Giants Rumors

Odell Beckham Jr. Out For Week 14

The Giants‘ opponent Sunday will be dealing with a greater volume of injury replacements, but the Big Apple’s NFC team will be missing its biggest star. Odell Beckham Jr. will not play in Week 14. The Giants ruled out Beckham for their Redskins rematch because of a bruised quadriceps. Although Beckham practiced this week on a limited basis, the Giants are sitting him for the first time this season. New York’s 4-8 record may well be contributing to the decision. This season has not gone well for Big Blue, but Beckham has enjoyed a productive slate after an ankle injury wiped out most of his 2017 season. He has five 100-plus-yard performances and exited Week 13 with 1,052 receiving yards, six receiving scores and two touchdown passes.

  • Washington may be planning to go with tackles Austin Howard and Ty Nsekhe at guard against the Giants, per Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington. Jay Gruden has this option at his incredibly depleted guard spot, or the fifth-year Redskins coach could deploy Luke Bowanko or Zac Kerin. Gruden indicated he may use a rotation. The NFC East leaders for most of this season, the Redskins lost Jonathan Cooper — also an in-season replacement — for the year and will be without Tony Bergstrom. Howard, Bowanko and Kerin were in-season pickups for a Redskins team that now has five offensive linemen on IR. Washington is 6-6 and on the verge of seeing this injury-plagued season veer off the playoff course.

Giants S Landon Collins Facing 4-6 Month Recovery

Giants safety Landon Collins is facing a four-to-six month recovery once he undergoes surgery for a partially torn labrum, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (Twitter link).

That timeline isn’t a problem for Collins’ ability to play in 2019, as he should easily be able to return to the field before training camp begins. But Collins’ recovery could impact his upcoming free agency, as interested clubs could express concern about his health next spring. Given his four-to-six month projection, Collins almost certainly won’t be fully healthy when the free agent market opens in March.

Although they haven’t talked about a new contract for Collins, the Giants still seemingly have every intention on keeping him in their 2019 plans. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported lat month that New York will deploy the franchise tag on Collins next spring if it fails to ink him to a long-term agreement. Collins, who if healthy could have aimed to top Eric Berry‘s $13MM annual average (the highest among safeties), can be retained via the franchise tag at a one-year cost of ~$12MM.

If the Giants reverse course and don’t use the franchise tag on Collins (and don’t come together on an extension), he’d be entering a free agent market that includes a stellar crop of available safeties. The safety market, of course, was incredibly stagnant this past offseason, and Collins would be hitting free agent alongside options such as Earl ThomasHa Ha Clinton-DixLamarcus JoynerAdrian Amos, and the group of safeties that were forced to ink one-year deals in 2018 (Tre BostonEric ReidKenny VaccaroGeorge Iloka, and Tyrann Mathieu).

Given all the factors working against Collins — his health, the overloaded safety market — it shouldn’t be a surprise if he inks a one-year, “pillow” contract in order to re-establish his value. If Collins isn’t able to pass a physical by the time free agency opens, it might be best for him to accept some level of financial security and hope he can land a larger contract in 2020, when he’ll still be only 26 years old.

Collins, a second-round pick in the 2015 draft, has been a full-time starter for the Giants since entering the league. A two-time Pro Bowler, Collins posted 96 tackles, four passes defensed, and a forced fumble this season while grading as the NFL’s 36th-best safety, per Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/6/18

Today’s practice squad updates:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed: OL Mason Gentry, WR Daniel Williams

Indianapolis Colts

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/6/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

New York Giants

Giants Will Not Activate Jonathan Stewart

The Giants did not activate running back Jonathan Stewart from injured reserve before the Thursday deadline. Per league rules, Stewart is stuck on IR and barred from playing again in 2018. 

A foot injury landed Stewart on IR in September, but the Giants activated a three-week use-it-or-lose-it window by bringing him back on the practice field in November. Because he was not activated, Stewart may well have played his final game in a Giants uniform.

The Giants signed Stewart to a two-year deal in March with a base value of $6.9MM. However, the Giants can 86 the final year of his deal this offseason with just $250K in dead money. It would be the logical move for the Giants since rookie Saquon Barkley has solidified himself as a star and does not require an expensive veteran backup. With a number of holes to fill, the Giants will likely look to add a running back that is cheaper, younger, and perhaps better than the 31-year-old Stewart.

Stewart, who turns 32 in March, had just six carries for 17 yards in his three games with the Giants. He earned his first Pro Bowl nomination with nearly 1,000 rushing yards in 2015, but he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry in his final two seasons with the Panthers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants To Place Landon Collins On IR

Landon Collins‘ season is over. The Giants safety will undergo surgery on his injured shoulder next week, ruling him out for the remainder of the season (Twitter link via Josina Anderson of ESPN.com). 

