Earlier this morning I promised you guys a notebook. Here it is, sans anything about the lockout, about which we will hopefully have good news later today.
Andrews calls Giants 'best organization in the league' - Giants Blog - ESPN New York
The veteran offensive lineman tweeted Saturday night, "LMAO!! Why Wouldn’t I Wanna Work For The Best Organization In The League #IMO"
The tweet was in response to a question by WFAN’s Giants reporter Paul Dottino, who asked Andrews, "Do you expect to play for NYG this season?"
Andrews can say all the nice things he wants about the Giants. That still doesn't mean they won't cut the talented offensive lineman some time during the next week due to salary cap concerns. Ralph Vacchiano reported recently that the Giants could be $11 million over the $120 million salary cap, so some moves will need to be made.
Some of you, incidentally, have clamored for an in-depth look at the salary cap. Well, I'm no salary cap junkie, but good friend Pat Traina of Inside Football is. You want in-depth talk about the cap? Go read the piece Pat did about a week ago.
First post-lockout move for NFL teams
The first post-lockout moves for NFL teams will, truthfully, be exclusive negotiations for a couple of days with their own free agents and the signing of undrafted free agents. ESPN Insider, though, offers a thought on the first thing the Giants should do in free agency -- sign Carolina linebacker James Anderson.
The Giants won't just hand over the starting strongside linebacker position to 2009 second-round pick Clint Sintim, who lost the job during last year's training camp and is coming off a torn ACL. If the Carolina Panthers can't re-sign Anderson, the linebacker-needy Giants should move to scoop up one of the more underrated linebackers in the league.
Now that I am back I promise a full-fledged look at Anderson before free agency starts -- provided the Panthers don't re-sign him first.
Another bad break for undrafted players | ProFootballTalk
It's going to be tougher for this year's crop of undrafted players to make NFL rosters this offseason without the benefit of OTAs to get ready for training camp. (The same could be said for late round picks.)
Ramses Barden, "I want to start my career." | KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles
The best wide receiver in Cal Poly history is anxious to get his third NFL season started and show what he's capable of. As a rookie with the New York Giants Ramses Barden caught one pass for 16-yards. Last year in his second season, Barden had five receptions for 64-yards. He only played in six games before suffering a fractured left ankle and torn ligament which ended his season. Barden had surgery in March and says he's feeling good now.
"It feels like it's been a while since I played and the season's starting to get close and I can taste it and I really want to make the most out of it and make a mar," said Barden.
My take: It would be nice if Ramses got started eventually.
NFL.com news: Giants among teams positioned for post-lockout success
Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin have assembled a roster that has few glaring weaknesses. Eli Manning has a talented cast of receivers to target in the passing game, and Brandon Jacobs anchors a physical rushing attack that should rank among the elite. With Perry Fewell still in place to tutor a defense that started to show its teeth near the end of the season, the Giants have all the pieces in place to emerge as a frontrunner on the heels of the lockout.
Some of you can rag on Coughlin, Kevin Gilbride and others all you want, but the stability of the Giants organization and the veteran players the team has provide them an excellent opportunity to have early success. Provided, of course, Coughlin's head does not explode from all of the changes to the norm that NFL teams will have to endure.
NFC East team needs - NFC East Blog - ESPN
1. Running back 2. Linebacker 3. Tight end
This gets to the heart of the fact that the Giants' first task once the league year begins will be to prioritize and re-sign their own free agents. They will only need a running back and a tight end if they can't re-sign Bradshaw and Kevin Boss, but they hope to be able to bring back both. I believe both will draw interest elsewhere, and that it's possible Boss could draw more than the Giants expect. But of these three needs, linebacker is the only one for which they should have to play on the open market without getting a head-start with one of their own players.
Heading into free agency I think you have to agree with this. What happens with Umenyiora and Kiwanuka might change the list, though.