Giants sign OT Mike Remmers

Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur reached into their recent past to find the player who many believe will become their final starting offensive lineman.

Mike Remmers, who has started all 71 regular-season and postseason games in which he played the previous five seasons, has signed with the Giants, the team announced today. He is the favorite to open the 2019 season as first-team right tackle.

Remmers, 6-5 and 310 pounds, spent the previous two years with the Minnesota Vikings, for whom he started all 16 games last season at right guard. The previous season, when Shurmur was named the NFL Assistant Coach of the Year as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator, Remmers played three different positions; he started 10 games at right tackle before switching to right guard in the regular-season finale, before starting his only two games at left guard in the postseason, including the NFC Championship Game.

Before moving to Minnesota, Remmers played three seasons for the Carolina Panthers when Gettleman was the team’s general manager. He started all 42 games in which he appeared for Carolina, including Super Bowl 50, and twice played in every game.

Remmers, 30, entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Denver in 2012. After a stint on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad, Remmers joined the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 9, 2013. He played in one game that season, the only contest in his career in which he did not start.

Remmers was acquired off waivers by Minnesota on Nov. 25, 2013. After spending time on the practice squads of the Vikings and the Rams, he was signed by the Panthers on Oct. 28, 2014. Remmers started the season’s final seven games, including two in the postseason, before starting every game for Carolina in 2015-16. He signed as a free agent with the Vikings on March 10, 2017.

The breakdown of Remmers’ 64 regular-season starts include 34 at right tackle, 17 at right guard, and 13 at left guard. In the postseason, he has five starts at right tackle and two at left guard.

Remmers is the second veteran offensive lineman acquired by the Giants this offseason. Right guard Kevin Zeitler arrived via trade from the Cleveland Browns.

Zeitler and Remmers are expected to line up next to each other on the right side, though Chad Wheeler will compete to keep the tackle job he held for the season’s final 14 games last year. They will team with left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Will Hernandez and either Jon Halapio or Spencer Pulley at center on an offensive line that has been completely re-staffed since Gettleman was hired less than 17 months ago.

*The Giants also signed defensive end Freedom Akinmoladun, who attended the team’s recent rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. Akinmoladun, a 6-3 and 283-pounder from Nebraska, started all 37 games at defensive end from 2016-18. He finished his Husker career with 106 tackles and 12 sacks.

*The Giants waived kicker Joey Slye of Virginia Tech, whom they signed last week after the rookie minicamp.

*The Giants waived/injured rookie defensive back Jacob Thienemen, who hurt his knee in the rookie minicamp.  Thienemen, from Purdue, was signed on May 2.

Article courtesy of Mike Eisen/NY Giants

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Giants sign RB Rod Smith

Article courtesy of Michael Eisen:

The Giants today signed an intriguing candidate to compete for the backup running back job behind reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley.

Rod Smith, who spent most of the previous four seasons with NFC East rival Dallas, scored two touchdowns in a game against the Giants in 2017. He joins a backfield that is led by Barkley and includes former draft choices Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins, 2018 acquisition Eli Penny, and undrafted free agents Robert Martin and Jon Hilliman.

Smith, 6-3 and 235 pounds, has played in 49 regular-season games – 48 of them for the Cowboys, who acquired him off waivers in 2015 after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks. He started one game in each of the previous two seasons. His career totals include 101 rushing attempts for 364 yards (3.6-yard avg.) and five touchdowns with a long run of 45 yards, and 30 receptions for 272 yards and one touchdown – an 81-yarder vs. the Giants in MetLife Stadium on Dec. 10, 2017.

Last year, Smith played in all 16 games for the first time in his four NFL seasons. He started the season finale against the Giants when the Cowboys rested NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott. He ran 12 times for 35 yards, including a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, and caught two passes for 14 yards. His season totals included 44 carries for 127 yards, and nine catches for 60 yards. Smith also played in both of Dallas’ postseason games and gained one yard on his only rushing attempt.

Smith’s most productive season was in 2017. He finished with career-high totals of 55 carries, 232 yards and four touchdowns, plus 19 catches for 202 yards. Smith’s best game was the 30-10 victory against the Giants. He scored Dallas’ final two touchdowns on a 15-yard run and the 81-yard reception, and he ran for 47 yards on six carries and had team and career-high totals of five catches for 113 yards.

