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Tag:New York Giants
Posted on: March 8, 2012 3:08 pm
 

Report: Eli reworks contract, saves Giants $6.75M

Eli's restructured his deal to help the Giants make another run. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

We've spent most of the past week talking about Peyton Manning, but his little brother Eli Manning -- you know, the one who just won a Super Bowl -- deserves some love too. Especially since he just reportedly restructured his contract to save the Giants some room under the salary cap.

According to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, Eli made changes to his contract that will get him more money immediately and lower his salary for 2012.

Originally, Manning stood to make $10.75 million in 2012. Under the new restructured terms, his salary will be just $1.75 million, though he pockets $9 million right now. (Decent payday, and well worth the money.)

That means the Giants will receive $6.75 million in cap relief for 2012. Manning's contract for 2013, 2014 and 2015 remains unchanged: he'll still make $13 million, $15.15 million and $17.5 million, respectively.

It's a wise move for both sides. Manning gets a big cash payment, the Giants get more room (they were one of the more salary-soaked teams in the NFL) and Eli allows the Giants to try and keep valuable pieces around him, as they look to re-load and make another run at a title.

Here's an interesting additional twist, courtesy of Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk: because Peyton and Eli are now making significantly less than they were a week ago for 2012, recently-franchised Saints quarterback Drew Brees could see his franchise-tag value take a serious dip. Obviously that could change depending on how much Peyton signs for whenever he signs, but for now, it's just another reason for Brees to be less than thrilled.

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Posted on: March 6, 2012 11:45 pm
 

2012 NFL Free Agency: NFC East preview

Can Jerry get Tony enough help in 2012? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas 2011 season reeked of redemption for a lost 2010 season much of the way through. Despite close (and awkward) losses to the Patriots, Jets and Lions, the Cowboys rolled into December on a four-game winning streak, with a shot at closing out the NFC East. Then things absolutely fell apart: Jason Garrett iced his own kicker in an overtime loss to Arizona, Tony Romo overthrew Miles Austin in a tight Week 14 loss to the Giants, Romo was injured the next week in a meaningless game against the Eagles and Dallas got pounded by the eventual Super Bowl champs on New Years Day. Then Jerry Jones team had to watch the 9-7 Giants march to a Super Bowl victory. Not a fun couple of months for them. And though most of the blame usually finds its way onto Romo or Garrett, significant upgrades on the offensive line and secondary could go a long way towards fixing the Cowboys problems and making them a legit contender.

Free Agents of Note
Linebacker Anthony Spencer was tagged on Monday by Dallas, so he'll be back at least one more year and could get a longer deal ... Tight end Martellus Bennett is a good blocker but hasn't panned out the way Dallas wanted ... Linebacker Keith Brooking is 36 but has drawn interest from Dallas to return in 2012 ... FB Tony Fiammetta is an RFA and needs to be retained, especially given the work he did for DeMarco Murray last year ... Linebacker Bradie James is 31 and could be gone ... Wide receiver Laurent Robinson really clicked with Tony Romo in 2012 and would be a big re-addition ... Punter Mat McBriar could be done in Dallas if the 'Boys want to move forward with Chris Jones.

Needs
Secondary
: Terence Newman, 33, could be a cap/age casualty and Abram Elam, Frank Walker and Alan Ball are free agents. If Dallas plans on remaining as aggressive as defensive coordinator Rob Ryan wants them to be, they'll need to drastically improve the secondary.
Guard
: Tyron Smith and Doug Free flipped sides and are locked in at tackle, but the interior of the line needs improvement.

Targets
Brandon Carr or Cortland Finnegan would be an ideal target for Dallas as longer-term options. Neither is expected to remain with their respective teams. But if the Cowboys can't get Carr, they'll need to pursue some shorter-term options like Carlos Rogers. Guard is deep in free agency too, and it would behoove the Cowboys to invest in a stud like Carl Nicks. Getting Spencer signed to a long-term deal, rather than give him $9 million in 2012, would do a lot for their cap space.

