We are just eight days away from the New York Giants opening their 2022 NFL season on the road against the Tennessee Titans. Let’s open up the Big Blue View Mailbag and see what questions we can answer.
Gino Phillips asks: What is it that David Sills has going for him? Route running, hands, speed, other? What drives his productivity?
Ed says: Gino, there is nothing special about Sills athletically. What Sills has going for him is that he probably has the best chemistry with Daniel Jones of any receiver on the roster. Sills has trailed Jones around the country the past two or three offseasons working with him to develop that chemistry/communication. Jones knows he can trust Sills to be where he’s supposed to be when he is supposed to be there, and that is important. Quarterback and receiver being able to trust each other is critical, especially in a complicated passing offense. Jones has that trust in Sills.
Tom Vayda asks: What compensation is paid to veteran players like [Darius] Slayton if they went through camp and preseason but don’t make the 53 or practice squad?
What will they have been paid if they are in the final cut? Do they receive any other compensation?
Ed says: Tom, let me just quote for you what Article 23, Section 4 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement says:
A veteran player will receive “per diem” payments, commencing with the first day of Preseason Training Camp and ending on the final day of preseason training camp, as defined in Section 10 of this Article, at the following weekly rates for the respective League Years: $2,000 (2020 League Year), $2,900 (2021–22 League Years), $3,200 (2023–24 League Years), $3,500 (2025–26 League Years), $3,800 (2027–28 League Years), $4,100 (2029-2030 League Years), respectively.
Players also get travel expenses to get to camp and room and board.
Nate Mattison asks: Being from Albany N.Y., I have followed Jarren Williams. It was unfortunate to see him waived, but he has not been able to participate. Do you think he is a practice squad candidate once his settlement restriction is complete?
Ed says: Nate, anything is possible. It is unusual for players waived with injury settlements to return to the team that waived them, but it does happen on occasion. I seem to remember the Giants bringing back Matt LaCosse midseason a few years after he was waived/injured.
Richard Korngut asks: What is the chance that the Giants can bring back Alex Bachman? Especially if Slayton is traded or released? He had a great preseason.
Ed says: Richard, like I said in the answer above, anything is possible. He has not been picked up by anyone. The Giants could have brought him back already and chose instead to add wide receivers C.J. Board and Jaylon Moore to the practice squad — players they obviously think add more value.
Bachman had a nice preseason. Still, he is a fourth-year guy who has never been able to really advance past the practice squad. This is now the third coaching staff that has judged him as not good enough to be part of the roster. I know he’s a fairly popular player, but I’m not sure how much more evidence anyone needs to realize that he’s just not good enough to be more than what we have already seen. He can be a practice squad guy/emergency fill-in. That’s all.
Matt Totaro asks: With roster spots so valuable in the NFL, why hasn’t any team explored having kicker/punter handle dual roles? There are several kickers in the NFL that had done both in college and this seems like the transition wouldn’t be a big leap. Jamie Gillan being one of them that did both in college and again on Sunday when he filled in for Gano.
Ed says: Matt, there are a number of kickers in the league who did both in college. Graham Gano punted in college and has punted in an emergency eight times in the NFL.
The biggest thing is workload. It is a looong season and the demands of doing both would put a tremendous strain on a kicker. They are also very different kicking motions. While Gillan could have handled field goals and kickoffs in the preseason finale the Giants were so worried about workload that they brought in Ryan Santoso.
Reality is that each guy probably hits thousands of kicks during a season, punters even more than field goal kickers. Asking a guy to basically double that, and be NFL quality at both for 17 weeks — and perhaps the playoffs — is a big ask.
Plus, the amount of precision in terms of ball placement these guys are asked for in the modern game would just make it nearly impossible to get the required practice reps.
It can be done in an emergency. And, if Shohei Ohtani can pitch and hit I’m sure someone could do it. It’s not simple, though.
Besides, what happens if a guy is doing both and gets hurt in a game? Then you don’t have a kicker or a punter.
Tom Butler asks: Ed, having been a Giants fan for over 60 years, I have a strong impression that bears on why they have more time lost to injuries than other teams. The strong commitment shown by the organization to the players has its roots in the Mara family’s attitudes and that commitment is very well reflected by Ronnie Barnes just being inducted to the ring of honor. So my question: might this “games lost to injury” statistic reflect a great concern to avoid sending players back in action until they are totally ready? This is a brutal sport where winning is seen as the only measure for most teams, yet the Giants’ culture is special. Might the games-lost statistic reflect that set of attitudes rather than more or worse injuries than on other teams? Your thoughts?
Ed says: Tom, I suppose that if you drilled down through every injury you might an instance or two where that might be a factor. I think, though, that it isn’t a big factor. One thing I don’t think I have ever mentioned in my various injury answers is that the brutal fact is that year after year the Giants have been bad. That means at the end of the season they have been playing meaningless games. What happens at the end of the year when the games are meaningless? Guys who probably could or would play if the games meant something sit out or get placed on IR because the risk isn’t worth the reward of making the playoffs.
Leonard Williams was an exception to this last year, playing through an arm injury the last few games when he really didn’t have to. I do, though, believe that overall the injury numbers can get skewed somewhat by guys not playing the last couple of weeks simply to get an early start on their offseason rehab/recovery.