Giants Games

Five Things We Learned From The Jaguars Game

giants, giants vs jaguars

A Win is A Win

Even in the Preseason, winning is preferable to losing. The Giants played better on both offense and defense, beating the Jaguars by a final score of 22-12. Ryan Nassib threw for 217 yards and a touchdown, and James Jones caught 5 passes for 83 yards, as the Giants outscored Jacksonville 13-3 after halftime. It was a costly victory for the Giants, as another five players were lost to injury, including linebacker Jon Beason and safety Bennett Jackson, both with sprained knees. Mark Herzlich suffered a concussion on the opening kickoff, linebacker Tony Johnson suffered a knee injury, and rookie safety Justin Currie broke his ankle. Fourteen players did not suit up, and while many were precautionary and would have played if this were a regular season game, injuries are becoming a concern again for this Giants team.

If you watched until the bitter end, you learned a few things about your 2015 New York Giants, and today we take a look at five things you might not have known before last night’s game.

Five Things We Learned from the Giants Preseason Opener

giants, giants vs bengals

Giants Lose to Bengals

The Giants laid an egg in their preseason opener and lost for the first time since August 29, 2013 as they dropped last night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals 23-10. Preseason is not about winning, but rather about measuring progress and looking at young player. There were some highlights, some low lights, and a few players who got themselves on the coach’s radar. Today, we take a look at what learned, who emerged, and where the Giants stand the morning after.

Five Positions to Watch in Tonight’s Preseason Opener

giants, bengals

It’s Only Preseason, But…

It may only be a preseason game, but the Giants take the field for the first time since last December for a clash with the Cincinnati Bengals. Position battles are raging, and Tom Coughlin reminded his players through his post practice press conference on Wednesday that starting jobs and roster spots are still up for grabs. Here are the five most interesting position battles to watch when you tune in at 7:30 tonight. The real fun starts after the established starters sit down sometime late in the first quarter or early in the second.

New York Giants: Six Burning Questions as Training Camp Opens


Training Camp Opens Tomorrow

The annual football drought that is the NFL off season ends tomorrow for New York Giants fans as veterans and rookie alike report to the Quest Diagnostic Training Center for the 2015 training camp. It brings more questions than answers as injuries, attrition, and a John Mara ultimatum hang over the camp like the dense New Jersey summer humidity. As July turns to August, Tom Coughlin and crew will start to get answers, but Giants Nation may not like what’s revealed.

NY Giants Cheerleaders: Are They Closer Than You Think?

NY Giants Cheerleaders

When Ana De Villegas moved to New York to pursue a career as a dancer, she left behind a career in law and position as a Washington Redskins Cheerleader. Knowing that the career of a dancer can be limited, De Villegas drew on her love of football, professional experience, and a void on the sidelines of her favorite team, the New York Giants, to form the professional dance company, Gotham City Cheerleaders in 2011.

De Villegas is the founder of Gotham City Cheerleaders

De Villegas is the founder of Gotham City Cheerleaders

They dance in their tailgate area in the parking lot before game, interacting with fans, and raising the spirits of those who are preparing to watch the Giants play inside MetLife Stadium. There have been some discussions with the Giants front office about bringing GCC inside, but they have been minimal, and to date, only via telephone. De Villegas hopes that a halftime show would serve as an audition leading to a permanent gig on the sidelines during games.

More than just dancers, these women are knowledgeable football fans, who would prefer to be watching the game than working it, but, as De Villegas explains, “We do it for the fans De Villegas is the founder of Gotham City Cheerleaders, performing during the time outs and halftime. We want to be something the fans and the community can be proud of.”

The 22 woman troupe includes the reigning Miss New Jersey, two mothers, a scientist, college students, and accomplished professionals in a wide variety of occupations. They represent the GCC and by association, the Giants, in the community. De Villegas speaks with pride of the diverse backgrounds of the women in Gotham City Cheerleaders, and points out the growing role women have as fans of professional football.

“Just look where the NFL has gone with women; half of the fans are female, but the Giants have no representation of women in their sport. New York is also the entertainment capital of the world, and yet, we have an empty field where instead, local talent could have employment and we could create one of the best shows in the NFL! Other Cheerleaders are among GCC’s biggest fans, and support growing our industry in this market. Women, old and young, within our community and women have also reacted well to us,” says De Villegas.

