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    "Osi Umenyiora claims he isn't sleeping much these days because, like every
    draft-eligible player not named Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, he's unsure
    which team will be his employer by the end of the week.

    Right now, it's the Giants. But with
    an ever-contentious contract situation heading into its final season, Umenyiora
    knows this could be the best time for the team to get something instead of

    "If they make me play out the seventh year of a seven-year deal, that's going
    to be rough right there," the two-time Pro Bowl selection, who had nine sacks in
    nine regular-season games and 3½ more in the postseason, said today at the NFL's
    "Play 60" event at Chelsea Waterside Park, while making an appearance for Kinect
    for Xbox. "I don't even know if that's a possibility at this point, but you can
    never say never. Hopefully something will be done here. If I have to come back
    and play (under his current deal), I really don't know how I'm going to react to
    that situation."

    Umenyiora added, "This is the last year of my deal and, given the current
    circumstances, I think maybe the Giants would probably think I wouldn't be back
    after this year. So if they're going to get something, now would be the time to
    do it."

    Last week, general manager Jerry Reese said there's been "a little bit of
    talk" between the front office and Umenyiora's camp, though indications are the
    "little" part of the statement is the most accurate part. In other words,
    there's nothing cooking there, as Umenyiora confirmed there have been only
    "preliminary" discussions and no "serious talks" about an extension or

    Umenyiora is scheduled to earn $3.975 million in base salary this upcoming
    season as part of the six-year extension he signed in December 2005. Umenyiora,
    who parted ways with his first agent a little more than a year after signing the
    contract, has said in the past he didn't understand it was in actuality a
    seven-year deal because he was already under contract for 2006.

    Asked if he expects to redo his contract with a new team before a trade would
    be completed, Umenyiora gave an interesting and telling answer.

    "At this point, it wouldn't even matter. I would go somewhere else and play
    under my current deal, I really would," he said. "So whatever happens, man, I
    think this year is going to be my best year as a professional. I truly, truly
    feel that way. So whether it's with the Giants or somewhere else, I'll be all
    right. I'll be all right."

    Umenyiora, 30, said he took about a week to celebrate the Super Bowl XLVI
    championship, as
    he vowed he would
    . After that, he worked on getting into what he described
    as "some of the best shape of my career right now." He's eager to play and
    perform - on all three downs.

    Though he stopped short of saying he'd prefer it to be elsewhere if he has to
    play under his current deal.

    "I wouldn't go so far as to say that. But I definitely feel like I'm an
    every-down player," he said. "I feel like I'm one of the most dangerous
    defensive ends in football. Not the best but the most dangerous. There's a
    difference there. I want to be able to play, I want to be able to lay it out
    there for everybody.

    "There's this perception that I don't play the run (well) and all that stuff
    and that just makes me so angry because there's no evidence on tape, especially
    over these last two years, that that's true. So the fact everyone keeps saying
    that, I just want to go out there and prove I can definitely do that."

    Umenyiora was demoted in 2009 because of sub-par play against the run. After
    that season, even
    he admitted he played "terrible" football at times

    But since then, Umenyiora has worked to be a well-rounded player. And as he
    showed with a forced fumble that saved a touchdown in the Divisional Round
    victory over the Packers, he's still very much a difference maker.

    "(The Giants) are really starting to view me as (solely) a pass rusher,
    especially with the emergence of Jason Pierre-Paul and obviously you know how
    (Justin) Tuck plays," he said. "There are a lot of issues we have to work
    through here. There really are. But hopefully we’ll be able to come to some sort
    of resolution."

    One of those "issues" is Umenyiora's belief the Giants have soiled his
    reputation as a run defender and thus hurt his value.

    "I think definitely people are like, ‘Well, if the team’s only going to put
    him out there in passing situations then obviously they’re doing it for a
    reason,'" he said. "I mean, it can’t be the fact Jason and Tuck are just
    absolutely monsters against the run. It must be the fact I’m terrible at this.
    You know what I mean?"

    This all seems to be coming to a head at some point or another. If it's not
    this week via a trade, the Giants will have to figure out a way to please
    Umenyiora before he plans on returning.

    "As soon as those things are taken care of I’ll be more than glad or more
    than happy to join my teammates," he said. "I miss them, I want to be around
    them, but they definitely understand what’s going on with my situation, the
    coaches understand what’s going on with my situation and more importantly I
    think the owners and management understand what’s going on with my

    "So at the end of the day I think something is going to happen and it just
    remains to see what that is."

    * * * *

    Umenyiora was serious when it came to business but was having fun with the
    kids on hand for the "Play 60" event. The players there were stressing the
    importance of staying active. Umenyiora and Luck both mentioned Kinect for Xbox
    360 as a way to play video games but still remain active because of the
    controller-free play that uses one's whole body.

    "I just ran the little 200 meter hurdles against these 11-year olds and I
    won. And I was so proud of myself," Umenyiora said. "I was talking trash to them
    about how good I am and how much faster I am than these 10-year-old kids."


    "Last week, we gave you a working list
    of players who had visited the Giants
    . Well, as we’re now a little more than
    a day to the first pick in the NFL Draft, it’s time to extend that list by nine
    names who visited the team at some point over the past month.

    These names are courtesy of people informed of the players’ visits. Those
    people requested anonymity because they were not to be divulged publicly.