New York Giants

It's crazy to think that the Super Bowl champion Giants looked DOA by the start of the regular season; an almost unbelievable (were it not true) string of injuries hit the team before the season began. The Giants looked even worse off in the middle of a late-season swoon that featured some of the toughest

Free Agents of Note:
Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham is going to get overpaid somewhere else based on his postseason performance ... Secret Super Bowl hero Steve Weatherford got the franchise tag Monday, so he'll be back in 2012 ... Wideout Domenik Hixon's already been re-signed ... Cornerback Aaron Ross says he wants to return but won't commit to a "hometown" discount ... Terrell Thomas was lost in the preseason but is closing in on a deal with the Giants ... Deon Grant is scheduled for free agency as well ... Both Jake Ballard and Bear Pascoe tore their ACLs in the Super Bowl, so the Giants have to sign someone to play tight end ... Kareem McKenzie is 32-years-old and the Giants could be ready to move on after he struggled last season.

Needs
Tight End: This seems like a classic "address it at the end of the first round" issue, since the Giants could have their pick of Cody Fleener, Orson Charles and Dwayne Allen at No. 32. If not, they'll need to get someone from a not-so-attractive free agent pile.
Offensive Line: This is a unit that's getting older quickly. David Deihl can work anywhere on the line, but he's 31.
Secondary: If the Giants get Thomas, they could be fine here, as they've already got Corey Webster and Antrel Rolle. But last year proved how important depth really is, so it wouldn't be surprising to see them beef up the position.

Targets
The Giants are tight up against the salary cap this offseason, but are also coming off a year where they won the Super Bowl. The pressure isn't too intense on them to make a big splash with outside guys in free agency (nor should it be). If they can find value in a some cheaper offensive line options with a little upside (Geoff Schwartz anyone?) that would make the most sense in terms of an outside pick up.

Philadelphia Eagles

You know what happened here: a dream-team season quickly turned into a nightmare out of the gates, and the Eagles were the laughingstock of the NFL as they fell to 1-4. They finally turned things around with a four-game winning streak to close out at 8-8, giving Philly fans plenty of hope for 2012. (Not to mention helping Andy Reid's job security.) But there are still concerns here, because the Eagles have to get some linebackers and safeties in order to stop the run, manage their high-priced cornerbacks in a more efficient manner and keep Michael Vick from getting tattooed by opposing defenders. It's unlikely that Philly will make the same splash in free agency as they did in 2011, but that could actually be a good thing.

Free Agents: Running back Ronnie Brown might've thrown away (literally) any chance he had of returning to Philly ... DeSean Jackson got the franchise tag, and the team could still sign him long term or seek to trade him ... King Dunlap and Evan Mathis are both free agents on the offensive line; Mathis wants to return and should be priority No. 1 ... Trevor Laws, Juqua Parker and Derek Landri would depart the defensive line's depth if they all left ... Vince Young and Steve Smith, two big-name additions that didn't contribute much in 2011, seem likely to bolt.
Needs
Linebacker: Luke Koechly is the hot name for the Eagles in the draft, but his stock is rising and might not be available. Getting a middle linebacker who can stuff the run is absolutely essential for the Eagles defense in 2012. Adding some help at outside linebacker would be a bonus; acquiring linebackers isn't really Andy Reid's forte though.
Defensive Line Depth: The Eagles still have Mike Patterson, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin and Trent Cole starting, but as noted above, they're going to need depth to keep those guys fresh throughout the year.

Targets
Linebacker, as noted, is the biggest need. Fortunately for the Eagles, there are some nice names out there. Stephen Tulloch and Curtis Lofton represent pricier, albeit talented, options at middle linebacker. Dan Connor's a name that's been rumored with Philly and he could make sense as a run-stopping specialist who doesn't cost that much.

