Archive for March, 2007

Giants Sign Mitchell!!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

And you ask why my excitment? I pushed for this guy back before free agency even started.

http://www.footballgiants.net/blog/2007/02/18/briggs-samuel-franchised/

This is a real nice move by Jerry Reese. He gets a fairly young LB (at 27) with some upside. Kawika Mitchell took a one year deal for just $1 million (more on that later) which works for both sides. If Mitchell excels halfway thru the season, both parties can think about an extension. If he bombs, the Giants aren’t on the hook for anything. And the Giants get a productive player who doesn’t miss games. The plan is probably to move him to either strong side or weak side with Pierce staying in the middle.

Now some odd things about this. How can the Giants get a player like Mitchell (productive, not great) for such a bargain price? When you see average players (case study: Visanthe Shiancoe) getting huge money from other teams, I had to really doubt the reports that Mitchell was going to sign for this. Then I read today that Mitchell hadn’t even met Tom Coughlin or DC Steve Spagnuolo yet. Not the usual signing procedure by either party. Still, I really like this move.

So right now the Giants will line up Gerris Wilkinson (last year’s number three pick), Pierce, and Mitchell. That versus Emmons, Pierce, and Arrington. The latter might seem more imposing, but only when healthy. And that’s the trap the Giants fell into last year. I believe they’ll be better off in 2007.

Giants Turn Away Broncos’ Wilson

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

This past Friday, it was hot news that the Giants were about to acquire MLB Al Wilson from the Denver Broncos. There were various rumors about what the trade involved, but getting Wilson would have given the linebacking corp a shot in the arm. Unfortunately, Wilson reportedly failed a physical and that ended any hope of a deal for the five time Pro Bowler.

This exercise proved very interesting to me. GM Jerry Reese let go Arrington, Emmons, and Petitgout due to the fact these players were injury prone. I think its common knowledge that team physicals are very subjective. If a team wants a player enough, he’ll pass the physical. Take Arrington. The guy passed his, but couldn’t even practice come training camp. He was a china doll waiting to break. I think this is where Reese’s leadership is showing. I am almost sure that if Acorsi was the GM, Wilson would be a Giant.

The last thing I want to see is the Giants acquiring another player past his prime and being released a season later. Perhaps Reese is on to something. Let the young guys (Wilkinson, Torbor, etc.) finally get a chance instead of being blocked by veteran stopgaps. Don’t get me wrong, if you can get a player via trade or free agency that can help, by all means do it. But no stogaps, please.

Offer Sheet To Vonta Leach

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

The Giants have extended an offer to fullback Vonta Leach, who played with Houston last year. Leach is a restricted free agent, but if the Houston does not match, the Giants will not owe any compensation due to the fact Leach was undrafted and offered the league minimum by Houston.

It’s an interesting move. Fullback wasn’t one of the areas I pegged as a need area, and you’d have to figure Jim Finn did a decent job of blocking over the past three years – the Giants’ rushing attack as been among the best in the league. But surfing around the Net today I kept getting the same impression: Leach is a very, very physical player, and perhaps this is what the Giants are looking for.  One thing is for sure, the Giants will get younger: Leach is just 25, Finn checks in at 30. If Leach does indeed sign with us, it would almost certainly end Finn’s career as a Giant. No way will the Giants carry two fullbacks on next year’s roster. Interesting note: Leach started as a linebacker in the pros, before moving to fullback. Keep Finn and move Leach to LB……nahhhhhh. 

This signing is on the heels of the revelation that the Giants did not exactly have as much cap room as initially reported. The cap is still a big mystery to me, and apparently everyone else. $20 million was the initial number when free agency started and now we find out it was more like $10 million, further reduced to around $7 million by tendered contracts to our own restricted FA’s. Not to mention the money needed to sign those guys called draft picks come April.

Droughns Acquired By Giants

Friday, March 9th, 2007

The Giants made their first significant move of the 2007 offeason by acquring the 28-year old Reuben Droughns from Cleveland for the dissapointing, enigmatic, and injury prone Tim Carter.

