I was a little busy Tebowing today, but I want to get you caught up on a few happenings in the world of the Giants.
First of all, the team was awarded one compensatory draft pick, and it’s a good one. They’ll make the 131st selection in the fourth round, it was announced today. That’s a really nice pick for a comp pick and in the fourth round you can usually find a player.
As for one of the reasons that they received such a good comp pick, former Giants wide receiver Steve Smith has reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Rams. He visited them early in free agency and nothing came of it, but apparently the two sides reached an agreement. Smith played in just 11 games and caught just 11 passes for the Eagles in 2011 (while wearing No. 11, for you numerologists out there). He, of course, was expected to start the season on PUP with the Giants had he resigned with the team as a free agent last summer but instead jumped to the Eagles and was largely ineffective. It was a big storyline early in the season. You know, before Victor Cruz became Victor Cruz.
Speaking of receivers coming from nowhere, Jerry Reese was on SiriusXM’s NFL Radio this afternoon discussing several elements of the Giants. One of them was the loss of Mario Manningham, which Reese said is a reality of life in the NFL – “the salary cap rules the world,” he said – but added that he expects some younger guys to step out of the shadows. He’s talking about Jerrel Jernigan and Ramses Barden, who may be getting his last chance to make an impact on the Giants.
“Ramses Barden’s been hurt a little bit ever since he’s been in the league,” Reese said. “We hope he can stay healthy and prove to us that he was worth (the third round pick).”
As for a few other nuggets from the Reese interview:
The Giants like Mark Herzlich and Greg Jones at middle linebacker and may consider moving Michael Boley to that position (which he normally plays in sub packages), but Reese said as of right now it’s unclear who will have that job heading into the season.
Reese said they are looking for James Brewer to step up, but he also pointed to David Diehl as a potential replacement for Kareem McKenzie at right tackle.
Reese admitted that the team is concerned about Marvin Austin being able to adapt to the NFL after missing out on the last two seasons (2010 for a college suspension and 2011 with a pectoral injury with the Giants). “This offseason is going to be big for him to get going again and get acclimated to playing football, if nothing else, and playing at this level, which is going to be shocking to him because he hasn’t played in such a long time,” Reese said. “To go out in there and tussle with those big guys, it’s going to be tougher than you think it is. But he’s a talented kid.”
He said that Terrell Thomas is rehabbing nicely and that Steve Weatherford became a weapon for the team, especially in the Super Bowl. Both were re-signed as free agents. He also said that Martellus Bennett only came onto the Giants’ radar when they lost two tight ends, Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum, to ACL injuries in the super Bowl. He expects those two players to start the season on PUP.
Finally, Reese noted that the Giants are not done in free agency. “There’s still some things to do,” he said.