John Fennelly, Lead Writer
The new league year begins today at 4:00pm in the NFL, which means it’s time to play free agent frenzy once again, folks. One thing from the overnight…Jason LaCanfora is reporting the DE Justin Tuck will likely be back with the Giants…
Several people involved in that DE market expect Jared Allen to end up in Denver and Justin Tuck to return to NYG.—
Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 11, 2014
Here’s what else you need to know this morning…
The club is set to part ways with C David Baas and his massive cap number. Baas is still rehabbing from a knee injury and is said to be “not physically ready” to play right now. The move only saves the club $1.775 million in cap space, but clears the way for the Giants to move forward with a free agent such as Green Bay’s Evan Dietrich-Smith or the Saints’ Brian De La Puente.
OL Chris Snee and P Steve Weatherford agreed to pay cuts. Snee’s salary will be reduced from $7.2 million to $1.1 million freeing up $5.1 million in cap room for the teams. The details of Weatherford’s deal are still unknown, but he was only expected to earn $2.2 million, so the savings are likely minimal in scale.
The Giants are close to re-signing CB Trumaine McBride and K Josh Brown. McBride’s deal is said to be for two years.
Additional players that have piqued the Giants’ interest in free agency are the Ravens’ DB Corey Graham and TE Ed Dickson and the Lions’ TE Brandon Pettigrew.
The Giants have previously inquired about Packers TE Andrew Quarless, Ravens’ DE Arthur Jones and Titans’ CB Alterraun Verner, who appears to be too expensive for the Giants to pursue.
The club showed some interest in bringing back S Ryan Mundy, but that interest will depend on whether Stevie Brown returns or not.
Giants OL Chris Snee has restructured his contract, freeing up nearly $5 million in cap space.
SNYGiants insider Ralph Vacchiano estimates the Giants to have approximately $24 million in cap space going into free agency.
As per SNYGiants insider Ralph Vacchiano, the Giants may move quickly on free agent center Evan Dietrich-Smith.
With David Baas getting cut, the Giants currently have no centers on their roster. They did not tender Jim Cordle and Kevin Boothe is scheduled to become a UFA again tomorrow.
EDS is the Giants’ top choice as he played in the Packers’ system for the past four seasons, the same system that new Giants’ OC Ben McAdoo worked under.
Dietrich-Smith was signed by Green Bay in 2009 as a UDFA out of Idaho State and was waived the next summer during final cuts. After a short stint in Seattle, EDS retuned to the Packers that October and earned a Super Bowl ring that season. He took over as Green Bay’s regular center last season, starting all 16 games.
Yes, he is the player who was stomped by Lions’ DT Ndamakong Suh in a Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit in 2011.
Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record is reporting that CB Trumaine McBride will be back with the Giants this season on a two-year deal. From Art:
The 28-year-old McBride was somewhat of an afterthought when he signed a free-agent contract with the Giants last January after spending the entire 2012 season out of the league. He was on the bubble in training camp and impressed with aggressive play despite his size (5-foot-9, 185). When Corey Webster was sidelined with injuries that ended up costing him most of the season, McBride stepped up and started 10 games.
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Good move by the Giants, especially with the way the CB market is expected to unfold. Former Bills and Colts GM Bill Polian said teams will be paying “Neiman Marcus prices for Target” for cornerbacks this week after seeing the whopping deal the Packers gave to Sam Shields yesterday.
The Giants can’t really afford to overpay any of the top UFA CBs (Alterraun Verner, Aqib Talib et al) so they will have to secure what they have and hope that a quality CB comes down the pipe this spring.
According to sources, the Giants have released C David Baas.
The move saves $1.775 million in cap room, although it leaves a whopping $6.45 million in “dead money” on the Giants’ cap. Baas, 32, has broken down physically in recent years, and the G-Men have interest in ex-Packers C Evan Dietrich-Smith. Dietrich-Smith played under new Giants OC Ben McAdoo in Green Bay. Recovering from a knee injury, Baas may resurface on a minimum contract.
The way things go these days, this may not be the end of Baas. The Giants have to find a replacement for him. It’s very possible he re-emerges at camp if they can’t, but they would not have taken this hit if they weren’t confident they can land a top center in free agency.
The Giants could have saved some money if they designated Baas as a June 1st cut. The savings would have been $5 million as opposed to the $1.775 million they save right now. According to Ebenezer Samuel of the Daily News. Baas was ‘not physically ready” and the team probably felt they needed to act sooner rather than later.
The Giants are close to re-signing Josh Brown (Orr, March 10).
Brown could sign as soon as Tuesday.
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
No surprise here. The Giants have not been linked to any other placekicker this offseason. Brown is a solid kicker who did not get as many opportunities as his predecessor, Lawrence Tynes, who set clubs records during his tenure here. The Giants’ offensive struggles led to fewer FG chances and PATs.
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
The Giants will be targeting several TEs in free agency this week and beyond. We already know they’re interested in Green Bay’s Andrew Quarless. They also have Detroit’s Brandon Pettigrew and the Ravens’ Ed Dickson on their list.
Ralph Vacchiano had this to say about Pettigrew earlier today:
He is a “viable option” for the Giants, according to an NFL source, who confirmed that the team does have some interest in the Lions tight end…Pettigrew, a 29-year-old former first-round pick (2009), figures to be one of the more expensive options on the market. He caught 41 passes for 416 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games last season in a down year, but as recently as 2011 he had caught 83 passes for 777 yards. So he certainly has the receiving pedigree and he’s known as an excellent blocker.
Rotoworld on Dickson:
Dickson is moving on from Baltimore, while the Giants appear to be kicking the tires on most free agent tight ends. Dickson had an opportunity to break out in Dennis Pitta’s absence last season, but instead struggled mightily, catching only 25 passes. He’s not a No. 1 tight end.
Not sure either of these two can bring what Quarless could to the offense. Knowing the Lions as well as I do, I’m not sold on Pettigrew, even though his numbers aren’t bad. He’s not the red zone threat he was projected to be coming out of Oklahoma State.
Dickson is a backup TE. The Giants won’t have a lot company if they’re intending on pursuing him.
As per SNYGiants insider Ralph Vacchiano, the Giants are showing interest in New Orleans Saints center Brian De La Puente.
Interesting. We knew they would be looking to make a change here, but still have David Baas on the books. But that could change. Baas is 33 and slated to make $4.75 million in 2014, but will take less of a cap hit on Baas if they release him after June 1st.
That won’t keep the team from pursuing another center in the interim. De La Puente is only 28 and has started 44 games for the Saints over the past three seasons.
Restricted free agent LB Mark Herzlich signed back with the Giants this past weekend. The team did not offer Herzlich a tender, which would have been worth over $1.4 million, opting to ink the former BC star to a lesser deal.
As per Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports, Herzlich’s deal is for one year and is worth $1million: $775K base salary, $200K in per-game roster bonuses, $25K workout bonus.
Herzlich was actually done a favor here. If released, Herzlich, with three accrued season, would have made the minimum of 645K had he been released and signed back.