Reactions have been positive from the start. Giants360 asked De Villegas to tell us her favorite parking lot memory from among GCC’s appearances at MetLife stadium, “It would have to be our first. Everything was new and we didn’t know what to expect,” begins De Villegas, “Many of the fans immediate reaction was ‘WHOA! Did we finally get cheerleaders?’ and they were pleasantly surprised how friendly and knowledgeable the girls were about the Giants.”

One group in particular, was quite skeptical. It was a veteran group of fans, older gentleman enjoying their beer before the game and not sure what to make of the cheerleaders who appeared in the tailgate section next to theirs. “They tested us,” says De Villegas with a laugh, ”On one side you have these older men holding their beers and on the other, cheerleaders with pom-poms, and a Giants trivia contest broke out.” GCC won them over with the knowledge of the team.

GCC's "You Down with JPP" Video went viral

GCC’s “You Down with JPP” Video went viral

You may already be familiar with GCC’s work and not realize it. Their “You Down with JPP” video tribute filmed with actor and comedian, Josh Hyman, went viral earlier this yearin 2011 before the Giants brought home the Super Bowl trophy. It trended on Twitter, had hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube, and generated appearances for the squad on morning shows. The song was performed by Naughty-by-Nature at the Super Bowl Champions ceremony at MetLife Stadium.

Among the professional cheerleading experience on among the current and former Gotham City Cheerleaders, include De Villegas Redskins, and are former Eagles, Jets, current Cowboys, and Patriots dancers. It begged the question if all the team members are Giants fans. De Villegas said that if they didn’t join the team as Giants fans, they were quickly she converted them, and if they are not, she doesn’t know about it. On GCC, it’s Big Blue all the way.

As with any professional cheerleading team in the offseason, all the members have to re-audition for their spot on the team for 2015. The first audition was held in April and the second earlier this month. New team members have been in boot camp for about two weeks, and De Villegas reports that they are coming together nicely, and she is eager to introduce them to fans in July.

De Villegas knows that Giants fan hold much power and influence over the team and their decisions. The positive response to GCC has fueled their growth from a squad of 6 to their current 22 and see recognition for their charitable efforts. Performing squadat various events side by side with Giants players, performing overseas, on HBO and SNL, and even on the field for the Bruno Mars halftime show at Super Bowl XLVIII, the GCC has begun to see the fruits of their hard work. But they are still just the “Unofficial” cheerleaders of the New York Giants.

You can support their cause by buying a team calendar, which is released annually the weekend before the NFL season kicks off. You can get more information by following the links below.

As for getting them on the Giants sidelines, followers of the Giants360 Twitter account are aware that, although we appreciate their talent, we are not a fan of the G-Line drum corps. This drum line (or drum circle as we’ve referred to them) bring a collegiate atmosphere to a professional game. With experienced and talented cheerleaders just outside in the parking lot, John Mara and Bob Tisch need to make a swap. Drum circle outside, Gotham City Cheerleaders on the sidelines and then all will then be right with the New York Giants universe.

Connect with Gotham City Cheerleaders on social media:




And visit their Website for more information

You can also connect with Giants360 on Facebook and Twitter.

Giants360. All Giants. All Year Round.

Dez Bryant To Miss Season Opener? A Giant View

Dez Bryant

Pat Lamb 06

See more of comedian/cartoonist Pat Lamb’s work on his web site

And connect with Pat on Twitter: @lambchops1

Most Anticpated New York Giants Regular Season Matchups

When the NFL schedule is being made, you have to believe that NFL take position match-ups very seriously. Whether it is two star Quarterbacks playing in Prime-time or an out of division rivalry, they want to make sure the fans are getting the best possible game out of those two teams. Does it happen all the time? Absolutely not. Do some teams/players not live up to expectations? All the time. However, with that being said, the New York Giants have some star powers on both sides of the ball which should lead up to some fantastic positional match-ups throughout the entire 2015 season.

Giants @ Cowboys

Giants @ Cowboys

Week 1: New York Giants VS. Dallas Cowboys; the games between these two storied franchises are always nail biters and unbelievably entertaining no matter who you root for. Hence why this game kicks off Sunday Night Football. Who will show up with the least amount of off-season rust and start off the season with a win?