The move provides a veteran presence to the running back position and insurance in case BJ doesn’t adjust to his anticipated bigger role in the offense. I was hoping for a back more in the Tiki mold; Droughns is more like Jacobs…a banger. But as we know, Jacobs can also take it the distance and I’ve read Droughns can accelerate once he gets into that second tier. Droughns also has good hands and can help in the passing game. His worst year was last season, so let’s hope it was just the culture and not a sign of diminishing returns.

Was this better than getting Dominic Rhodes, who went to the Raiders? Droughns is signed for three years and comes in this year at almost $2 mil less than Rhodes.  I checked out Rhodes stats on NFL.com over his entire career. Droughns to me has been a better individual performer, but hasn’t played on a team as successful as the Colts. Consequently, I think Rhodes is preceived the better back. I think they are pretty close. Hell, they both even have been DWI’d in the last year.

I still wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants nab a “scat back” sometime on draft day, even on the second day. 

Schwartz On The Giants

Friday, March 9th, 2007

Paul Schwartz, who covers the Jints for the New York Post, was on the WFAN morning show talking about the G-Men:

The Giants and Jerry Reese are through with players past their prime years and/or injury prone. See Arrington, Emmons, and Barret Green in particular.

They cut loose Petitgout, due to make $5 mil this year, without even trying to renegotiate first.

David Diehl was the fallback plan at left tackle at the time of Luke’s release. The Giants wanted to sign someone. Guy Whimper, the current backup tackle, made the team last year only because he was a backup. My thoughts: I believe it. As I remember, he played a few positions in his college career and was/is a project. And thank God the Cowboys got to Leonard Davis with their bag of loot before he visited the Giants. They wayyyy over paid for him.

Schwartz (like myself) thinks the Giants need a veteran backup QB. He says the Giants think Manning doesn’t need the mentoring type, but I want a vet in case Manning gets injured.

Finally, he predicted (facetiously) the Giants will sign someone…..

Feely’s A Fish

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

I mean that, literally. He signed today with the Miami Dolphins.

 So the Giants let an experienced kicker go, who made 84% of his kicks over two seasons. What I’ve been reading around the ‘Net is pretty consistent. Feely isn’t the best kicker going, but the Giants have now exposed another position on their roster that needs attention. Are we really confident in rookie kicker Josh Huston? In that Meadowlands wind?

Wide receiver Kevin Curtis of the Rams was in yesterday.  He’ll be 29 by mid-summer and has five years of NFL experience. Looks mainly like a 3rd or 4th receiver (can you say goodbye Tim Carter if he signs?).  He fired his agent on Monday so he can’t sign a contract for five days.

By the way, Lance Briggs, franchised by the Bears, wants to be traded. Translation: he is pissed about being tagged and forced to settle for a one-year contract. I really can’t see any type of deal being worked out where the Giants could acquire him. I have a feeling Jerry Reese is going to be from the George Young School of GM’ing: hold onto draft choices like they’re gold (and not giving a damn what anyone thinks).

Free Agency Six Days In

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

The Giants haven’t made any headlines, but as predicted, this year’s free agency signing period wasn’t going to knock your socks off. The Giants have done some good things, though. Signing Shaun O’Hara right before the deadline ensures the O-line stays mostly intact, less Luke Petitgout (who signed with the Bucs today).  Chase Blackburn was resigned, and with Reggie Torbor tendered, they’ll have a nice backup corp (now if they can just figure out who the heck is starting at linebacker, they’ll be in business).  And Gibril Wilson, although not my favorite, was rightfully tendered. Finally, Jay Feely who I suggested should be resigned, was allowed to test the waters. Miami, KC, and Atlanta are after him, and rumor has it the Giants have countered their initial offer. Feely wasn’t as good last year as he was in 2005, but he comes in at 84% over the last two years. That’s not too shabby, and in a league were most games are decided by a few points, having an experienced kicker is important.

The biggest name associated with the Giants so far has been Dominic Rhodes. He was in the first weekend and rumored to sign, but it hasn’t happened. As I said, Rhodes is a nice back. Trustworthy and unspectacular. Not what I have in mind to compliment BJ. If he does ink with the Giants, they had better not overspend.

 Which takes me to my final thought on this day. The contracts received by the marginal talent have been ridiculous and is the main reason I am not concerned over what the Giants have done (or haven’t done so far). They signed a boat load of players last year, and most of those players didn’t have an impact. Be prudent in your analysis and spend wisely Jerry Reese.