Washington Redskins

As Clark Judge recently wrote, the Redskins are running out of options for 2012. Either get Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III or prepare to move on from Mike Shanahan. They'll have their chance at each, as Manning will be a free agent soon and the Rams are willing to deal the No. 2 pick in April's draft. And the Redskins success really could come down to the quarterback position: if they can get Manning or RG3 and put suitable weapons around one of those guys (I personally prefer RG3 for them), Washington could net a few more wins and at least challenge for the division title that Rex Grossman guaranteed before 2011 started.

Free Agents
Fred Davis was franchised and remains the team's most explosive offensive weapon but he needs to stay out of trouble ... Tim Hightower fits what Mike Shanahan wants to do but wasn't as effect ... London Fletcher is old but remains effective and the Redskins need him back ... Rex Grossman seems destined to remain with Shanny forever, even if it's just on one-year deals ... Graham Gano was tendered and should be back ... Washington's already re-signed center Will Montgomery ... LaRon Landry can't stay healthy but Washington might gamble on him at a cheap price ... Roy Helu makes Tim Hightower expendable, though Hightower was decent in his five starts before being injured.
Needs
Quarterback: Quite obviously.
Wide Receiver: Jabar Gaffney shouldn't be anyone's No. 1 wideout. If the Skins go with the Manning route, it's entirely possible they can lure other free-agent wideouts into town. Either way, reports indicate they want to get a "high-profile wide receiver" and that's a good thing. Pairing Manning or RG3 with a viable wideout could make this offense explosive in 2012.
Offensive Line: Washington's set at several slots on the front, but could use an upgrade on the right side, where Jamaal Brown in particular has not been as good as they'd hoped.
Targets
Manning's the main target here. If they can't get Peyton, then the Skins have to get RG3. Both are attainable, it's just whether or not the cost is prohibitive. Vincent Jackson, Reggie Wayne and Marques Colston would all qualify as "marquee" wideouts. Ben Grubbs and Carl Nicks would be obviously be tremendous adds and allow the Redskins to shift some personnel and improve their line. Evan Mathis would take away from a division opponent as well.

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Posted on: March 6, 2012 9:28 am
Edited on: March 6, 2012 12:40 pm
 

2012 NFL Free Agency: Offensive line rankings

Is Nicks, our top free-agent offensive lineman, done hoisting Brees? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Leading up to the start of free agency on March 13, we're compiling lists of the best 2012 NFL free agents by position. These are the offensive linemen.

It's not the sexiest position in the NFL -- just ask Andre "C-Cup" Smith -- and there's a feeling in the NFL these days, whether it's right or wrong, that offensive line is becoming a fungible position. It's OK to laugh at that idea, because a few years ago, wide receiver was the same way. It'll shift back and forth in the next few years. Right now, you'll pay a nice price to land a wideout and offensive linemen are relatively cheap.

Some of the guys on the list below won't be cheap however. There's a pretty nice group of offensive linemen hitting the market this year, and teams might be wise to avoid trying to race in the free-agent market and focus their efforts on improving protection.

1. Carl Nicks

Breakdown: Nicks is probably the best guard in the league, and it doesn't help that his teammate, Jahri Evans, signed a $56.7 million deal for the next seven years. Especially since Nicks wants more money. With Drew Brees franchised, the Saints are essentially forced to let Nicks and top wideout Marques Colston both hit the market and good luck bringing Nicks back. He's the only guy who can hurt the guard-related stock for Stanford's David DeCastro.
Potential Landing Spots: Saints, Cowboys, Chargers, 49ers

2. Chris Myers

Breakdown: Honestly if Meyers left it would be a) a huge mistake for the Texans and b) a big surprise. Everyone talks about Mario Williams as the guy they need to re-sign, but Meyers is substantially more valuable to what they do (especially with the defensive personnel vs. the offensive personnel). Houston's offensive line is by far and away the most underrated in the NFL and while Eric Winston is the anchor, Meyers is the leader. I'd like to think that Houston won't let him walk, simply because the AFC South window is too big not to keep making a run at another division title.
Potential Landing Spots: Texans, Packers, Ravens