Julio Jones VS Giants Corners

Julio Jones VS Giants Corners

Week 2: Julio Jones (Atlanta) VS Prince Amukamara; The Falcons are a great team with something to prove after back to back disappointing seasons and their best player on their team is Wide Receiver Julio Jones. After missing most of the 2013 season due to injury, Julio came back with a chip on his shoulder and blew it up in 2014 with over 100 catches and 1,500+ yards. Now its Prince’s turn to prove something after tearing his bicep in the middle of the 2014 season. Prince is going to have his hands full while trying the 6’3” Jones and watching Prince attempt to contain him should make for a fantastic week 2 match-up!




Ryan Kerrigan Vs Giants

Ryan Kerrigan Vs Giants

Week 3: Ryan Kerrigan (Washington) VS Right Offensive Line; Ryan Kerrigan is what I like to refer to some players as a “Giant Killer”. Giant killers are players that, when the play the Giants, always seem to outperform their normal selves. With Brian Orakpo gone, Kerrigan is going to be the heart of that defensive and whoever is lining up on the right side of that offensive line for the Giants, they’re going to have their plate full trying to keep Ryan off of Eli.






Buffalo Vs G-men

Buffalo Vs G-men

Week 4: Buffalo’s Defensive Line VS Giants Offensive Line; The Buffalo Bill’s Defensive Line might be the best in the league. With the young Marcell Dareus, and veterans Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, and Kevin Williams under the leadership of the strong defensive mind of new Head Coach Rex Ryan, that defensive line is going to run havoc on the NFL. The Giants offensive line are going to be shuffled all throughout training camp and possibly leaking in to the regular season until they feel like they have it right. Will Beatty and Justin Pugh are going to be the only sure starters and they are going to have to show the new additions the Giant way.




Don't let Kap run!

Don’t let Kap run!

Week 5: Colin Kapernick (San Fransisco) VS Jon Beason; The Giants have always had issues containing mobile Quarterbacks. This will be the fourth time the Giants will play the 49ers in the past 4 years including that fantastic NFC Championship game in 2011. Beason is going to have to really keep an eye on Kapernick to keep him in the pocket and make sure he doesn’t break off one of his signature long runs.






Coaches Battle

Coaches Battle

Week 6: Chip Kelly (Philadelphia) VS Tom Coughlin; A good ol’ fashion coaches battle in week 6 in what will be the second prime-time game in 2 weeks for the Giants. A lot of scrutiny has been dished out for how Chip Kelly has approached this off-season and only time will tell if the moves Chip made will play out. By week 6 we should have an idea and Tom will have to be sure to keep that Oregon offensive Chip is trying to implement in check.






Don't let Dez get the deep ball!

Don’t let Dez get the deep ball!

Week 7: Dez Bryant (Dallas) VS Giant’s Safeties; Dez Bryant has a tendency to test the deep waters of defenses and with the current question mark at the safety position, I’m sure Jason Garrett will want to test those waters. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big supporter of the rookie Landon Collins and although his coverage skills are going to have to improve, by week 7 we will know what we have in him and it will be his job to make sure Dez does not get past him.






Rookie will have something to prove.

Rookie will have something to prove.

Week 9: Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay) VS Giant’s Defense; The number 1 pick of the 2015 NFL Draft will have half more than half the season under his belt at this point and will either be in his stride or struggling to revive the Tampa Bay franchise. In a game I am actually hoping to be at, we will see how Jameis has handled the pressure of the big leagues.






Brady Vs Manning, always a great match-up

Brady Vs Manning, always a great match-up

Week 10: Tom Brady (New England) VS Eli Manning; what a match-up we have here! The superbowl champions facing the only team to defeat them in two superbowls. This is, in my opinion, is tied for the most anticipated match-up of the year for the New York football Giants. Need I say more?






Beat speed with speed

Beat speed with speed

Week 12: Desean Jackson (Washington) VS Dominque Rodgers Cromartie; Desean, another Giant killer will be in his second season with Washington and honestly who knows who will be throwing the ball to him. But with his speed he is another deep threat and the Giants will likely have Rodgers Cromartie shadow Jackson because of his speed.






Will they be able to contain Cruz and Beckham Jr.? Doubt it

Will they be able to contain Cruz and Beckham Jr.? Doubt it

Week 13: Darrelle Revis/Antonio Cromartie (New York) VS Victor Cruz/Odell Beckham Jr.; This is what has tied with the New England game for most anticipated for me. The return of Victor Cruz is going to be one of the biggest story lines heading into the regular season and having him line up with Odell is going to give defensive coordinators nightmares. With Cromartie and Revis suiting back up in gang green against those two is going to make the ‘battle of the meadowland’ a memorable match-up!





