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Jabrill Peppers motivated to win with Giants, but could be on trading block as deadline approaches

Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers speaks to the

Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers speaks to the media during Giants training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Jabrill Peppers was asked if he wants to stick around.

"I just want to win, baby," he said on Wednesday. "I want to make plays, go out there and win ball games."

None of that, it should be noted, has been happening with the Giants, and the prospects of any of it suddenly sprouting forth appear to be dim.

Peppers, who arrived as the second-billed commodity in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade with the Browns in 2018 but was the player the Giants said at the time made the swap so enticing, does not appear to be in the team’s future plans. He has no definitive position on defense, is on a team with two other safeties who are signed through the 2023 season, and is due to become a free agent at the end of this season.

With the trade deadline approaching and the Giants sitting on one win so far, Peppers is almost certain to be one of the commodities they shop around for contenders who might need help in their secondary for a postseason push. Based on his answer to the question about remaining with the Giants, Peppers might not mind a midseason change of scenery.

General manager Dave Gettleman famously said of Beckham that he did not sign him to trade him, and then traded him. He certainly did not trade for Peppers to trade him, but that might be the way his tenure with the Giants ends.

"I’m just motivated to play better and get this thing turned around," Peppers said during a series of terse answers in a media session which seemed to belie a growing frustration from him. "There’s always been a level of urgency. You just have to take it up a couple of notches."

Peppers remains a captain for the Giants, so he was asked how he can help to bolster enthusiasm and optimism on a 1-5 team.

"Just remember why you do it," he said.

Where he does it may be on his mind as well.

Notes & quotes: Daniel Jones grew up in Charlotte and said it will be "cool" to face a Panthers team he used to root for. "I certainly still have a lot of friends who are Panthers fans, so I think that’s cool to be able to play them," he said. Who will those friends be pulling for? "I hope they’re rooting for me," he said. "But I’ve probably got some who are still Panthers fans" . . . Rookie draft picks LB Elerson Smith (hamstring) and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) were both designated to return from IR or PUP, respectively, and participated in their first practice with the team on Wednesday. Joe Judge said expectations for them to make an immediate impact should be tempered. "For guys who haven’t gone through training camp, preseason games and all that stuff, I find it hard to believe for any rookie to come back that fast and just go ahead and jump right back in," Judge said . . . WR John Ross (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday. Ross missed the first three games on IR with a hamstring injury. Rookie LB Azeez Ojulari missed practice because of a non-injury situation.

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