2007 New York Giants

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -The New York Giants didn't get overly involved in free agency in recent months because the market was overpriced.

``The money was out of control,'' new general manager Jerry Reese said Thursday at the Giants' annual predraft news conference.

Players some people would consider marginal performers got astronomical amounts, he added.

``We didn't feel like we were going to do that. We didn't feel like it was smart for us to do that.''

Instead, Reese went for value in trying to improve the Giants, who got into the playoffs despite an 8-8 record.

His big moves were re-signing starting center Shaun O'Hara to a five-year, $19 million deal and cutting overhead by releasing veterans Luke Petitgout, LaVar Arrington and Carlos Emmons from big contracts.

Reese's other moves were more cost-efficient. He signed former Chiefs linebacker Kawika Mitchell to a one-year, $1 million contract, acquired running back Reuben Droughns from Cleveland for receiver Tim Carter and signed a number of veterans, keeping reserve guard Grey Ruegamer, getting backup quarterback Anthony Wright and a couple of lesser-known defenders.

``There are still some opportunities left out in free agency,'' Reese said. ``Free agency, trade opportunities. There's still some stuff left out there.''

Reese has been spending much of his time since taking over getting ready for the NFL Draft a week from Sunday. The Giants will have the 20th pick overall. They need help at linebacker, cornerback and at left tackle with the release of Petitgout.

``I don't know if we can get a guy that can start, but I think that we can get a real good football player,'' Reese said. ``There are not a lot of rookies that start in the National Football League if you look all the way across the board. There are not a lot of guys that can jump in and start right away.''

Like Ernie Accorsi and George Young before him, Reese refused to discuss either the Giants' draft needs or players available in the draft. He said the team would not be averse to making trades, but he said someone would have to make a ``honey'' of a deal to make them give up one of their top three picks.

He even noted his approach to the media during the draft was shaped by Young.

``George used to say, 'Stonewall them,''' Reese recalled.

Reese doesn't plan to change the way the Giants handle the draft, except that he will be the one making the final call. This year, he is doing double duty, combining his old role as director of player personnel with that of general manager. It has him working 12-hour days.

``I really don't think about it as my first pick,'' said Reese, who last year was discussing the draft with the scouting staff while Accorsi was meeting with the media. ``It is the New York Giants' pick. That's every year. I don't think Ernie saw it as 'Ernie Accorsi's pick.' I don't think George saw it as 'George's pick.' He is the New York Giants' pick. So I really don't think about that one.''

Reese said the Giants plan to meet with about 25 potential picks before the draft, trying to get to know them and to determine their character, a trait now stressed by commissioner Roger Goodell.

``Obviously it is a lot riskier now because of the steps taken by Commissioner Goodell. Obviously he slapped some hands, broke some plates,'' Reese said.
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Jerry Reese is the man in the spotlight as the New York Giants head into the NFL draft with needs at almost every position.

Will the Giants' draft philosophy change with Reese running the show as general manager instead of the retired Ernie Accorsi?

Will Reese carry the dominant opinion, or will coach Tom Coughlin have more of a say in making the pick with his job on the line after an 8-8 playoff season and first-round exit.

There are tons of other questions. They are all equally irrelevant.

One of a handful of blacks to serve as an NFL general manager or in a similar capacity, Reese has run the Giants' draft operations for the past four years. He sits at the head of the table in the team's draft room at Giants Stadium and conducts the give-and-take between the front office, the coaches and the scouts.

Coughlin again will sit to his right. The difference this year is that Accorsi won't be in the second seat to the right of Reese with the all-important tiebreaking vote.

That belongs to Reese, but don't make too much of that either.

The Giants tend to be a team that can reach a consensus at draft time. They did it under the late George Young, and it continued with Accorsi the past nine seasons. Don't expect anything different with the 20th pick overall this year.

``I really don't think about it as my first pick,'' Reese said. ``It is the New York Giants' pick. That's every year. I don't think Ernie saw it as Ernie Accorsi's pick. I don't think George saw it as George's pick. He is the New York Giants' pick.''

So who will the pick be?

Reese was hired by the Giants in 1994 and was mentored by Young, who believed in taking players who were productive at the highest levels of college football.

With that in mind, New York needs help at left tackle, thanks to Reese's decision to waive Luke Petitgout, receiver, running back, outside linebacker and cornerback.

An overpriced free agency market prevented Reese from filling those needs in the offseason. The lone exception was the signing of former Chiefs linebacker Kawika Mitchell to a one-year deal for $1 million. He will probably play the strong side, leaving Pro Bowler Antonio Pierce in the middle.

The question again is who do you take?

