We at Giants.com just finished counting down the all-time best free agent signings, and wide receiver Plaxico Burress came in at No. 1. But now we want to hear from you, Giants fans. Vote below and let us know who you think was the best free agent acquisition in Giants history.
Here’s a brief look at our top five:
Number 1: WR Plaxico Burress
Originally a first round draft pick (eighth overall) by Pittsburgh in 2000, wide receiver Plaxico Burress signed with the Giants in 2005 and would become Eli Manning’s most productive target as well as one of the heroes of Super Bowl XLII. >>READ MORE
Number 2: QB Kerry Collins
In five seasons with the New York Giants, Kerry Collins became one of the most productive passers in franchise history, leading the team to the 2000 NFC Championship and a berth in Super Bowl XXXV as well as a 2002 NFC Wild Card Playoff berth. >>READ MORE
Number 3: LB Antonio Pierce
Carrying on the linebacker tradition and also wearing No. 58, Antonio Pierce joined the Giants as a free agent in 2005 after spending four seasons with the Washington Redskins. During his five seasons with New York, Pierce led the team in tackles three times, was a three-year captain, a Pro Bowler in 2006, and one of the inspirational leaders of the squad that won Super Bowl XLII. >>READ MORE
Number 4: LB Micheal Barrow
Suiting up for five teams in his career, Barrow joined the Giants in 2000 after playing with the Carolina Panthers and the team that drafted him in the second round in 1993, the Houston Oilers. Barrow started 61 of 62 games in four seasons with the Giants, not including all three postseason games en route to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXV. >>READ MORE
Number 5: C Shaun O’Hara
O’Hara joined the Giants in 2004 — the same year Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning arrived – and became one of the just three centers in Giants history to be selected to at least three Pro Bowls (joining Ray Wietecha and Bart Oates). He was one of the five captains on the 2007 team that won Super Bowl XLII and started all 97 games he played in a Giants uniform from 2004-2010. >>READ MORE
Tags: Antonio Pierce, Kerry Collins, Micheal Barrow, Plaxico Burress, Shaun O'Hara
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Twelve NFL players, including two former Giants defensive backs, will take part in the upcoming Tom Beard Football Officials Clinic this week in Baltimore.
Held at the Maritime Institute and Morgan State University from March 14-16, Mark Collins, who played eight seasons for the Giants and helped the franchise win its first two Super Bowls, and C.C. Brown, who played for New York in 2009, will participate with others in a program featuring classroom and on-field instruction, breakouts by position group, and on-field scrimmage work.
NFL Player Engagement and the NFL Football Officiating Academy partnered to select the players for the three-day program.
In addition to keynotes from Super Bowl XLVII Referee Jerome Boger and NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino, instructors include current and former officials and officiating supervisors at all levels, including previous Super Bowl referees Scott Green and Terry Mc Aulay. More than 10 NFL officials as well as officials from the CFL, Arena League and college football have participated at the Tom Beard officiating camps and clinics.
“We are excited to continue providing opportunities for former players to explore post-playing careers,” said Troy Vincent, Senior Vice President of NFL Player Engagement. “Officiating is a natural extension for players who have an interest in staying close to the game.”
Following are the NFL players participating in the Tom Beard Football Officials Clinic:
Charles Ali (Former CLV, BLT)
C.C. Brown (Former HST, NYG, DET, JAX)
Ahmad Carroll (Former GB, JAX, NYJ)
Mark Collins (Former NYG, KC, GB, SEA)
Aaron Craver (Former MIA, DEN, SD, NO)
Chris Crocker (Current CIN)
Rick DeMulling (Former IND, DET, WAS)
Nate Jones (Former DAL, MIA, DEN, NE)
Terrence Melton (Former ATL, NO)
William Thomas (Former PHI, OAK)
Landon Trusty (Former SD)
Dewayne Washington (Former MIN, PIT, JAX, KC)
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Tags: C.C. Brown, Mark Collins, Super Bowl XXI, Super Bowl XXV
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Tags: Cullen Jenkins
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The NFL released a set of frequently asked questions in regards to free agency, which is set to begin shortly:
SALARY CAP SET AT $123,000,000
Q. When does the 2013 free agency signing period begin?
A. At 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 12.
Q. What is permitted during the new three-day negotiating period prior to the start of free agency?
A. Beginning at 12:00 midnight ET on Saturday, March 9 (i.e., after 11:59:59 p.m. ET, on Friday, March 8) and ending at 3:59:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 12, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2012 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 12. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m. ET on March 12.
During this negotiation period, a prospective Unrestricted Free Agent cannot visit a club (other than the player’s current club) at its permanent facility or at any other location, and no direct contact is permitted between the player and any employee or representative of a club (other than the player’s current club). If a player is self-represented, clubs are prohibited from discussions with the player during the negotiating period.
Clubs (other than the player’s current club) may not discuss or make any travel arrangements with prospective Unrestricted Free Agent players, their certified agents, or anyone else associated with the player until the expiration of those players’ 2012 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 12.
