Giants Rumors

Giants Change Up Linebacker Duties

  • The Giants made a change in their sub-package alignment Sunday, swapping in Ray-Ray Armstrong for B.J. Goodson at one of the two linebacker positions, per Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. Armstrong and Alec Ogletree worked as Big Blue’s nickel ‘backers at practice. Armstrong played safety in college and has bounced around in the NFL, seeing action with the Rams, Raiders and 49ers before joining the Giants last year. Pro Football Focus graded both Goodson and Armstrong as poor coverage players last season.

Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles made plans to visit the Redskins this weekend, following Orleans Darkwa in doing so. This effort to add a piece to a reeling backfield won’t be to bring in a starter but to add depth to a position group that needs it. Jay Gruden said (video link) his team is “covering our bases” in arranging visits with these free agent backs. Being merely a four-year veteran with a light carry history, Darkwa certainly has the most left in the tank. He led the Giants in rushing last season. Peterson, though, has recent experience fitting in quickly with a new team. Although he didn’t do well on a per-carry basis behind a struggling Cardinals offensive line, the future Hall of Fame back posted two 130-plus-yard performances last season — the first of which coming in his initial Cards game. Charles fell out of the Broncos’ rotation late in the season, but the two-time All-Pro made it through last year healthy and performed fairly well (4.3 yards per tote) before being shut down.

Giants Had Interest In Orlando Scandrick

The Giants expressed interest in cornerback Orlando Scandrick when he was released by the Redskins last week, but he landed with the Chiefs before New York could arrange a visit, tweets Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. New York is set at outside corner, where Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple will start, but could still use help at slot, which is where Scandrick has experienced the most success. At present, veterans William Gay and Leonard Johnson are the leading candidates to play inside for the Giants, but given their interest in Scandrick, it stands to reason Big Blue could consider further additions — either via the free agent or trade market, or through a waiver claim — in the coming weeks.

Giants' McIntosh Long Way From Field

  • Giants coach Pat Shurmur isn’t sure if he’ll see fifth-round pick R.J. McIntosh on the field before the start of the season. Shurmur tells reporters (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan) that the defensive lineman is looking at an “extended-rehab type situation,” which may be tied to his thyroid issue. It took a long time for McIntosh to sign with the Giants and it could take even longer for the Giants to find out what they have in the Miami product.

Extra Points: Rookie Scale, McCoy, Bills, Beckham, Giants, Donald, Rams

Roquan Smith still isn’t signed. The eighth overall pick in this year’s draft is the last remaining unsigned pick, and there’s no end in sight to the impasse between the linebacker and the Bears. Although issues like total guaranteed money and signing bonuses are predetermined in rookie contracts, things like offsets and when guarantees will void can still be haggled over.

To help better understand the process, Andrew Brandt of SI.com took a look at the rookie contract process, and spoke with a handful of agents. Brandt, a former Packers executive, writes that it’s a “system tilted heavily toward management” and that the players have little leverage now due to the 2011 CBA. Brandt writes that teams have become “emboldened” by their newfound power in negotiating rookie deals, and that “teams like the Bears are looking to invalidate future guarantees based on discipline for on-field conduct.”

 The Bears want to be able to void guaranteed money from Smith’s contract if he were suspended for on-field conduct like an illegal hit, and Smith is fighting back. It will be fascinating to see how the situation plays out. Here’s more from around the league:

  • The ex-girlfriend of LeSean McCoy issued a new statement yesterday, saying that she is still waiting for “justice to be served.” McCoy has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has not yet been punished by either the Bills or the NFL.
  • Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t play in the Giants’ preseason opener, but his absence had nothing to do with his contract. Although the two sides are still negotiating a contract extension which should make OBJ the highest paid receiver in the game, coach Pat Shurmur said he wasn’t going to play his star in the first game anyway, according to Tom Rock of Newsday.
  • Aaron Donald missed the August seventh deadline to report and will become a restricted free agent after the season, but the deadline was mostly irrelevant writes former NFL agent Joel Corry of CBS Sports. Since the Rams will certainly franchise tag Donald if the two sides can’t agree on an extension, it doesn’t really matter whether he’s a restricted or unrestricted free agent after this year, and there was no reason for Donald to report.

