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    "Unable to get a new contract or a trade to another team to this point, Osi
    Umenyiora has parted ways with his agent of five years, Tony Agnone.

    The Giants' two-time Pro Bowl
    defensive end confirmed what Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal was picking
    up on when she noted on Wednesday Agnone was no
    longer listed on the NFL Players Association's website
    as being Umenyiora's
    agent. Agnone told Mullen he hadn't received a termination notice but Umenyiora
    claims he's fired Agnone.

    Well, so to speak.

    "Fired is too harsh a word," Umenyiora wrote, though he made it clear that's
    what's occurred. "I just came to the conclusion that this situation I don't
    think he can help me with."

    This is actually the second time Umenyiora has fired Agnone this offseason,
    according to someone informed of Umenyiora's dealings with Agnone. The person,
    who requested anonymity because the first firing wasn't reported and went
    largely unnoticed, said Agnone convinced Umenyiora to rehire him because he was
    confident he could reach a contract extension with the Giants or get him dealt

    It's possible Umenyiora could rehire Agnone again, though Umenyiora indicated
    he's unsure what will transpire.

    "I have no agent currently," he wrote, "and I'm not really looking for

    Agnone, who could not be immediately reached for comment, has been
    Umenyiora's agent since the 2007 offseason, only a few months after Umenyiora
    signed a six-year contract extension that was in essence a seven-year deal
    because he was already under contract for the '07 season. Umenyiora hired Agnone
    at the suggestion of Michael Strahan, whom Agnone also represented. (Agnone's
    firm, Eastern Athletic Services, currently represents Giants guard Chris

    Umenyiora fired his first agents and signed with EAS because, as he's said a
    few times, he believed the deal he was signing was only for five "new" seasons
    and would run through 2011, not 2012. Umenyiora and Agnone have been squabbling
    with the Giants for a few years now and have had a few standoffs, including last
    summer when the Giants granted Agnone permission to seek a trade and then told
    Agnone he was no longer allowed to do so

    Umenyiora is under contract for this season at a base salary of $3.925
    million. He recently claimed the Giants' latest offer to him contained
    only half of the $10.95 million guaranteed Mathias Kiwanuka received
    Kiwanuka is one of a few players who have
    recently come to Umenyiora's defense
    . Justin Tuck said tonight at his annual
    billiards tournament to benefit his charity "R.U.S.H for Literacy" he's hopeful
    Umenyiora will get a new deal with the Giants.

    "Osi's been a part of our success here and I just feel as though he needs to
    be rewarded for that. Hopefully, the Giants can do that," Tuck said on the red
    carpet outside Slate in Manhattan before the event began. "But you understand
    the business. You understand Jerry Reese is going to do everything in his power
    and our ownership is going to do everything in their power to put the best team

    "I'm not really picking sides on that; I'm just stating the obvious."

    Umenyiora was scheduled to attend Tuck's event, though word was he was to
    arrive later. He did not make an appearance during the red-carpet portion of the


    "Hakeem Nicks doesn't know exactly when he will be cleared to return to the
    football field after undergoing surgery last Friday to repair the broken fifth
    metatarsal in his right foot. The doctor who performed the surgery told him
    players have returned as early as four weeks. The Giants announced it will take
    him 12.

    One thing Nicks is sure of is that he will be on the field when the Giants
    open the 2012 season on Sept. 5 against the Cowboys.

    "I don't have any doubt," the fourth-year wide receiver said in a conference
    call today.

    Nicks said he's going by the 12-week timetable he was given, though he
    aspires to return sooner -- perhaps in time for the start of training camp on
    July 26 as long as the recovery isn't rushed.

    Ahmad Bradshaw, Prince Amukamara and Domenik Hixon have all suffered similar
    injuries, and Nicks said he's spoken to each of them in recent days. Hixon said
    he needed three months to recover from the same fifth metatarsal fracture before
    the start of his rookie season. It took Amukamara nearly 15 weeks to resume play
    after he suffered the injury last August.

    "You just don't want any setbacks," said Nicks, whose foot is in a walking
    boot. "If it takes me 12 weeks, that's what they're giving me so I think that's
    what we're going to go by. But my goal is always to come back earlier and we
    just don't want any setbacks. We just have to play it smart and get ready for
    the season."

    Tom Coughlin explained on Tuesday
    , Nicks said the injury occurred during the
    Giants' organized team activity last Thursday on a routine hook route when he
    pivoted to turn to the football and heard a pop. He tried to walk it off, but
    wasn't able to and was tended to by trainers. He then went inside where X-rays
    revealed a broken bone.

    Nicks flew down to his hometown of Charlotte the next day and underwent the
    surgery, a screw insertion to stabilize the bone. He was told he can begin
    biking and elliptical exercises two weeks after the procedure – or about a week
    or so from now.

    That will be the beginning of the rehabilitation process, which will be a
    gradual buildup using various exercises that avoid stress on the foot and simply
    eating healthy to stay in the best shape possible.

    "I'm going to listen to my body," said Nicks, who needed the big toe on this
    left foot repaired following his rookie season. "I'm going to be smart about it.
    If I feel something when I'm running, I'm going to tell the coach, I'm going to
    tell the trainers. If not, I'm going to keep it going. When I first get back,
    I'm not going to be able to jump in and do the whole practice."

    Nicks plans on rejoining the team next week and will make the Giants' trip to
    the White House on Friday. During the week he will participate in film sessions
    during the team's organized team activities and use the time to help himself
    with mental reps and add a veteran presence to
    a room full of players hopeful of stepping up in Nicks' absence on the field

    – even if it is just during OTAs, veterans minicamp and part of training

    Nicks will be limited to that advisory role for much of the summer, but he
    and his teammates are confident he'll be back for the season opener and won't
    skip a beat.