    A reminder: the Giants don’t use these non-local visits (of which they’re
    allowed up to 30) as smoke screens. If they bring guys in, they’re interested in
    them. Or at the very least, they’re looking for more information on heath or
    behavioral concerns. So keep these names (and the ones from last week) in mind
    once the draft gets underway:

    Iowa CB Shaun Prater: A projected mid-round pick, he had a
    productive junior season in which he grabbed four interceptions before recording
    only one last season. He had a good week of practice at the East-West Shrine
    game and ran a tad over or under 4.4 at his pro day (depending on whose watch
    you believe). Prater had a knee issue that prevented him from working at the
    Scouting Combine, though that doesn’t seem to be a major red flag at this point.
    Doesn’t have ideal size (5-10, 185 pounds) and needs work with his press/man
    coverage, according to a few scouting reports.

    USC TE/FB Rhett Ellison: Converted to fullback last season
    for the Trojans. Not the most gifted of athletes, per scouting reports, but an
    extremely hard worker and a great leader -- so much so USC renamed
    the team’s annual leadership award for him
    . Ellison had 43 catches and five
    touchdowns in his final two seasons in college combined. At 6-5, 250 pounds, he
    sounds like he needs to add to his frame to play tight end at the next level. A
    projected mid-round pick.

    USC DT DaJohn Harris: The projections here are all over the
    place because he didn’t work out at the Scouting Combine after doctors found a
    hole in his heart, a result of a condition known as patent foramen ovale. Harris
    said his cardiologist cleared him and sent letters to all 32 teams telling him
    he was not a medical risk. Still, the Giants probably brought him in to get
    their own doctors to examine him. Harris had a heckuva performance at the Shrine
    Game and should hear his name by the early part of Saturday, when Rounds 4-7
    will be held.

    McNeese State CB Janzen Jackson: A ton of baggage here for
    this transfer from Tennessee, who was arrested on attempted armed robbery as a
    freshman (the charges were later dropped) and reportedly failed a few drug
    tests. "I made some mistakes, and I admit I made them," Jackson said during an
    interview with WWL 870 in New Orleans, per
    this story from the Times Free Press in Chattanooga, Tenn
    . "I was young. I
    was away from home, and I didn't make the right choices back then, and I paid
    the price. It humbles you no matter how good you think you are." Janzen can be
    good, as he had five interceptions with the Vols in 2010 and added three with
    McNeese State last season. He didn’t impress physically at the Combine or his
    pro day, according
    to Pro Football Weekly
    , so he surely had a lot of convincing to do when he
    sat down with the Giants.

    Kentucky LB Dan Trevathan: Your turn to play the role of
    scout as you
    watch Trevathan work out at the Scouting Combine
    . You got a lot out of that,
    right? Sure you did. Ah, the Combine. Anyway, Trevathan has good speed,
    according to reports, and was a very productive player last season but is a bit
    undersized at 6-1, 232 pounds. Jerry Reese said last year he couldn’t ignore
    Greg Jones’ production and perhaps it’ll be the same case with Trevathan, who
    last season had 143 tackles (11 1/2 tackles for loss), three sacks, four
    interceptions, five passes defensed and five fumbles forced. He’s projected as a
    late-round pick.

    Texas A&M CB Terrence Frederick: Judging from
    his Twitter timeline
    , it looks like he was in with the big group of players
    on April 15-16. Frederick ran in the low 4.4s at his pro day after being clocked
    over 4.5 at the Scouting Combine. He had only four interceptions in his college
    career. As for his ability, Pro
    Football Weekly had a nice breakdown
    on him and believes he needs to work on
    his technique and physical play. He’ll likely be a late-round pick.

    Harvard DE Josue Ortiz: I forgot to mention him last week,
    was the first to report his visit with the Giants
    (I think). For the skinny
    on Ortiz, check out this good
    story from Newsday’s Bob Glauber

    Kentucky S Winston Guy: A late-round pick or perhaps an
    undrafted free agent, he’s a physical safety who has 120 tackles last season.
    He’s also played some cornerback.

    Tennessee State LB Rico Council: Not a ton of information to
    be found on him because he’s projected as an undrafted free agent. Frankly,
    though, Council
    will gladly take that after a near-death experience when he was shot in the jaw
    three years ago

    * * * *

    So to review, what follows is a list of guys who have visited the Giants,
    based on our reports and those of others. They’re ranked, as best I could, by
    projected order of selection:

    Alabama LB Dont'a Hightower

    Alabama CB Dre

    Clemson TE Dwayne

    Iowa CB Shaun Prater

    Arizona State CB Omar Bolden

    Oklahoma OT Donald Stephenson

    Texas A&M RB Cyrus Gray

    USC TE/FB Rhett Ellison

    USC DT DaJohn Harris

    Fresno State WR Devon Wylie

    McNeese State CB Janzen Jackson

    Cincinnati TE Adrien Robinson

    Southern Miss QB Austin Davis

    Idaho LB Kory Toomer

    Coastal Carolina CB Josh Norman

    Harvard DE Josue Ortiz

    Duke S Matt Daniels

    Mississippi State OT James Carmon

    Utah State RB Michael Smith

    Central Florida TE Adam Nissley

    Wisconsin TE Jake Byrne

    A reminder that this isn’t an all-inclusive list of guys who interest the
    Giants. They’ll obviously draft players who didn’t make trips to East
    Rutherford. But these names help give a feel for some players they’re targeting
    as well as positions they’re eying at certain points in the draft.

