Giants Rumors

Leonard Williams Eyeing $20MM/Year?

  • The Giants and Leonard Williams discussed a new deal late last season and before the March franchise tag deadline, but the sides were not especially close on terms. Now franchise-tagged at $16.1MM, Williams wants a deal that will pay him between $18-$20MM per year, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano notes. The Giants did not want to go there. Although Dave Gettleman traded for Williams in a contract year, Vacchiano adds the ex-Jet may have less support among Giants brass. While Williams is a former top-10 pick, he has 17.5 sacks in five seasons — including a half-sack last year. That sack total ranks 84th since 2015, though the interior defender’s 101 QB hits rank 12th in that span. This massive gap, along with the tag, creates an interesting negotiation.
  • Evan Engram may have missed Giants team activities in a normal offseason; the fourth-year tight end underwent foot surgery late last year. But New York’s top tight end recently posted a video featuring him running and cutting, via the New York Post. While Engram is far from a safe bet, given his injury propensity as a pro, this represents a good sign for a Giants team that did not use its top skill-position configuration — Engram-Saquon BarkleySterling ShepardGolden TateDarius Slayton — once last season.

No Offers For Giants’ Markus Golden?

Thanks to the rarely used unrestricted free agent tender, Giants edge rusher Markus Golden has a one-year, $4.125MM offer on the table. Or, he can sign with a new club between now and the upcoming deadline. So far, it doesn’t sound like the former second-round pick has received any outside offers, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.

[RELATED: Latest On Giants’ DeAndre Baker]

Golden has until July 22nd or the start of training camp (whichever date comes later) to ink the Giants’ one-year placeholder. At last check, the NFL is aiming to start camp on July 28th, which gives him an extra week to scare up a deal.

The former second-rounder showed flashes during his four seasons in Arizona, including a 12.5-sack season in 2016. Then, he was hampered by injuries. After he landed a one-year, $3.75MM deal with the Giants last year, he turned in a fully healthy season with 72 tackles and 10 sacks. Those numbers would usually spell lucrative offers, but teams probably see Golden’s sack numbers as a fluke, The 29-year-old generated just 26 pressures last year, an indicator that he might not repeat with double-digit sack totals in 2020.

It’s possible that Golden’s market has also stalled by the continued availability of edge rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Everson Griffen. If those veterans come off the board, other teams in need could turn to Golden, who would represent a less splashy – but less costly – alternative.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Likely To Cut Aldrick Rosas?

Latest On Giants’ DeAndre Baker

Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker is facing serious jail time for his alleged role in an armed robbery, but his lawyer continues to insist that the charges against him will be dismissed. This week, attorney Patrick Patel told Paul Schwartz of the New York Post that he has “at least two witnesses that will testify to Baker’s innocence.

[RELATED: Baker, Dunbar Accused Of Armed Robbery]

Authorities say Baker and Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar teamed up to rob partiers at gunpoint in May. The police report out of Miramar, Florida claims that Baker had the weapon while Dunbar did the looting. Some witnesses said that Baker also directed a third man to shoot someone (ultimately, no one at the scene was shot). Together, cops say the cornerbacks made off with ~$7K in cash, a $25K Hublot watch, an $18K Rolex, and an Audemars Piguet.

Baker is facing a total of eight charges – four counts of armed robbery with a firearm, plus four counts of aggravated assault. Each of the four armed robbery charges carry a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison. Patel says the accusations against his client – a 2019 first-round pick – are without merit. Ditto for Dunbar’s lawyer. Both defense attorneys have been adamant in their pre-trial defense and very accommodating to media inquiries over the last six weeks.

The Giants have kept Baker out of their virtual offseason activities and they may ask him to stay at home once they resume on-field workouts. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have allowed Dunbar to log on for their Zoom chats.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

This Date In Transactions History: Giants Release Phil Simms

The Giants saw Eli Manning retire this past winter, ending a 16-year run. The other Giants passer to be named Super Bowl MVP did not receive the same sendoff. Phil Simms‘ 15-season stay in New York ended 26 years ago today when the Giants released him.

