they used to draft DT Dexter Lawrence, and a third-round pick they used to draft edge Oshane Ximines. And Gettleman did all this after signing Beckham himself to a long-term extension, eating $16 million in dead money to trade him months later.

Peppers, while fiery, is not even come close to replacing Landon Collins at strong safety. Lawrence has been OK, but he does not pressure the quarterback even close enough to warrant being selected over a pass rusher. And Ximines has a long way to go.

ELI MANNING MANAGEMENT: THUMBS DOWN

Granted, ownership wanted to keep running it back with Manning, but Gettleman enabled and directed the plan to try and win immediately in 2018 with a quarterback who was no longer capable, on a team that had too many holes to realistically contend. Then Gettleman brought Manning back again this season to play two games before being benched. The organization’s and GM’s misjudgment of the quarterback situation governed their mismanagement of the entire roster and set back what they are now calling a “rebuild” by at least two years.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) watches against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) watches against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

FREE AGENCY: THUMBS DOWN

Gettleman’s best free agent signings probably were safety/special teams captain Michael Thomas and punter Riley Dixon last year and edge rusher Markus Golden this year. But the rest of the list is startling: right guard Patrick Omameh, running back Jonathan Stewart, outside linebacker Kareem Martin, free safeties Curtis Riley, Antoine Bethea and William Gay, corners B.W. Webb and Grant Haley.

 

O-LINE and PASS RUSH: THUMBS DOWN

This was Gettleman’s priority when he took the job, and he hasn’t formed a strong O-line in two years. Right guard Kevin Zeitler, acquired from Cleveland in a trade for Olivier Vernon, is one of Gettleman’s best gets. But that comes with the caveat that he depleted his defense to do it, forming one of the NFL’s least talented defenses in recent memory. The offense’s rush yards per carry average (4.4) is lower than it was last season (4.7), and they’re giving up exactly the same amount of sacks per game this season (2.9) as they did last year. The defense, meanwhile, is allowing 28.2 points per game after giving up 25.8 on average in 2018.

Gettleman passed on pass rushers Bradley Chubb, Josh Allen and Brian Burns in recent drafts and didn’t sign a big ticket rusher other than the high-energy Golden in free agency, either. The GM knows the Giants’ last two Super Bowl teams were driven by a dominant pass rush. It is a mystery why that hasn’t translated to prioritizing it. Meanwhile, on the O-line, center Jon Halapio, a Jerry Reese holdover that Gettleman favors, is a tough guy and a good teammate but hasn’t played well. And right tackle Mike Remmers is so-so. Gettleman’s decision to keep Ereck Flowers as his right tackle in 2018 and team him with Omameh also was a killer mistake.

DANIEL JONES: T.B.D.

If Gettleman keeps his job after the season, it will be because ownership feels strongly that his No. 6 overall pick is undoubtedly their future franchise QB. If Jones blossoms into a great quarterback, all of Gettleman’s shortcomings may be forgiven. All indications are they like Jones but want to see wins to back up their belief.

Opinions around the league on Jones are mixed. On the plus side, there are coaches who saw Jones as an NFL starter as early as the preseason, and plenty of the Giants’ opponents have lauded Jones’ poise, competitiveness and some of his big-time throws. On the flip side, teams have noticed Jones struggles against Cover-2 with two deep safeties, and his 21 turnovers in 11 starts have been alarming, as are his eight straight losses. If ownership decides the 20 TD-21 turnover ratio is indicative of what he’ll be his whole career, Gettleman is already cooked. The offense has failed to score 20 points in three of the last four games.

REST OF 2019 NFL DRAFT: T.B.D.

Lawrence has been so-so. He’s replacing Damon Harrison, once one of the league’s best run stoppers, so Gettleman exchanged one for the other (and had to deal OBJ to do it). The GM traded up for rookie corner DeAndre Baker, whose work ethic and ability both are a major issues. Huge whiff. The Giants tried to start Antonio Hamilton over Baker in week one but that experiment failed. Then there’s Ximines, who’s hit a wall.

Fourth-round DB Julian Love looks promising. Fifth-round receiver Darius Slayton might be Gettleman’s best draft pick, if it isn’t Jones. And sixth-round DB Corey Ballentine has struggled, while seventh-round OL George Asafo-Adjei hasn’t played due to a concussion.

DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH: WE’RE WAITING

Former Giants GM Jerry Reese signed Victor Cruz as an undrafted free agent, reshaping the fate of the franchise for the better. Raiders GM Mike Mayock this year has gotten 7.5 sacks out of rookie fourth-round edge pick Maxx Crosby. The 9-3 Buffalo Bills’ stout defense includes second-year undrafted corner Levi Wallace and 2017 fifth-round linebacker Matt Milano as every-down contributors.

