John Fennelly, Executive Editor
The Chicago Bears had used all their picks but still wanted Cox, and were angling to sign him after the draft. They were on the phone with Cox talking turkey when another team cut into the call.
“I was literally about to sign (with Chicago). I had the paperwork ready and was about to set that all up,” Cox said as per Matt Vautour of gazettenet.com. “They put me on hold for a second. That’s when New York called and it was Coughlin. He said ‘we’re going to draft you in a couple seconds here.’”
And they did. Cox ended up being the next to last pick in the draft avoiding the Mr. Irrelevant tag, the UDFA market and the honor of playing for the Bears. Instead, he’ll be joining another storied franchise as part of the Giants’ new world order backfield.
Sam Spiegelman, ContributorIn a “Fact or Fiction” article posted on the Giants official website, the writers agree free-agent tight end Brandon Myers will have the greatest impact of all the new members of the team.
Myers, who signed on with New York to replace Martellus Bennett, led Oakland in receiving last season.
Here’s what the writers had to say about Eli Manning’s newest target at tight end:
MICHAEL EISEN: With an asterisk. If he catches 79 passes, as he did last season in Oakland, he’ll have a huge impact with the Giants.
JOHN SCHMEELK: I think Brandon Myers will prove to be a huge weapon for Eli Manning, and I predict he will resign a long term contract and play for the Giants for a long time. He has a great feel for routes, and has great hands. Dan Connor will come in as a close second as a run stopping middle linebacker.
DAN SALOMONE: In the early going – and it is early – it appears Myers and linebacker Dan Connor will have the biggest and most immediate impact with their new team in East Rutherford. But I’ll say Myers because of what he did last season and there is more competition for Connor at his position.
Other offensive players eligible for this honor includes free-agent signees Louis Murphy and rookies Ryan Nassib, Justin Pugh and Michael Cox. Defensively, players include Aaron Curry, Dan Connor, Ryan Mundy, Damontre Moore, Cullen Jenkins and Johnathan Hankins.
It’s hard to see any other offensive player have a greater impact than Myers, who will start Week 1 and — should he be as involved as Bennett was in 2012 — will be a critical part of the offense’s success.
Defensively, Connor immediately steps into a crucial role, which increases the chances he has a major effect. However, linebackers are not as vital to the defensive success in Perry Fewell’s scheme. Should rookies Moore or Hankins get the start, they could be thrust into major roles — though that likely won’t happen until later in the season. With Curry’s role unknown and Mundy in a backup role, it’s hard to see them have as much as major impact.
Follow Sam on Twitter @SamSpiegs
Sam Spiegelman, ContributorIn NFL.com’s Around the League’s latest NFL quarterback rankings, Eli Manning landed in the 7 spot, under the category of “Franchise Gold.”
Manning is one of four quarterbacks to be placed in this second tier of rankings along with Drew Brees (4), Ben Roethlisberger (5) and Matt Ryan (6).
Brees, Big Ben and Manning all own Super Bowl titles, and Ryan appears poised to follow suit sometime in the near future, as his Falcons were a mere 30 seconds from having an opportunity in 2012.
Author Marc Sessler writes this on Manning and the Giants:
“Eli comes off a down year, but I’m done doubting him … It’s no coincidence that the coaches teamed with these passers – Sean Payton, Mike Tomlin, Mike Smith and Tom Coughlin – are in zero danger of losing their jobs.”
The Franchise Gold quarterbacks are second only to what Sessler labels the The Three Kings, a group comprised of Aaron Rodgers (1), Peyton Manning (2) and Tom Brady (3).
Logically, it’s hard to argue Manning fits somewhere in the top three, though his post-season success elevates to near-elite status. Elite — I know; it should be taboo at this point.
Manning is ranked properly, in our opinion. He and Roethlisberger each have two Lombardi Trophies since being drafted in 2004. Brees is a statistical phenom. And Ryan is making the case for being a top signal-caller in this league. Manning probably should be ahead of Ryan — at this point — and either 5 or 5A with Big Ben.
