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2012 Giants team report


Lughead
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Giants starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw knows a thing or two about being "a project."

In 2007, his rookie season, Bradshaw, currently the Giants starting running back, came in as a seventh-round draft pick with a lot of questions about whether he'd ever reach his full potential.

Since then, Bradshaw has been a model citizen both on and off the field, learning under the guidance of former teammate Brandon Jacobs, now with the 49ers.

With Jacobs gone, Bradshaw, who has moved into his former mentor's corner locker stall, is ready to become more of a vocal leader and a mentor for the younger backs.

His first order of business will be to take David Wilson, the team's first-round draft pick, under his wing and get him NFL ready as quickly as possible.

"I plan on using him as my project," Bradshaw said of Wilson. "He's a very talented running back. I expect to use him as my project to get him better, to get him smarter, and just to mature him a little bit, just to help him understand the NFL."

One of the first pieces of wisdom Bradshaw expects to stress to Wilson, who posted 290 carries for 1,709 and nine touchdowns in his final year of college ball, is to make sure he gets as good of a grasp on the playbook as possible.

"As a Giants running back, it's one of the toughest things," Bradshaw said. "When I came as a rookie, my plan was to try to impress the coaches and learn that playbook. Once I was able to learn that playbook, I was able to impress the coaches by going out there and using my God-given talents and do what I do best."

Bradshaw believes that the challenge to learn the playbook will be only as hard as Wilson makes it.

"I don't see a lot of guys coming in and being able to grasp all of the different things you can do as a running back," he said. "You just have so many pass protections, so many pass route terms, (and) so many run terms. It's just so much different terminology and then we have so many keywords and hidden phrases."

In order for Wilson to expedite his learning process, Bradshaw said it's important for Wilson to understand that this is his job.

"When you first come in you see all of these guys; it's strictly football," he said. "You don't have to worry about school and different things. Now it's just straight football.

"You worry about this playbook and doing the right things, so when it comes time for you to make a play or come out to practice, you're in the right position. Coming in, you have a lot of different things going through your head. That's why it's a good thing to come in and just be level-headed and be ready to learn."

NOTES, QUOTES

—Quarterback Eli Manning, the host of the May 5 episode of "Saturday Night Live," said that he had been approached by the show's executive producer, Lorne Michaels, after the Giants won Super Bowl XLII, but declined the invitation back then because he didn't feel the time was right.

On a conference call with the national media, Manning said his reluctance was rooted in having to follow older brother Peyton's memorable performance on the show from the previous year.

"One of the many reasons why I didn't do it then was that Peyton had done it so well the previous year, I thought (Peyton's performance) might be a little fresh in everyone's mind, so I didn't want to have to go up against tough competition and the great job he did," Manning said.

Manning also noted that he didn't feel as though he had personally accomplished as much as he would have liked, even though he was named the MVP of Super Bowl XLII.

"It didn't seem the right time for me at that situation, in that I wanted to keep working on my football," he said. "While I had some success, I hadn't really proven myself as much as I wanted to. I knew I had some more work to do during the offseason."

Interestingly, Manning said he promised Michaels back then that when he won his next championship, he'd reconsider hosting the show.

"Fortunately for us, he won that championship," said Michaels, who described the 35th sports figure host in the show's 37-year history and the first NFL host since Peyton as "charming" and someone who wasn't afraid to make fun of himself.

—Giants fourth round draft pick Adrien Robinson, 6-4, 264 pounds, won't report to the team until next week's rookie minicamp, which begins on May 11. When he does, he's sure to draw a lot of attention as curious onlookers observe the tight end that general manager Jerry Reese referred to as "the JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) of tight ends."

What is it about Robinson, who was more of a blocker at Cincinnati than a receiver, that has the Giants' brass so excited?

"He's a physical specimen," said Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross. "He's just learning how to play football. We think he has tremendous upside. He just didn't get a lot of chances. We think the sky's the limit for him."

Ross said that Robinson's lack of receptions in college was likely due to a heavy use of four- and five-wide sets in the passing game. Ross believes that Robinson can become something special at his position once he becomes comfortable with the Giants' offense.

"They feel like they didn't get the most out of him just because of the type of offense they had," Ross said. "Being here, the coaching, the way we'll use him ... I think he'll flourish."

—On paper, undrafted rookie free agent Joe Martinek, the Rutgers fullback, appears to have an uphill battle to earn a roster spot.