    * * * *

    And finally, I don’t know if Huntingdon (Ala.) College WR Cody Pearcy visited
    the Giants but we do know he wowed one of the team’s scouts, Joe Collins.

    How do we know that? Well, for one, Bill Parcells mentioned Pearcy as a
    sleeper at the tail end of his NFL Draft special on ESPN Tuesday night. Perhaps
    he gathered that information via his old Giants connections. Plus, when Parcells
    mentioned Pearcy, ESPN ran a clip of his pro day workout at Alabama State and
    Collins could be seen with a stunned look on his face as Pearcy ran a
    3.76-second short shuttle -- a ridiculous number as evidenced by Collins’
    reaction. Pearcy also ran a 4.31-second 40.

    Here’s the full clip of
    Pearcy’s workout
    , complete with shots of Collins’ dropped jaw."



    "One year ago, Mark Herzlich took to the Radio City Music Hall stage prior to the
    start the NFL Draft with the understanding that he was not going to be back on
    it. Unlike the other 24 invited prospects, Roger Goodell was not expected to
    call his name as a first-round pick later that night. Instead, he was there for
    his uplifting story of overcoming cancer to return to the gridiron.

    At one point, Herzlich was an All-American and surefire first-round pick. But
    less than two years and one season on the field removed from Ewing’s sarcoma, a
    rare form of bone cancer, in his leg, Herzlich knew an NFL franchise would be
    taking a risk on potential with his selection and that it wouldn’t happen until
    the middle rounds at the earliest.

    No one took the risk.

    “If I was going to get drafted, there was going to be at least one team who
    overlooked the cancer and said, ‘All right, he’s taken a step past it, he’s on
    the way to being the player he was again,’?” the linebacker said. “After round
    five, it’s like, ‘Okay, well no one’s looked past that.’ And so I kind of knew
    around rounds six and seven that it wasn’t going to happen.”

    One year later, the undrafted free agent is a Super Bowl champion and in the
    mix for the Giants’ starting middle linebacker spot for the 2012 season. The
    Giants re-signed middle linebacker Chase Blackburn, and general manager Jerry
    Reese has said starting outside linebacker Michael Boley is a possibility in the
    middle. And though Herzlich said he still has plenty to prove and will be
    working for a spot on the roster this offseason, he was the starting middle
    linebacker for two games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week
    12 and views the job as his.

    “It’s mine for the taking,” Herzlich said. “I wish the best for everybody
    else, but it’s still a competition. I want the team to do well, and if it’s not
    the spot that the coaches want me in, then that’s one thing. But the way I look
    at it is, there is a place that I can play and I don’t want anyone to take that
    away from me.”

    Coming off the broken right ankle, Herzlich said the final obstacle was the
    ankle’s range of motion, which he said has returned completely.

    “I went to one of the physical therapists just the other day, and my right
    ankle seemed better than my left now so that’s all back to normal,” he said.
    “I’m feeling great and workouts are going well.”

    Now with a season under his belt and his first offseason ahead, Herzlich said
    he feels like he’s more involved and more comfortable than he was last season.

    “It’s so much better already,” he said.

    A few weeks ago, he went in for his routine checkup and remains cancer-free.
    Mid-May will be three years since his cancer diagnosis, and his checkups will
    then be reduced to every six months, something he called “a good step.”

    It’s all part of his journey back to football; past being recognized as the
    cancer patient who plays football and to the football player who once had

    “Now I feel like, okay, I play football and cancer is something that helped
    make me who I am, but it’s also not something that I’m dealing with right now,”
    he said."


    "Hakeem Nicks thinks the Giants can replace Mario Manningham from
    Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks said he'll
    leave the drafting to general manager Jerry Reese, but when it comes to looking
    for a replacement for departed wideout Mario Manningham, Nicks thinks the option
    is on the current roster. Though, Nicks did say that if Reese wanted to draft a
    wideout, he wouldn't protest.

    "I feel like we got some guys that are ready to step up to the
    challenge," Nicks said at the NFL Pop Up store on 41st street today. "But when
    it comes to drafting; that's Jerry Reese and our organization and they obviously
    do a good job with that."

    Nicks mentioned Jerrel Jernigan, Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden as possible
    replacements he had high hopes for.

    "I know Hixon has a chip on his shoulder and he's ready to show what he can
    do," he said.

    He and the Giants wideouts have been working with quarterback Eli Manning
    "ever since we got back," including today.

    A lot of the work, he said, focused on combination routes between he and
    Victor Cruz in order to make sure there is no layoff from this past season.

    As far as advice for the Giants future first-round pick, Nicks -- a former
    29th overall pick -- had this:

    "Come in be prepared it's a business take it seriously and at the same time
    come ready to work because it's a hard working organization."


    "Eli Manning doesn't pay attention to any media coverage nor does he care
    what's being said about him.

    Well, that's the sell job, anyway. It's just that nobody should be buying

    Not after a playful comment made during
    an appearance at the University of Mississippi
    in which the former Rebels
    quarterback referenced the hoopla surrounding the Jets' Mark Sanchez and Tim
    Tebow recently.

