New York Giants: Darrelle Revis

Our man Adam Schefter reported Sunday night that free-agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who spent Sunday meeting with the Giants, will return to the Giants' facility in East Rutherford, N.J., on Monday to undergo a physical. I take this as a sign that Rodgers-Cromartie and the Giants are making good progress toward an eventual signing.

It doesn't have to mean that, especially since the guy spent Saturday meeting with the Jets and it's only like a half-hour from the Giants' facility to the Jets' facility (depending on which way you go). If he wanted to, Rodgers-Cromartie could hit the Giants with a thanks-but-no-thanks and be in Florham Park in time for a noon news conference. But for the purpose of this particular post, let's operate as though Rodgers-Cromartie is likely to be a Giant and analyze what it would mean.

First of all, I think it would be a good signing for the Giants, who had a rough time locking in their top targets at cornerback last week but could end up benefiting by having to "settle" for a better player later in the market.

Rodgers-Cromartie is tall and fast and extremely talented and three weeks shy of his 28th birthday. He's an exciting player, which isn't necessarily the best thing you can say about a cornerback, but I mean it at least as much in its positive connotation as in its negative. He can be beaten deep and will drive you nuts from time to time when he bites on a double-move. But he's fast and athletic enough to compensate for mistakes, and he's got an ability to make plays on the ball. Eagles fans still justifiably bitter about the way things went in 2011 and 2012 will tell you he can't (or won't) tackle, and they may be right, but that's a nitpick. A cornerback who's doing his job (i.e., covering receivers and breaking up passes) doesn't have to tackle. And by the middle of 2012, the entire Eagles defense had mailed it in and nobody wanted to tackle. Rodgers-Cromartie had a fine year in 2013 with the AFC champion Broncos, who likely would have brought him back if they hadn't been able to upgrade to Aqib Talib. And he's young enough to make you believe he's on the upswing.

This would be the best player the Giants have yet signed in free agency -- a starting outside cornerback along with Prince Amukamara. With Walter Thurmond, who signed Sunday, in the slot and Trumaine McBride and Jayron Hosley on the bench, the Giants would boast a deep cornerback corps and finally be able to keep safety Antrel Rolle from having to play any corner at all, which would make him happy and maximize his value at safety. You could accurately call the secondary the strongest part of the Giants' roster.

I wonder whether the Giants will have to restructure a contract or two (Mathias Kiwanuka and Eli Manning are obvious candidates) to fit Rodgers-Cromartie under the cap. They had about $12 million in cap room at last check without counting the Jon Beason, Thurmond or Quintin Demps deals, so they're getting close to the number and have other needs yet to fill at wide receiver, tight end and on the offensive and defensive lines. (Remember, they don't get the $5 million in cap relief from David Baas' release until June 2. They'll use that to sign their draft picks.)

And from a purely selfish standpoint, the idea of having to type "Amukamara and Rodgers-Cromartie" every time I refer to the Giants' starting cornerback duo sounds like a pain. But I'd do it for you guys, because I know it would make you happy. And that's what I'm here for.

Last week, I wrote that the Giants were playing a risky game by targeting certain specific players and signing them early in free agency rather than letting the market come to them. Surely, Rashad Jennings and J.D. Walton could have been had for less money, and if not then similar players could. In this case, however, if they do end up signing this player, they could benefit from having patience forced on them. I think Rodgers-Cromartie is better than Tracy Porter or Corey Graham, whom they eyeballed early last week. And since they obviously weren't going to make the big-splash play for Talib or Darrelle Revis, he's basically the best they were going to do at this point. Assuming they can afford him and keep him from sneaking down I-80 to Florham Park, this is a move that would make the Giants better.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers let it be known that they were looking to trade cornerback Darrelle Revis, the New York Giants were one of the many, many teams that called to ask what the price would be. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported this Wednesday, and it is true, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The Giants figured the price would be too high, but they called anyway because this is Revis we're talking about and... well, what if the price wasn't too high? Wouldn't that be great?

But it was, as you might expect. Even if the Bucs weren't asking much, Revis would have to redo his contract in order to get a deal done, and he was unwilling to do that. So the conversations ended quickly. Tampa Bay is unlikely to find a trade partner for Revis by 4 p.m. Wednesday, when they owe him a roster bonus, so he'll likely be cut Wednesday afternoon and free for anyone to sign.

We know the Giants have called around on the top cornerbacks, but we also know they balked at Alterraun Verner's price, which turned out to be not so bad. (Verner signed with Tampa Bay for four years and $25.5 million.) This makes me think it's unlikely they pursue Revis as a free agent. They have the money and cap space to do it, but the bidding is likely to get up near the $10 million-per-year mark, and I don't imagine the Giants wanting to play in that neighborhood.

I don't like to write that something won't happen, because you look silly if 95 things change and it actually does. But if you're dreaming of Revis in Giants blue, I'd encourage you to tone down your expectations.