Reese said there are plenty of options with picks 10 through 25, giving the Giants the opportunity to move down to pick up another draft pick, too.

The logical pick would be a left tackle, which would allow David Diehl to return guard.

Joe Thomas of Wisconsin and Levi Brown of Penn State almost definitely will be gone by the time New York picks, so Joe Staley, a former tight end who excelled at Central Michigan might be a good choice.

Might be.

Although the Giants need a halfback with the retirement of Tiki Barber, they'll get by with Brandon Jacobs and Reuben Droughns for now and probably take a running back in a later round.

While Paul Posluszny of Penn State and Lawrence Timmons of Florida State could fill needs at outside linebacker, don't expect the Giants to use their No. 1 pick at this position.

That leaves cornerback and receiver for the No. 1.

There are three outstanding cornerbacks who would work nicely for new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo: Aaron Ross of Texas, Eric Wright of UNLV and Chris Houston of Arkansas. All are good in one-on-one coverage.

On the downside, the last time the Giants took a cornerback with their No. 1 pick was in 2001. Will Allen never fulfilled the expectations, in large part because he couldn't catch the ball.

And that brings us to receiver. It might be the most interesting spot in the draft. Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech is to be a top-five prospect. The position is deep, with Robert Meachem of Tennessee, Dwayne Bowe of LSU and Ted Ginn Jr. of Ohio State also mentioned in the first round.

There is another one who might interest the Giants: Dwayne Jarrett of Southern California.

Forget that Jarrett is a New Jersey kid. That won't influence the Giants' pick.

What is important is that veteran Amani Toomer is coming off knee surgery, and that the Giants and Eli Manning struggled last season with only Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey as viable pass targets.

Jarrett also fits the old George Young profile of being productive at the highest level. In three years, he caught 216 catches for 3,138 yards and 41 touchdowns in 38 games.

The receptions broke Keary Colbert's school record of 207 catches, and surpassed Ken Margerum's Pac-10 record of 32 TD catches early in the season.

The draftniks who have downgraded him because of his speed fail to remember that Jerry Rice wasn't the fastest guy in the draft.

So here's a long shot for the Giants' pick: Dwayne Jarrett.
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i'm kinda on the fence the way the Giants have gone so far in the draft......personally, I would've liked to see them take Branch in the 1st and Marcus McCauley in the 2nd, but A.Ross is gonna provide immediate help in the secondary, and DT Jay Alford is a better prospect than anyone we've got in our DT rotation anyway. He's not the run-anchor I would've preferred in Branch, or even as good a run-stopper as Tank Tyler (who went the very next pick right after Alford to KC), but at least we addressed a need on the line. Hopefully he pans out.....

Steve Smith in the 2nd???? I don't know about that one. We really didn't have an immediate need at WR, but at least we've got a potential replacement for Toomer or Plax (in a couple years). Smith and Sinorice Moss (if he ends up anything like his brother) should be solid options for Eli for the next few years, maybe longer.......
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wow the giants are fuggin STUPID.....i posted this in the IDP forum too, just insane......

Mathias Kiwanuka-DL- Giants Apr. 30 - 12:37 am et

The Giants have moved DE Mathias Kiwanuka to strong-side linebacker.

Coach Tom Coughlin believes Kiwi can be an every-down player. He's likely to add a pass-rushing element to New York's linebacking crew. It leaves Kawika Mitchell and Gerris Wilkinson to vie on the weak side.
Related: Kawika Mitchell, Gerris Wilkinson

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draft grade via yahoo...

New York Giants: Cornerback Aaron Ross and wide receiver Steve Smith should both develop into good starting players and give the Giants some much-needed depth at their respective positions. Defensive tackle Jay Alford might have been a reach in the third round. He needs a lot of scheming to get production. The real puzzlement of this draft was waiting four rounds to go after a linebacker, and then using that pick on Zak DeOssie, who could take several years to develop into starting material. The Giants need help at that position now, if not sooner. The Giants also needed to get some depth on the offensive line, and then took tackle Adam Koets, who has been criticized for not working hard enough to take advantage of his skill set.
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I liked how they drafted but they NEED to get another T or Guard the need to replace the people they lost. not happy about that.

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I like that they signed Craig Dahl after the draft.

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Giants quarterback Eli Manning got one of his offseason wishes — receiver Plaxico Burress showed up for voluntary conditioning.

"I'm not trying to make a statement," Burress said Tuesday after catching passes from Manning. "I want us to be better, and I want him to reach his full potential, which I think would be great. I want to help him out. We're here, we're willing to work."

Tight end Jeremy Shockey, however, is doing his conditioning in Florida. Burress worked out in Florida with Shockey the past two offseasons despite pleas from Manning to attend the voluntary workouts at Giants Stadium.