The 23 year old from Hopatcong, N.J., the state's all-time leading high school rusher with 7,589 yards, however, has other ideas.

Martinek, who converted from running back to fullback in his final year of college, has a chance to offer versatility in the Giants' backfield.

He also brings with him a solid background as far as knowing what it takes to be successful in the NFL thanks to time spent with former teammate and current Ravens running back Ray Rice.

"He was a huge influence," Martinek said of Rice, who spent one year on the same team as Rice. "Just seeing how he went about his business and trying to learn what to look for, what to expect, and the little details that come with this game from one of the best in college football at the time has helped me."

Another thing that Martinek thinks will help in his transition to the pros is the fact that he went through multiple offensive coordinators during his college career. The benefit, he said, is exposure to several different offensive philosophies.

"He is just a gritty, hard-nosed football player," said director of college scouting Marc Ross. "He worked out really well. He can really catch the ball. (He's) a guy that you can throw in at any position there in the backfield and he will not miss a beat."

Where Martinek might fit currently remains to be seen given the depth that's ahead of him at both running back and fullback. Wherever he plays though, he is willing to do whatever it takes to make the Giants better.

"I think they're going to find a hard-working guy that's going to come in from day one willing to do everything I can to make the team better," he said. "I'm going to be prepared for every practice and every game. I'm going to try to make this opportunity into a special one because this is a huge opportunity for me, and I'm not about to let it go."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We drafted the best guys. That is what our thinking was." — General manager Jerry Reese, when asked why the Giants used five of seven draft picks on the offensive side of the ball.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

One of the main competitions the Giants are expected to have this summer will be at running back.

Ahmad Bradshaw will enter the 2012 season as the starter, with first-round pick David Wilson the early favorite to replace Brandon Jacobs as the No. 2 back, assuming, of course, he can learn the playbook and address concerns about his pass blocking and ball security.

Behind them will be a battle for the third-down back, a race that will feature D.J. Ware, Andre Brown, Da'Rel Scott, and rookie Joe Martinek.

Ware, who is entering his sixth season, saw his most extensive action last year as a pro, logging 46 carries for 163 yards in the regular season. He has the most experience of the candidates.

Brown, a former Giants fourth-round draft pick in 2008, has bounced around the NFL, unable to catch on long with any team since an Achilles injury wiped out his rookie season. Brown is also facing a four-game league-imposed suspension for having violated the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances, which also puts him behind the eight ball.

Scott, last year's seventh-round pick, has shown flashes of nice speed and quickness. In limited carries last year, he was inconsistent in picking up the blitz and he too showed problems with ball security.

Martinek, signed as an undrafted free agent, is listed at 6-0 and 224 pounds. He switched to fullback last season for the Scarlet Knights, but with Henry Hynoski in front of him, Martinek would appear to be more of an intriguing halfback option given his pass receiving ability and his background at running back at both the high school and college levels.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

 

FRANCHISE PLAYER: P Steve Weatherford (tendered at $2.654 million; signed long-term contract March 16).

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

—OL Stacy Andrews, who finished the year on injured reserve due to a blood clots found in his lungs, has been making progress. The Giants appear to have interest in re-signing him, but they will continue to monitor his health and, if he clears his medical hurdles, he could be back with the team later in the spring.

—DT Rocky Bernard is not expected to be back with the team, as New York added Shaun Rogers to their defensive tackle mix to provide veteran depth.

—CB Will Blackmon, whose primary contribution was as the punt returner, is unlikely to be re-signed with the return of receiver Domenik Hixon.

—WR Michael Clayton, who finished the season on injured reserve, is not expected to be re-signed as the Giants are looking to get younger in their wide receiver corps.

—S Deon Grant is not likely to be re-signed as the Giants are hoping to see more progress from second-year man Tyler Sash. They are also hoping that their 2010 third-round draft pick, Chad Jones, who has been vigorously rehabbing from injuries suffered in a car crash, will be physically able to compete for the third safety spot behind starters Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle.

—DT Jimmy Kennedy is not expected to receive a contract offer. Kennedy rarely saw the field following his reinstatement from a league-imposed four-week suspension, and with the anticipated return of second-year man Marvin Austin, the Giants will look to infuse youth at the third defensive tackle spot.

—S Derrick Martin, whose primary role was on special teams, is not expected to be re-signed by the Giants.