    “New York Giants just won a championship," Manning deadpanned to Fox News'
    Sheppard Smith, a fellow Ole Miss alum who emceed the event, "yet I’m still the
    third most talked about quarterback in my own city.”

    The crowd laughed, and the comment seemed to be made in jest by Manning, who
    is a budding comedian these days. He'll host SNL on May 5 and was
    apparently shooting a
    recent DirecTV commercial with Deion Sanders
    , who plays a fairy in the dish
    company's spots.

    Yes, Manning seems to be getting plenty of attention lately. And the cameras
    will be on him when he and his teammates pick up their Super Bowl rings at
    Tiffany & Co. next month and again when they visit the White House.

    In short, surely Sanchez would gladly trade all of the pub he's gotten over
    the past three months for the press Manning has gotten.

    * * * *

    As you can see in the video linked above, the university changed the speed
    limit from 18 mph (in honor of Archie Manning) to 10 mph (to honor Eli). Isn't
    it usually the older generation telling people to slow down?

    * * * *

    Smith asked Manning about retirement. Why? I don't know. Something about
    moving back to Mississippi when he's done or something...

    “I feel I am entering the best part of my career," Manning said. "I said it
    last year before the season,
    I said these next seven years are going to be my best football years
    and I’m
    going to focus on that and when it’s time to retire we’ll figure out what that
    next stage is going to be.”

    * * * *

    Weird little tidbit dropped in that vid by David Diehl and Hakeem Nicks on an
    apparent mix-up by Nicks. Diehl said a timeout had to be called in the Super
    Bowl because Nicks ran to the wrong sideline.

    I didn't remember hearing that at any point, so I went back to the broadcast
    to see what I could find. Gotta tell you, I have no idea what they're talking

    The Giants took two timeouts in that game and on both of them there was no
    evident confusion - at least based on what NBC showed. Nicks was on the field
    for the plays before and after both timeouts, plus he was lined up and awaiting
    the snap when the timeouts were called. At no point did he seem to be running to
    either sideline.

    One thing I did notice, however, was Nicks shaking his arm at the end of the
    play before the timeout (a fumble by Ahmad Bradshaw). It looked like Nicks
    might've tweaked the shoulder injury that was bothering him all postseason.

    But Nicks went right to the huddle after that play, so that can't be what
    Diehl and Nicks were referencing. If I find out, I'll let you folks know. Or if
    you have any idea on what they're talking about, please let me know."



    "Robert Griffin III knows the names of the Giants pass-rushers. He can pick
    out Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul.

    But RGIII, the Baylor QB who is like to be chosen by the Washington Redskins
    with the second overall pick in this week's NFL draft, doesn't plan to worry
    about Big Blue's vaunted pass rush.

    "You can’t compare college pass rushers to the Giants, with Tuck and
    Umenyiora and everyone else on that squad," he said. "It’s hard to say you’ve
    faced guys like that. Have I faced a guy like a Justin Tuck? Yeah, maybe I have
    at an Oklahoma or a Texas, or even at Baylor. But to have all those guys on the
    same team is what makes it truly different.

    "But it’s also different for offenses because you have offensive linemen who
    were all all-aermcaisn in college. At the end of the day it balances itself out
    and I’ll be more focused on what I have to do offensively than where those guys
    are at cuz I don’t want to get hit. You can’t play the game scared."

    It was that usual quiet confidence that Griffin showed when he appeared at a
    SUBWAY restaurant in Manhattan to be announced as the fast food chain's latest
    Famous Fan. He put bunny-ears on the custom-made food statue of himself, and
    showed off a pair of SUBWAY-themed socks.

    He also said that he wants to do more than take the Redskins back to
    respectability in 2012. A part of him hopes to make them an instant

    “There’s no shortage of talent in the NFL, any team can compete,” he said.
    “It’s all up to that team to decide what they want to do early on. Hopefully, I
    can get my teammates to believe in me to where we can not just compete, but

    “I can’t predict, but we’re definitely going to work towards that,” he added.
    “We’re not going to shy away from it. We want to win football games.”



    "For the past two weeks, Osi Umenyiora said, he hasn’t been able to get a good
    night’s sleep. That’s how concerned and worried he is about what happens

    Once again, it is an offseason of unrest for Umenyiora, who - once again – is
    stressing how unhappy he is with his present contract and his desire to get a
    new, lucrative long-term deal from the Giants or get traded. Given that he is
    about to enter the final year of his contract and the NFL Draft starts Thursday
    night, it might be now or never to produce a trade for draft picks.

    “I’m resigned to whatever is going to happen,’’ Umenyiora said Wednesday at a
    Play 60- event for Xbox 360 at Chelsea Waterside Park. “Whatever is going to
    happen is going to happen. I’m trying my best not to really think about it too
    much. It keeps me up at night. I haven’t really had a good night’s sleep in
    these past two weeks because I never really know what’s going to happen. So,
    we’ll see.’’

    Umenyiora is on the books this season for $3.975 million, the final year of a
    seven-year, $41.38 million deal. At this point he has not shown up at the
    offseason workout program and says before he steps foot in the team facility
    “Obviously, there are some issues that need to be addressed. There are some
    things that need to be taken care of. As soon as those things are taken care of,
    I’ll be more than happy to join my teammates," Umenyiora said.