Have to bring him down on the first hit!

Have to bring him down on the first hit!

Week 17: Demarco Murray (Philadelphia) VS Giant’s Linebackers; in the essence of saving you readers some time, let’s skip ahead to the final game of the season. Year after year it seems as if the NFC Championship comes down to the last game of the year. No one knows who will be fighting for what and scenarios will come into play but with Demarco coming off his NFL rushing title and suiting up for his formal rivals, the Giant’s Linebackers will have to make sure that he does not break off any big runs and to bring him down on the first hit.






Obliviously injuries and scenarios will come into play especially towards the back end of the season, but hopefully everybody can stay healthy and give the fans some spectacular match-ups week after week. Do you think there are any other match-ups that I might have left out or disagree with the match-ups I chose? Who do you think wins these one on one battles? Feel free to tell me on twitter @nighthawk5454.

Big Ben Ripples

When Ben Roethlisberger signed a shiny new 5 year, $87 million dollar contract, Giants360 did a celebratory jig being that it was so close to St. Patrick’s Day. It meant that the log jam of contract extensions for Eli Manning’s classmates, those quarterback’s drafted at the top of the 2004 NFL draft, was broken. Manning, Roethlisberger, and Philip Rivers are all in the final year of their contracts, and none had been extended until Roethlisberger. His signing the 5 year contract means the floodgates had opened and Manning and Rivers will use it as a basis to also renegotiate. We assumed the Steelers structured the contract to create additional cap room for 2015 and 2016 and back loaded the deal. And we were w-w-w-wrong.

Roethlisberger's contract did not offer much cap relief.

Roethlisberger’s contract did not offer much cap relief.

Roethlisberger had a salary cap figure of $18.5 million 2015 before the extension. It was the second of two balloon years at the end on his prior deal that has much easier to manage figures of $8 to $13.5 up front. This contract averages $21.8 million and drops his 2015 cap charge to only $17.2 million. The $1.3 million created is hardly a windfall. Next season, that charge jumps to $23.9 million and then it drops to $18.2 in 2017. Roster bonuses of $12 million ensure that it will likely be renegotiated or Roethisberger will be cut early int he 2018 NFL year, which begins in March. It’s a clear market deal, not a salary cap restructure.

Which brings us back to Manning. His cap charge for 2015 sits at $19.75 million and, as regular readers know, Giants360 had been calling for Jerry Reese to extend Manning to lower that amount before free agency started to give the Giants flexibility to sign some impact players. Now that we are a week into the free agent process, and the premier free agents are off the market, the urgency is gone, and Manning is no closer to an extension than he was two weeks ago. Should Reese still extend Manning? The answer is yes.

Manning had a bounce back year in 2014 with 4,410 yard, 30 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. If we give him the San Francisco game as a mulligan, he had just 9 interceptions on the season. He accomplished this while operating behind another patchwork offensive line and learning a new offense for the first time since he was a rookie eleven years earlier. When he came out of Ole Miss, many scouts though he would best fit a West Coast scheme as a professional. Manning’s performance in 2014 proved that prognostication to be accurate. With an improved line in front of him, a full season of Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz returning, and Shane Vereen coming out of the backfield, 2015 is shaping up to be Manning’s best season yet. Reese should lock him up now to ensure he finishes his career as a Giant.

Expect McAdoo to kick things into a new gear in 2015.

Expect McAdoo to kick it up a notch in 2015.

The West Coast offense takes more than a full season to fully comprehend, not only for the quarterback, but for the other players on the offense. When the Giants take the field in September, this offense will be ready to kick things into another gear and Ben McAdoo will be able to roll out new wrinkles he was unable to utilize in 2014 because the concept were new. With practice limitations under the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement further inhibiting the full development of the system, Manning’s accomplishments are even more impressive.

The franchise tag for quarterbacks next season will be somewhere between $20.5 and $21.5 million, using prior season increases as a guide. Extending Manning will allow the Giants to structure the deal in such a way that they control the cap hit for the first two years of the deal.

For those who will say, Manning should take less money so the team can bring in more talent, I ask a simple question… If your boss, came to you and asked you to take 20% less in salary to allow the company to being in some more workers, would you say yes?