    "We will have time," Eli Manning said Thursday. "Hakeem has always been a
    fast healer. So hopefully he gets healed up quickly and can get back for
    training camp – for a good bit of that where we can get our timing down. He is a
    guy who knows the offense. He knows what he is doing. It won’t take long for us
    to get back on the same page."



    "At a time when many associated with the Giants are replaying the run to Super
    Bowl XLVI, Ramses Barden can’t get the first of the six consecutive victories
    out of his head.

    For much different reasons.

    The Giants’ fourth-year wide receiver says he thinks about the team’s
    Christmas Eve victory over the Jets every day because of how poorly he played —
    an effort for which he apologized to the fans on Twitter and one that landed him
    on the inactive list for the next five games.

    “It’s hard to forget,” Barden said yesterday after the Giants’ third
    organized team activities practice of the spring. “That played a major role, I
    think, in my playoff experience. I’m driven by that.”

    Barden and a few other Giants receivers are also driven by an opportunity in
    front of them right now. With Hakeem Nicks sidelined until about mid-August with
    a broken foot suffered last week, there’s an open audition for someone to make
    an impact and shake off a label.

    For Barden, it’s a chance to show he can be consistent. For the unknowns,
    they can prove Tom Coughlin’s vow to look “for the next Victor Cruz” on the
    roster is a worthwhile search. And for Domenik Hixon, it’s about coming back
    from his second torn anterior cruciate ligament in as many years.

    While Nicks should be ready for the season opener on Sept. 5, others are
    trying to show they could fill the void nonetheless.

    “I don’t think people are looking at me at all. I’m just kind of flying under
    the radar, which is fine with me,” Hixon said. “To have low expectations and
    hopefully perform real well.”

    Hixon, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Week 2 at the end of a
    22-yard touchdown catch, moved very well while getting away from cornerback
    Michael Coe and making a leaping catch yesterday. And as the coaches were quick
    to point out, he continues to be reliable in carrying out his assignments.

    “He always does it exactly the way you want him to do it,” offensive
    coordinator Kevin Gilbride said.

    Meanwhile, Barden did one of the things he’s always done well when he used
    his big frame to box out a defender and make the catch. While Gilbride says he
    wishes the 6-6, 224-pounder was “two-tenths of a second faster,” a handful of
    his 15 career catches have been tough ones with players on top of him like

    “That’s part of his skill set and what he can bring to the table,” said Kevin
    M. Gilbride, the coordinator’s son and the team’s wide receivers coach. “So yes,
    you do say, ‘This is something he can do that a smaller guy, a guy who might not
    be able to body up a defender as well, might not be able to do.’

    “But he still has areas he needs to improve on to create separation from

    Case in point: the issues he had getting away from the Jets’ cornerbacks.
    Former wide receivers coach Sean Ryan (now the team’s quarterbacks coach) said
    Barden has been very good finding holes in zones while working inside from the
    slot but struggled against man-to-man coverage on the outside that day.

    Barden wasn’t able to work on such finer points of his game while sidelined
    from November 2010 until Week 9 last season with a broken leg and complications
    during the healing.

    “He has to realize this is time right now, that’s when he can get better at
    those things,” Ryan said. “He’s the type of guy that will see it as a challenge
    and use it to get better.”
    As does Hixon, whom Coughlin lauded for his

    “I appreciate the comment,” he said. “That’s something that all of us in our
    receiving corps try to do — keep working hard, try to be at the right spot but
    just keep working.
    “We talk about that today: ‘Every OTA, every time you get
    an opportunity to work, that’s what we need to do.’?”


    "A rundown of today's organized team activities session for the Giants, beginning with the injuries.

    These guys weren’t on the practice field, though some were seen in the locker
    room and others were likely around the building at some point as well: DT
    Chris Canty (knee), CB Corey Webster (unknown;
    sat out last Wednesday’s OTA), DE Osi Umenyiora (contract), WR
    Hakeem Nicks (foot), TE Jake Ballard (knee),
    TE Travis Beckum (knee), DT Shaun Rogers
    (N/A), TE Adrien Robinson (finishing school), DT Martin
    (N/A) and OL Chris White (N/A).

    Also, LT Will Beatty was not on the field. He missed the
    last two months of last season with a detached retina but this appears to be an
    unrelated issue.

    These players were limited in some form or fashion: DE Justin
    (shoulder), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), DT
    Linval Joseph (ankle), LB Clint Sintim (knee),
    TE Martellus Bennett (hamstring), S Kenny
    (knee), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), WR
    Dan DePalma (hip) and S Chris Horton

    CB Brandon Bing went down and grabbed his knee after
    slipping during individual drills, a scene reminiscent of Brian
    Witherspoon’s injury last week
    . From his reaction, it was clear he believed
    he had suffered a major injury and he admitted afterward he was scared when he
    felt the twinge in his knee. But he hopped up, jogged a bit on the side and was
    back on the field a few minutes later.