    "I miss them. I want to be around them, but they definitely understand what
    is going on with my situation. The coaches understand what is going on with my
    situation. More importantly, the owners and the management know what’s going on
    with my situation. At the end of the day, I think something is going to happen.
    It remains to be seen what that is.’’

    General manager Jerry Reese last week reiterated that he is open to
    considering a contract extension for Umenyiora but a source said there have been
    no real talks. The source said there is a circulating rumor that the Giants
    would deal Umenyiora if they can get a third-round pick in return. Last summer,
    the Giants gave permission for Umenyiora’s agent, Tony Agnone, to find a trade
    partner but set the price-tag at a first-round pick. Predictably, no takers were

    “We’ve had preliminary discussions, but we haven’t had any serious talks as
    far as a contract extension or a trade,’’ Umenyiora said. “I think things will
    probably heat up pretty soon here over these next couple of days. If they are
    going to do something, there would be no better time than to do it now.’’

    If he were to be traded, Umenyiora said he would not demand a contract
    extension from his new team.

    “I would go somewhere else and play under my current deal. I really would,’’
    he said. “Whatever happens, I think this year is going to be my best year as a
    professional. I truly, truly feel that way. Whether it’s with the Giants or
    whether it’s somewhere else, I’ll be all right.’’

    Umenyiora last season missed the first three games coming off knee surgery
    and saw his starting defensive end job taken by Jason Pierre-Paul, who had a
    breakout 16 1/2-sack season. Umenyiora in 13 games (counting the postseason)
    came up with 12 1/2 sacks.

    “I definitely feel like I’m an every-down player,’’ Umenyiora said. “I feel
    like I’m one of the most dangerous defensive ends in football. Not the best, but
    the most dangerous. There’s a difference there. I want to be able to play. I
    want to be able to lay it out there. There’s this perception that I don’t play
    the run and all that stuff. That just makes me so angry. There’s no evidence on
    tape, especially with these last two years, that that’s true. The fact that
    everybody keeps saying that I just want to go out and prove that I can
    definitely do that.

    “It’s going to be difficult for me to do that here in New York because
    they’re really starting to view me as a pass rusher especially with the
    emergence of Jason Pierre-Paul and obviously you know how (Justin) Tuck plays.
    There’s a lot of issues we have to work through here. Hopefully we can come to
    some sort of resolution.’’

    Working out in Atlanta, Umenyiora said he is in “some of the best shape of my
    career’’ and sounded a bit torn when asked what he truly wants.

    “I really don’t know,’’ he said. “I don’t know what’s best. Is me leaving and
    going somewhere else and playing 100 snaps a game, is that really the best for
    my career? Is that the best for my body? Or is me staying here and playing
    behind these guys and still having people have this false perception that I
    can’t play the run, is that best for me? I don’t know. Is giving the Giants
    another year of a seven-year deal that they made me play out, is that best for
    me? I really don’t know. Everything’s up in the air right now.’’

    Umenyiora is certain of what he does not want. “If they make me play out the
    seventh year of a seven-year deal, that’s going to be rough right there,’’ he
    said. “I don’t even know if that’s a possibility at this point. You can never
    really say never. Hopefully, something can be done here. If I have to come back
    and play it, I really don’t know how I’m going to react to that situation.’’



    "Would it be bad karma for the Giants to draft a player named after a former
    Redskins great?

    The Giants can find the answer to that question if they take Stanford tight
    end Coby Fleener with the 32nd overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft
    Thursday night, because Coby is short for Jacoby — as in Joe Jacoby, one of the
    cornerstones of the Redskins’ famed “Hogs” offensive line of the 1980s and

    “I was watching a Redskins game, and I liked the sound of the name,”
    Fleener’s mother, Michelle, explained to Bay Area reporters last

    NFL scouts certainly like the sight of her son’s game. Fleener is considered
    by far the best of an otherwise lackluster crop of tight ends this year, and the
    Giants may target him because the Super Bowl suddenly turned that into a
    position of need for them.

    General manager Jerry Reese is famous for drafting the best available player,
    regardless of need, but tight end still looks like a worry spot worth addressing
    after Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum both were felled by serious knee injuries
    in the win over the Patriots.

    Although the Giants signed Martellus Bennett away from the Cowboys, still
    have Bear Pascoe and hope to have Beckum back early in the season, the Patriots’
    devastating combination of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez shows you can
    never have too many weapons at tight end.

    Fleener is grateful for the great example, too.

    “The guys that played in the NFL this year, the Jimmy Grahams and the
    Gronkowskis of the world, have really done our class of tight ends a favor this
    year,” Fleener said at the scouting combine. “I can’t say enough about the guys
    that have already played, and I hope to one day go play just like that.”

    The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Fleener certainly qualifies as a weapon after serving
    as one of Andrew Luck’s favorite targets during a standout four-year career with
    the Cardinal.

    How dangerous was Fleener? A whopping 17 of his 60 combined catches the past
    two seasons went for touchdowns. Fleener also is extremely versatile, having
    also lined up at H-back, slot receiver and even wide receiver in his four years
    at Stanford.

    Nor would it surprise anyone that Fleener is smart, too. He fits the Stanford
    stereotype perfectly, already earning a bachelor’s degree in science, technology
    and society. And the Chicago-area native’s idea of a good time this spring has
    been finishing up on a master’s degree in media studies.