Although Simms had reclaimed his starting job and led the Giants to the 1993 playoffs — en route to his second Pro Bowl — the team released him due to salary cap concerns on June 16, 1994. The ’94 offseason marked the first time NFL teams had to navigate a salary cap, which debuted at $34.6MM. Simms was set to earn $2.32MM in ’94, which would have been his 16th NFL season. The then-38-year-old quarterback was also coming off offseason shoulder surgery.

Simms and Jeff Hostetler had split time in 1991 and ’92, with the latter winning New York’s QB1 job in 1991 after replacing an injured Simms late in the Giants’ 1990 Super Bowl-winning season. Simms started four games in ’92 but suffered a season-ending injury. However, the Giants let Hostetler sign with the Raiders in 1993 and reinstalled Simms as their starter. He started all 16 games, and the Giants came within an iconic Week 18 Emmitt Smith performance of earning home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs. The Giants ended up beating the Vikings in the wild-card round before losing to the 49ers — in what would turn out to be the final NFL game for Simms and Lawrence Taylor — a week later.

When the decision was made I said, ‘Oh my God.’ Afterward when I was driving home I was still kind of shocked and it was like I didn’t know what had happened,” Simms said of the release at the time. “I can honestly say I was not prepared for it.”

Current Giants co-owner John Mara said his father, Hall of Famer Wellington Mara, was against Hall of Fame GM George Young‘s decision to cut Simms. But the team made the move and handed the reins to 1992 first-round supplemental draft pick Dave Brown. He started the next three seasons for the Giants — who missed the playoffs in each of those slates — with Kent Graham and Danny Kanell then bridging the gap to 1999 free agency addition Kerry Collins.

Simms later said three teams submitted offers for him to continue his career. While he ultimately retired, Simms visited the Browns — then coached by former Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick — in 1995. The eventual 20-plus-year TV analyst stayed retired. The Super Bowl XXI MVP, Simms ranks behind only Manning in passing yards (33,462) and touchdown passes (199) in Giants history.

Giants K Aldrick Rosas Arrested For Alleged Hit And Run

Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas was arrested after an alleged hit-and-run in California (via TMZ). Cops say that Rosas was going 100 mph when he t-boned another car early Monday morning and they believe that he may have been intoxicated. 

Per the police report, Rosas was driving erratically before he blew through a red light. That’s when cops say he smashed into the side of a pickup truck and continued driving, instead of stopping. Moments later, when his SUV broke down, witnesses say Rosas took off running. When police arrived on the scene, they found Rosas walking nearby with his legs and bare feet covered in blood.

Unfortunately, this is not Rosas’ first run-in with the law. Court records show that in February 2016, roughly two months before the 2016 draft, he was arrested in California and charged with DUI and having a BAC of over 0.8% (via Zack Rosenblatt of The DUI charge was ultimately dismissed, but Rosas pled guilty to the BAC charge and received 30 months of probation. According to Rosenblatt’s colleague, Matt Lombardo, the Giants were aware of that incident prior to signing Rosas in 2017. He has been the team’s kicker ever since.

Since joining the Giants, Rosas has made 62 of his 75 field goal tries. In 2018, he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl, making him just one of four kickers in Giants franchise history to secure the honors. There have been some bumps along the way, however, including four missed PATs last year.

After 48 straight games with the team, the Giants used a second-round tender to bring Rosas back for 2020. He’s currently set to earn $3.26MM this season, but if he stays on the roster, there will surely be league discipline coming his way. He may be the only kicker on the roster for now, but expect that to change soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

New Jersey Drops Stay-At-Home Orders

The state of New Jersey has dropped its stay-at-home orders effective immediately, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Tuesday. Most importantly, this marks a return to life-as-usual and business-as-usual for millions in the Garden State. In terms of football, it’s a major roadblock lifted for the Jets and Giants as they prepare for the upcoming season.

[RELATED: Latest On NFL Salary Cap Talks]

Most states have at least partially-reopened in recent days, with California, Tennessee, and Oregon working through a regional reopening plan. That has resulted in a clear path for most of the NFL’s teams, though the 49ers, Rams, Chargers, and Titans are still waiting for full clearance. The Cowboys’ offseason plans have also been impacted – they’ll hold training camp in Texas, per the NFL’s mandate, rather than their usual site in Oxnard, CA.

