Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence II walks to the line of...

Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence II walks to the line of scrimmage during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on Tuesday. Credit: Brad Penner

It may have been one of the most tepid brags in NFL history, but given how reticent the Giants have been to even discuss their aspirations for this coming season Dexter Lawrence gave the equivalent of a Joe Namath guarantee when me mentioned… the playoffs.

“It’s a realistic goal," the defensive lineman said. “You can’t sit on what happened years prior. You’ve got to go for what you’re shooting for now. Everybody’s goal is to make it to the postseason. If everybody has the same goal, we’re all going to have the same work ethic to try to get there.”

No need to remind anyone that it has been a while since that level has been reached. Only two players on the current roster were with the Giants in 2016 the last time they made the postseason. One is Sterling Shepard, who is on PUP and recovering from an Achilles injury. The other is safety Andrew Adams who was cut in 2018, won a Super Bowl with the Bucs, and is back this season to add depth in the secondary.

Lawrence is among the majority of players who have never even experienced a winning record at any point during their tenures with the Giants. Given the transition with a new coaching staff and front office and all of the turnover on the roster, the Giants have mostly shied away from making any bold proclamations about their ambitions for this season, instead seemingly bracing for another long year of rebuilding and all the pitfalls that come with that process.

It’s why having a player of Lawrence’s stature state that it’s not absurd for the team to consider the playoffs as a possibility counts as bluster… or at least as much as the Giants these days can muster.

Notes & quotes. Brian Daboll said rookie safety Dane Belton will not require surgery for his fractured collarbone but did not have a definitive timeline for his return. The fourth-round pick figures to miss the rest of preseason and most likely the start of the regular season … C Jon Feliciano, sidelined since last week after requiring medical attention for heat and hydration issues, returned to the field on Tuesday. He did not participate in team reps but did some drills with the team … WR David Sills had a strong practice with a leaping catch in a two-minute drill that set up a potential game-winning field goal and a touchdown catch to end the workout.

More Giants