    And now to the highlights:

    --WR Domenik Hixon’s twice-repaired knee looked fine when he
    made a nice leaping catch after fighting through an aggressive jam from CB
    Michael Coe. Hixon received plenty of praise from Tom
    as well as the assistant coaches today for his reliability in
    carrying out his assignments. “He’s a great role model and a great example of,
    ‘We asked you to set up the route this way, take this footwork, do this stem and
    attack this shoulder,’” offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride
    said. “He always does it exactly the way you want him to do it.” Later in
    practice, during 7-on-7s, Hixon got loose up the sideline against a Cover-2
    zone. Secondary coach Peter Giunta told Coe he should’ve stayed
    with Hixon up the sideline because he didn’t have a threat underneath of

    Tight ends coach Mike Pope wasn’t gushing nearly as much about
    his battered group as Gilbride was on Hixon. “I told them today, ‘Not only do
    they not know what they’re doing but I don’t know what they’re doing,’” Pope
    said. “And I don’t know what I’m doing.” There was a moment QB Eli
    seemed frustrated with the angle TE Bear
    took on a ball that sailed over his head. And TE
    Christian Hopkins dropped a ball after running a great route to
    get separation from LB Keith Rivers. But there was one
    highlight from the tight ends and it came courtesy of Larry
    , who made a diving catch with LB Mark Herzlich

    --Rivers wasn’t as tight to the receiver when Hopkins got away from him, but
    he did make a good play to knock down a pass intended for WR Rueben
    cutting behind him. Herzlich nearly caught the deflection for an

    --CB Dante Hughes, the veteran signed last week when
    Witherspoon got hurt, had a very solid practice today. He was on point with his
    drops and coverage every time I watched him. Hughes probably would’ve had a pick
    six when he quickly read Randle’s comeback route but the ball was delivered low
    by QB Ryan Perrilloux.

    --Speaking of Perrilloux, QBs coach Sean Ryan said the team
    continues to work on his decision making. That’s probably Perrilloux’s biggest
    issue. When it’s right, he delivers the ball quickly and with plenty of zip.
    Today, he made a tremendous throw across his body while rolling left on a naked
    bootleg to find Randle on a comeback in front of Bing. “That was an impressive
    throw,” Ryan said. “He got his hips turned. That was a shot. The physical tools
    are there. We just have to make that decision making going. If we get him making
    smart decisions with the football, he’ll be fine.” One decision I believe
    Perrilloux will regret on film was when he took a check-down pass instead of
    throwing for WR Brandon Collins on the in cut behind the
    linebackers. From my vantage point, it looked like he had a window into which to

    --Another questionable decision from Perrilloux was a deep ball picked off by
    S Stevie Brown. Frankly, if Brown didn’t get it by jumping in
    front of the high ball, it would’ve been Hughes with the interception after
    sliding in front of Collins perfectly on the go route. Brown nailed his
    assignments today and, along with CB Bruce Johnson and LB
    Jaquian Williams, forced a couple of quarterbacks to tuck the
    ball and run. Those three communicated perfectly all session long.

    --The one receiver who was able to beat Hughes today was WR Ramses
    . The 6-6 Barden did that by using his body to maintain position
    on Hughes, who drove to close on a route. For all of you who have been down on
    Barden, know that he’s been able to make those kinds of catches as well as can
    be asked. The problem is he needs to be more consistent on the whole to get a
    chance to do so. More on Barden coming here later tonight and in tomorrow’s

    --If it seems like I always have a few things to mention on CB Jayron
    , it’s because I find myself watching him closely every practice.
    Today was a much cleaner session for him than what
    I noted last week
    . One play in particular that impressed me was when he
    maintained his position on a go route from Manning to Randle up the right
    sideline. They were coming right at where the media was standing, so I had a
    good view of Hosley running a straight line down the field and forcing Randle to
    reroute around him. The ball never had a chance of being completed. Very good
    coverage and technique there for Hosley.

    --LB Mathias Kiwanka had a few good plays today, including a
    pass breakup on a quick out from QB David Carr to Randle.
    (Yeah, the ball had trouble getting to Randle today, if you haven’t noticed.)
    “You got it, Kiwi!” defensive coordinator Perry Fewell yelled
    as soon as the ball left Carr’s hand. Fewell was correct; Kiwanuka had that. And
    he also had WR Victor Cruz on an end around he sniffed out
    perfectly. “He’s gained more knowledge and experience at the linebacker
    position,” Fewell said. “His pass coverage has gotten better. He’s improved each
    session but got a little better (today). As he told me last week, ‘I’ve seen it
    a year now, I’m getting more comfortable, I’m going through an OTA now, I know
    I’m going to be better.’ And it’s true, he’ll be better.”

    --And finally, we’ll have more for you eventually on S Will
    , I promise. For now, know Fewell and safeties coach David
    were both gushing about the guy, with Merritt noting the way
    Hill communicated to other defensive backs during rookie camp was a pleasant
    surprise. However, like all first-year players, Hill is working through his
    thoughts and trying to play quickly. Today, he was a bit slow breaking on a pass
    WR David Douglas caught in front of him. “Yeah, he’s thinking a
    little bit,” Merritt said of Hill."


    "Imagine if someone had told Kevin Gilbride at this point last year Victor
    Cruz would be the most accomplished of the Giants’ healthy wide receivers right

    “Amazing,” Gilbride said while shaking his head today during a session with
    reporters. “Amazing.”

    With Hakeem
    Nicks out for about three months with a broken foot
    and Mario Manningham now
    with the San Francisco 49ers, Cruz’s 82 receptions for a franchise-record 1,536
    yards last season make him the veteran to which all the younger players are
    looking this time of year.

    Cruz doesn’t have a long track record of success, which means even Gilbride
    wasn’t sure how he’d return this offseason and whether the proverbial lightning
    would escape the bottle Cruz was holding.

    Apparently, that hasn’t been the case at all.

    “It took him a while to get going (last season). He didn’t start the year
    real well and then all of a sudden, in that Philadelphia (Eagles) game, he
    made two phenomenal plays for us
    ,” Gilbride said today. “But truly in the
    beginning of the year, every play was an adventure. He was either going to be
    right or awfully wrong but got better and better and better at eliminating the

    “That's what's nice about now. It's like he hasn’t missed a beat.”

