Good morning, New York Giants fans! Let's get your Thursday started with a look at the headlines.
Free Agency Updates
The Giants, of course, are not the only NFL team shedding veteran players to help clear salary cap space.
Veterans released so far: Reggie Bush, DeAngelo Williams, Jacoby Jones, AJ Hawk, Mathias Kiwanuka. More to come, too; maybe Haloti Ngata.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 26, 2015
Before you start wishing for the Giants to go after players like Bush or Hawk, remember that money isn't the only reason they suddenly find themselves on the open market. Bush turns 30 in a few days and is coming off one of the two worst seasons of his career. Hawk is 31 with diminishing skills, coming off seasons with Pro Football Focus grades of -14.4 in 2014 and -8.9 in 2013. Players like these may still be useful, but try to look at them for what they are now. Not their reputations, or what they used to be.
Speaking of veteran free agents, we know that Osi Umenyiora wants back into a Giants uniform. Veteran Giants writer Ernie Palladino thinks Umenyiora's declining skills and contentious past with Giants GM Jerry Reese make that unlikely:
Though Umenyiora's pass-rush ability made him one of Reese's on-field favorites, he certainly wasn't one of the GM's favorites off the field. Reese isn't likely to forget any of it. Combining that with his sliding production, Umenyiora would not appear to be even a rotational answer to the Giants' DE deficiencies.
Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports thinks that right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who seems like a logical target for the Giants in free agency, will end up re-signing with the Green Bay Packers.
Ali Marpet Wants To Be A Giant
Ali Marpet, the offensive lineman from Division III Hobart College who is likely to be selected in the middle rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft, told NFL AM on Wednesday that he would "probably choose the New York Giants" if he could pick the NFL team he would like to play for. Marpet grew up in Westchester County as a Giants fan.
Trying To Explain Odell Beckham
I am not sure you can truly explain some of the magical things Odell Beckham did during his rookie season. NFL Draft analyst Matt Waldman tries, though. His post is both an entertaining read about Beckham and a fascinating look into the mind of the author. 'Kudos' to 'Raptor' for bringing this to my attention. ''Rap' offers more thoughts on Waldman's piece here.