The three-day negotiating period applies only to potential Unrestricted Free Agents; it does not apply to players who are potential Exclusive Rights Players or Restricted Free Agents, or to players who have been designated as Franchise Players or Transition Players.
Q. What are the categories of free agency?
A. Players are either “Restricted Free Agents” or “Unrestricted Free Agents.” A Restricted Free Agent may be subject to a qualifying offer. A Restricted or Unrestricted Free Agent may be designated by his prior club as its Franchise Player or Transition Player. Read more »
Tags: Free Agency, NFL
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Whether or not you think three minutes early is two minutes late, under Coughlin Time, the coach is always right. And it’s going to cost you.
Michael Strahan learned that the hard way with Tom Coughlin, and while the former Giants defensive end and current head coach’s relationship overcame its rocky start, there was still a matter of that 500-dollar fine. Coughlin rectified that Wednesday morning.
Appearing on “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” — which Strahan has co-hosted since September – to promote his new book, Coughlin reunited with the Giants great, and at the end of the segment handed him a crisp 500 dollar bill – in Monopoly money.
“One of the greatest things this guy has said to me was,” Coughlin recalled, pointing at Strahan, “‘Coach, out of respect for you, I set my watch 10 minutes ahead.’”
Strahan, who wrote the foreword to Coughlin’s new book, confirmed it is still true and laughed: “I’m 500 dollars richer, yeah.”
Strahan introduced his former coach to begin the clip before co-host Kelly Ripa asked how two such likable people could not initially get along.
The answer: they are two very strong-willed people, Coughlin explained.
“I’ll never forget the first time he came in my office. Here he sits in front of me and he’s doing all the talking. I’m the head coach. I just got hired as the head coach, and here comes a guy into my office to tell me exactly what he thought and how we’re going to do things. He was representing his teammates, which he does very, very well. [He’s] a natural-born leader, all of the above, has a magnetic personality, but we didn’t hit it off too good at first. He didn’t like the rules, he didn’t like the rules.”
Strahan eventually understood the method to his rules, which underscored Coughlin’s themes in “Earn the Right to Win.”
“What was important to me was I wanted everybody to come to work with passion,” Coughlin continued. “With eagerness, with a desire to learn, anxious to come into the building and be prepared to compete and have a great day and help the New York Giants win.”
Tags: Michael Strahan, Tom Coughlin
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Coach Tom Coughlin’s “Earn the Right to Win: How Success in Any Field Starts with Superior Preparation” is now available in bookstores.
Tags: Michael Strahan, Tom Coughlin
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Bear Pascoe has made the most of his last 12 months.
The tight end received a Super Bowl ring, caught his first career touchdown pass, is set to be married in June, and now, returns to the Giants for another run with the team.
“We sat down and talked about it for a little bit and the bottom line is I love it here,” Pascoe recently told Giants.com. “I love the team, I love the coaches, the organization. It couldn’t be any better. So I wanted to come back and be a part of a great team and be a part of a great chance to maybe get back to that Super Bowl.”
In the meantime, Pascoe, who split the position primarily with Martellus Bennett in 2012, knows what he has to work on this offseason heading into his fifth year with New York.
“I’m really going to work on foot quickness,” he said. “That seems to be something that keeps being brought up, and for myself, I think that’s really something I need to work on. Just come back, work as hard as I can and do anything I can to make this a better team and do whatever I can to help us win games.”
Despite missing the postseason, the Giants improved offensively in some categories in 2012 with the help of Pascoe, whose value is in the run game. The Giants went from an NFL-worst 3.5 yards per rushing attempt in 2011 to an average of 4.6 last season, which was seventh in the league.
However, it wasn’t enough as Pascoe and his teammates try to solve their problems heading into 2013.
“As a team, it’s just being clued into details and everybody doing their job – not trying to do more or less than the other guy,” Pascoe said. “Especially as far as offense goes, just guys [need to] be clued into what they have to do on every play and then getting their job done.”
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NFL coaches, scouts, executives and a few lucky fans may have been the only ones allowed inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to witness the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine Presented by Under Armour, but NFL Media delivered the event to a record audience around the world.
A record high total of 7.25 million viewers watched coverage of the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine Presented by Under Armour on NFL Network over the four days (Saturday, Feb. 23 –Tuesday, Feb. 26, live and re-air telecasts) – topping last year’s 6.51 million total viewers by +11%, according to The Nielsen Company.
Additionally, the average minute audience of 268,000 viewers for NFL Network’s live coverage of the Combine shattered the previous high of 244,000 from 2012 (+10%). Individually, NFL Network set viewership records for three of the four days of the Combine (Sat., Mon., & Tue.).
The NFL Scouting Combine is part of NFL Network’s “Path to Primetime” programming leading into the 2013 NFL Draft April 25-27. NFL Network’s “Path to the Draft” airs Monday-Friday at 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM ET.
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Tags: NFL Draft
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For NFL hopefuls that either performed poorly at the scouting combine or didn’t participate at all, there are always college pro-day workouts to showcase their talents. With the combine having wrapped up in Indianapolis this week, coaches and scouts now hit the road and visit colleges around the country for the next round of evaluations.