    That’s an encouraging sign for the Giants. It means, despite Cruz’s busy
    offseason schedule making appearances all over the place, he’s remained in shape
    and has stayed mentally sharp. While he hasn’t made many big plays in the OTAs
    open to the media so far, he’s carrying out his assignments as well as he did
    late in the season.

    So instead of getting
    berated by Gilbride on the sideline
    , he’s being praised in the coordinator’s

    “Where he was at the end of the year, in terms of, ‘I’m going to do the right
    thing...’ I think he proved he's a special guy inside,” Gilbride said. “He's a
    special guy inside as a slot receiver and now he has the chance to be playing
    some outside.”



    "Eli Manning has not let one magical playoff month camouflage what the Giants
    really were over four months of the regular season last year. They were a team
    that barely finished over .500 and took advantage of the weakest year in the
    history of the NFC East.

    The Giants have spent the offseason being toasted by New York. The Super Bowl
    champs will hear once again how great they are when they visit the White House
    on June 8 and meet President Obama.

    But Manning sets the agenda, and with training camp two months away, he’s not
    talking about repeating or dynasties. His message sounds an awful lot like the
    old Bill Parcells saying: You are what you record says you are.

    “We got to have the mind-set that we were a 9-7 team last year, not a Super
    Bowl-winning team,” he told the Daily News on Wednesday.

    Will that be a hard position to sell in the locker room?

    “It’s not hard to sell it to me,” he said. “You look at the film, you kind of
    take the big picture out of it and you look at the small picture, you look at
    individual plays, concepts of plays watching on film — we got to get

    So, even before the Cowboys and Eagles can say they finished just one game
    behind the Giants, and the Redskins can say they beat the Giants twice, and even
    the Jets can rationalize it might have been them making that Super Bowl run if
    they had beaten the Giants in that nasty showdown in the next-to-last game of
    the season, Manning issued a preemptive strike. The Giants were not a great team
    last season, they just played great at the right time.

    The Giants were 6-2, lost four in a row to the 49ers, Eagles, Saints and
    Packers, then beat the Cowboys twice in the last four games of the season to
    become the first team to win the NFC East at 9-7. They then beat the Falcons,
    Packers and 49ers in the playoffs and the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI to become
    the first team to win the Super Bowl at 9-7.

    Manning is focusing on the 9-7 record, not the Super Bowl title. “It’s a good
    way of looking at it,” Justin Tuck said.

    Does he look at it the same way?

    “Not exactly,” Tuck said. “I do understand we left a lot of football games
    out on the table that we should have won. Even though we won the Super Bowl, I
    feel as though we may have room to be a better football team this year.”

    The Giants have a shaky history in the season after their first three Super
    Bowl titles, the first two times not making the playoffs and the third time
    losing their only playoff game despite being the No. 1 seed. They had excuses:
    The 1987 strike, Parcells quitting in 1991, but waiting 3½ months after the
    Super Bowl to do it and Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg the night
    after Thanksgiving in 2008 when the Giants were the best team in the league.

    Now they have the broken foot suffered last week by Hakeem Nicks in a
    non-contract practice. Is that a bad omen, a prediction for more post-Super Bowl

    “I don’t believe in omens or history,” Tuck said.

    Nicks is the Giants’ most dangerous offensive player. If he’s not ready for
    the start of the season, or if he is not the same explosive player, then that
    could prevent the Giants from making a run at repeating.

    Training camp starts in two months. It’s almost time to put the rings away.
    The way Manning sees it, the Giants are a 9-7 team that needs to get


    "David Diehl is 31 years old, and center David Baas is coming off an
    injury-riddled first season with the Giants. Will Beatty must still prove
    himself at left tackle, and second-year man James Brewer could be asked to step
    into a pivotal role after barely being active in 2011.

    This is the state of the Giants offensive line entering 2012. And it has
    offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride worrying for his franchise quarterback, Eli

    "The offensive line is a concern," Gilbride said Wednesday. "Some of those
    guys that haven't been needed to be depended upon have got to show up for us to
    have a chance. Otherwise, it doesn't matter how good your quarterback and
    receivers are if your quarterback is flat on his back."

    One of the major concerns could be Brewer. Beatty did not work during
    Wednesday's OTA because of a back issue, and Brewer, a second-year pro out of
    Indiana, was used heavily at both tackle spots. He has tools, but coach Tom
    Coughlin said that the youngster still has much work to do.

    "We need him to develop," Coughlin said. "We need him to come along and to
    improve, and we need him to understand the work ethic that those guys with lunch
    buckets come to the office with every day."

    Coughlin said Brewer is very much a work in progress, and Brewer likely
    wouldn't argue. He conceded that he came from a "simple" offense at Indiana, and
    that has left him to adjust to Gilbride's more complex blocking schemes. But he
    did say he felt more "comfortable" in the offense on Wednesday.

    New acquisition Keith
    Rivers made his presence felt during Wednesday's OTA session, floating into the
    middle of the field to make a nice pass breakup. He spent the entire session as
    an outside linebacker, according to LBs coach Jim Hermann, but don't expect the
    former first-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals to stay at that spot.

    "He's playing the Will linebacker for us," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell
    said. "At some point in time, he'll play some Mike linebacker for us as we
    continue in our OTAs. It's how much can he digest and how much can he execute
    for us at this point in time. Coach Herrmann is doing a nice job at bringing him
    along, but at some point in time, we're going to move him around a little bit

    Rivers has been working with the second-team linebackers throughout OTAs.
    Chase Blackburn, Mathias Kiwanuka and Michael Boley have anchored the first
    unit. Rivers has worked with second-year players Jacquian Williams and Mark
    Herzlich on the second team.

    But Rivers' talent has not gone unnoticed.

