The New York Giants placed RB Saquon Barkley, TE Kyle Rudolph, and four others on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, the team announced on Thursday.
Barkley is looking to return after tearing his right ACL last September, while Rudolph is working his way back from offseason foot surgery.
In addition to Barkley and Rudolph, center Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), tackle Matt Peart (back), linebacker Oshane Ximines (hamstring), and rookie cornerback Aaron Robinson (core muscle), the team’s third-round draft choice, was also placed on the PUP list.
According to the NFL, players on the Active/PUP list can be activated at any time during training camp. If they are still on the list at the final roster cutdown to 53, they must either be activated or moved to the Reserve/PUP list. Players on the Reserve/PUP list must be inactive for the first six weeks.
Eli Manning, who won two Super Bowls, set numerous passing records and was one of the most popular players in Giants history, is officially back with the Giants, this time in an off the field capacity, the team announced today. Manning retired as a player following the 2019 season, ending a franchise-record 16-year career spent entirely with the Giants. His ties with the team and with the fanbase run incredibly deep, and it’s those relationships that his new responsibilities will tap into, as he’ll help with initiatives stretching across business development, marketing and community and corporate relations. Manning will also collaborate with the Giants on original content development and fan engagement activations, including a new lifestyle series premiering this fall.
“For 16 seasons, Eli represented and defined what it meant to be a Giant and we are excited for him to join the business side of our front office,” said John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer. “Eli is one of the most beloved players in Giants history. We had a mutual interest in him returning to the organization and we’re thrilled to welcome him back.”
“We are proud Eli was our quarterback for so many years and now look forward to his next chapter as a Giant,” said Steve Tisch, Giants chairman and executive vice president. “Eli is the ultimate team player and will be a huge addition to the organization as we continue to elevate and strengthen our business operation.”
Manning is thrilled to return to the Giants in a new and challenging role. He was happy to return to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center when some COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
“After not being able to come back in the facility for a full year, to finally see my former teammates and the individuals I’ve spent the past 16 years with – like the trainers and equipment guys, video, scouting, management, owners – it’s incredibly exciting to be back,” Manning said. “Staying involved with this organization is very important to me. I love the organization, love the Giants and the fans, and so I want to do anything possible to help them out and be a part of it.” Manning’s new role will include several assignments.
“I’m willing to do anything,” he said. “But I’m focused on the business side with corporate partners and on community relations, which was always so important to me while I was playing here and is something, I’ve placed a high priority on throughout my life. I’m looking forward to seeing where I can make the most impact in helping the Giants achieve their business and community goals.”
Manning played a Giants-record 236 regular-season games – plus 12 more in the playoffs – without ever missing one due to injury. He is the only Giants player to win two Super Bowl Most Valuable Player awards, which he earned in the Giants victories against the New England Patriots in Super Bowls XXLI and XLVI. A four-time Pro Bowler, Manning set more than 20 franchise records and earned the universal admiration of teammates, coaches, support staff, opponents and fans.
On September 26, Manning will be inducted into the Giants’ Ring of Honor and will have his No. 10 jersey retired during a special halftime ceremony when the Giants host the Atlanta Falcons in MetLife Stadium. He will become the 43rd member of the Giants Ring of Honor.
“It’s a great honor and just an unbelievable feeling,” Manning said. “I don’t know what the emotions will be that day. I know they’ll be high, though. To have that feeling and that final goodbye, a true goodbye to the fans, and to thank them for supporting me during my 16 seasons here, it’s going to be special. I think it’s an opportunity for me to thank everybody here – teammates, coaches and the organization – for believing in me, for bringing me to New York and for giving me a chance to have success. It’ll be an awesome day to be here and a great celebration.”
The Giants announced the dates and kickoff times for their three 2021 preseason games, the team announced on Tuesday.
The NFL this year increased each team’s regular-season schedule to 17 games and reduced the traditional four-game preseason to three.
The Giants will play their first game on Saturday, Aug. 14, when they host the Jets at 7:30 p.m. The teams met in 51 consecutive summers (1969-2019) before last year’s game – and the NFL’s entire preseason schedule – was canceled due to the pandemic. This will be just the fourth time the teams that share MetLife Stadium will meet in the preseason opener. They also faced each other to open the preseason in 1983, 2010 and 2019 and were scheduled to do so again in 2020. The Giants have won the four previous preseason meetings to tie the annual series – which began in 1969 – at 25-25-1. The tie was in 1972.