Meanwhile, the NFL and NFLPA may allow rookies and relocated veterans to participate in on-site offseason activities before the originally planned date on June 26. And, earlier this month, the NFL permitted coaching staffs to return to facilities. There are still major COVID-19-related hurdles to clear, including salary cap negotiations with the players’ union, but the NFL is moving full steam ahead with the intention of kicking off the season in September.

The NFL also hopes to have fans in attendance for games at full capacity. The state of Texas is similarly optimistic, having already OK’d teams to fill stadiums halfway.

Latest On Giants’ DeAndre Baker

The lawyer for DeAndre Baker believes the charges against his client could be dropped by the end of the week, as Ralph Vacchiano of SNY writes. So far, Baker’s defense team has been vocal, brash, and confident in the face of felony charges for armed robbery.

[RELATED: Giants’ DeAndre Baker, Seahawks’ Quinton Dunbar Accused Of Armed Robbery]

I think we’ve got the case won, to be honest with you. I think it’s only a matter of time,” Patrick G. Patel said. “But it’s the kid’s life. This kid will get suspended and lose his job, and then the case gets dismissed and what have we done? So everybody’s taking a wait and see approach.”

The lawyer representing Quinton Dunbar – the Seahawks cornerback and alleged accomplice of Baker in the Florida incident – has expressed similar sentiments. Of course, it’s the job of a defense attorney to cast doubt on allegations and push back against charges being levied, so it all has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Baker’s lawyer says that the Giants second-year pro was the victim of a “shakedown,” noting that four of the witnesses involved have already recanted their testimony. Meanwhile, he’s teamed with Dunbar’s lawyer and claims that he’s uncovered independent witnesses that can vouch for their innocence.

As of this writing, Florida authorities are sticking to their version of events. They say Baker held people at gunpoint at a cookout while Dunbar robbed them. Some witnesses claimed that Dunbar also had a gun and there may have been a third man involved. Ultimately, police say, they walked off with expensive watches and about $7K in cash.

Despite Patel’s claims, Baker remains in limbo with his club. In mid-May, the Giants asked him to stay away from team activities in order to focus on his legal matters.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Won’t Pursue Jadeveon Clowney

The Giants could use an edge rusher and Jadeveon Clowney remains available, but they’re not interested in the former No. 1 overall pick, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes. This jibes with recent comments from GM Dave Gettleman who indicated that he’ll focus on lower-priced options.

[RELATED: Jadeveon Clowney Turns Down Browns]

In March, Clowney said that he’d be open to joining the Giants, but that interest hasn’t been reciprocated. Instead, the Giants seem more focused on a reunion with Markus Golden, a cheaper edge rusher who led the team with ten sacks last year. The Giants tethered Golden with the rarely used unrestricted free agent tender, which will bring him back to the club if no one else signs him by July 22. Golden doesn’t have Clowney’s name value, and the advanced metrics aren’t keen on his lack of quarterback pressures last year, but he’d be a better budgetary fit. If no one bites on Golden in the next seven weeks, the Giants would have him back on a one-year, $4.12MM deal.

Last week, we learned that Clowney rejected an offer from the Browns. The Browns are still interested in signing him, just not at his current asking price. That’s more or less the case for every team connected to Clowney, though the Eagles believe that the gap is too large to even consider a pursuit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On DeAndre Baker, Giants

DeAndre Baker‘s future with the Giants is up in the air after his arrest on eight charges stemming from an alleged armed robbery earlier this month. The Giants have told the cornerback to stay away from their offseason activities, but since they are unfolding in a virtual capacity, such a stance has a less noticeable effect. And Baker scored a victory this week. A judge approved a request by Baker’s attorney that will allow the second-year cornerback to leave the state, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. This would allow Baker to travel from Florida to New Jersey for Giants training camp. The Giants have kept Baker away from their voluntary virtual offseason since the incident but banning him from mandatory training camp would be a suspension. The team has not crossed that bridge yet.