Tagging Manning will cripple the Giants 2106 cap

Tagging Manning will cripple the Giants ’16 cap

Manning had a horrific 2013 season, but proved he is still a franchise quarterback last season, and Giants360 expects him to improve upon that performance in 2015. If signing him to a market value contract is what it takes to ensure that he finishes his career with the Giants, so be it.

The salary cap information quoted in this article is taken from A website that compiles cap information for all NFL players and contracts. If you have an interest in this detail, that’s the site to click on.

For the best Giants content on Twitter, follow @Giants360, a community of Giants fans nearing 18,000 strong an growing. All the breaking news will be tweeted out there first, then analyzed here, on

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My Kingdom for a Safety

Free agency has been open for just over two days and the Giants have been among the most active teams, re-signing three of their own free agents and bringing in five players from other NFL teams. The biggest name among those signed is Shane Vereen, the third down back who will add a dimension to the offense missing since Tiki Barber abruptly retired nearly a decade ago. The natives grow restless as this team still has needs, the most glaring of which, safety, came back into focus last night when Antel Rolle signed a three year contract with the Chicago Bears.

The promising Berhe's role will increase

The promising Berhe’s role will increase

The Giants have one inexperienced presumed starter on their roster, second year man Nat Berhe, and he’s joined by only Cooper Taylor, the talented, but oft injured 2013 draft pick. Two of three top free agent safeties have already signed, and the third will command big money as a result of market scarcity. Jerry Reese doesn’t overpay for players, but may be forced to increase his ante in order to fill a critical position of need. Or will he? Giants360 dug deep into the free agent lists and found a even dozen available safeties, some are potential starters, and others will serve as stop gaps, men who can step up for at least one season and provide depth at the position.

There are walking wounded among the men identified, but, if healthy, they should come at a reasonable cost, and, if paired with one of the Giants identified targets, would form a basis for a good transitional secondary. Adding a draft pick into the mix would be prudent.

The Former Giant:

Stevie Brown, 27, 5’11”, 221, lbs, 5 year veteran: Brown was a rising star before he tore his ACL before the 2013 season. The thing to remember about ACL tears is that players often bounce back fully the second season after the injury and Brown showed some signs of improving towards the last year. In 2012, he was a highly effective coverage safety and a ball hawk, with 8 interceptions. The Giants brain trust agrees with this assessments as they made a push to sign Brown before he became a free agent on Tuesday afternoon and are still attempting to bring him back into the fold.

Premier Options:

Devin McCourty never made it to free agency, spurning advances from both the Giants and the Eagles in favor of re-signing with the Patriots before he hit the open market. He signed a $47 million contract and will count $6 million against the Patriots salary cap this season. There were reports that he turned down more generous offers from both NFC East rivals to stay in England. Da’Norris Searcy signed a $24 million contract with the Tennessee Titans and will count nearly $4 million against their 2014 salary cap. The sole remaining premier option is Rahim Morris, the Giants360 preferred choice from the start, and his price will fall somewhere in between McCourty and Searcy.

Rahim Moore, 25, 6’1″, 195 lbs, 5th season, Denver: Moore is a consistent coverage safety that struggles to support the run. Originally a second round choice in 2011, Moore has been a fixture in the Broncos secondary, starting 48 of his 57 career games. He was permitted to leave in free agency by the cap strapped Broncos who have also lost offensive lineman Orlando Franklin and tight end Julius Thomas. Moore has been making the rounds, visiting the Texans, and talking with the Eagles and the Giants. He is the biggest remaining prize on the free agent safety market.

Update: Moore signed a 3 year, $12 million contract with the Texans. Four million dollars is fully guaranteed. Cap charges are $3 million, $4.35 million, and $4.65 million. This is a reasonable contract, and if the Giants were truly interested, one the team could have afforded.

Ron Parker, 27, 6’0″, 206 lbs, 5th season, Kansas City: A late name surfacing as a top candidate in the safety field, Parker is a converted cornerback who started 15 games for the Chiefs in 2014. While played well in coverage, but struggled to support in run defense, Parker appeared to grow into his new role as the season went on. His upside is the reason teams have been pursuing him, including Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and the Giants. Parker attended Newberry College, the same school as Giants wide receiver Corey Washington, although at different times. The two men are also workout partners during the off season and Washington has been trying to recruit Parker to the Giants. Given their need at the position, they can use all the help they can get.