Follow Sam on Twitter @SamSpiegs
With an average cost per person of $143.69, the Giants are the seventh most expensive team in sports to watch live. READ MORE
From John Brennan of Meadowlands Matters: The vote by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority board on Friday to approve a revision to the master plan for American Dream Meadowlands may trigger the refiling of a lawsuit by the Giants and Jets. READ MORE
The Giants won nine games in 2011 and then matched that number last season. Las Vegas feels they haven’t improved, predicting another nine-win season this year. READ MORE
The Giants are one of 29 teams that will hold OTAs this week (Wed and Thurs). READ MORE
Clouds and rain in the forecast here in the Big Apple today. If you’re wondering what the Giants are up to, here it is. They will be at TPC for OTA sessions on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
Scheduled OTAs (voluntary): May 22-23, May 29-31, June 3-7
Mandatory minicamp: June 11-13
Don’t expect WR Victor Cruz to be at TPC anytime soon. Although there have been reports that he and the Giants are close to contract agreement, Mike Florio of PFT reports things between the two are “moving slowly”:
Cruz, who has not yet signed a one-year, $2.879 million restricted free agency tender, has been staying away from the team’s offseason workouts as he pursues a long-term deal. He reportedly wants more than $10 million per year; the Giants at last word were in the $7 million annual range.
The next pressure point comes on June 17, when the Giants can rescind his tender offer and replace it with a 10-percent raise over his 2012 salary of $540,000, which equates to $594,000. Doing so would likely inflame the situation, causing Cruz possibly to hold out through Week 10 of the regular season, sign the tender, finish the year, and become an unrestricted free agent in 2014.
Both the News and the Post have features this morning on rookie safety Cooper Taylor, who at 6’4″ is has piqued the in the interest as being unusually tall for the position.
Jim Mancari, Contributor
Hall of Fame defensive back Emlen Tunnell is also on that list with his 79 career interceptions.
The Giants have four undrafted free agents who will compete for a spot on the 53-man roster. They are:
Charleston Southern cornerback Charles James; Ohio State linebacker Etienne Sabino; Virginia Tech safety Alonzo Tweedy; and Louisville running back Jeremy Wright.
Of this group, who has the best chance to crack the opening week roster?
Free agent DE Dwight Freeney left San Diego without a contract this week. The market has been thin for the former Colts’ star and now his father has take to the airwaves to lobby for his son. From PFT:
“He’d love to be with the Giants, but the Giants unfortunately don’t have the money for it. They’re broke,” Hugh Freeney said on Adam Schein’s radio show on Sirius XM Mad Dog Radio.
All won’t wind up being equal and the Giants may not be in the market for another veteran defensive end with Mathias Kiwanuka expected to spend the majority of his time at the position after Osi Umenyiora’s departure as a free agent. That might leave San Diego, imperfect scheme or not, as the landing spot for Freeney if he doesn’t want to continue playing the waiting game.
John Fennelly, Executive Editor
Freeney would be a hot ticket if he lowered his demands. He’s 33 and is reportedly asking for a deal around $4.25 million per. In this new NFL economy, he’s priced himself out. Teams are concerned about his diminishing sack numbers. Freeney had five in 2012, his lowest total since 2007 when he only played half the season.
UDPDATE: Freeney signs with San Diego
John Fennelly, Executive Editor
Recently signed LB Aaron Curry has spent the first four years of his career attempting to live up to the promise he showed when the Seahawks made him the fourth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He began his career entering into a losing situation in Seattle (they were coming off a 4-12 season in 2009) and then was shipped off to another franchise in dire straits: the Oakland Raiders, who have not had a winning season since 2002.
To Curry’s disadvantage, he could not stay healthy, adding to the misery. After being released by the Raiders in a truly “adding insult to injury” situation, Curry was at the nexus of football obscurity – another highly-regarded prospect headed for the NFL scrapheap.
But the Giants (like many of the other teams that have hoisted hardware in this millennium) see value in players such as Curry. They take them in, change their setting, role and outlook in an attempt to rekindle the fire that made them such valuable commodities in the first place. Bill Belichick has made a living doing it. Jerry Reese has been doing the same.
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The Giants announced the following roster moves today:
TE Michael Palmer and CB Antonio Dennard were waived/injured. The Giants filled one of the openings by signing TE Morgan Newton, who was an invited to last week’s rookie minicamp.
From Rotoworld: Palmer just signed with the Giants last weekend after spending his first three seasons with the Falcons. Dennard spent all of 2012 on the Jaguars’ practice squad.
Dennard (5’11″, 190), who hailed from Langston University - an NAIA level program – was signed to a futures deal by the Giants in January.
Newton played quarterback for most of his career at Kentucky before switching to tight end early in his final season. He did not catch any passes, but improved as a blocker.
In his career, the 6-4, 240-pound Newton completed 193 of 384 passes (50.3%) for 1,837 yards 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also rushed for 515 yards and three touchdowns on 169 carries.