3. Jared Gaither

Breakdown: Gaither was a supplemental draft pick with the Ravens in 2007, washed out, went to the Chiefs and then looked finished in the NFL at an early age. But he was a big factor in revitalizing the Chargers run late in the season; after Marcus McNeil went down, Philip Rivers was offered no protection until Gaither came into town. The Chargers want to keep him, but this is a very shallow class for free-agent tackles, and Gaither could pull in good money on the market. He's got gobs of talent and is still young, but keeping him motivated is a concern.
Potential Landing Spots: Lions, Chargers, Cardinals, Vikings, Rams

4. Ben Grubbs

Breakdown: Grubbs, the Ravens 2007 first-round pick, made the first Pro Bowl of his career in 2011. He's a free agent only because Baltimore's had to use their franchise tag on Ray Rice and couldn't commit to the guard. The Ravens still want to re-sign Grubbs, and that could happen between now and March 13 when free agency begins. Working in the Ravens favor is the deep nature of this crop of free-agent guards.
Potential Landing Spots: Ravens, Bengals, Giants, Bears, 49ers

4. Scott Wells

Breakdown: Wells and the Packers are in the middle of a headed non-discussion about a new contract. Wells believes he deserves big money, and the Packers believe he deserves the type of money that a shorter, 31-year-old center would get on an open market. But Wells isn't just any center; he's proven his worth in working with different quarterbacks in Green Bay and helping to develop Aaron Rodgers. Wells made his first Pro Bowl in 2011 and has missed just one game since 2006. He won't want to leave Green Bay but he also won't take less than he's worth. It wouldn't be surprising to see him move closer to Tennessee (he's from there and played for the Vols in college) either.
Potential Landing Spots: Packers, Texans, Broncos

5. Demetrius Bell

Breakdown: Bell's been playing football for less than 10 years, but he's clearly quite good at it. Or at least good enough to keep being named the Bills left tackle. The seventh-round pick out of Northwestern State could come back to Buffalo, but if there are teams in need of offensive line help, there's a good chance he'll bail. The offensive line market is odd this year, in that it appears to be guard and center heavy. The tackles aren't exactly stacked and that could result in a nice deal for a guy like Bell.
Potential Landing Spots: Lions, Bills, Chargers, Cardinals, Vikings, Rams

6. Evan Mathis

Breakdown: Mathis hasn't started 16 games since coming into the NFL. But he's coming off easily the best season of his career and has said he'll take a discount to remain with the Eagles under the tutelage of Howard Mudd. Mathis said he'd work for "$20 and a pizza," but the reality is he got paid the league minimum last year, and at 30, he'd be insane not to maximize his money-making ability.
Potential Landing Spots: Eagles, Saints, Seahawks, 49ers

8. Geoff Schwartz

Breakdown: Schwartz played all over the line for Carolina in 2010 before missing all of 2011 with injury. It'll be interesting to see Ron Rivera's coaching staff handles the offensive line: Schwartz and Jeff Otah are holdovers from a previous regime and might not necessarily stick. But Schwartz, at 25, would be a nice, versatile and discounted signing for someone who needs help and depth across the line.
Potential Landing Spots: Giants, Bills, Panthers, Seahawks

9. Dan Koppen

Breakdown: You know what's weird? Everyone's willing to toss out the "system" word as it relates to anything with the Patriots quarterback but don't bother discussing how their offensive line, which features a pretty cohesive unit, helps Tom Brady's success. Whatever, it's fine. That's the "Patriot Way." But Koppen isn't going to get the franchise tag like fellow lineman Logan Mankins and he stands to make more money for a team that needs a center.
Potential Landing Spots: Packers, Ravens