Update: Parker has re-signed with the Chiefs. The preliminary contract is reported by his agent to be 5 years, $30 million.

Spagnuolo Disciples:

Players with a knowledge of the Giants defensive coordinator’s system, and of whom he has intimate knowledge, both of these players have a history with Spagnuolo.

Stewart knows Spanguolo and vice versa

Stewart signed with Denver

Darian Stewart, 26, 5’11”, 214 lbs, 5th season, Baltimore: Originally identified at a potential Giants target in our free agent preview series, Stewart played for Spagnuolo in St. Louis in 2010-2011 and followed him to Baltimore where Spagnuolo was Assistant Head Coach and Secondary Coach last season. An undrafted free agent, Stewart has had an up and down career, but has started 33 of 70 games and bounced back significantly in 2014 under the new Giants defensive coordinator’s tutelage. He know Spagnuolo’s system, is solid in run support, but struggles in pass coverage. He’s still a work in progress, but one Spagnuolo seems to think is worth completing. Our theory was confirmed when news broke that the Giants are pursuing him.


Update: Stewart signed a two year contract with the Denver Broncos, financial details are not available.

Jeromy Miles, 27, 6’2″, 214 lbs, 5th season, Baltimore: Another player who flourished in Spagnuolo’s system, Miles took big jumps in both pass coverage and run support from 2013 to 2014. Another undrafted free agent in 2011 by the Bengals, Miles has bounced between Cincinnati and Baltimore during his career, starting only 3 of his 70 career games. Spagnuolo must have seen something, because 2 of the starts were last season, and he rated out well. There’s been no word of Giants interest, but as option dwindle, don’t be surprised if his name pops up on the Giants radar.

Limited Play Options:

These plays don’t have a lot of experience, but have shown well when they have gotten opportunities. Young, and still on the upside of their career, these men are either ready to take the next step or will grow into a starting position. Given the Giants need, some Miracle Grow will be needed to get them ready by September.

Jeron Johnson, 26, 5’10”, 212 lbs, 4th season, Seattle: Johnson has been a backup member of the Legion of Boom for 4 seasons and has been above average in his limited opportunities on defense. With Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas at safety, Seattle provides few opportunities for others to get on the field. The Seahawks have shown an ability to find and develop defensive backs under Pete Carroll, and Johnson could be a diamond in the rough.

Update: Johnson has a visit scheduled with the Washington Redskins.

Coleman suffered due to the Eagles offense.

Coleman signed with Carolina.

Kurt Coleman, 26, 5’10”, 192 lbs, 5th season, Kansas City: A seventh round pick by the Eagles in 2010, Coleman followed Andy Reid to Kansas City last season and it was a shrewd move on his part. While a poor to mediocre performer in Philadelphia, Coleman improved markedly in both pass coverage and run support last season for the Chiefs. Part of the issue in evaluating defensive players for the Eagles is the pressure the Chip Kelly offensive puts on the defense in terms of number of plays and time on the field, both are increased by the extreme pace of the Eagles offense. Part of Coleman’s struggles in Philadelphia may have been attributable to that distorting effect.

Update: Coleman signed a two year contract with the Carolina Panthers on Monday, March 16th.

Josh Gordy, 28, 5’11”, 195 lbs, 6th season, Indianapolis: Gordy is a box safety who is good in run support and average in coverage. He’s started 11 of 59 career games, but just one in 2014, Gordy would fit nicely at strong safety as a stopgap measure. He would come at the veteran minimum and provide quality depth.

Taylor Mays, 27, 6’3″, 231 lbs, 6th season, Cincinnati: Mays is a classic ‘tweener,’ suited to play strong safety or linebacker, but not a top option at either position. He has had some success as a box safety and had held his own in pass coverage. Another stopgap option, Mays has started 10 of his 66 career games and could be signed to provide safety depth.

Update: The Redskins have also been reported to have interest in Mays as a potential replacement for the retired Ryan Clark.

Veteran Options:

There are several veteran players who, despite their advanced age in NFL terms, had solid 2014 seasons. The Giants could sign them for slightly above veteran minimum one year deals after the free agent market cools off and hope they have enough gas left in their tank to solidify the secondary for another season.