    And if all of that weren’t enough of an attractive package, Fleener is
    deceptively fast for his size. He had touchdowns of 41, 58 and 60 yards last
    season — not the kind of distances you see for a tight end weighing almost 250
    pounds. Fleener is so quick, college teammate Michael Thomas described him as
    the second-fastest offensive player the Cardinal had last season behind wideout
    Chris Owusu.

    “He has unbelievable speed for a guy his size,” Stanford linebacker Chase
    Thomas said last fall.

    Pretty impressive for someone named after a Hog."



    "The ongoing contract situation between the New York Giants and defensive end Osi
    is like a ticking time bomb. He wanted top-5 money, didn't get it
    and then held out. After being fined, he returned. Upon his return, he
    threatened to have surgery…and then he had it. Following said surgery, he
    returned again and helped the Giants win another Super Bowl. He then vowed not to be a distraction this season. Now, a day before
    the NFL Draft,
    Umenyiora has come almost full circle.

    While appearing on WFAN 660 with Boomer and Carton, Umenyiora was asked if
    he'd return to Big Blue without a new or adjusted contract. His answer?
    "Honestly…I doubt it."

    Umenyiora noted that the original numbers (seven years, $41 million) on his
    contract were overinflated and misreported, and that his seven-year deal was
    actually worth closer to $30 million. Had it been the $41 million that's been
    reported, Umenyiora said the two sides "wouldn't be in this situation."

    "The team will always do what's right for them … at some point you have to do
    what's right for yourself," Umenyiora said.

    So what is right for Umenyiora? A contract compatible to either Trent Cole or
    Robert Mathis, which would be right around four-years and $36 million.

    All that aside, Umenyiora said he and the Giants have held preliminary
    discussions on a new contract but that "nothing is imminent." He also added that
    he hopes to end his career as a member of the Giants, even if it means filling a
    reserve role.

    "Whatever this teams wants me to do, is what I am willing to do," Umenyiora

    A year ago Umenyiora was given permission to seek a trade, but none of the
    other 31 teams were willing to give up anything close to what the Giants wanted
    in exchange for the former Pro Bowler. This year is likely to be no different,
    so this merry-go-round is just getting started."


    "There is a very strong likelihood that when Thursday night comes and goes at
    the NFL Draft, the
    New York
    will not have selected at all. The team could be in a prime position
    to trade down back into the 2nd round. Here are three names the team could
    target in a trade down scenario.

    1. Chandler
    , DE/DT, Syracuse

    This guy does not jump off of the page at anyone when they scan their pre
    draft rankings, mock drafts, and scouting reports. That said, you won't find a
    more consistent player on a down to downbasis.

    Jones' discipline, ability to work down the line of scrimmage in the run
    game, and flat out consistent penetration is impressive. He has scheme
    flexibility, plays inside and outside on the defensive line, and yet he is still
    very raw. This guy has shades of Justin Tuck in him and with Jason Pierre-Paul
    now being the feature blind-side rusher on the team, the Giants could use some
    help on the other side and on the interior.

    This guy has the length, the natural strength, and the size to do that. In
    fact, the Giants may not even trade down to grab this guy. If he is there at 32,
    look out for his name.

    2. Lamar
    , RB, Miami

    It is tough to envision the Giants spending a top pick on a back, but every
    trend eventually gets bucked. If that's the case, there is no better a player to
    end that streak on than Miller.

    Despite being a redshirt sophomore, Miller has serious skills coming out of
    the backfield. On top of being an adept receiver, he has the ability to find the
    cutback lane, get into open field, and make people look absolutely foolish.

    Miller stood out the last two seasons on a pair of underachieving Miami teams
    and I am quite sure he will in the NFL as well. It is unfortunate that this guy's value
    projects right around the top portion to mid second round, where the Giants will
    unlikely be able to grab him.

    3. Alshon
    , WR, South Carolina

    A running theme in the draft pieces here on Giants 101 is the idea that the
    team would ideally look for a flanker to play the outside in three wide receiver
    sets so that Victor
    could remain in the slot.

    Jeffery has the size and skill-set to do that. His attitude and ability to
    separate are concerns for sure as he comes into the NFL, but he put
    on some impressive performances the last three seasons at SouthCarolina.

    In 2010 he almost single handedly de-railed Alabama's title hopes. If the
    Giants are looking for some size on the outside, keep an eye out for


    "After eight years in the NFL, New York
    quarterback Eli
    already has two Super Bowl rings and two Super Bowl MVP's; the most
    recent coming back in February following a dramatic 21-17 victory over the New
    England Patriots. However, he feels that's just the tip of the iceberg, and
    while sitting down with Sheppard Smith of FOX News, said his best football
    has yet to come.

    "I feel I'm entering the best part of my career," Manning said. "I said it
    last year before the season; I said 'these next seven year are going to be my
    best football
    years.' I'm going to focus on that."

    Manning, who will host Saturday Night Live on May 5th, also took some time to
    joke about the New York
    Jets and their quarterbacks, Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.

    "New York
    just won a championship and yet I'm still the third most talked about
    quarterback in my own city," Manning said.

    To watch the interview in its entirety, head over to the FOX
    News website
    . It includes an interesting, and previously unknown, tidbit
    about why the Giants called a questionable timeout in Super Bowl XLVI."