On Sunday, Aug. 22, the Giants will play a rare early-afternoon preseason game when they visit the Cleveland Browns at 1 p.m. The teams’ preseason series is also tied, at 9-9. They last met in the preseason on Aug. 9, 2018, a 20-10 Browns victory in New Jersey. The Giants’ most recent preseason visit to Cleveland was on Aug. 21, 2017, when they lost, 10-6.
Coach Joe Judge will face his former team for the first time when the Giants and New England Patriots meet in MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. The Giants and Patriots will continue a tradition of ending the preseason by playing each other, as they did for 15 consecutive summers from 2005-19. The Giants lead the preseason series, 20-10. The two teams first met in the preseason in 1971.
In their most recent preseason in 2019, the Giants were 4-0, defeating the Jets, Bears, Bengals and Patriots.
The Giants open their regular season on Sunday, Sept. 12, at home against the Denver Broncos. They do not play any of their preseason opponents in the regular season.
The nature and form of offseason workouts across the NFL has been a hot topic of discussion throughout the spring. Players on several teams have negotiated directly with their coaches to change practice schedules and regimens.
The Philadelphia Eagles did away with 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills and canceled their mandatory three-day minicamp. In Green Bay, the coaches agreed to two weeks of virtual workouts and to move the minicamp up one week. And Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores consented to a modified schedule in which the team won’t have virtual meetings on the two days per week that they hold walkthrough practices. And to ensure they’re strictly walkthroughs, the Dolphins players negotiated for mandatory flip-flops at those workouts.
Giants coach Joe Judge said today he’s had no such discussions with his players, and he is sticking to his offseason plan.
“I think our players understand that any time we put them on the field we are always going to do so first off with their safety in mind,” Judge said in a Zoom news conference before the team took the field for an organized team activity. “Then also what we think is best for the team to progress each individual’s technique and conditioning as well as the team collectively going forward. No, look, I’m always very clear, very transparent with the team in terms of how we’re going to practice, what we are going to do and what our intents are going on the field and the reason behind that. We haven’t had any discussions like that. If at some point some player wants to talk, I’m always very open and I’ll give them a very direct answer.”
The Giants will be on the field 11 times this spring – eight OTAs (two under the allowed maximum), plus a three-day mandatory minicamp next month.
“That was just a good schedule for us to work on in terms of getting what we want accomplished through the install and the players to get a chance to jump on their summers,” Judge said. “A lot of guys will be training elsewhere with different players and locations and others go to family vacation and build back into training. We thought it was a good time frame for us to wrap up camp. The rookies have time on the back end when the vets leave to stay and get some extra meeting time and with the strength and conditioning staff and to really help their development leaving training camp.”
What does Judge hope to accomplish before the players depart for their pre-training camp break?
“The first part is see where our players are at physically,” he said. “Until I know these guys can go out and operate at 100 percent and stay healthy and protect themselves on the field, soft tissues, and we want to avoid collisions at this part of the camp. Until we know that, we are not really going to go ahead and keep this as a competitive drill. You will see team on team, 11-on-11 activities out there, but we will control the tempo in practice. But there are other times in individual and group work where we will ramp that up and make sure the guys work on skill development, timing, offense, defense, and place a large emphasis on communication this time of year.
“You have to take the mental steps forward in terms of the understanding of the scheme and you have to develop chemistry with the communication on offense and defense. This is a great time of year to have it. You’re not preparing for an opponent and you can take it day-by-day and challenge the players in different ways and see the interaction grow with young and old guys.”
*Because of the pandemic, the Giants did not have a single fan attend any of their eight home games in Judge’s first season as coach. But the state of New Jersey this week gave the Giants the green light to host capacity crowds this year in MetLife Stadium.
“I couldn’t be more excited to know there’s going to be 100 percent capacity,” Judge said. “I’m not going to speak for the entire team, but I know there’s a lot of energy, upon hearing that announcement. Personally, I can’t wait to walk in a stadium and hear it at a deafening level. That’s something I’m really looking forward to and feeling the energy of the fans. It’s something we’ve missed, and I’ve expressed before how much we value and thrive on as a team, going out playing in front of your home crowd and the animosity playing on the road against a visiting crowd.”