10. Jake Scott

Breakdown: The good news is this: Scott played for an offensive-line monster in Mike Munchak. Munchak consistently creates cohesive offensive units that over-produce relative to their value. But the bad news is that Scott's 30 (not too old) and if you bring him into another organization, he's not going to have that same Titans cohesiveness. Is that overplayed? Yeah, maybe. But Scott will have bigger questions when it comes to Chris Johnson's production in 2011, whether that's fair or not.
Potential Landing Spots: Titans, Saints, Eagles, Seahawks

HONORABLE MENTION

Jeff Backus, Nick Hardwick, Vernon Carey, Anthony Collins

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Posted on: March 3, 2012 6:35 pm
 

Giants great Alex Webster dies at 80

Alex Webster, a NYG great, coached the team from 1969-73. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

Alex “Red” Webster, one of the top rushers in Giants history who also served as the team’s coach from 1969-73, died at the age of 80 on Saturday morning, according to TCPalm.com.

Webster, who was inducted into the Giants Ring of Honor this past year and who was a two-time Pro Bowler, played in New York from 1955-64, recording 4,638 yards and 39 touchdowns. He also caught 240 passes for 17 more scores.

Webster was fourth on the club’s all-time rushing list, but Brandon Jacobs passed him this season.

"He was a very gracious gentleman, a very honorable and proud man," John Miller, the general manager of the senior home in which Webster lived in Port St. Lucie, Fla., told the website. "I considered him a great friend. Considering his background and everything that he accomplished, he was very unassuming.”

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Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:25 pm
 

Jacobs isn't interested in selling his soul

Jacobs isn't sure of the NYG want him back next year. (AP)
By Josh Katzowitz

When he’s not filling in for Jason Pierre-Paul as a wrestler for TNA, Brandon Jacobs likes to earn his living as a running back for the Super Bowl champion Giants. Though he’s supposed to make $4.9 million in 2012, the last year of his contract, the Giants have made it known they’d like to pay him less.

And while he has said he would take a cut in pay, Jacobs -- who restructured his deal last August -- there’s only so far he’s willing to go.

Latest NYG news
“I want to stay in New York a whole lot, man, because this is where I started,” Jacobs told WNBC-TV on Wednesday (via the New York Post). “It’s a great organization. I got wonderful, great teammates. I won a second Super Bowl here with this organization. But I’m not willing to sell my soul, you know? It’s a great organization and I want to be a part of it, but if not, if they’re not feeling the same way, then so be it.”

Jacobs is scheduled to earn $4.4 million in base salary with a roster bonus due to him March 17, and the Post theorizes that if he and the team can’t agree to a restructure, the Giants might cut him in order to save the $500,000 bonus. Plus, you have to remember that Jacobs doesn’t always have the best attitude when it comes to his playing time or talking with his critics, and coming off the worst statistical season since 2006, Jacobs might have to settle for making far less money with the Giants or for leaving the team altogether.

For now, Jacobs isn’t sure of his future plans.

“I have no idea,” he said. “I don’t know what they’re thinking. I want to be here. If not, there are 31 other teams out there.

“As far as I’m concerned I got another year left on my contract. I don’t know why I’m sitting here saying all this stuff. If they want it to work out it’s going to work out. If they don’t want it to work out, it’s not going to work out. That’s all I can say.”

And if it doesn’t work out with the Giants and he has to go play somewhere else, Jacobs can take solace in the fact that he still, we assume, has his “fast-ass car.

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Posted on: February 28, 2012 4:16 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 4:49 pm
 

NFL kicks off Wednesday 9/5 to avoid Obama speech

The NFL's popular, but not that popular. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

For the past few years, the NFL's kicked off each season with a Thursday-night game featuring the previous year's Super Bowl champion. This year, though, the kickoff will be on a Wednesday, to avoid Barack Obama's scheduled speech at the Democratic National Convention, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Tuesday.