    "New York
    Giants General Manager Jerry Reese did not mince words when he described this
    year's draft class. He stated that there were between 15 and 20 first-round
    prospects, but that after that there was a significant drop off in talent. And
    while the Giants select 32nd overall, but that doesn't mean they won't grab one
    of the aforementioned 15 to 20 players.

    Reese has stated a number of times that he likes to take "the best player
    available" and even went as far as to say that he drafts "as if he has no

    While I am not sure Reese is being totally honest there, the general concept
    still applies. Picking dead last in the first round does not give a team much of
    a choice: go with the best player. Based on a number of factors including
    projected availability, here is whom I think Reese may be targeting in the first
    round come Thursday.

    1. Whitney
    , DE, Illinois

    Mercilus is a vastly under-rated player in this year's draft. So often
    players with "potential" rocket up draft boards and the hype around them grows.
    Despite bursting onto the scene in 2011, Mercilus seems to be flying pretty well
    under the radar to this point. His consistent ability to show up in games week
    in and week out really separated his 2011 season from a lot of other prospects.
    He only had two games where he did not record a sack and he truly turned the
    corner as a prospect.

    Reese and the Giants scouting department don't need four years of consistent
    tape to grade players highly. If they believe the talent is there and that their
    coaches can work with it, they select a guy.

    Perhaps a pass-rusher starved team like Kansas City or Jacksonville
    unexpectedly swoops in early and grabs him but if he slips I believe he could be
    New York's
    top target.

    2. Luke
    , Linebacker, Boston College

    The NFL invited Luke
    to the Draft this year, but he declined.. I happen to think that he
    will slip on draft day. I have seen him mocked to Seattle and Philadelphia but
    no not believe either will pick him. Seattle has cut their payroll at linebacker
    by 90% since Pete Carroll arrived and just resigned two of their linebackers.
    Philadelphia filled a need with DemecoRyansand will likely be looking
    elsewhere on draft day itself.

    Yes, it would be out of the ordinary for the Giants to go linebacker this
    early, but selecting a player who has flexibility in a 4-3 scheme who could pair
    with Keith Rivers and Michael Boleywould give the team its best linebacking
    corps in arguably a decade while also letting Mathias
    work on the defensive line.

    Jacquian Williams has a bright future but even with one full season under his
    belt is still more raw than Keuchly is. Williams will certainly compete for a
    starting role in 2012, but right now he thrives in nickel packages.

    3. Kendall
    , WR, Baylor

    It is hard to understand why as the draft inches closer there is less talk
    about this guy. He was productive all four years at Baylor and displayed almost
    every key attribute needed to be a successful wide receiver at the next level
    during his time at Baylor. He has strong hands, works the vertical routes
    exceptionally well, and comes in and out of his breaks fast.

    Not quite as explosive speed wise as the man many have compared him to as a
    pro, Carolina's Steve Smith, but he does have the football savvy to make up for it.

    4. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

    Talent, talent, talent. That's the buzz word when it comes to Hill. He comes
    from a program that runs the triple option, so passing games are hampered quite
    a bit. Still though, talented receivers love Georgia Tech because the
    opportunities that they do get yield them big yardage. Most notably Calvin
    and more recently Demaryius Thomas have both come out of GT and seen
    great success in the NFL.

    That will cause one to look back and put the tape of Georgia Tech receivers
    on again.

    I think Hill fits what the Giants want in their flankers and could very
    easily help out in that department which would help keep Victor Cruz where he
    thrives: in the slot."



    Excerpt: "Good morning fellow Giants fans. The NFL Draft begins on Thursday, which
    means that there will be a lot of football talk over the next 72 hours. And
    being that it's Hump Day, it's time to look at our official Hump Day
    calendar--there are just 19 weeks left until the NFL regular season kicks off.
    To put that in perspective, 19 weeks ago the Giants had just beaten the Dallas Cowboys in
    stunning fashion with JPP blocking a last-minute field goal attempt to keep
    their (eventual championship) season alive. In some ways, that seems like
    yesterday, doesn't it? Anyway, there is a lot to get to, so let's have
    it....."


    "With the 2012 NFL Draft approaching fast here is a quick look at the five
    best New York Giants
    draft selection of the Jerry Reese era as general manager.

    1. Jason
    -- Yep, I wanted Reese to draft Derrick
    of Tennessee. Most of the folks around Big Blue View let out a
    collective groan when JR drafted JPP, thinking he had lost his mind by drafting
    a guy who looked like a great gymnast with no idea how to play football. Well,
    we know how smart Reese looks and how stupid those of us who did not like the
    pick look. He is only an All Pro and the Giants' best defensive player. Who
    knows how high the ceiling is for Pierre-Paul if he can avoid catastrophic

    2. Hakeem
    -- Too heavy. Too slow. Darrius
    is faster. Kenny Britt is
    better. Yep, heard all of that. Of course, it all turned out to be nonsense.
    Reese wanted Nicks. He got Nicks. He's been right about Nicks. The guy is a

    3. Ahmad
    -- We know how good, and how tough, the guy is. And the Giants
    drafted him in the seventh round in 2007, the 250th player taken. Bradshaw may
    be Reese's best hidden gem, unless you want to count the Giants' good luck in
    finding Victor Cruz. I
    can't, because even Reese admitted the Giants only invited him to camp because
    we was a local free agent.