    "He hasn't lost his talent," Herrmann said. "For one reason or another in
    Cincinnati, he got hurt, he broke his jaw, he broke his wrist. (Stuff) happens
    sometimes, and your career doesn't start off like you want it as a first-round
    draft pick. But this is a breath of fresh air for him."

    "There's no doubt about it," Fewell added of Rivers' ability. "I want to push
    him faster than what he's able to do.

    "It's still a work in progress," Fewell also said. "But he's an athletic guy.
    He can move, he can flip his hip."

    Rivers is just one linebacker who could wind up moving around for the Giants
    this season. Adrian Tracy is listed as a linebacker, but Fewell said he feels
    the high-cut athlete is "more of a defensive end" and "I think he'll do well
    there." Kiwanuka, who made several spectacular plays in pass coverage on
    Wednesday, will continue to be a hybrid.

    And second-year player Greg Jones, who was viewed as a middle linebacker last
    season, continues to see extensive time on the outside.

    "We'll probably split the time with Greg a little bit there," Fewell said.
    "If we try to expand Greg more, we think we can get a little more out of him in
    what he can do, so it's a little bit of an experiment with us now. We'll play
    him on the outside, and then probably later on in camp move him on the

    One thing that hasn't been seen so far in OTAs? Michael Boley has not worked
    at MLB.

    For as much as Fewell loves the
    versatility of his linebacking corps, he's not sure exactly what to make of
    Clint Sintim. Just last preseason, Sintim was expected to play a pivotal role
    for an inexperienced Giants linebacking corps, but then he tore up his knee in
    the preseason.

    Sintim worked hard to recover from yet another knee injury, but he has still
    been far from full speed during OTAs. While CB Terrell Thomas, battling to
    return from a torn ACL, has done individual drills, and WR Domenik Hixon,
    another player returning from an ACL injury, shined on Wednesday, Sintim was
    relegated to doing easy running and footwork drills on a field by himself, his
    knee still sporting a thick brace.

    And Fewell doesn't exactly know what to make of Sintim yet.

    "We really can't say, because he's being handled by the doctors on what he
    can do and what he can't do," Fewell said. "Mentally, he's in the meetings . . .
    I was in the linebacker meeting today and we were talking about different
    defenses and reactions, so he was mentally in tune with what we're doing.

    "Physically, he's being handled by our training staff, so I can't really say
    where he's going to fit in right now, because I have to wait."

    It's starting to seem entirely possible that Sintim, a 2009 second-round
    pick, could be cut. The Giants have deepened their well of LB talent
    immeasurably in recent months, and Fewell also thinks highly of Jake Muasau, an
    undrafted free agent from Georgia State who was signed out of rookie

    "We saw something in him at rookie minicamp and said, 'Hey, let's give this
    guy a shot,'" Fewell said. "Because he was really professional at how he went
    about his work and business. We think if we give him the opportunity to get
    enough reps at the position he's playing right now, we might find

    Big Blue plans to keep the Giants'
    three-safety alignment as an option in 2012, despite the absence of Deon Grant
    in camp. According to safeties coach Dave Merritt, it's a strong advantage in
    today's NFL, giving the Giants a better way of matching up against opposing
    tight ends.

    But the battle for the third safety position remains open. Second-year man
    Tyler Sash, who has taken heavy reps at safety alongside Antrel Rolle in OTAs
    (likely so Kenny Phillips can rest his knee), might seem to be the frontrunner,
    but Merritt said that's not exactly so.

    The coach mentioned Will Hill, a former New Jersey star who was signed out of
    rookie camp, and former Colts safety Stevie Brown as options in the

    For all the talk a few seasons ago that Kenny
    Phillips may have lost a step, Merritt certainly doesn't think so. In fact, the
    coach described Phillips as perhaps the ideal safety, capable of playing in the
    box or stepping out to cover centerfield.

    And, according to Merritt, opponents don't dare test Phillips deep. The coach
    told a story to back that up, too. And I'll let Coach Merritt take things from

    "(Cowboys tight end Jason) Witten told me when I went to the Pro Bowl two
    years ago when Antrel invited me, Witten said, when 21's in the post, we don't
    evern throw anything depp because we know he can go and get it. He said, 'But if
    I see anybody else back there, (Tony) Romo knows, we're going deep.'

    "That's comforting for me to hear."

    D-line coach Robert Nunn said
    Osi Umenyiora won't miss too much by sitting out OTAs: "Any
    time when you're away, you miss. It will help Osi, because he's a veteran, and
    being an experienced guy. But it won't take him long to get back to being Osi."
    . . . Rookie safety Janzen Jackson, another undrafted player,
    has been moved to corner because of injuries (think Prince
    slow rehab and Terrell Thomas' careful
    return) . . . Nunn said he would still like wunderkind defensive end
    Jason Pierre-Paul to develop a go-to pass-rush move. But
    Pierre-Paul will benefit from an offseason full of OTAs . . . TE
    Martellus Bennett has been nursing a hamstring injury since
    last week. Gilbride indicated that the injury has slowed Bennett's integration
    into the Giants' offense . . ."


    "There was no sign of Hakeem Nicks at the Giants' OTA session on Wednesday.
    But that opened plenty of playing time for Domenik Hixon.

    Hixon, who is returning from a partially torn ACL suffered early last season,
    was given first crack at Nicks' spot opposite wideout Victor Cruz, and Hixon
    made the most of the opportunity. He caught the very first pass during 11-on-11
    drills, hauled in a deep catch later, and also made a grab on a WR bubble

    It was a showing that made an impression on coach Tom Coughlin.

    "Same old Domenik," Coughlin said. "Make plays, make plays, make plays. Very
    very steady, very consistent. Never makes a mistake, always in the right place.
    Lots of good things. Makes me very anxious to make sure he gets through the
    spring. He's a tough guy now. He doesn't back down from anything."