For lower-profile players, these workouts could boost their stock in the upcoming draft. Just take a look back at Osi Umenyiora and Victor Cruz, writes NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt, to see how their professional careers were boosted by their pro days coming out of Troy and UMass, respectively.
“Umenyiora, who did not go to the combine, had a knockout performance at Troy’s pro day, running in the 4.65-second range and showing good athleticism and speed,” said Brandt, the former vice president of player personnel for the Cowboys from 1960-89. “Consequently, the New York Giants made him their second-round choice in the 2003 NFL Draft.”
Since his pro day in 2003, Umenyiora has been named All-Pro twice in his career to go along with two Super Bowl rings. Meanwhile, Cruz wouldn’t be drafted coming out of college in 2010, but he showed enough to the Giants that he was signed as a rookie free agent. The rest is history.
“A UMass product who was not invited to the combine, Cruz worked out at two different pro days ahead of the 2010 NFL Draft — once at his own school and once at Boston College,” Brandt continued. “He didn’t have great speed (running the 40 in 4.52 and 4.47 seconds at Boston College), but teams got to see what he could do as a route runner; they got to see that he had quickness and the ability to catch the ball. He went undrafted, but eventually stuck with the Giants, becoming a key figure for the team that won Super Bowl XLVI.”
As of Friday, the 2013 pro days are officially underway. Here is a look at the upcoming schedule:
March 1: Purdue, Texas-El Paso
March 4: Alabama-Birmingham, Alabama State, Alcorn State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota State, Troy
March 5: Auburn, Buffalo, Harding, Jackson State, Missouri Southern State, Northwestern, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Tuskegee, Youngstown State
March 6: Alabama A&M, Duquesne, Eastern Washington, Kent State, Mississippi State, North Alabama, Northern Arizona, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Texas Tech, Wisconsin
March 7: Arizona, Arkansas-Monticello, Clemson, Furman, Idaho, Illinois, Miami (Fla.), Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Syracuse, Washington State
March 8: Arizona State, Cornell, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Missouri State, Montana, Mount Union, Northern Illinois, Ohio State, Southern Mississippi, TCU, Texas A&M, Wofford
March 11: California (Pa.), Central Michigan, Penn State
March 12: Delaware State, Florida, Jacksonville State, Kansas State, Lehigh, Monmouth, Oklahoma State, Portland State, Toledo, Towson, Tulane, UCLA
March 13: Alabama, Central Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Colorado, Colorado State, Louisiana-Monroe, Marshall, Maryland, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Rutgers, Washington
March 14: Arkansas State, California, Delaware, Fort Valley State, Georgia Tech, Grambling State, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Tulsa, UNLV, West Alabama, West Virginia, Wyoming
March 15: Arkansas, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Kansas, Oregon State, San Jose State
March 18: Air Force, Albany State (Ga.), Houston, Howard, Idaho State, Indiana, Memphis, Montana State, Valdosta State, Villanova, Virginia Union, Wake Forest
March 19: Florida A&M, Florida State, Louisville, Richmond (with Liberty), Sam Houston State, San Diego State, Virginia
March 20: Ball State, Baylor, Central Florida, Connecticut, North Carolina State, Ohio, Sacramento State, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia Tech, Western Kentucky
March 21: Boise State, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami (Ohio), New Mexico State, Old Dominion, Stanford, Stony Brook, Temple, William & Mary
March 22: Missouri Western, Tennessee State, Vanderbilt
March 25: Duke, Iowa, Middle Tennessee State, Stephen F. Austin
March 26: Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State, North Carolina, North Carolina Central, Notre Dame, Southeastern Louisiana, Texas
March 27: LSU, South Carolina, SMU, USC
March 28: BYU, Central Arkansas, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette, Yale
March 29: Southeast Missouri State
April 2: Columbia
Tags: NFL Draft, Osi Umenyiora, Victor Cruz
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California natives Ramses Barden and Justin Tryon have been selected to attend the second annual “NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp” at Universal Studios this month in Los Angeles.
The wide receiver and cornerback will join 20 other current and former NFL players for a four-day boot camp offering a comprehensive overview of creative disciplines in the film industry, including screen writing, directing, producing and film financing.
“We are excited to continue providing opportunities for active and former players to explore and develop valuable professional contacts in a wide range of career fields,” said Troy Vincent, senior vice president of NFL Player Engagement.
“We are excited to work with the NFL on the second Pro Hollywood Boot Camp, which exposes players to life beyond the field, “said Jeff Friday, CEO of Film Life Inc., which created the Pro Hollywood initiative. “Pro Hollywood was designed to provide an in-depth overview of the film business as well as a mentorship program for those who come out of it serious about building a career in film.”
The program, which runs from March 11-15, is being directed by NFL Player Engagement and the New York-based production company Film Life Inc., and participants will have the opportunity to shoot and edit a short film at Universal Studios. NFL Player Engagement now offers current and former players 10 training programs for post-NFL careers, including the NFL Business of Music Boot Camp, which Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin attended last year.
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Tags: Justin Tryon, Ramses Barden
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