In five career games against the Giants, Smith has 82 rushing yards on 18 carries (4.6-yard avg.) and two touchdowns, and seven receptions for 127 yards.

Smith entered the NFL in 2015 out of Ohio State as a rookie free agent with the Seahawks. After an early-season stint on the practice squad, Smith made his NFL debut on Oct. 11 at Cincinnati. He gained five yards on two carries and was cut two days later. Dallas claimed him and he played in 10 games that season and seven the following year without ever carrying the ball. Smith did have a four-yard reception in 2016. The Cowboys began integrating him in the offense in 2017.

Barkley, the second overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, set Giants rookie records last season with 1,307 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, and he tied another mark with 91 receptions.

Behind him, the Giants are looking to strengthen their depth. Gallman, who is entering his third season, rushed for 176 yards on 51 carries and caught 14 passes last year. Perkins missed the entire 2018 season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in an individual workout in the spring. A fifth-round draft choice in 2016, he rushed for 546 yards and had 23 receptions in his first two years. Penny was signed off the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad last Sept. 19 and played in 14 games with three starts for the Giants. He had seven carries for 25 yards and eight catches for 50 yards, plus two special teams tackles.

Martin spent the entire 2018 season on the Giants’ practice squad. Hilliman, who is also a Rutgers product, was signed last week.

Giants’ Jones on the possibility of Zion Williamson coming to NY: ‘That would be a cool deal’

The NBA Draft Lottery is May 14, and at this point, teams are salivating at the opportunity to take former Duke star, Zion Williamson, and based on what we have seen during his time at Duke, Williamson has the potential to be the next big thing.

The Knicks, Suns, and Cavaliers have the best opportunity to get Williamson. All three teams have a 14% chance to get the number one overall pick. Wherever he goes, Williamson is going to be box office. He easily was the most popular player in college basketball last season.

One guy who would love for Williamson to go to New York is the newest Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who played his college ball at Duke and was the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

“I have gotten to know him a little bit,” Jones said on Friday after Giants Rookie Minicamp. “We talked a little bit about that actually this week. That would be a cool deal. We will see what happens. He is a special guy.”

If Williamson goes to the Knicks, man, that would give that city and franchise a big boost, and quite frankly, it’s probably good for the NBA. I always believe that the Knicks being right is great for the NBA, and Williamson to New York could help the Knicks become relevant again. Plus, if all goes well, Jones and Williamson could be the new faces of New York City sports, which would be a great thing for fans in the “Big Apple.”

Ex-Brown Kevin Zeitler: ‘It’s definitely an exciting time in Cleveland’

Cleveland is rocking right now. They seem to have their quarterback of the future in Baker Mayfield, and not only does Mayfield have Jarvis Landry to throw to but he also has Odell Beckham Jr., who was acquired in a trade with the New York Giants last week.

There has not been this much excitement in Cleveland since LeBron James won a championship with the Cavaliers in 2016, and If all goes as planned, maybe Cleveland could celebrate another title soon.

One of the players sent to New York in the trade for Odell Beckham, G Kevin Zeitler, believes that fun has just begun in Cleveland.

“You look at what they have done these last couple of weeks; it’s definitely an exciting time in Cleveland,” Zeitler said on a conference call on Monday. “I think the guys there are going to have a very good time this next year. Like I said, there’s nothing I can do about it. They traded, and the Giants wanted me. I’m excited to be here, and we are going to do everything we can to get the same amount of buzz in New York.”

Zeitler, who spent two seasons in Cleveland after signing a five-year, $60 million contract with the Browns in 2017, endured so much losing in Cleveland, including 0-16 in 2017, so you have to feel for Zeitler, but football is a business, and in business, things happen.

 

 

Giants’ Jabrill Peppers is excited to be home

Jabrill Peppers is going home. Peppers, who is from East Orange, New Jersey, was acquired by the Giants along with guard Kevin Zeitler, and draft picks from the Browns, in the deal that sent Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon to Cleveland.

The 23-year-old Peppers has an opportunity to play in front of his friends and family with the New York Giants, and New York is hoping that he can replace the departed Landon Collins, who recently signed with the Redskins.

On Monday, Peppers took part in a media conference call.

Here is what he had to say:

Q: What was your reaction to the trade?

Peppers: “I was excited. (I) get a chance to play football and do it in front of the home state. It was definitely an exhilarating feeling.”

Q: With losing a player like Landon Collins, what do you think about the expectations that will come with filling that void?