    Hixon's play was arguably the highlight of the Giants' latest OTA session.
    Here were a few other things that jumped out

    - DE Justin Tuck didn't practice; instead, he stood on the sidelines and
    watched the entire session. He left the field with ice on his left

    - As expected, disgruntled DE Osi Umenyiora was not at the session. Neither
    was rookie TE Adrien Robinson, who is finishing up classes at the University of

    - CB Terrell Thomas (ACL) did individual drills, but did not participate in
    the scrimmage portion of practice, and safety Kenny Phillips was given similar
    treatment. Additionally, CB Prince Amukamara (foot) did not do drills or
    scrimmage, nor did CB Antwaun Molden, who hurt his hamstring last week.

    - CB Brandon Bing, a player who defensive coordinator Perry Fewell
    highlighted as somebody who had been steadily improving, suffered a scary moment
    midway through defensive back drills, when he slipped in the grass. Trainers
    looked at him for a minute, then he walked to the sideline under his own power.
    A few minutes later, he was back on the field.

    "I got right back up and went back in," he said. "That initial thought was
    like 'damn.' But I'm all right. I'm not hurt."

    - CB Corey Webster and DT Shaun Rogers were not seen on the field."



    "Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty admits he is “actively concerned” about
    the long-term effects concussions and blows to the head can have on a football
    player. It’s not something the seven-year veteran is taking lightly.

    While the NFL expands its research into the issue, Canty is trying to do his
    part on a grass-roots level to enhance safety for youngsters who might have
    interest in playing the game.

    He will be hosting a “Camp of Champions” on June 28 and June 29 in Washington
    Heights where more than a dozen current and former NFL players, along with
    members of the Police Athletic League and Fire Department football teams, will
    teach proper techniques to more than 300 youngsters in a non-contact

    “When it relates to the youth, we want to teach them the fundamentals of the
    game while limiting contact — especially blows to the head,” Canty said
    yesterday at the Giants training facility in East Rutherford. “I think the
    concern for player safety is headed in the right direction at the NFL level, and
    I believe it will trickle down to the collegiate level, the high school level
    and so on.

    “But I think it’s very important that we acknowledge that this is something
    we need to address when we’re talking about the injury rate and how it’s
    affecting life after sport.”

    Canty has held the camp in Charlotte, N.C., the past six years, but is
    relocating it to Manhattan to strengthen his bond with the New York area. Open
    to youngsters ages 8 to 16, it will be held at the George Washington Educational
    Campus on Audubon Avenue in Washington Heights, a location Canty picked because
    of its easy access to public transportation.

    “We wanted to be able to access and share the experience with the kids up
    here because they need it,” Canty said. “My platform is here. I live here
    full-time, so it’s important for me to able to help this community. It’s
    important for me to give back to the New York metropolitan area.”

    The camp isn’t just about learning proper football fundamentals.

    “We try to use the platform of athletics to relay other messages about life
    skills, communication, leadership, teamwork, motivation and discipline,” he
    said. “We try to relay those messages through sport and physical

    With the effects of concussions becoming an issue of concern, not only in the
    NFL but to parents of high school kids and younger, Canty wants to offer a
    reminder of the benefits of playing football. It is a rough sport, no doubt.
    Canty underwent knee surgery the Wednesday after the Giants beat the Patriots
    21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI and is spending the OTAs rehabbing. But he would have
    it no other way.

    “There’s always that concern [of injury],” he said. “With that being said, I
    love what I do. I would not rather do anything else in the world than play
    professional football. I understand I can’t play it forever, but I try to do the
    right things to take care of my body and limit the hits as much as possible.

    “Every man has to make their own choice. At the high school level is a little
    dicey because you’re not talking about adults there, you’re talking about
    children. But at the collegiate level and pro level you can hear the claims and
    address them. But at the same time, every man is free to choose how they make a
    living. I love the game. I think it’s the greatest team game on earth. There are
    a lot of people that share my passion of the game. There are certain lessons you
    learn on the gridiron that you can’t learn in a classroom.”


    "Mathias Kiwanuka has his money, having signed a three-year extension worth
    $21.75 million, with $10.95 million of it guaranteed. He understands what Osi
    Umenyiora is going through as the disgruntled defensive end continues to stay
    away from the Giants as he pines for a new deal.

    “His situation, it is what it is. He’s been under a contract and a bad deal
    for years now,’’ Kiwanuka said Wednesday after an OTA practice. “Anybody who
    looks at the situation would say this should have been taken care of a long time
    ago. For whatever reason it hasn’t, so I understand his

    Umenyiora last month did what players usually steer clear of doing, bringing
    up Kiwanuka’s new deal when reminding everyone of his unfulfilled desire to get
    what he believes he’s earned.

    Umenyiora did not take kindly to Giants general manager Jerry Reese following
    the NFL Draft saying, “Osi has been offered an extension two years in a row
    now’’ as if to imply the Giants are interested in a long-term commitment to
    their disgruntled defensive end and Umeniora’s demands are simply too high.

    “Yes, they offered an extension this year,’’ Umenyiora back in April wrote in
    an email to The Post. “Guaranteeing half of what [Mathias Kiwanuka] was
    guaranteed. So [Reese] telling you guys they offered an extension is technically
    the truth. And I’m very greedy for turning down half of what Kiwi just got.

    Kiwanuka read those comments carefully.

    “I looked at what he said, there was nothing that he said that was outright
    disrespectful,’’ Kiwanuka said. “I mean Osi and me, we have a relationship. I
    know that if something came up I felt was out of line, I’d have called him up
    and we’d have handled it, but I didn’t think there was anything that went that

    “I know that it wasn’t a slight at me. I know he’s just trying to get his
    point across.’’

