Of course, combing a 24-year-old’s Twitter feed for clues seems like a fruitless endeavor, especially if Beckham does show up to mandatory minicamp on June 13. They might have just been a snapshot of how he felt in the moment — an undoubtedly complex mix of emotions, pressures, thoughts and fears. If he doesn’t show up, though, Mara’s comments about a long-term deal and how Beckham feels about his current situation all of a sudden become quite interesting.
Keeping Beckham in New York for a long time will be expensive in the kind of way that alters a salary cap structure. Currently, the club has about $8 million in space, according to salary cap site Over The Cap. Beckham this year accounts for just $3,311,063 — a number that will rise to $8,459,000 next season on the fifth-year option. His prospective new deal will be worth more than Falcons wideout Julio Jones, whose five-year $71.25 million deal sits atop the receiver market in both guarantee percentage and total guarantees at signing ($35.5 million). Before that is doled out, I wonder if the Giants are waiting for Beckham to become a player they don’t have to wonder about at all from the perspective of a team that wants everyone present and accounted for.
The Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII (the first of their meetings) in what most New York Giants fans would call “the greatest game ever played.” (Although there was another one we’ll get to in a moment.) The Patriots had been the first team in NFL history to go 16-0 in the regular season and figured winning the Super Bowl was a foregone conclusion. Especially with one of their 16 wins having come against the Giants in the regular-season finale.
The Giants were trailing 14-10 with 2:39 left when Eli drove 83 yards for the winning score. The most memorable play was David Tyree’s one-handed catch, when he pinned the ball to his helmet on a 32-yard reception. It was one of those things that looked fake. And when you watch the replay, you wonder how Rodney Harrison wasn’t able to knock it away. Like he was so surprised by the catch, he couldn’t think of anything dirty to do.
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.
Fluker started all 16 games in 2016 before being let go by the Chargers on Tuesday. Los Angeles replaced the fifth-year pro with former Seahawks and Broncos tackle Russell Okung. Fluker will likely play the right side of the offensive line in East Rutherford, either at guard or tackle, while Ereck Flowers mans the left tackle position.
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.
“We have great respect and feel strongly about our support for the good people who work tirelessly and unconditionally to aid the victims of domestic violence and who bring awareness to the issue. We have been partners with My Sisters’ Place (a domestic violence shelter and advocate based in Westchester, New York) for nearly 20 years. The leadership of that organization has provided invaluable insight as we have considered our decisions in this matter. We value and respect their opinion, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”
Last week NFL.com obtained more than 165 pages worth of documents from the King County (Washington) Sheriff’s Office which detail Brown’s 2015 arrest. It includes a signed document in which he admitted to physically, verbally and emotionally abusing his then-wife, Molly Brown. Further documentation obtained by NFL.com details Josh Brown allegedly violating a restraining order, three 911 calls Molly Brown made and the difficulty prosecutors encountered in trying to get her to cooperate with them in their investigation.
Of late, the Giants have discussed Manning being on the “back nine” of his career. That has led to a fairly expedited search for a potential replacement. This is not unforeseen territory, though. The Giants have, through the years, also experimented with developmental prospects like Ryan Nassib and Rhett Bomar. None have been able to stick on the roster for long.
This cannot be welcome news for former second-round pick Geno Smith, who landed with the Giants in a rehabilitative effort to jump start his career. Now, he will need to hope that Big Blue keeps three passers on the roster this year.