Latest NFL News, Notes

The specific Wednesday in question September 5, 2012 and it will feature the Giants, as expected. It'll take place on NBC, beginning at 8:30 pm ET, with an NFL Kickoff 2012 special airing at 7:30 pm ET.

Currently the Giants are scheduled to host the Saints, Buccaneers, Browns, Steelers, their NFC East division foes and ... the Packers. Green Bay, as the 2010 champion, makes the most sense as a potential opening game for the Giants.

The NFL has yet to announce that however, but made the information about the move from a Thursday to a Wednesday public early on.

So much for the idea that the NFL was more powerful than the President.

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:27 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 11:28 pm
 

Osi plans to stay "really quiet" in offseason

UmenyioraBy Josh Katzowitz

Osi Umenyiora almost had a nasty breakup with the Giants before the beginning of 2011. With two years left on his contract that would pay him $3.125 million for 2011 and $3.975 million for 2012, Umenyiora wanted an extension and a raise, but the Giants declined to do so.

Then, they said he could seek a trade before the organization changed its mind, and eventually, Umenyiora underwent arthroscopic surgery that kept him out of the season’s first three games.

Luckily for both sides, Umenyiora played well once he returned, and the Giants won the Super Bowl.

And Umenyiora isn’t looking for a fight this offseason, telling Sirius XM NFL Radio (via the NY Daily News) that he plans to be “really quiet.”

He still wants a long-term deal, but he’s not going to push for it publicly any more.

“I ain’t going to say nothing,” Umenyiora said. “I don’t need that.”

No, because it got pretty nasty last offseason, especially when he claimed that Giants general manager Jerry Reese reneged on a promise to pay him. Umenyiora also expressed regret signing a six-year deal as a rookie, because “things in the NFL change so fast.”

For now, though, Umenyiora will sit and wait to see if the Giants make a move toward trying to pay him more money.

“I could see things going either way,” he said. “I could see where they would want to keep me. I could see where they would want to trade me. I am going into the last year of my deal, so they might want to get some value back.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to stay here and finish out my career, but it’s a business and they’re going to do what’s best for them, and I have to try to do what’s best for me.”

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Posted on: February 18, 2012 7:31 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 7:32 pm
 

No performance-based pay for players in 2011

Despite Cruz's breakout season, there will be no performance-based paychecks in his immediate future. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Unlike 2002-2009, there will be no performance-based pay for NFL players following the 2011 season, NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis told the Newark Star-Ledger this week. This was also the case in 2010's uncapped season and the ramifications mean this: guys like Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz will earn their base salaries for last season and not a dime more based on on-field contributions.

"Francis wrote in an email that money has been allocated elsewhere to overall salaries and benefits following the lockout and the agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement," the Star-Ledger's Mike Garalo wrote Friday. "One example of where such money has been redirected was the $3-million salary-cap exemption teams received to keep veterans this past season. This season, teams will have three $1.5-million exemptions.

"According to Francis, performance-based pay is a part of the new CBA and will be paid out in the future, though the league and the union are 'still negotiating the language.'"

In 2009, the last year for performance-based pay, Vikings center John Sullivan was rewarded with a $397,555 bonus (his base salary: $385,000) and Giants cornerback Bruce Johnson earned an extra $270,766.

Nicks, in the third year of his rookie deal, made a base salary of $575,000 in 2011. Cruz, signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010, made just $405,000. (The Freakonomics blog breaks down an entire team of players who outperformed their current contracts.)

Performance-based pay was a means of rewarding low-salaried players based on productivity. And while five or six-figure checks may not mean much for guys pulling down tens of millions annually, it's a huge deal for young players making league minimum or close to it. But the system hasn't been abolished entirely; in fact, as PFT points out, the new collective-bargaining agreement explains that the fund will exist “[i]n each year League Year after the 2011 League Year.”

Which is good news for (relatively) low wage earners in 2012, less so for the Freakonomics' Dough Bowl All-Stars.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com