Publicly, the Giants are leaving open the possibility that Collins can return this year. When asked about Collins on Wednesday morning, head coach Pat Shurmur admitted that Collins will “most likely” require an operation, but did not say that it was a certainty. Unfortunately, a 2018 return for Collins is simply not an option.

Collins is scheduled to reach free agency in March, but the Giants reportedly plan to keep him from the open market with the franchise tag if they two sides cannot agree to an extension. Last month, Collins said the Giants have yet to contact him about a new deal with him and questioned the team’s desire to re-sign him in the wake of midseason trade rumors.

Collins, a second-round pick in the 2015 draft, has been a full-time starter for the Giants since entering the league. A two-time Pro Bowler, Collins has 67 tackles, four passes defensed, and a forced fumble this season while grading as the NFL’s 36th-best safety, per Pro Football Focus. For what it’s worth, PFF had Collins as the No. 13 ranked safety in the league through Week 9.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Manning, Hughes, Arians

Following Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins, Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes was seen on video yelling at official Roy Ellison. The player was restrained by a team employee before being led back to the locker room.

ESPN’s Mike Rodak tweets that the veteran will not face a suspension for the incident, although ProFootballTalk.com’s Charean Williams says Hughes could still be fined. Meanwhile, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Ellison has been placed on administrative leave while the NFL continues to review the matter. Hughes accused the umpire of calling him a vulgar name, and Rapoport notes that Ellison was suspended back in 2013 following an incident with Trent Williams.

The 30-year-old Hughes is having another productive season with Buffalo, compiling 31 tackles, six sacks, and three forced fumbles through 12 games.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Bruce Arians is apparently very focused on the Browns head coaching job. According to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss (via Twitter), the 66-year-old has “probably very little” interest in the Packers gig. The two-time AP NFL Coach of the Year winner previously said he would only consider becoming a head coach again if he were hired by Cleveland, where he was an offensive coordinator between 2001 and 2003. After serving as the Cardinals head coach for five seasons, Arians retired at the end of the 2017 campaign.
  • During an appearance on WFAN660, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur was non-committal when asked about Eli Manning‘s status heading into next season. “Those are offseason discussions,” he said (via SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano on Twitter). “I’m really pleased with how he’s played of late. … I can’t answer that. I’m fond of everything Eli brings to the table.” The 37-year-old Manning has been having a solid season, completing a career-high 67.9-percent of his passes for 3,263 yards, 15 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.
  • The Vikings will audition Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell this week, reports Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune (via Twitter). The 28-year-old has won a pair of Grey Cup MVPs and two CFL Most Outstanding Player awards during his seven seasons in the league. Mitchell also won the Walter Payton Award during his time at Eastern Washington. The Vikings are currently rostering Trevor Siemian and Kyle Sloter behind Kirk Cousins.
  • Former Seahawks and Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner was sentenced to eight years in prison after he pleaded no contest to attempted murder, reports TMZ Sports. The 34-year-old was accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, where he then “allegedly chased her, dragged her and then smothered her in a carpet.” Browner also pleaded no contest to two counts of child endangerment, while the remaining chargers (including robbery, burglary, and false imprisonment) were dropped.

NFL Workout Updates: 12/3/18

Here is the latest from the workout circuit. All links to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account, unless otherwise noted.

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

  • G Salesi Uhatafe (link)

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Redskins

Giants Still Want To Look At Lauletta

  • Although Eli Manning has played a lot better recently and the Giants have now won three of four games, the team still plans to get rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta in a game at some point, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link). Vacchiano notes that it may only come in the second half of a blowout game and not a start, but that the team wants to get a look at him either way.

Giants Could Keep Eli Manning In 2019

There is still a chance that Eli Manning could return to the Giants as their starting quarterback in 2019, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY hears. While the offense has sputtered under Manning’s command, the Giants do not have a clear replacement for him, so the possibility of another season together cannot be ruled out. 

Obviously, the Giants will be keeping close tabs on Manning’s performance over the final five games of the season. They also have to weigh the fiscal consequences of keeping him. Manning is signed through next year at a salary cap number of $23.2MM, which is a lot for a soon-to-be 38-year-old quarterback in decline.

The Giants may want to use these final five games as an opportunity to see what fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta has to offer. If Lauletta sees the field and plays well, the Giants may gain enough confidence to move on from Manning.

The stats indicate that Manning is having a solid season on the whole, but the Giants’ offense has struggled to put points on the board. The veteran has completed 69% of his passes with just seven interceptions and he’s on pace for one of his best career totals in passing yards. Manning has also played better over the last three weeks thanks to improved protection from the offensive line. Still, he’s thrown only 14 touchdown passes through eleven games and the Giants’ offense is averaging only 21.5 points per contest.

Manning will look to keep it up against the Bears on Sunday. If the game gets out of hand, we could be one step closer to seeing what Lauletta has to offer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.