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A look at Giants middle linebackers' contracts, favorite to start


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It's similar to last offseason when the Giants signed weakside linebackers J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas. Thomas was the slightly better compensated of the two, and thus started the offseason with the first-team defense. He started Week 1 at weakside linebacker.

Even though playing time was shared between the two throughout the season, Thomas started 11 of the 12 games in which he appeared. Casillas was used on passing downs and in sub-packages, with increased frequency as the season progressed and performance/health dictated.

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The Giants have a similar situation this season at middle linebacker. They signed Robinson to a one-year deal worth $2.6 million, with potential for more. They re-signed Jasper Brinkley to a one-year deal worth $1.8 million.

Based on those numbers, the intention appears to be that Robinson wins the starting middle linebacker job this offseason and in training camp. Still, he'll have to do it.

Robinson already received a $1 million roster bonus on the 10th day of the new league year and is due another $1.15 million in base salary. If he maxes out incentives, his deal can reach $3.5 million.

Brinkley is guaranteed $1.7 million ($1.2 million in base salary + $500K in a roster bonus). He also has an easily attainable $100K workout bonus.

The slim disparity in compensation between the two makes it close to a tossup as to who will be the Giants starting middle linebacker come Week 1, although Robinson likely has the slight edge. It's not enough, however, to rule out the possibility of Brinkley beating him out this spring and/or summer.

Coach Ben McAdoo appears open to any possibility. The Giants still could use an early pick in the draft (although unlikely) on a middle linebacker. Neither contract would prohibit such a move if that's what the Giants draft board dictated.

"It's still like a lot of positions right now. We have the draft we're getting ready for and free agency you look at things as a whole, not just who is on your roster but who is available throughout the rest of the league," McAdoo said recently at the NFL Annual Meeting. "And we'll attack it that way. So everything is fluid at this point."

The thinking is that Robinson is the favorite to start at middle linebacker. But McAdoo made it seem like far from a sure thing.

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"[Robinson's] a guy, he was nicked up last year so we look forward to getting him in and getting him healthy, and giving him an opportunity to go out and compete for the job," he said.

The Giants may have slightly higher hopes for Robinson, but he'll start out at a disadvantage. Brinkley already knows the defense. He was signed at the beginning of last season and eventually worked his way into the starting lineup.

But while Brinkley impressed, it wasn't enough to have the Giants hand him a starting role. Instead, he'll have his work cut out for him behind Robinson.

Middle linebacker contract details

LB Keenan Robinson

Terms: 1 year, $2.6 million

Cap figure for '16: $2.6 million

Base: $1.15M

Roster Bonus: $1 million (10th day)

Per game roster bonus: $21,875 per game

 

Additional Incentives: $900K in playing time bonuses

LB Jasper Brinkley

Terms: 1 year, $1.8 million

Cap figure for '16: $1.8 million

(Note: $1.2 million base salary and $500K roster bonus are guaranteed)

Workout bonus: $100K

 

http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2016/03/a_look_at_giants_middle_linebackers_contracts_favo.html

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I expect nothing.

 

Yeah and it's kind of ridiculous to guess at who is starting based on compensation. Players don't start over other players based on compensation.

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Yeah and it's kind of ridiculous to guess at who is starting based on compensation. Players don't start over other players based on compensation.

 

I'm trying to remember when I gave less of a shit about the NY Giants than I do now.

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I'm trying to remember when I gave less of a shit about the NY Giants than I do now.

I am honestly quite shocked that they have been quiet in free agency since Reese's desperation moves. There are lots of little holes to fill.

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Yeah and it's kind of ridiculous to guess at who is starting based on compensation. Players don't start over other players based on compensation.

 

Right, but their compensation can be an indicator of how the team views them.

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Why not? He played well except for a few early misteps in coverage.

 

He played well except in coverage. Not early on in coverage, but always in coverage. I chalked it up as inexperience too but he didn't get better as the season went on.

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