Big Blue Morning: Happy New Year

March, 11, 2014
Mar 11
Yeah, that's right. Free agency begins today at 4 pm ET along with the start of the new NFL league year. That means the New York Giants, who by my count need at least 10 new starters and a whole bunch of depth, are going to get busy figuring out what their 2014 roster is going to look like.

The industry scuttlebutt this morning is the Giants will sign a center quickly, as they did three years ago with David Baas when the market opened. They have decided to release Baas, as you learned Monday, and with nothing behind him on the current roster, center becomes a priority item. The Packers' Evan Dietrich-Smith makes a lot of sense and could be the guy they sign right away, within minutes or hours of the opening of the market. Dietrich-Smith turns 28 in July, and new Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo knows him from their work together in Green Bay. The Giants also have spoken with the agents for Saints free-agent center Brian de la Puente and others.

The Giants also are known to be looking at cornerbacks. They are close to an agreement with Trumaine McBride, who became a starter for them last year after Corey Webster and Aaron Ross got hurt. But they see McBride as a valuable reserve or swing corner who can play inside or outside. They'd prefer not to have to rely on him as a starter on the outside if they can help it. Now, obviously, the biggest name on the cornerback market all of a sudden is Darrelle Revis, who is apparently about to get cut by the Buccaneers. If the Giants want to play in the deep end of the cornerback pool, they would have to at least check on Revis. My guess is that he'll cost more than they want to pay, but they'd be crazy not to look into it. The Giants have about $25 million in salary cap space right now, and while they have a lot of needs, that's enough to enable them to afford anyone.

The Giants also continue to work on a new deal for linebacker Jon Beason, though it seems as if he's interested in finding out what else is out there for him. Remember, because Beason is acting as his own agent, he hasn't yet been able to have the conversations with teams that other agents have had about their players for the past three days. So, assuming everyone's been following the rules, Beason doesn't yet know what his market is. Once he finds out, he could decide the Giants' offer is the best he'll do. But he owes it to himself to find out.

Other than McBride, it seems the only Giants free agents who'll be locked up by 4 pm ET are kicker Josh Brown and possibly running back Peyton Hillis. That means Beason, Justin Tuck, Linval Joseph, Terrell Thomas, Stevie Brown, Hakeem Nicks and all the rest should be on the market when it opens. Of that list, I'd guess Beason and Brown are the most likely to be back, and I wouldn't rule out Tuck just yet. The others are looking for bigger paydays than the Giants are willing to offer right now.

Stay tuned throughout the day, of course. We'll have plenty of coverage, including a live chat with all of our NFL reporters that runs from 2 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET. I'll be popping in and out of there as news warrants, but the chat should be active all day with news from around the league. Stop by at this link right here. Catch up with you later.

Halftime thoughts: Giants 10, Jets 7

December, 24, 2011
The Giants lead the Jets, 10-7, at halftime of Saturday's game. Here are some quick hits from the Giants' side of the action.

TIME TO SALSA: Victor Cruz may have had the biggest play of the Giants season as he turned a quick completion into a 99-yard touchdown that gave the Giants a 10-7 lead. Cruz made Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie miss initially, and then was able to avoid a tackle from Eric Smith, before going the final 40 yards or so for the touchdown.

THE PLAY THAT WASN'T: The Giants appeared to have returned a fumble for a touchdown but the play was overruled on the field and the Jets kept possession. On the play, Antrel Rolle tackled Jeremy Kerley and the ball appeared to pop loose as he was being tackled and Aaron Ross scooped it up and returned it for a touchdown. The play was overturned on the field, with the referee saying his elbow was down, and the Jets retained possession. The Jets ultimately missed a field goal at the end of the half.

THE DECENT CORNER: The Giants have not been afraid to throw at Darrelle Revis. They have thrown at him five times, completing two passes. Hakeem Nicks beat him for a 20-yard catch in the second quarter but Revis broke up a slant in the end zone to force the Giants to kick a field goal. Surprisingly, Devin Thomas had a catch against Revis.

THE 12TH MAN: On the first drive, the Giants stopped a fourth-down play, only to have it nullified as the Giants had 12 men on the field. The Jets went on to score a touchdown on that drive, on a touchdown pass, to take a 7-0 lead at the time. The Giants struggled to get off the field after that play and put themselves in an early hold.

IMPROVEMENT: One week after allowing 8-of-15 third downs against Washington, the Giants have shown vast improvement against the Jets. The Jets are just 2-for-8 on Saturday and have had to punt the ball several times already. It looks like the Giants will end their streak of five straight games of allowing at least 50 percent.

NO RUN GAME: The Giants have not been able to rush the ball at all in the game. Remember, after their best three-game stretch with backups Kevin Boothe and Mitch Petrus in the starting unit, the Giants put center David Baas back into the lineup for this week. The Giants rushed seven times for six yards.

DROPPING THE BALL: The Giants have a very talented group of receivers but they are plagued by drops each week it seems. Nicks and Ramses Barden have already dropped passes in the game, with Nicks dropping a wide-open catch and Barden dropping what would have been close to a 20-yard gain across the middle of the field.