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Giants news, 2/22: Tag terminology, Dexter Lawrence, free agent market, more headlines

New York Giants headlines for Wednesday

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Good morning, New York Giants fans!

Franchise tag explainer: What to know about Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and tag types

The tag game has begun in the NFL. And for the Giants, it’s a game that may determine who is and isn't in their offensive backfield next year.

Jeff Darlington of ESPN reported that if the Giants decide to tag either player “it won’t be until closer to March 7 deadline to allow for time to negotiate with both.” The franchise tag for quarterbacks is $32.416 million, highest value for the tag at any position. The franchise tag for running backs is $10.091 million, second-lowest positional tag.

There are three types of tags for one year contracts and teams can only use one a year:

Exclusive franchise tag: The player would receive the average of the five largest salaries in player contracts for that league year for his position. Players who receive this tag cannot negotiate with other teams.

Non-exclusive franchise tag: The Giants can match any offer; if they allow the player to walk after placing the tag, the Giants would receive two first round draft selections.

Transition tag: any club that designates a transition player shall receive the rights of first refusal. There is no compensation if the player’s original team decides not to match an offer presented to the player by another team.

From a team’s perspective, the tag allows them to keep the player but forces a larger salary cap hit than the team would like. While the $32 million is lower than the $45 million Jones is reportedly seeking, contracts can be structured through signing and other bonuses to make the value of the contract with the yearly salary lower—allowing for more cap space.

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Other Giant observations

Why initial Giants-Daniel Jones contract discrepancy is hardly surprising | New York Post

The Post’s Paul Schwartz weighs in:

Did anyone think Jones would accept the first offer? Did anyone not anticipate Jones’ camp seeking a fortune that most everyone, other than those in Jones’ inner circle, would deem to be excessive? Go low (Giants), shoot high (Jones) and usually, eventually meeting somewhere near the middle is the customary denouement.

The real intrigue comes when other teams get involved and a bidding war develops. The Giants can make sure that never happens, starting Tuesday, the first day NFL teams can apply the franchise or transition tag on players. From now until March 7, the Giants can slap the tag on Jones, keeping him off the open market (teams on March 13 can start negotiating with unrestricted free agents) for the quarterback price of $32.4 million. That means there is a full two weeks before the Giants have any decision to make. If they wish, the sides can get together in person in Indianapolis in late February and the first week in March at the NFL Scouting Combine, often an event where deals get done.

The real problem with Jones contract: There is no middle-tier for quarterbacks these days

Daniel Jones or Saquon Barkley: Who Will Giants Franchise Tag?

The New York Giants have difficult decisions to make regarding quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley.

The PFF 101: Highlighting the top 101 players from the 2022 NFL season | PFF

The PFF top 101 represents the top 101 individual performances this season, regardless of position, and credits the best players of the season that was.


Barkley had a career year this past season and was one of the leading candidates for Comeback Player of the Year. Behind a terrible Giants offensive line, he was able to record more than 1,400 rushing yards and score 12 touchdowns. He broke 41 tackles overall and helped propel the Giants past the Vikings on the road in the playoffs.

NFL franchise tag values, guide: What all 32 teams should do in 2023 |

One of the first big decisions of the offseason is approaching for all 32 teams with the opening of the franchise-tag window on Tuesday.

NFL Players Who Should Have Their Contracts Restructured Before 2023 Free Agency | Bleacher Report

DL Leonard Williams is coming off a solid campaign, one in which he notched 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble while earning a 77.9 PFF grade. While that is a respectable grade, it's not one that the team will want to take on a hefty $32.3 million cap hit for.

Big Blue can cut the 28-year-old, but it would take on $20.2 million of dead money by doing so. Restructuring Williams' deal may be the easiest option, a move that would save $8.4 million and instantly help the Giants build on their surprisingly strong 2022 campaign and divisional-round appearance.

3 Free Agents The New York Giants Should Pursue |

The three players are guard Wes Schweitzer, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and linebacker David Long.

One player who would fit the bill is Wes Schweitzer. He would help stabilize the interior of the Giants’ offensive line which allowed 114 of the 212 pressure on the season.

Smith-Schuster had a nice bounceback with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2022 and is primed to sign a multi-year deal. Excelling on short and intermediate routes, Smith-Schuster is also an elite run blocker, something the Giants ask their wide receivers to do a lot.

For this defense to get to that next level, they need to find an impact linebacker. David Long Jr. of the Tennessee Titans could fill that void. Long fits the bill as an opportunistic pass rusher, garnering 18 pressures on only 47 pass rushes in 2022.

2023 NFL free-agent top-50 rankings: Lamar Jackson atop deep group of QBs | FOX Sports

QB Daniel Jones lands at No. 9, followed by Saquon Barkley at 10. Former Giants on the list include QB Geno Smith (5), CB James Bradberry (8), Dalvin Tomlinson (16), Odell Beckham Jr., (23), and TE Evan Engram (43).

Former Giant expected to join the LA Rams as their special teams coach

What we learned about every NFL team: 32 lessons from the 2022 season | The Athletic

New York Giants (9-7-1): Brian Daboll is a good coach. That’s it. That’s the lesson. Now the Giants just need to figure out the contract futures of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley and continue fortifying Daboll’s roster.

Eagles, 49ers Shine in Football Outsiders Awards | Football Outsiders

FO gives the nod for Coach of the Year to Brian Daboll took.

There were a lot of strong candidates this years, and in the end it may have been decided by preseason expectations. You’ll recall that three FO writers picked the New York Giants to get the first pick in April’s draft, and we were hardly unique in in our pessimism. But first-year coach Brian Daboll took a New York team that had gone 4-13 in 2021 to a 9-7-1 mark in 2022, then added another win in the playoffs against Minnesota. Kyle Shanahan also got a lot of credit for getting San Francisco into the playoffs with a third-stringer at quarterback, while Nick Sirianni guided the Eagles to a 14-1 record in games when Jalen Hurts was healthy.

Giants offseason questions: What’s the succession plan at OC? Was Toney trade a mistake? | The Athletic

All signs point to quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney succeeding Kafka. Tierney, who interviewed for the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator job this offseason, has worked with Daboll since they were at Alabama together in 2017. Tierney followed Daboll to Buffalo for four years before coming to the Giants as QB coach last year.

Ranking the 25 best interior defenders from the 2022 NFL regular season | PFF


There isn’t much that separates Lawrence from Jones among the top two spots, and it doesn’t get much closer than the final grades. Lawrence earned the highest run defense grade (81.9) and pass-rush grade (92.4) at the position in what turned out to be a career year across the board for the former Clemson Tiger, significantly out-performing his previous (strong) season marks.


Williams has been among the most consistent defensive linemen since entering the league in 2015, as he's never posted a sub-70.6 overall grade in a season. Under defensive coordinator Don Martindale, Williams played a higher snap share from inside the tackles (70%) than he has since joining the Giants in 2019. This led to a career-high pass-rush grade (74.8) for the former sixth-overall pick.

Around the league

Evan Engram wants to return to Jags on long-term deal, open to tag |

Cowboys "intrigued" by Ohio State Quarterback C.J. Stroud | ProFootballTalk

Panthers’ Frank Reich leaves the door open for a potential Derek Carr signing |

LeSean McCoy: Eric Bieniemy had nothing to do with Chiefs' pass game | ProFootballTalk

Red McCombs, ex-owner of Vikings, Spurs, Nuggets, dies |

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