Dawan Landry, Jets, 6’1″, 212 lbs, 32, 9 year veteran: The Jets secondary was much maligned last season, but their issue was at cornerback. Landry turned in a solid season, both in pass coverage and run support despite having junior varsity players rotating in at cornerback through the year. That alone makes in an immediate upgrade to Antrel Rolle. Landry has started 126 of 130 career games, including 14 of 16 in 2014

Jim Leonhard, Browns, 32, 5’8″, 188 lbs, 10 year veteran: An undersized, coverage only safety, Leonard is the ultimate journeyman, having played for 6 NFL teams in 10 seasons. Lacking the size to provide run support, Leonhard still played the pass well, even at age 32. He’s another stopgap option.

Usama Young, 29, 5’11”, 186 lbs, 9th season, Oakland: Young has been an effective safety for a long time in the NFL, but his last two seasons have been cut short by neck (2013) and ACL/MCL (2014) injuries. The Giants will need to do their due diligence on his recovery, but, if healthy, Young would be a cap friendly veteran option to serve as a transitional player in the secondary. Rehabbing a knee at 29 is a tricky proposition, but is successful as often as it’s not, and those 50/50 odds are worth exploring.

If healthy, Pollard is a stopgap option

If healthy, Pollard is a stopgap option

Bernard Pollard, 30, 6’2″, 225, 10th season, Tennessee: Pollard is coming off an Achilles tendon tear and has a reputation as a bad seed in the locker room, but he’s an above average safety with a world of experience, and, if healthy, would solve the Giants secondary issues for a season or two until a permanent solution can be found. With 106 starts under his belt, Pollard should be a mentor to both Berhe and Taylor, although his history as selfish teammate does not support this assertion. Beggars can’t be choosers, and with safety options dwindling faster than snow in the suddenly temperate New Jersey climate, Pollard deserves a look see.

What should the Giants do? Signing Moore is still their best option, but he’s likely pricing himself out of their market. Parker seems to be the name to watch, with his Giants connection to Washington, but he’s spent a lot of time with the Bears. Rolle’s signing may diminish Chicago’s interest and help the Giants land him. Stewart has become a hot name over the past 24 hours, and his connection to Spagnuolo makes him a viable candidate who will plug and play quickly in the Giants defense. In a perfect world, both Parker and Stewart would sign, with one pairing up with Berhe to start, and the other battling with Cooper for the third safety spot on the roster. In the imperfect world we live in, one of them will be signed, sometime in the next five days, and one of the Limited Snap or Veteran options will be added later to sure up the position.

We are only two and a half days into free agency and still five months away from training camp. Tom Coughlin is a compulsive planner and as sure as spring is coming, he has met with Reese and has multiple contingencies laid out for the position. Fret not, Giants fans, the situation at safety is not as dire as it seems, there are still a multitude of viable options for the taking. There’s also the NFL draft, as bereft of safety options as it may be.

Coverage of free agency continues ongoing on the Giants360 (@Giants360) Twitter account breaking news, and detailed information with analysis provided here at Your perfect source for all your New York Giants needs.

Giants360: All Football. All Year Round.


Game Summary: Giants at Titans

The inactive list came out at 11:30 AM eastern time and on it were Michael Oher and Taylor Lewan of the Tennessee Titans. Nondescript names to casual fans, but as the starting offensive tackles for the Titans it meant that both backups would be pressed into starting roles. Having already lost Michael Roos for the season, the fourth and fifth options, Will Stivek and Byron Stingely would get the call. Tennessee also dressed only three wide receivers, Nate Washington, Derek Hagan, and Kris Durham. It was rare occasion in 2014 when the talent gap favored the Giants and the team took advantage, beating the Titans soundly, 36-7, snapping their seven game losing streak and, for a fleeting moment, brightening a dismal season.

The game was not all moonlight and roses as the Titans points came on an Eli Manning interception returned 23 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter by Marqueston Huff. The ill advised pass was intended for Larry Donnell on a third down when Manning moved to his left to escape pressure and floated the pass. Manning wanted to drop a touch pass over Huff to Donnell for the first down, but instead threw it directly to Huff who ran it back for the score. Although the score was 30-7 at the time, skeptics predicted another Giants second half collapse, but it did not materialize, and the team earned their 4th win of the season and 1st since early October.

Williams hard running powered the Giants ground game

Williams hard running powered the Giants ground game

The star of the game was again Odell Beckham who caught 11 of 15 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter that made the score 10-0 Giants. Fellow rookie Andre Williams, starting in place of the injured Rashad Jennings, added 131 yards and a touchdown of his own, on 24 carries. Jennings was used sparingly in the blowout, getting only 2 carries and 1 pass thrown in his direction. It was Williams show, and he ran hard and with purpose, showing growth and more patience than in his earlier starts.