Burress, who caught 63 passes for a career-high 10 touchdowns last season. He intends to remain for the rest of the workouts.

"We're just trying to get better on the football field," he said. "This is something that can help us. Talk on the phone two, three times a week, go out and get something to eat. Those are some of the things that can help us get things going. And if we're working, we can get on the football field also."

Burress plans to phone Shockey in the next few days. The two worked out recently in Florida, running on the beach.

"Jeremy's his own guy," Burress said. "I love him to death as a person and a football player. I talked to him, and I'm pretty sure he's looking forward to being back."

It's uncertain whether Shockey, who caught a team-high 66 passes last season, will attend the voluntary workouts. The Giants have a mandatory minicamp next month.

"Right now, it's pretty much one of those things where I'm trying to get in the right place at the right time," said Burress, who is entering his eighth season. "That's what's important for us. We understand the game. We know how to play the game. It's just a matter of us all being on the same page."

There have been times when Burress and Shockey seemed at odds with Manning. Both players have flapped their arms in frustration when Manning has thrown in another direction.

Burress now says he is willing to do anything to help both Manning and the Giants get better after an 8-8 season in which New York was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

"If it means coming back to work with my quarterback to get to the next level, I'm willing to do that," Burress said. "I believe I can be that person. And I want to help my team. We all want to reach that level, but it's going to take an awful lot of hard work."
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The Giants, who badly need a left tackle to protect Eli Manning's blindside, talked to Cleveland before the draft about its starting left tackle, Kevin Shaffer. But the two sides couldn't work out a deal. The Browns signed Shaffer away from the Falcons in '06 and gave him $12 million in signing and option bonuses. But he was a bust last season. If he sticks around, it won't be at left tackle, where the Browns already have plugged in first-round pick Joe Thomas. The Giants are expected to take another run at Shaffer before they open training camp.
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Lawrence Tynes might have been given the perfect test in his first practice with the New York Giants on Wednesday.

Last in the optional offseason workout, the new kicker was asked to make about five chip shot field goals.

For a veteran, that's like tapping in for par. For Tynes, it was a chance to show he can be consistent.

The Chiefs drafted Justin Medlock of UCLA in the fifth round last month and traded Tynes to the Giants this month for a conditional draft pick.

``No one in this league is going to be judged on one kick,'' Tynes said after practice, insisting his contract status had more to do with his trade than the miss.

Tynes will be paid $850,000 under a contract that will expire after this season. He wanted a multiyear deal, but talks with Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson were fruitless.

``My deal was more with management,'' Tynes said. ``It wasn't with coaching. Herm had my back. My special teams coach had my back. When we couldn't get a long-term deal done, it kind of blew up.''

Tynes gave Peterson a list of teams for whom he would like to play, and the Giants were in the mix. New York, which made the playoffs with an 8-8 record, lost its kicker when Jay Feely signed with Miami as a free agent.

``This is a playoff-ready team,'' Tynes said. ``I think I bring some experience. I've kicked game winners and played in big games. Then again, I just need to take care of what I can do.''

To win the job, Tynes will have to beat out free agent Josh Huston, the former Ohio State player who is trying to make an NFL roster.

``Everybody needs competition,'' said Jeff Feagles, the veteran punter who serves as the Giants holder. ``You just can't hand a job to somebody. They have to earn it. Those two will battle. Lawrence has the game experience in the NFL and dealt with the mental part of it. They are both good kickers.''

Huston was limited at practice on Wednesday because of an appendectomy three weeks ago. He thinks he will be able to attempt field goals during the team's minicamp next month, but he is not sure whether he will be able to kick off.

Giants general manager Jerry Reese told Huston on Wednesday that he will get a fair shot at the job.

``I have been kicking really well,'' Huston said. ``They were happy enough with me not to draft anyone.''

While he scored 107 points last season, Tynes was not happy making only 24 of 31 field goal attempts.

In his own defense, Tynes said he has never missed a game winner, and that he was 6-of-11 from 50 yards or more in his three seasons since replacing Morten Andersen.

Tynes isn't worried about the swirling winds at Giants Stadium. He played two years in the cold CFL and he noted that the artificial surface at Giants Stadium is better than the grass field conditions in Kansas City.

``I am competing against myself,'' Tynes said.
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NYG - Giants WR Smith Capable Of Starting?

Source: Michael Eisen, Giants.com

New York Giants WR Steve Smith has been doing so well in practice that GM Jerry Reese is thinking about Smith possibly starting this season. "He has been catching punts for us in practice and looked pretty good doing it. But we think he can come in and fight for the number three spot right away and battle for the number two if he can grasp the offense quickly enough, which we think he will" Reese said.

