In signing Fluker, the Giants address their most pressing need this offseason: building up the offensive line. In 2016, New York struggled mightily in the running game and often failed to protect Eli Manning.
The addition of Brandon Marshall to an already-stacked receiving corps was a flashy move, but it didn’t make New York’s offense any more dangerous heading into 2017. By securing a veteran, if flawed offensive lineman and former first-round pick, the Giants stand a moderately better chance of developing a balanced offense and making a legitimate run at Lombardi.
Cruz caught four passes for 25 yards and a touchdown in that Super Bowl XLVI win, and had a monstrous, 10-catch, 142-yard performance against the 49ers in the NFC Championship game two weeks prior.
The 30-year-old veteran made an unexpected comeback in 2016 after missing 28 games over the previous two years thanks to a torn patellar tendon and calf injury in back to back years. Normally a death sentence for a speed-oriented wide receiver, Cruz found a way to contribute this season, catching 39 balls for 586 yards and a touchdown.
He was just hitting his stride, recording 5.5 sacks over a two-game span to close out November, when he went down with a season-ending core-muscle injury that required surgery.
Without the benefit of a bidding war, Pierre-Paul is unlikely to match the $17 million annual figure that teammate Olivier Vernon landed from the G-Men last March.
The Giants have Paul Perkins, Orleans Darkwa and wholesale jerseys and Shaun Draughn on the roster along with passing-down specialist Shane Vereen. Peterson isn’t a natural fit for a New York offense that uses plenty of shotgun and employed three-receiver sets on more than 90 percent of their plays last season.
McAdoo could shift his attack to accommodate any player he wants, but a better fit might be the Lions. Detroit could use an early down thumper and general manager Bob Quinn didn’t exactly dismiss the idea of kicking the tires on Peterson.
The Lions had the chance to clinch a division title on Sunday and even though that didn’t happen, they did show that they aren’t afraid to let quarterback Matthew Stafford rip with the injury to his middle finger. Stafford attempted 39 passes and logged 273 yards (zero touchdowns and a late interception). It wasn’t a stellar performance but, more importantly, he did not appear limited significantly. Detroit (9-5) now heads to Dallas for a stellar Monday Night Football matchup that could paint the complete divisional picture a week from now.
We can fool ourselves into thinking it doesn’t happen, but there are players who check out at this time of year and start making vacation plans. I don’t think any of us could blame them. And then there are moments like the second quarter of Sunday’s Giants-Lions game where Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie chases down a wide open Golden Tate and saves a touchdown. On the following play, the Giants forced a fumble and got the ball back. This game was full of smart, passionate football. Giants special teams ace Dwayne Harris comes to mind after hustling down field to block a Lions gunner from pinning the Giants too deep. Also, we think of Lions receiver and return man Andre Roberts, who had the wherewithal to place his foot out of bounds and grab the second half kickoff, resulting in a kick out of bounds instead of a bungled return that would have forced the Lions inside their own 20. That is high-level thinking at a fast pace in the middle of your biggest game of the season.
Brown was placed on the Reserve/Commissioner Exempt List on Friday while the NFL looks into new information in the documents released last week. Brown did not travel with the Giants to their Week 7 game in London.
NFL Network Ian Rapoport said Brown may enter into a player contract with a new team but upon doing so the kicker will revert to the Commissioner’s Exempt List pending resolution of his matter under the personal conduct policy. While on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, Brown would not be able to practice or attend games.