Pat Shurmur On Odell Beckham Jr. Status

  • The Giants‘ reasoning behind sitting Odell Beckham Jr. in the preseason opener stemmed from his injury recovery, not his contract situation, per Pat Shurmur. “I want to be smart with his recovery coming back [from ankle surgery],” Shurmur said, via Tom Rock of Newsday. “I never intended to play him in this game. I didn’t reveal that to [the public], but I never intended to.” Beckham has not experienced a known setback in his recovery from last season’s ankle injury. He encountered ankle trouble during the preseason against the Browns last year, spraining his left ankle barely a month prior to fracturing it.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/11/18

Here are Saturday’s minor moves.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: CB Ryan Neal
  • Waived: T Kendall Calhoun

Denver Broncos

  • Claimed off waivers from Bengals: T Austin Fleer

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: DL Lord Hyeamang

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Released from IR: TE Adam Zaruba

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: DB Trey Caldwell, DB Kenneth Durden
  • Waived: CB Jarell Carter, CB Joseph Este

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/8/18

Today’s minor moves:

Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots

  • Released from IR: T Nate Theaker

New York Giants

  • Signed: S Mike Basile

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Latest On Giants, OBJ

  • On Monday, we heard conflicting reports regarding the negotiations between Odell Beckham Jr. and the Giants. One report indicated that the Giants are offering OBJ less than Sammy Watkins‘ average annual value of $16MM/year. Later, we heard that the Giants are willing to make OBJ the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. The discrepancy likely comes from different interpretations of the same offer, as Mike Florio of PFT writes. In an unusual role reversal, it seems that the team is evaluating the offer based on the new money average, while the player’s agent is going off of the cumulative average, which includes Beckham’s 2018 salary of $8.49MM. In theory, the Giants’ offer to Beckham could be a five-year, $85.5MM deal, which would give him a league-leading $17.1MM new money average. However, if the 2018 salary is included, that would give him an average of $15.659MM. Reading between the lines, it sounds as though OBJ’s team could be looking to top Antonio Brown‘s AAV including the current year, which would be a very lofty goal.

OBJ, Giants Progressing Toward Extension

A new contract for wideout Odell Beckham Jr. could be right around the corner. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the receiver’s agent, Zeke Sandhu, and the Giants have “engaged in good-faith negotiations” that would make Beckham the highest-paid wideout in the NFL. While a deal isn’t expected to be finalized in the coming days, Rapoport says the two sides are “encouraged” that a deal could be finalized before the start of the regular season.

We learned yesterday that OBJ was optimistic about a new deal, but reports from today indicated that the Giants’ offer may have been relatively underwhelming. New York’s reported offer would have paid Beckham a lower average annual salary than Sammy Watkins, which our own Zach Links says would be south of $16MM. If Beckham is going to be the highest-paid player at this position, he’d have to earn more than the $17MM that Antonio Brown is set to make in his extension with the Steelers.

The 25-year-old is set to earn a bit less than $8.5MM in his fifth-year option season, meaning he could be looking to double his salary in 2019. For what it’s worth, the wideout previously acknowledged that he may have to sacrifice some money for long-term security, which could be an indication that Beckham is willing to give the Giants a slight discount if they sign him to a longer deal. If OBJ doesn’t sign an extension with the organization, the Giants could realistically control the receiver for more two additional seasons via the franchise tag.

The 2014 first-round pick was limited to only four games last season, finishing with 25 receptions for 302 yards and three scores. However, there’s no denying his talent, as he finished the previous three campaigns with at least 1,300 receiving yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Offer OBJ Less Than $16MM/Year

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. says he’s optimistic about a new deal coming together, but the two sides still have a ways to go. The Giants latest offer to OBJ would give him an average annual salary below that of Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). 

Watkins signed a three-year, $48MM deal with the Chiefs this offseason, meaning that the Giants have offered Beckham less than $16MM per year. Assuming the offer is still in the $15MM/year range, it’s not quite chump change, but it would put Beckham outside of the top five for wide receivers when it comes to new money.

At the moment, Watkins is at the top of the list, but that will change in 2019 when new deals kick in for Antonio Brown ($17MM per year), Mike Evans ($16.5MM), DeAndre Hopkins ($16.2MM), and Brandin Cooks ($16.2MM) leapfrog Watkins. OBJ’s team, meanwhile, is likely seeking a deal to make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. So, clearly, there’s a large divide that needs to be bridged. In the the meantime, OBJ’s agent Zeke Sandhu has left town, Anderson tweets.

If OBJ does not sign an extension with the Giants, the club can still control him through two consecutive franchise tags. No new deal for OBJ means taking a risk and potentially not seeing the open market until after the 2020 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.