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New York Giants News And Rumors: Boss Finds Free Agency 'Pretty Exciting'

Wow! So much happening so fast around the NFL that it's crazy. Here are a few notes for you this morning, New York Giants fans. There is more happening out there than I can keep up with, to be honest, but this is a whole lot better than having to write about that other subject, you know, the NFL L.... that shall not be discussed further.

As NFL lockout ends, Giants' Kevin Boss is happy to start negotiating |

"I kind of told myself I wasn’t going to get this opportunity, just, ‘Hopefully, it’ll happen next year,’" the Giants’ tight end said by phone today. "But to finally have it come, it’s pretty exciting."

Boss sounds like a guy who is curious to see what his value is on the open market. There might be somebody out there who values him more than the Giants, but I hope not.

Giants projected to be $6.1 million over cap - Giants Blog - ESPN New York
We’ve been staying in contact with the very busy John Clayton, ESPN's NFL insider, about the Giants' salary cap number.

Last week, the Giants were thought to be $11.3 million over the cap based on the full roster. But Mr. Clayton says the Giants are $6.1 million over the salary cap based on their top 51 players, the number which counts against the cap. The top 51 salaries are applied to the salary cap.

End of NFL lockout means a likely end to Barry Cofield's days as a Giant |

While Cofield estimates the team that gives him that contract will not be the Giants, he vows to keep them in the loop.

"Yeah, if they make a competitive offer, sure. But based on the things I’ve been hearing, I don’t think that’s going to be the case," the five-year veteran said by phone today. "Hopefully, I’ll get fair-market value that other quality starters get. From what I’m hearing, I don’t think the Giants can pay that amount.

"If they were competitive, absolutely. But to say I’d take an unfair contract or be willing to be paid less than that, no way I’m going to do that."

Bye, Barry. Somebody will overpay you. You're a good player, but I'm glad it won't be the Giants.

Eagles rescind David Akers’ transition tag | ProFootballTalk
We noted in our Philadelphia Eagles checklist that the first thing the team needed to do when the lockout ended was rescind David Akers' transition tag. Now that's exactly what the Eagles have done. The NFL confirmed today that Akers is an unrestricted free agent and not a transition player.

Now Akers, a five-time Pro Bowler who has been with the Eagles since 1999, will look for work elsewhere.

My take: Anybody interested in Akers taking over for Lawrence Tynes?

Report: Ravens cutting four big-name vets - AFC North Blog - ESPN
On the same day the NFL lockout came to an end, the Baltimore Ravens got right to work by preparing to make four significant roster cuts this week. The goal is to create enough cap space for the Ravens to be players in free agency.

According to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, Baltimore has informed receiver Derrick Mason, tailback Willis McGahee, defensive tackle Kelly Gregg and tight end Todd Heap that they will be released this week. The moves will save Baltimore millions on the cap while also helping the Ravens get younger.

My take: If the Giants lose Boss, anyone interested in Heap?

Bears parting ways with punter Maynard -
The Chicago Bears have informed veteran punter Brad Maynard that they intend to move on without him rather than signing the free agent to a new deal, according to a source close to the player.

My take: Anyone interested in Maynard, the former Giant, as a replacement for Matt Dodge. Twitter rumors Monday night had ex-Jet Steve Weatherford, another nice fit for the Giants, possibly heading to the Bears. Maynard was the lowest-ranked punter in the league in 2011, according to Pro Football Focus, but he was kicking in Chicago on the quagmire that passes for a football field there. " Scouting Report: Stephen Nicholas

We talked Monday about the rumors that Atlanta linebacker Stephen Nicholas could be a Giant by the end of the week. Here is a 2010 scouting report from a Falcons' fan site:

Pros: He is a physical, hard-hitting linebacker that thrives near the line of scrimmage. Does his best work when he is allowed to attack upfield. Can make stops in the backfield. Shows good burst and quickness off the edge as a blitzer and pass rusher. Can even line up with his hand in the dirt on occasion. Shows good speed and can make plays against the run both in pursuit and at the point of attack.

Cons: Lacks ideal quickness and burst and struggles in coverage due to lacking hips and awareness. Best when he can keep things in front of him, and too often gets turned around in coverage. His tackling ability tends to be less effective when he’s playing in space.