John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Another nice day in store for the denizens of the NY Metro Area today. Go out and enjoy it. The NFL is going underground for awhile. All minicamps have concluded and players are not due back here until July 26 for training camp.
There is news, however. The Giants are always looking to tweak their roster. Reports of them having interest in two free agents – LB Desmond Bishop and FB Vonta Leach – are dominating the blogs and rumor mills.
Bishop seems to be creating his own market. He is said to be choosing between the Vikings, Chiefs and Giants, although he has not visited the Giants and it is not known if the Giants are even interested.
The Leach rumors seem to be more valid. The Giants have looked into Leach in the past (they actually signed him to an offer sheet six years ago that was matched by his old team, the Texans) and they are not 100% sold that Henry Hynoski (knee) will be ready for the season. If Hynoski is not ready, the Giants will rely on their best-blocking TE (Bear Pascoe) to fill that role, something they may not feel comfortable in doing longterm.
Signing Leach will be a challenge. He made $3 million in Baltimore last year and was cut when he refused to take their reduced salary offer. The Giants have been scoring veteran free agents on the cheap and apparently intend to do so with Leach. The minimum salary for a 10-year veteran is $940k. No way Leach accepts that deal.
The Giants are bit cap-strapped, as you know, and still have yet to sign Justin Pugh and Ryan Nassib. Let’s also not forget any offer they could make to Victor Cruz this summer, so they have to get creative if they are to land Leach, a three-time All-Pro.
According to Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News, the Giants “have only $3.3 million of room under the salary cap according to NFLPA records and the Dolphins, the only team Leach has visited, has $17.6 million of room. The Houston Texans are also interested in Leach, according to a source, but they have even less cap room than the Giants ($2.8 million).
To lure Leach, the Giants would have to get creative to keep the first-year cap number low, and would likely need to offer a multi-year deal. Leach visited the Dolphins on June 12 and they still remain the favorites to sign him. A source said eight teams expressed some interest in signing Leach, but he has no immediate plans to make any more free-agent visits.”