    4. Steve Smith -- The guy was tremendous as a possession receiver
    before wrecking his knee, and foolishly wrecking his career by bolting for the
    . The all-time single-season reception leader for the franchise, and
    Reese got him in the second round in 2007, 51st overall.

    5. Mario
    -- In 2008 Manningham was considered a first-round talent
    with a questionable attitude. Reese gambled on the talent in the third round,
    95th overall, and that helped the Giants win the 2012 Super Bowl. It also gets
    Manningham on the list.

    So, who would you add or subtract from the list?"



    "With the second of their two fourth
    round draft picks, I have the Giants selecting a cornerback.

    Why Cornerback?
    Of the nine
    corners now on the Giants roster, six will see their contracts expire. Since the
    Giants usually like to have at least four solid corners in their rotation, and
    since it’s unlikely they’ll be able to re-sign everyone in that group, I would
    be stunned if they don’t address cornerback in the draft.

    What About Michael Coe and
    Justin Tryon?

    Both Coe and Tryon are signed to one-year “prove
    it” deals. However, I think they’re mostly going to be used on special teams,
    where they excelled last season prior to suffering their respective

    With Antwaun Molden also on a one-year “prove it” deal, the way I see the
    Giants’ cornerback situation shaking out is this year behind starters Terrell
    Thomas and Corey Webster, Molden will likely begin the year as the third corner,
    followed by Amukamara. By next year, look for Amukamara to move up to the third
    cornerback spot with a potential draft pick likely filling the fourth slot.

    Projected Pick: Omar Bolden, 5-10, 202 lbs. Arizona

    Bolden, who reportedly was one of the 30 allotted draft
    prospects to pay a pre-draft visit to the Giants’ facilities, is a good cover
    man who is also a return specialist. However he’s a bit of a risk in that he’s
    missed part of two seasons due to knee injuries, including last year when he
    missed the entire 2011 campaign with a torn ACL.

    The Giants have not been gun-shy when
    it comes to taking a flier on a college prospect coming off an injury, and it’s
    possible that because of the injury he had last year, Bolden’s stock, which had
    initially been projected as high as the third round, could slip down to the
    fourth round."


    "With their pick in the sixth round, I have the Giants selecting a

    Why Safety?
    Although the Giants added veterans
    Chris Horton and Stevie Brown, I’m not sure
    both will make the final roster. I think the Giants are hoping for progress from
    second-year man Tyler Sash, yet another player who, as I said
    previously, did not have an off-season last year due to the lockout and who I
    think you have to give a pass for the 2011 season.

    Also in looking ahead, Kenny Phillips will be a free agent
    after this season, and there could be some question about whether the Giants
    will be able to re-sign him for the money he’d likely be seeking.

    So in keeping with the theme of this mock draft, I think it makes sense to
    consider drafting depth and getting that player ready.

    What About?
    Chad Jones, the
    team’s former third-round pick in 2010, has been diligently working in his rehab
    to regain full range of motion after suffering severe injuries to his leg in a
    June 2010 car crash. The reports out of Louisiana, where he’s been doing his
    rehab, have been extremely positive, and most recently, Newsday
    recently reported that Jones underwent a surgical procedure in which he had some
    of the hardware in his leg removed – all positive signs.

    I don’t think Jones will be ready for this season – in the Newsday
    report, he speculated that he might not be ready to go until mid-season. At that
    point, he will have missed all the on-field work, which is greater than 50% of
    the preparation that a football player goes through to get ready for the

    The good news is that Jones could be ready for 2013. With no guarantees and
    with both Horton and Stevie Brown on “prove it’ deals, the Giants might want to
    bring in another safety to develop in the event that Jones doesn’t stay on

    Projected Pick: Matt Daniels, 6-1, 215 lbs.,

    Despite missing the 2010 season with a broken foot,
    Daniels concluded an otherwise productive college career. Among his listed
    strengths are his tenacity, his intelligence, and his ability to sniff out a
    play and get into a position to make a difference. He’s also played special
    teams as a gunner and has been described by scouts as being an intelligent
    football player. Daniels could be one of those young players that boosts special
    teams, while the coaches fully explore how much higher the kid’s ceiling can



    New York Giants defensive lineman Osi Umenyiora made it clear Wednesday that
    any team intere
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2

    Thanks RF. I love Eli's attitude about all the attention the other 2 New York QB's are getting.


    • #3

      thanks Roanoke! [B]

      if Elis next 7 years are gonna be his best we as fans have a lot to look forward to! [<)]



      • #4
        Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2012 - 12:17 P.M.

        [quote user="nygsb42champs"]Thanks RF. I love Eli's attitude about all the attention the other 2 New York QB's are getting.[/quote]

        “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


        • #5
          Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2012 - 12:17 P.M.

          [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

          thanks Roanoke! [B]

          if Elis next 7 years are gonna be his best we as fans have a lot to look forward to! [<)]


          “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


          • #6
            Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2012 - 12:17 P.M.

            thanks rf


            • #7
              Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2012 - 12:17 P.M.

              Thanks RF !
              " Success is never final, but failure can be " B.P.


              • #8
                Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2012 - 12:17 P.M.

                [quote user="derekunion28"]thanks rf[/quote]

                “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


                • #9
                  Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2012 - 12:17 P.M.

                  [quote user="G-Men Surg."]Thanks RF ![/quote]

                  “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1