Sixth-year wide receiver Sterling Shepard, the longest-tenured Giants player, looks forward to the return of large and loud home crowds.
“I feel great about it,” Shepard said. “I missed the fans a lot. Last season was a little weird playing without them. Happy to get them back in the stands, cheering us on.”
*With the NFL loosening restrictions on jersey numbers, Shepard has switched from No. 87 to No. 3, which both his late father and he wore at the University of Oklahoma.
“(It’s) something that means a lot to me,” Shepard said. “It’s been a number that I’ve been since I was a little kid, after my father passed. He wore No. 3 in college. That’s something that meant a lot to me, a lot to his teammates. I wanted to carry that on.
“When I came into the league, you couldn’t get single digits. Whenever the rule changed, I was happy to grab that.”
Via: Michael Eisen/NY Giants
The Giants today concluded their rookie minicamp by signing a pair of free agent veterans.
Running back Corey Clement, who spent the previous four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who most recently played in the NFL in 2018, each attended the camp on a tryout basis.
Clement’s most memorable NFL moment occurred in Philadelphia’s 41-33 victory against New England in Super Bowl LII. He caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Nick Foles with 7:18 remaining in the third quarter to give the Eagles a 29-19 lead. Clement caught four passes for a career-high 100 yards and rushed for eight yards on three carries. The 100 receiving yards is the fourth-highest total by a rookie in Super Bowl history. In addition, Clement fielded the snap on the famous “Philly Special,” which ended with tight end Trey Burton throwing a touchdown pass to Foles.
Clement, 5-10 and 220 pounds, played in 46 regular-season games and three postseason games for the Eagles. His totals include 163 carries for 655 yards (4.0-yard avg.) and seven touchdowns and 37 receptions for 340 yards and two scores. In the playoffs, he rushed for 33 yards on six attempts and caught 10 passes for 139 yards.
His rookie season in 2017 was his most productive. He played in all 19 of Philadelphia’s games and had career-high regular-season totals of 74 carries, 321 yards and four touchdowns. He also had both of his touchdown receptions while finishing with 10 catches for 123 yards.
In 2018, Clement played in 11 games and had career-best totals of 22 receptions for 192 yards and ran for 259 yards and two scores on 68 attempts.
Last season, Clement finished with 21 carries for 75 yards and one touchdown and caught five passes for 25 yards in 15 games.
Clement, 26, joined the Eagles as a rookie free agent after rushing for 3,092 yards and 36 touchdowns on 576 attempts at the University of Wisconsin. He also had 29 receptions for 279 yards and two scores. As a senior in 2016, Clement was named first-team All-Big Ten after posting career highs of 314 carries for 1,375 yards and 15 touchdowns in 13 games.
Benjamin, 6-5 and 245 pounds, took reps at both tight end and wide receiver in the rookie camp.
“All of the guys were brought in on a trial basis,” coach Joe Judge said when the camp opened Friday. “They were the guys available for us to work check within our system a little bit and see if there’s a potential to add them for a role for our team.
“In terms of Benjamin working different position today, we’re going to work different guys at a variety of things right now. He’s a big guy. He’s always been a big receiver. He’ll work receiver. He’s working a little bit flex tight end as well. I wouldn’t really pin him down to any one position at this point. We’re going to use the weekend to move him around to different spots and see how it works out.”
Benjamin entered the NFL as a 2014 first-round draft choice by the Carolina Panthers and general manager Dave Gettleman, who is entering his fourth season in the same position with the Giants.
In four seasons with the Panthers, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, Benjamin played in 61 regular-season games with 52 starts. He caught 209 passes for 3,021 yards (14.5-yard avg.) and 20 touchdowns. Benjamin also played in three postseason games with two starts and had 12 receptions for 112 yards and two scores.
Like Clement, Benjamin posted his best numbers as a rookie. That season, he played in all 16 games with 15 starts and had career-high totals of 73 catches for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns. Benjamin added 11 receptions and scored two touchdowns in a pair of playoff games.
