Good morning, New York Giants fans! It's Monday, it's Spring -- even though there is a dusting of snow outside my office window -- and Giants' co-owner John Mara created a couple of headlines when he spoke Sunday at the NFL owners meetings. Let's look at those and other Giants-related headlines to get your week started.
Giants got their top targets in free agency
The Giants made a huge, and expensive, splash in free agency when the quickly signed defensive end Olivier Vernon, defensive tackle Damon Harrison, and cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Mata said Sunday those three players were the Giants primary targets.
"We felt like we had to do it," Mara said. "We had the cap room to do it, we had some big holes to fill, and fortunately we had the three top guys, at least according to how we had them rated, at their positions. It's not something you want to do every year, but you have to pick your spots, and this was our spot."
Mara said the three players were "a little more expensive than I thought they would be" but that spending the money was "not a tough decision." Mara also indicated that the Giants are still scouring the market, particularly for help at cornerback, wide receiver, and on the offensive line.
"There are still some players we're looking at, obviously at a lower level in terms of compensation," Mara said. "But I still think we have some holes to fill. I think we'd like to have another offensive lineman somewhere down the line, another corner, another receiver. There are still players we're looking at. We may have to wait until the draft if [the right players] aren't there in free agency."
Rise in concussions last season a concern
Mara admitted to being "startled" by data showing that diagnosed concussions were up 32 percent in the league last season.
"There's no secret that repeated concussions can have a very serious long-term effect [on players]," Mara said. "And I am startled to a certain extent by the rise in concussions this year because we were on a steady downward trend for the last three years, and all of a sudden they spiked up this year, and we're still trying to understand why that is.
"We understand more than we did years ago, but we're still not even close to having the knowledge that we need to have going forward. That's why we're spending millions of dollars in research and trying to understand more about this issue. That's why we have the leading experts, we think, in the country on our health and safety committee. So we have a long way to go on that issue."