New York dominated early, taking the opening kickoff and marching 78 yards in 14 plays before the drive stalled on the 2 yard line when Manning’s fade for Donnell fell incomplete in the back of end zone. After the defense forced a three and out on the Titans first drive, Manning engineered an all Beckham drive for the Giants first touchdown, hitting the receiver for gains of 50 and 7 yards before connecting on the 15 yard touchdown pass. Beckham dominated Titans top cornerback Jason McCourty, strengthening his case for Rookie of the Year honors.

Markus Kuhn rumbled for a 26 yard fumble return touchdown

Markus Kuhn rumbled for a 26 yard fumble return touchdown

After the team exchanged punts, Devon Kennard, another standout rookie, registered the first of his two sack on the day, jarring the ball loose, and defensive tackle Markus Kuhn picked it up and rumbled 26 yards down the left sideline for the touchdown, making the score 17-0 Giants and the rout was on.

Another defensive touchdown, an interception return by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was wiped off the scoreboard when Damontre Moore blocked a disinterested Titans quarterback Zack Mettenberger, drawing a flag. The interception stood, but the return was nullified. Moore’s lack of discipline is to blame for his low volume of snaps for the season. He jumped offsides on a 3rd and long last week against Jacksonville, and committed this thoughtless penalty taking points off the scoreboard. If not for multiple injuries, Moore would languish on the bench until the light bulb flips on for him.

Devon Kennard registered 2 of the Giants 8 sacks

Devon Kennard registered 2 of the Giants 8 sacks

Taking advantage of the Titans decimated offensive line, the Giants defense registered 8 sacks on the day and have 15 in the past two weeks, all coming against two of the most porous lines in the NFL. Tennessee gained just 207 yards on the day, including 61 yard rushing, with most of their offense coming when the outcome of the game was long decided. While a good result, it’s not an indication that the Giants defense is improved, but an indictment of the sorry state of the Titans, a team in much worse shape than the Giants.

Another black cloud on an otherwise sunny day was the Giants performance in the red zone. Converting only once in five drives, Josh Brown kicked four of his five field goals after drive stalled inside the Titans 20. Prior to this week, the Giants had been one of the leagues more effective teams, scoring touchdowns 2 out of every 3 trips into opponents red zone. The reliable Brown, who has missed only one field goal attempt on the season, bailed the Giants out.

Next week’s opponent, the Washington Redskins, were shut out yesterday by the St. Louis Rams, who the Giants play in two weeks, before closing out the season against the division leading Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants currently hold the 7th pick in the upcoming NFL draft, and Washington the 6th pick. A common topic of discussion among fans is should the Giants lost their remaining games to improve their draft position in 2015. While prevalent in fan thinking, that is so foreign to NFL player and coaches though processes that it never enters the equation. NFL team game plan and take the field with the intent to win every game from week 1 to week 17.

Tanking for Picks? Not in the NFL. What do you think this is? The NBA???

Tanking for Picks? Not in the NFL. What do you think this is? The NBA???

The competition for roster spots and coaching jobs is fierce and never ending. Starting with Black Monday, the day after the regular season concludes, coaching performance will be evaluated. Head coaches and entire staffs will be dismissed, hired, and adjusted. Team performance in these game reflects not only on the players, but on the position coaches that prepare them for the game. These men, if released from their contract will seek employment on those teams that hire new head coaches or coordinators for 2015.

The NFL draft is the main vehicle on which new talent enters the league. From the time a team is eliminated until the draft concludes on May 2, 2015, the primary focus of each NFL franchise will be evaluating their current roster and determining which players need to be upgraded or replaced. Every player drafted or signed as a free agent is intended to supplant one on the roster today. Player performance in these games will play a role in determining which positions the team drafts or signs as free agent to form their 2015 rosters. The player who is released or not re-signed stands to lose millions of dollars in earnings.

Consider these realities of NFL life when you talk of tanking games and putting that performance on game film. The decision to put a player deemed not ready to play in the NFL, which is apparently the case with Corey Washington, into a game, reflect poorly on Tom Coughlin, Ben McAdoo, and wide receivers coach Sean Ryan. A player seen as coasting through December may find himself jobless come March 11 when free agency opens.