On Oct. 31, 2017, Benjamin was traded to Buffalo for third and seventh-round draft choices. He caught 39 passes in 18 games for the Bills before being released on Dec. 4, 2018. The Chiefs signed him three days later. Benjamin played in three games for Kansas City and had two receptions.
The Giants also waived running back Jordan Chunn and tight end Nate Wieting.
The Giants waited until they were on the clock Thursday night before executing their most significant draft day trade since they acquired Eli Manning 17 years ago.
They sent their selection at No. 11 in the first round to the Chicago Bears for a package of four picks, including two in the current draft (No. 20 in the first round and No. 164 in the fifth), plus first and fourth-round choices in the 2022 draft. The Giants selected Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney. Chicago moved up to select Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.
“Obviously, it was too good an opportunity (to pass up),” general manager Dave Gettleman said. “It added too much value, and we felt very comfortable with where our board was and we felt comfortable with who would be there, who would be available in that slot. So, we made it. We did it. We added a one and a four next year. Another pick for this year and another pick for next year. We were very pleased we were able to make the play.”
The key component of the trade for the Giants was the Bears’ first-rounder next year.
“It was very important to get the first-round pick next year,” Gettleman said. “As I told you guys (reporters) at my pre-draft presser, there’s a lot of unknowns here with this group (of players in this draft) and plus a lot of kids went back and took advantage of the NCAA giving them an additional year of eligibility. That obviously played into our thinking.”
The trade also enabled the Giants to recoup the fifth-round choice (No. 154) they sent the Jets in 2019 to acquire defensive lineman Leonard Williams. It gives them seven choices in the seven-round draft; one in each of the first five rounds and two in the sixth. They received an extra selection in that round from Arizona in a trade for linebacker Markus Golden. The Giants do not have a seventh-round selection after sending it last year to Denver for cornerback Isaac Yiadom.
For the first time in the eight NFL drafts he has run – five with Carolina and three with the Giants – Gettleman executed a trade to move back…not just in the first round, but in any round.
Gettleman initiated the trade by reaching out to Chicago general manager Ryan Pace.
“What happened was we had called around and … I had spoken to Ryan Pace, and I had heard he was interested in moving up,” Gettleman said. “So, I called him. When I spoke to him, he said, ‘Yes, we’re very interested.’ And then the conversations begin.
“I spoke to Ryan today before the draft and I spoke to him again. He called me again somewhere around the seventh pick, somewhere in there, and then we got on the clock and from there, (assistant general manager) Kevin Abrams took over and finished off the trade.”
It is widely thought the Giants were interested in Alabama wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle and cornerbacks Jayce Horn of South Carolina and Patrick Surtain of Alabama. All were selected in the first 10 picks.
Although it was a surprise each of the four players were taken so early, the Giants are always ready for the unexpected in the draft.
“We had really talked this through, me, Joe (Judge), Chris Mara, Tim McDonnell, Kevin Abrams and Mark Koncz, we had all discussed thoroughly, really looked at our board,” Gettleman said of the team’s personnel experts. “We had a lengthy meeting on Monday and we followed it up with another meeting on Wednesday and so we really – we knew what we wanted. We knew where we wanted to go, and we knew at which point we would consider a trade back and that’s where you get the other piece of it where we’re calling teams behind us.
“And then we met again at 6 o’clock tonight to just constantly review and talk it through and it was a great group effort and we all felt very – we all felt very together on the decision. And we made it.”
It was the Giants’ first such move in the opening round since general manager Ernie Accorsi traded with Pittsburgh 15 years ago. The Giants moved from No. 25 to the 32nd and final choice in the round and added third (No. 96) and fourth-round (No. 129) picks. The Steelers took wide Santonio Holmes and the Giants selected Boston College defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka to close out the first round. With the later round choices they received from Pittsburgh, the Giants selected linebacker Gerris Wilkinson and offensive lineman Guy Whimper.
Of course, Accorsi executed the franchise-changing trade for Manning on April 24, 2004. After the San Diego Chargers selected him first overall, Manning was traded to the Giants for quarterback Philip Rivers (whom the Giants had taken with the fourth pick), the Giants’ 2004 third-round pick, and 2005 first and fifth-round selections.
Via: Michael Eisen/giants.com