Peppers: “I’m just excited to play football again. Excited to go to the Giants and be one of the best players I can be. I hold myself to a high level and I intend to play at that level.”

Q: Have you had any conversations about how the Giants will be using you in their defense and have you been asking around about James Bettcher and his scheme?

Peppers: “No, no real conversations I’ve had but I’ve been looking at YouTube videos of when he was in Arizona. I’m just anxious to learn the scheme and see how I’m going to be used.”

Q: From where you’re at as a player, how would you give a scouting report on Jabrill Peppers, the player that the Giants are getting?

Peppers: “They’re getting a hard worker. A guy that’s going to do whatever it takes to win. Me personally, I feel as though I haven’t even showed a third of what I can really do. So, I’m anxious just to get there and have a fresh beginning, and immerse myself in the culture and tradition, learn the schemes and be the best player I can be.”

Q: You mentioned coming home, what was it like being the top recruit coming out of high school around this area? What was that time of your life like?

Peppers:: “It wasn’t about being the top recruit, it was just more about the talent level that I was playing against. I was in a very competitive league and it brought the best out of me each and every game. I think that prepared me for the big games at the college level, and even at the NFL level, because some stadiums are smaller than it is at the collegiate level. Just being in that atmosphere, I definitely think that was the biggest factor.”

Q: What’s your family’s reaction been to this homecoming?

Peppers:: “They’re excited, they’re excited. It’s a much easier commute than Cleveland, Ohio. So, that works out.”

Q: Were you surprised when you got the call from the Browns that you’re being traded to the Giants?

Peppers:: “It’s a business, so nothing really can surprise you. It’s just more of a blessing in disguise and I feel as though God doesn’t make mistakes. If this is the path he wants me to walk down on, I’m going to embrace it. It was more of an exciting, exhilarating feeling. Just a new road to go down, and I’m excited to go down it.”

Q: Is there a part of your personality where you can raise your level of play if certain pressure is put on you?

Peppers: “Again, I’m just going there to be the best football player I can be. I hold myself to a high level and I attend to play at that level. That’s about as best as I can give to you.”

Q: Have you talked to Antoine Bethea? Seems like you two are going to be tied together there in the secondary.

Peppers: “I’ve talked to him briefly. He’s a hell of a player and I have fine knowledge of him. He’s a veteran guy who’s made a lot of plays on the ball, made a lot of tackles, he’s played in the system before, so I’m eager to pick his brain and play alongside of him and roam that secondary back there.”

Q: You obviously know Saquon Barkley. I don’t know the depth of your relationship, but have you spoken to Saquon at all? What’s that going to be like being his teammate after both being marquee players in the same conference in college?

Peppers: “It’s going to be a phenomenal thing. Just competing against him in practice every day. After playing against him for most of my career at Michigan, he’s a hell of a player. (I) haven’t really had an extensive conversation with him. All he said was, ‘Let’s get to work,’ and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ That’s kind of where we’re at right now. April 15 is right around the corner. We’re just all finishing up putting the final touches on the offseason training, and eager to come back and get to work.”

Ex-Eagle Golden Tate: ‘Philadelphia is a fantastic sports town’

After trading Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns, the New York Giants needed a replacement, and on Thursday they got their guy. The Giants agreed to terms with former Eagles WR Golden Tate, and according to ESPN, it’s a four-year deal worth $37.5 million, that includes $23 million fully guaranteed.

While Tate is not Beckham, he is a solid replacement. Last year, Tate, 30, played seven games for the Lions before being traded to the Eagles, with whom he played another eight games, plus two in the playoffs. He totaled 74 receptions for 795 yards and four touchdowns. Tate’s highlight in Philly was catching a fourth-down, two-yard pass from Nick Foles for the game-winning touchdown in an NFC Wild Card Game in Chicago.

Although Tate played in only eight games with the Eagles, he really enjoyed his time in Philly and appreciated the Philly fans.

“It was a great experience,” Tate said on Friday. “I really didn’t have too much time to take it all in, because I had to hit the ground running, because it was mid-season — trying to learn the city, how to get to work,  where my position room was, the quarterback situation, obviously the offense, the coaches. All that I had to learn very, very quickly, but I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed. Philadelphia is a fantastic sports town and just a great city overall. I’ll forever be grateful for my time there, and I’ll never forget it, but excited to be here in the Big Apple.”