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Veteran receiver Amani Toomer expects his surgically repaired left knee to be ready when the New York Giants open training camp in a little less than two months.

After attending Monday's organized team activity practice, Toomer said his knee felt 70 to 80 percent its normal strength.

``I am not really surprised, actually they have been slowing me down a little to keep me going for the long haul,'' said Toomer, who is the team's all-time leading receiver in yards gained (8,157) and No. 2 in receptions (561) behind the recently retired Tiki Barber (586).

This has been a strange offseason for the 32-year-old Toomer. It started in November when he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Houston and underwent surgery, missing the final eight games of the regular season and the playoff loss to Philadelphia.

For some 11-year veterans, that type of an injury might start questions about retirement. Not for Toomer.

``I just still feel like I have a lot more to prove and a lot more to do in the game. When the time is right, I'll know. But it doesn't feel right now, so I'm going to keep on going,'' he said.

During the OTAs in recent seasons, Toomer has been the prime target for Eli Manning, since Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey have been no-shows at the voluntary workouts.

Burress and Shockey are missing again, and Toomer has spent most workouts jogging along the sidelines with the trainers, forcing Manning to throw to Sinorice Moss, second-round draft pick Steve Smith and a host of free agents and rookies.

Toomer usually watches the drills and offers advice to the young receivers.

``I feel real good,'' Toomer said. ``I am trying to get back and cut. Hopefully I'll be able to do something in this little minicamp (next week), I'll be able to get out there. I am shooting for camp to be back.''

Coach Tom Coughlin doesn't plan to push Toomer in training camp, noting that most players returning from ACL injuries are limited to one practice a day.

Toomer isn't worried about his knee. While admitting an ACL is a serious injury, he said the surgery has become routine and that the players usually come back 100 percent.

He tore the ACL in his right knee as a rookie in 1996 and came back to become of the Giants' best wideouts.

``It's tough,'' he said. ``I have done it once before and I'll come back from it again, just like I did last time.''

Not only do the Giants need Toomer, so does Manning. He is the one receiver that the young quarterback knows he can count on.

While Shockey and Burress have made some big plays, they also have upstaged the quarterback. Toomer doesn't. He catches the balls thrown at him and doesn't complain when Manning throws elsewhere.

When Toomer was hurt last season, the Giants couldn't replace him, especially with Moss battling a hamstring injury throughout his rookie season.

With Moss healthy and Smith looking very good in the recent practices, the Giants should have much more depth at receiver this season.
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One of Antonio Pierce's hobbies on the Giants official website is breeding pit bulls.

But according to Pierce, his interest in pit bulls is limited to an appreciation of the animals, not an exploitation of them.

"Anybody who fights pit bulls is a punk," the middle linebacker said yesterday after the team's organized team activities workout at Giants Stadium. "It gives my dogs a bad rap. Everybody loves my dogs because they're good dogs. So of course I'm not pleased with it."

Pierce refused to comment specifically on Vick, who has said he was unaware of the activities taking place on the property Vick owned in Virginia. But Pierce said he's been following the case and said, "None of it sounds positive. If (the evidence proves Vick was involved), then (prosecutors and the NFL) need to do what they need to do."

Pierce said he owns four pit bulls and has sold several to his teammates and friends. But he said he has never sold one unless he was certain the dog wouldn't be involved in any kind of illegal activity.

"Mine are all for show, for looks. They're all good-looking dogs and they're registered," Pierce said. "I only sell them to people I know. There's no Web site called antoniopiercepitbulls.com.

"If I don't know you, you don't get one of my dogs."

Source: Star-Ledger
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TE Jeremy Shockey and WR Plaxico Burress were again missing from the workouts yesterday, as were DE Michael Strahan and FB Jim Finn. All four starters (as well as QB Anthony Wright, LB Zak DeOssie and a few other reserves who were absent yesterday) are expected to participate in next week's mandatory minicamp.

Source: Star-Ledger
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Guard Zach Piller signed with the New York Giants on Thursday.

Piller started three games last season for the Tennessee Titans before sustaining an ankle injury at Miami on Sept. 24 that kept him out the rest of the season. Tennessee waived Piller in February and he was signed by Detroit in March, but the Lions cut him last month.

In eight seasons with Tennessee, the 6-foot-5, 315-pounder played in 87 games, starting 58. He was the Titans' third-round draft choice in 1999 out of Florida.

Piller adds experience to a Giants offensive line that lost two veterans from last year's unit. In February, former starting left tackle Luke Petitgout was released and backup tackle Bob Whitfield retired.

On Thursday, the Giants also released defensive tackle Sir Henry Anderson and cornerback R.W Cobbs.