    Kiwanuka said he is convinced Umenyiora is trapped in a “bad deal’’ that
    leaves him vastly underpaid.

    “If he was signed to a deal that was twice that and he performed half of what
    he is he’d have been cut by now, that’s just the reality of this game,’’
    Kiwanuka said. “The fact he signed to a lower, average-salary deal and he’s
    playing at a high level, 10-plus sacks every year, the fact that nothing has
    been done with it, it’s an obvious issue. It would be an issue for anyone of us
    out here. “I understand his frustration,’’ Kiwanuka said, “but there’s nothing I
    can do about it.’’


    "In one breath, Ramses Barden said it’s a game he wants to forget. In the next
    breath, he insisted it’s a game that’s rarely far from his thoughts.

    “I think about that game damn near every day,’’ Barden said yesterday after a
    Giants OTA practice. “It’s hard to forget. That played a major role in my
    playoff experience. I’m driven by that a little bit.’’

    Barden’s playoff experience was nil, nada, nothing. After messing up royally
    in the Christmas Eve game against the Jets with some shoddy work at receiver,
    Barden wasn’t in uniform for the regular-season finale as the Giants beat the
    Cowboys to clinch the NFC East title. Barden didn’t play a single down in the
    postseason, sitting and watching all the way through Super Bowl XLVI, finishing
    up a disappointing season with nine catches for 94 yards.

    Based on his non-productive, injury-filled three years with the Giants, it is
    easy to dismiss Barden when it comes to lining up the receivers capable of
    filling the void created when Mario Manningham signed with the 49ers. There’s a
    long-term need for a new No. 3 receiver and, at the moment, there’s an immediate
    need for a starter alongside Victor Cruz, as Hakeem Nicks is expected to miss
    about three months after breaking a bone in his right foot.

    There has been all sorts of positive talk about Domenik Hixon, returning
    after missing back-to-back seasons with two reconstructive knee surgeries.

    “Same ol’ Domenik,’’ coach Tom Coughlin said. “Makes plays; makes plays,
    makes plays. He never makes a mistake.’’

    Hixon has looked good running around.

    “You can move him around to different spots and you can depend on him to do
    the right thing,’’ said Eli Manning, who always has liked throwing to Hixon.

    There also is hope that Jerrel Jernigan, last year’s third-round draft pick,
    has shaken the rookie cobwebs and can make a real contribution.

    “He’s one of the guys who has to play for us,’’ offensive coordinator Kevin
    Gilbride said. “He’s got to come through. Last year Victor had to come through.
    J.J.’s got to be one of those guys this year for us.’’

    What of Barden? Well, he’s finally healthy after missing the first seven
    games last season recovering from ankle surgery. If anyone was choosing sides,
    Barden would be one of the first players selected, given his statuesque 6-foot-6
    frame, long arms and large hands. He was a 2009 third-round pick out of Cal-Poly
    and is in the final year of his contract, meaning it is now, or never, for
    Barden with the Giants.

    “Obviously every year’s a big year but contract-wise and where I’ve been in
    my career, kind of been dealing with injuries and some obstacles I think it’s
    definitely a big year,’’ Barden said. “I’ll play like I have nothing to lose
    because that’s how I feel.’’

    Manning calls Barden “a smart guy, he knows the offense, he knows what to
    do’’ and thus far is optimistic about a breakthrough.

    Coughlin isn’t predicting anything.

    “Well, it has been a little bit of inconsistency,’’ he said of Barden. “Some
    days are very, very good and others are not as good. He knows that and he is
    working hard on that. Hopefully it is going to all catch up with Ramses this
    spring and this fall.’’



    "Mathias Kiwanuka got a contract extension from the Giants in the off-season and
    Osi Umenyiora desperately wants one.

    And, for what it’s worth, Kiwanuka believes his teammate deserves one,

    That sentiment was not lost on Umenyiora when brought to his attention
    Wednesday night, either.

    “What I’ve heard from Kiwi, and [Justin] Tuck and JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul],
    I’ll never forget as long as I live,” Umenyiora wrote in an email to The Record.
    “That’s exactly why we are champions. Because we have each other’s back. These
    days you hardly see that kind of loyalty from anybody. I appreciate it, and
    honestly it makes things that much harder for me. Because those are the people I
    need to be around.”

    When news of Kiwanuka’s new deal broke last month, Umenyiora – while praising
    his teammate and friend for getting what he earned – also took a swipe at the
    front office, insisting via email he unfairly was portrayed as a “greedy pig”
    for turning down offers he said were half the guaranteed money the Giants ended
    up giving Kiwanuka.

    Kiwanuka insisted Wednesday he took no umbrage with Umenyiora for what he
    previously said and chalked the issue up to the business side of football, also
    siding with the latter’s assertion he has earned a more lucrative contract.

    Kiwanuka’s extension totaled three years for $16.5 million.

    Umenyiora, again an expected no-show at Wednesday’s voluntary OTA, is in the
    final year of a seven-year, $41.38 contract.

    “He’s been under contract in a bad deal for years now,” Kiwanuka said.
    “Anybody who looks at the situation would say, ‘Well, this should’ve been taken
    care of a long time ago.’ For whatever reason, it hasn’t, so I understand his
    frustration. I know that it wasn’t a slight at me. I know he was just trying to
    get his point across.”

    While Kiwanuka said he was not sure he’d handle things the same as Umenyiora,
    he can appreciate being in that situation and the frustration involved.