—RT Kareem McKenzie is not expected to be re-signed, as with the return of Will Beatty from an eye injury, the Giants may look to move David Diehl to right tackle.

—OL Tony Ugoh, who was signed following the loss of tackle Will Beatty, could be in the team's plans later this spring if they don't re-sign Stacy Andrews. Ugoh would provide veteran depth at tackle, most likely at a reasonable rate.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

—TE Jake Ballard: Potential ERFA; $540,000/1 yr.

—LB Chase Blackburn: UFA; $825,000/1 yr.

—QB David Carr: UFA; $990,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.

—CB Michael Coe: UFA; $600,000/1 yr.

—WR Domenik Hixon: Potential UFA; $615,000/1yr.

—CB Bruce Johnson: Potential RFA; $540,000/ 1 yr.

—TE Bear Pascoe: ERFA; $615,000/1 yr.

—CB Terrell Thomas: Potential UFA; $28.4M/4 yrs, $1M SB/$6M RB '13.

—CB Justin Tryon: UFA; $700,000/1 yr.

—P Steve Weatherford: FFA; $12.75M/5 yrs, $3.25M guaranteed.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

—TE Martellus Bennett: UFA Cowboys; $1.8M/1 yr, $675,000SB/$100,000 RB.

—S Stevie Brown: Not tendered as ERFA by Colts; $540,000/1 yr.

—S Chris Horton: FA; $650,000/1 yr.

—OT Sean Locklear: UFA Redskins; $825,000/1 yr.

—CB Antwaun Molden: UFA Patriots; $700,000/1 yr.

—LB Keith Rivers (trade Bengals).

—DT Shaun Rogers: UFA Saints; $925,000/1 yr.

PLAYERS LOST

—LB Jonathan Goff: UFA Redskins; terms unknown.

—RB Brandon Jacobs (released).

—WR Mario Manningham: UFA 49ers; $7.375M/2 yrs, $2M SB/$4.45M guaranteed.

—CB Aaron Ross: UFA Jaguars; $15.3M/3 yrs, $1M SB.

—WR Devin Thomas: UFA Bears; $700,000/1 yr.

—DE Dave Tollefson: UFA Raiders; $2.5M/2 yrs, $1.25M guaranteed.

 

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CB Terrell Thomas: Potential UFA; $28.4M/4 yrs, $1M SB/$6M RB '13.

 

Holy shit. There's huge pressue on TT to play well this year with a $6 million roster bonus due next year. If Prince pans out I don't know how Reese could justify keeping him at that price.

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Holy shit. There's huge pressue on TT to play well this year with a $6 million roster bonus due next year. If Prince pans out I don't know how Reese could justify keeping him at that price.

Do roster bonuses get prorated for salary cap purposes, or is that only for signing bonuses? If that $6 mil gets prorated over the remaining 3 years of his deal, I think that $2 mil per isn't too bad to stomach.

 

Furthermore, if Sash continues to develop or if Chad Jones shows he's ready to take on a bigger role...it gives the Giants some leverage in restructuring Rolle's contract, given he's among the higher paid players on our team. If we restructure Rolle's deal, it'll provide much needed flexibility cap-wise.

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Do roster bonuses get prorated for salary cap purposes, or is that only for signing bonuses? If that $6 mil gets prorated over the remaining 3 years of his deal, I think that $2 mil per isn't too bad to stomach.

 

Furthermore, if Sash continues to develop or if Chad Jones shows he's ready to take on a bigger role...it gives the Giants some leverage in restructuring Rolle's contract, given he's among the higher paid players on our team. If we restructure Rolle's deal, it'll provide much needed flexibility cap-wise.

 

I'm not sure Rolle (or any safety for that matter) is worth $9M a season.. he's the 2nd highest paid player on the entire team.. right behind Eli. Nothing short of a pay cut is worth anything.. either that or cut him. I think we have enough potential stars on the team as is and I think that's the team's thinking as well.

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I'm not sure Rolle (or any safety for that matter) is worth $9M a season.. he's the 2nd highest paid player on the entire team.. right behind Eli. Nothing short of a pay cut is worth anything.. either that or cut him. I think we have enough potential stars on the team as is and I think that's the team's thinking as well.

 

was noit aware that Rolle is 9M a year holly smoke, im with you here pay cut or the door

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It's just not that simple.

