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Giants news: John Mara "optimistic" about Eli Manning contract extension

New York Giants headlines for Wednesday, 7/29.

Eli Manning
Eli Manning
Steven Ryan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, New York Giants fans! Here is some Big Blue news to start out your day.

John Mara talks Eli's contract, upcoming season

John Mara's thoughts on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul were made public Tuesday. Now, the rest of his remarks to Steve Serby of the New York Post are available. Here is some of what Mara had to say.

Mara said he hopes to have an extension done for quarterback Eli Manning "at some point before the season." He also said he was "optimistic" a deal would happen.

On this being a "win or else" season for the Giants:

I would stand by that statement, but I'm not walking into people's offices threatening them with their jobs if we don't win. But again, people are aware of what our expectations are.

Mara also talked about a multitude of other topics, including Odell Beckham, the health of Victor Cruz and the return of Steve Spagnuolo.

Big Blue needs Landon Collins to become a leader

Coming into the offseason, safety was a known area of need for the Giants. And while New York did add some pieces in the draft and free agency, all of the safeties lack experience. Only the recently signed Jeromy Miles has started a game in the NFL (three to be exact) in six NFL seasons. No other Giants safety has started an NFL game. Enter Landon Collins, the first selection of the second round in this year's NFL Draft. Collins will need to polish his game to limit the inevitable growing pains all rookies encounter.

In the spring, safeties coach Dave Merritt admitted the young safeties did not exactly wow him.

"Very slow leadership as far as making calls,’’ Merritt said.

Collins, though, is confident.

"It is not an issue,’’ he said, "once I get them down.’’

Jake Long works out with Atlanta Falcons

The former first overall draft pick, who received a medical exam and check up with the Giants earlier this year, is headed to Atlanta for another medical exam. Long, a left tackle, has battled serious knee issues throughout the last few years of his career. He is still by all accounts regarded as a talented player, but health concerns have given most NFL franchises pause before signing him. If signed by Atlanta, he could compete for a starting tackle spot and mentor the Falcons' first round pick last year, offensive tackle Jake Matthews.

Around the NFC East

Jeremy Mincey is holding out of training camp looking for a new contract from the Dallas Cowboys. The defensive end tallied six sacks last season.

The Eagles are moving Walter Thurmond III, who spent last season with the Giants as a nickel back, from corner to safety. Thurmond has never played the safety position during his NFL career.

The ruling on the Washington Redskins' name may come down to just one question.

Around the NFL

The NFL has upheld the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry will be back on the field Wednesday, after successfully concluding cancer treatment last month. Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December and missed the final five games of last season.

Jen Welter has become the first woman to serve an NFL coaching position with the Arizona Cardinals.