    “If he was signed to a deal that was twice that and performed half of what he
    is, he would’ve been cut by now,” Kiwanuka said. “That’s just the reality of
    this game, but the fact that he’s signed to a lower-salary deal and he’s playing
    at a high level – 10-plus sacks every year – the fact that has nothing been done
    with it, it’s an obvious issue. It’d be an issue for anybody out here so I
    understand his frustration, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”

    Meanwhile, Kiwanuka looked plenty comfortable Wednesday at linebacker,
    putting to rest any speculation he might be asked to move back to defensive end
    in a full-time capacity with Umenyiora’s status pending and Dave Tollefson’s
    free agency departure to the Raiders.

    Kiwanuka dropped back into coverage during 7-on-7 drills and deflected a pass
    intended for Rueben Randle on an inside route. Then Kiwanuka and Michael Boley
    flipped sides, and Kiwanuka read a reverse to Victor Cruz perfectly, smothering
    the play in the backfield.

    “It was good to see him show off,” defensive coordinator Perry Fewell

    In contrast to last year, the Giants have tremendous depth at linebacker
    beyond current starters Kiwanuka and Boley on the outside and Chase Blackburn in
    the middle. The second unit features Mark Herzlich at MLB with Jacquian Williams
    and off-season acquisition Keith Rivers on the outside.

    Because of that, Kiwanuka’s versatility as a playmaker will have him on the

    “When you have a player like Kiwi,” said Fewell, “I think that’s always going
    to be something that we play with.”




    GIANTS 101


    "Rome wasn't built in a day, and the New York
    and defensive end Osi
    aren't likely to come to an agreement on a new contract in that
    amount of time either. However, it's all about progress and that's exactly
    what's occurring between Big Blue and the Chief. ESPN's Sal Paolantonio
    that despite the significant gap between the two sides, they have
    continued actively discussing a new contract for the former Pro Bowler.

    Umenyiora has received a lot of support from his teammates recently, with
    many of them speaking out publicly. It began with Justin Tuck and continued with Mathias
    on Wednesday.

    "He has been under contract in a bad deal for years now and anybody who looks
    at the situation would say, ‘Well, this should have been taken care of a long
    time ago,’” said LB Mathias
    . “For whatever reason, it hasn’t. So I understand his

    The endorsements haven't been lost on Osi, who says it's made this entire
    situation that much more difficult for him.

    “What I’ve heard from Kiwi, and Tuck and JPP, I’ll never forget as long as I
    live,” Umenyiora said. “That’s exactly why we are champions. Because
    we have each other’s back. These days you hardly see that kind of loyalty from
    anybody. I appreciate it, and honestly it makes things that much harder for me.
    Because those are the people I need to be around.”

    Osi has been absent from the voluntary Organized Team Activities (OTAs), but
    will be expected to attend mandatory veteran mini-camp which begins on June
    12th. Whether or not the two sides can bridge the gap in contract talks between
    now and then may play a large role in him showing up or choosing to be



    "After two consecutive ACL tears, New York Giants linebacker Clint
    knows he's become a bit of an afterthought. He understands that fans
    have begun to forget about him, he realizes many are doubting him … and he's
    perfectly fine with all of it. Not because he doesn't care, but because he believes he's capable of jogging our collective memory.

    "I don't mind being a forgotten man… That's understandable… I am more then
    willing to earn the right to be remembered. #DontCountMeOut," Sintim posted via
    Facebook on Wednesday.

    As anxious as Sintim is, he still has a ways to go. During the Giants' third
    Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice on Wednesday, the fourth-year linebacker
    was relegated to individual work that included light running and footwork drills
    on the sideline. He's yet to go full speed, and defensive coordinator Perry
    Fewell has no idea what he can expect from Sintim.

    "We really can't say, because he's being handled by the doctors on what he
    can do and what he can't do," Fewell said. "Mentally, he's in the meetings … I
    was in the linebacker meeting today and we were talking about different defenses
    and reactions, so he was mentally in tune with what we're doing. Physically,
    he's being handled by our training staff, so I can't really say where he's going
    to fit in right now, because I have to wait."

    If Sintim can come back and produce like so many have expected him to, his
    versatility at the linebacker position would be a huge boost for Big Blue. Even
    with the addition of veteran LB Keith Rivers, the group is relatively young and
    inexperienced, and could use an additional boost of leadership alongside Michael



    "Injured New York Giants
    wide receiver Hakeem Nicks,
    who broke a bone in his foot during an OTA a week ago, said "I don't have any
    doubt" when asked if he would be ready
    for the team's Sept. 5 season opener
    against the Dallas Cowboys.

    The original prognosis for Nicks is that his recovery will take 12 weeks, and
    Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has said he is uncertain when Nicks will

    "I definitely feel like I'll be ready to go when it's time to be ready to
    go," Nicks said on Thursday during a conference call.

    "We just don't want no setbacks. The team wants to take it 12 weeks, that's
    what we're giving it, so that's what we're going to go by. My goal is always to
    come back earlier, we just don't want no setbacks. We have to play it smart and
    be ready for the season."

    Nicks caught 79 passes for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns last season,
    averaging 15.7 yards per catch. He is entering his fourth season."


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

  • #2
    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012 - 11:42 A.M.


    • #3
      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012 - 11:42 A.M.

      [quote user="lttaylor56"][/quote]

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


      • #4
        Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012 - 12:06 P.M.

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


        • #5
          Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012 - 12:06 P.M.

          Great stuff. Thanks RF.


          • #6
            Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012 - 12:06 P.M.

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

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


            • #7
              Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012 - 12:06 P.M.

              [quote user="nygsb42champs"]Great stuff. 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


              • #8
                Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012 - 12:06 P.M.

                as always many thanks Roanoke!


                • #9
                  Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012 - 12:06 P.M.

                  [quote user="BigBlue1971"]as always many thanks Roanoke![/quote]

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