Philly has a great fan base, and Tate got just a little taste of how passionate they can be. Now, he will be wearing Giant blue, which means he becomes the enemy.

 

 

Gettleman on Giants: ‘You can win while you build a roster’

The New York Giants are remaking their roster as we speak. The Giants sent star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and linebacker Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns for safety Jabrill Peppers, guard Kevin Zeitler and two draft choices(2019 1st, 3rd round picks).

The deal is contingent on the players passing physicals with their new teams, which are expected to be completed no later than Monday.

The Giants have lost a lot of talent off their roster in the last few days. In addition to trading Vernon and Beckham to Cleveland, the Giants also lost Pro-Bowl safety Landon Collins, who signed with the Washington Redskins. At this point, it seems the Giants are in rebuild mode.

However, according to their GM Dave Gettleman, the Giants can build a quality roster and win at the same time.

“You can win while you build a roster,” Gettleman said. “We do have a plan, and this is a part of it.”

It’s hard to decipher what the Giants’ plan is moving forward. They still need a QB because the 38-year-old Eli Manning is near the end of his career. The Giants will probably grab a QB in the draft(Giants have 6th overall pick), which could be Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins. In the NFL, it’s all about getting a QB, and if the Giants can grab a QB in the draft that they like, then all will be better in New York. However, as of now, Giants fans are still a little miffed about the direction of this team.

Barkley captures Pepsi Rookie of the Year

New York Giants running back SAQUON BARKLEY has been named the 2018 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, Pepsi and the NFL announced today. Barkley was recognized online at nfl.com/rookies and this morning during Pepsi’s Rookie Brunch Party in Atlanta, which featured a trophy presentation by ESPN’s Sam Ponder, a DJ set by Grammy-winner Lil Jon (who is also featured in Pepsi’s Super Bowl LIII commercial), and a performance by Pepsi’s Sound Drop artist Bryce Vine.

The No. 2 selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 scrimmage yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (2,212 scrimmage yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999) as the only rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history. A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, he recorded 91 receptions in 2018, including a single-game franchise-record 14 catches in Week 2, tied for the most by a rookie running back in league annals. Barkley became the first Giants rookie to rush for at least 1,000 yards (1,307) and his 15 scrimmage touchdowns were the most by a rookie in team history.

Barkley was one of five finalists nominated for this honor. The other finalists were Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

NFL announces schedule change in Week 16

The NFL announced today the following schedule change for Week 16 (December 23):

The New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts game originally scheduled for 1:00 PM ET on FOX will move to 1:00 PM ET on CBS.

The following is the final Week 16 NFL schedule (all times ET):

Saturday, December 22

Washington at Tennessee 4:30 PM NFLN
Baltimore at Los Angeles Chargers 8:20 PM NFLN

Sunday, December 23

Atlanta at Carolina 1:00 PM FOX
Cincinnati at Cleveland 1:00 PM CBS
Tampa Bay at Dallas 1:00 PM FOX
Minnesota at Detroit 1:00 PM FOX
New York Giants at Indianapolis 1:00 PM CBS
Jacksonville at Miami 1:00 PM CBS
Buffalo at New England 1:00 PM CBS
Green Bay at New York Jets 1:00 PM FOX
Houston at Philadelphia 1:00 PM CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona 4:05 PM FOX
Chicago at San Francisco 4:05 PM FOX
Pittsburgh at New Orleans 4:25 PM CBS
Kansas City at Seattle 8:20 PM NBC
   

Monday, December 24

Denver at Oakland 8:15 PM ESPN

Jaguars sign OT Ereck Flowers

A few days after getting released by the Giants, the Jacksonville Jaguars have signed fourth-year OL Ereck Flowers, the club announced today. To make room on the roster, the Jaguars placed fourth-year OL Josh Wells on the team’s reserve/injured list.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it’s a one-year deal.

Flowers, 6-6, 334, was originally selected in the first round (ninth overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He appeared in 51 games (48 starts) with the Giants from 2015-18, starting his first 46 career games at left tackle. As a rookie in 2015, Flowers started 15 games at left tackle and helped protect QB Eli Manning, who set a franchise record with 387 completions. In 2018 with the Giants, he appeared in five games and made two starts at right tackle. A Miami native, Flowers played on the same offensive line as Jaguars OL and offensive captain Brandon Linder at Miami (Fla). From 2012-14, Flowers played in 38 games and started 28 (24 at left tackle, four at right tackle) for the Hurricanes.