Outside of Slayton, Gettleman hasn’t yet made a definitive mark unearthing players who weren’t obvious talents. His September claim of former Niners sixth-round TE Kaden Smith has promise. But his low-percentage hit rate on these moves contributes to the roster’s depletion.

THE CULTURE: SMILING WHILE LOSING

The only thing keeping this team from spiraling into all-out chaos is that most of the leadership knows what to say and what not to say to prevent drama, even if it’s concealing dissension or friction behind the scenes. The problem is that these respectful and professional leaders only are putting lipstick on a pig. Gettleman sacrificed his talent for this dynamic. So the Giants slip further into irrelevance with smiles on their faces instead of frowns.

Meanwhile, Baker and other young players have not always conducted themselves like pros. Tate served a four-game PED suspension. The volatile Peppers has had to be managed closely. Gettleman, who was known for disrespecting veteran players in Carolina, has received similar criticism from vets in New York, namely Landon Collins.

 

Just last week, two-time Super Bowl winner Zak DeOssie was put on ice on Thanksgiving Day of all days, which was a bad look. The GM also cut a vet like Bennie Fowler who was a huge positive influence on the culture and had great chemistry with Jones, to boot. This reflects shifting priorities despite the message he preaches.

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Eli Manning emerges from darkness to start for Giants

December 4, 2019 | 10:58am | Updated

 
 
 

Eli Manning stood in front of the big crowd at his locker, just like old times.

“I missed y’all,” he quipped into the tape recorders, cameras and microphones.

Manning showed his quick wit remains intact as he reemerged from the darkness Wednesday because Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones (high right ankle sprain) did not practice. It is “very likely,” coach Pat Shurmur said, Manning will start Monday against the Eagles, and it will be revealed whether his skills remained sharp during a 10-week benching.

“You’re still practicing,” Manning said. “Sometimes you’re running other people’s plays, but you’re still throwing it, hitting guys in stride and trying to throw it accurately, and doing all of the drills. Hope to get back there and be sharp.”

After starting 232 of 233 games, including 210 straight, Manning was benched in Week 3 after the Giants started 0-2. Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of his strange one-game benching that led to the firing of Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese, and Monday will be one year since Manning’s last victory (against the Redskins).

The most difficult part of the last two-plus months?

“Not playing in the games,” Manning said. “You miss being a part of the action and practicing and all that. Felt good to get out there today.”

Manning’s first challenge is to halt the Giants’ losing streak before tying the franchise record of nine straight. He has lost nine of his last 10 starts to the Eagles and hasn’t won at Lincoln Financial Field since 2013.

“Eli looks good,” Shurmur said. “He’s been ready to play all year. If in fact he does play this week, he will be ready to go. I expect him to go out and have a winning performance.”

Shurmur said Jones’ high ankle sprain, revealed by an MRI exam, is “similar but not as severe” as the injury that kept running back Saquon Barkley out for three games this season. Surgery is not expected.

It was a greater vote of confidence than his later assessment: Shurmur described Manning as “eager” and isn’t concerned about potential rust because, he said, “What are we going to do about it?”

An injury to Jones likely was the only ticket back to the field for Manning, who, as The Post reported last month, was not interested in a ceremonial start in front of the home fans in Week 17. Now, because the Giants figure to take the safe approach to Jones’ recovery to avoid long-term complications, he could have a four-game farewell tour.

“He’s watching a lot of things with me,” Jones said, “and trying to take me through a lot of different things.”image.gif.e4c1f56e8f11f9c0192c23b3e7ceae89.gif

Manning, who turns 39 on Jan. 3, still has not revealed whether he will retire at season’s end, return to the Giants as a backup or look to play elsewhere after 16 seasons in blue. He claimed faulty memory when asked if he was part of any trade discussions — requiring waving a no-trade clause — at the October deadline.

“You never want to try to make decisions about your future while you’re still living in the present and don’t know the circumstances of what could happen,” Manning said. “I’ll analyze everything else after the season.”

Giants receiver Sterling Shepard, who arrived in 2016 and is Manning’s longest-tenured offensive teammate, admitted he thought he caught his last pass in their connection.

“He’s going to get a yellow [Hall of Fame] jacket,” Shepard said. “I expect Eli to step up big.”

Manning is 116-116 in his career as a starter and never missed a game due to injury, a remarkable stretch of durability at the position matched only by Brett Favre and older brother Peyton, both of whom eventually broke down physically.

“I think we all should appreciate that,” Shurmur said. “That’s part of what makes Eli who he is. He was available and playing, and that’s important that the franchise can trust that you’re going to be out there.”

Manning’s reliability was depicted in a return to his noncontroversial, team-first tune.

“I’m trying to go out there, play hard, compete, and try to get a win for the team,” Manning said. “The team is obviously going on a long stretch. Guys are working hard and doing everything right and deserve to feel good about the work that we’re putting in.”

When his seven minutes were up, Manning was asked if he really missed the media attention.

“Uh, no,” he said as he walked off.

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