Antrel Rolle Defensive Back 3/5/2010: Signed a five-year, $37 million contract. The deal contains $15 million guaranteed, including a $5 million signing bonus and Rolle's first two years' base salaries. Rolle also is eligible for annual $250,000 workout bonuses. Another $100,000 is available yearly in Pro Bowl incentives. 2011: $1.25 million (+ $4 million "signing" bonus), 2012: $6.75 million, 2013-2014: $7 million, 2015: Free Agent

 

I don't think he's getting $9 million... but either way, you cut him, with 3 seasons left on that contract, you still take a cap hit, plus he's a good player. I think people are spoiled right now, they can't remember CC Brown or something. There's a bias against defensive backs in general, I believe, where people more easily remember the bad plays than the good ones, which are many times benign plays like an incomplete pass.

 

It's like when I was in the Army, working on radios... you don't ever get credit when things are running as they should, but you get a shit storm when there's problems. It's just how it works.

 

But Rolle is a good player, overpaid, yes. But he's also a pretty important piece to that defense.

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It's just not that simple.

Antrel Rolle Defensive Back 3/5/2010: Signed a five-year, $37 million contract. The deal contains $15 million guaranteed, including a $5 million signing bonus and Rolle's first two years' base salaries. Rolle also is eligible for annual $250,000 workout bonuses. Another $100,000 is available yearly in Pro Bowl incentives. 2011: $1.25 million (+ $4 million "signing" bonus), 2012: $6.75 million, 2013-2014: $7 million, 2015: Free Agent

 

I don't think he's getting $9 million... but either way, you cut him, with 3 seasons left on that contract, you still take a cap hit, plus he's a good player. I think people are spoiled right now, they can't remember CC Brown or something. There's a bias against defensive backs in general, I believe, where people more easily remember the bad plays than the good ones, which are many times benign plays like an incomplete pass.

 

It's like when I was in the Army, working on radios... you don't ever get credit when things are running as they should, but you get a shit storm when there's problems. It's just how it works.

 

But Rolle is a good player, overpaid, yes. But he's also a pretty important piece to that defense.

 

Agreed... I even question that he's overpaid. Six months ago I would have said 'overpaid', but I started watching him more closely through the playoffs, after it came out that he has been playing out of position, and I came away very impressed. If only we could have all-22 footage... so hard to get a read on defensive backs without seeing the all-22.

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It's just not that simple.

Antrel Rolle Defensive Back 3/5/2010: Signed a five-year, $37 million contract. The deal contains $15 million guaranteed, including a $5 million signing bonus and Rolle's first two years' base salaries. Rolle also is eligible for annual $250,000 workout bonuses. Another $100,000 is available yearly in Pro Bowl incentives. 2011: $1.25 million (+ $4 million "signing" bonus), 2012: $6.75 million, 2013-2014: $7 million, 2015: Free Agent

 

I don't think he's getting $9 million... but either way, you cut him, with 3 seasons left on that contract, you still take a cap hit, plus he's a good player. I think people are spoiled right now, they can't remember CC Brown or something. There's a bias against defensive backs in general, I believe, where people more easily remember the bad plays than the good ones, which are many times benign plays like an incomplete pass.

 

It's like when I was in the Army, working on radios... you don't ever get credit when things are running as they should, but you get a shit storm when there's problems. It's just how it works.

 

But Rolle is a good player, overpaid, yes. But he's also a pretty important piece to that defense.

No doubt that Rolle is a valuable piece to the defense, but if Sash or Jones can take his place...it makes him expendable should he be unwilling to rework his deal.

 

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/new-york-giants/antrel-rolle/

 

Cutting pre-June 1st = take a 7.05 million hit this year, but save 6.75 million base this year = net loss this season of 300K

 

Cutting after June 1st = take a 2.35 million hit this year, but save 6.75 million base this year = 4.4 savings this year...but also take a 4.7 million hit next year

 

Cutting pre-June 1st next offseason = 9.1 million hit this year, take a 4.7 million hit next year, save his 7 million salary next year creating a 2.3 million savings next year

 

Cutting post-June 1st next offseason = 9.1 million hit this year, take a 2.35 million hit next year, save his 7 million salary next year creating a 4.65 million savings next year...but also taking a hit of 2.35 the following year.

 

I'm not projecting this any further.

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Yeah, there's no way they are taking those cap hits. And there's no reason to given that he's a good player and we don't have anyone proven that can play his position.

Not this offseason...but I think there's potential for a contract restructure next year....especially if Sash or Jones prove to be more than backup players.

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