New York Giants: Riley Cooper

With projections for the 2014 salary cap continuing to rise into the low $130 millions, we have discussed the ways in which the perennially cap-strapped New York Giants could benefit. According to this chart Kevin Seifert put together, the Giants currently project to have $18,288,183 in cap space if the cap comes in at $132 million when it's announced next week. That puts them right in the middle of the NFL pack, and third in the NFC East. Here's a look at where the division's other teams stand in the current projections. You'll note that the Dallas Cowboys appear to be in massive trouble.

Washington Redskins: $28,684,986. After two straight offseasons in which they were penalized $18 million worth of cap room for their spending behavior during the uncapped 2010 season, the Redskins are ready to get to work rebuilding their secondary. They also need money to re-sign pass-rusher Brian Orakpo.

Philadelphia Eagles: $25,674,804. The Eagles always manage the cap well, and they're already at work locking up their current players on long-term deals to maintain flexibility and continuity. Left tackle Jason Peters got his deal Wednesday, and it sounds as though center Jason Kelce and wide receiver Riley Cooper are next in line. If they spend in free agency, it likely will be on defense, where they could use some fresh pieces.

Dallas Cowboys: -$18,920,690. Yeah, that's a minus-sign there. The Cowboys are nearly $19 million over the projected cap at this point, which means they probably can't retain free agent defensive linemen Jason Hatcher and Anthony Spencer and have some other tough choices to make. They have already made some noise about possibly having to cut DeMarcus Ware, which sounds crazy but would wipe out a huge chunk of the debt.
Your daily morning check-in on news and notes about and of interest to the New York Giants:

The news of the day: There was a time when you had to wonder whether Antrel Rolle would last in New York, as his relationship with Tom Coughlin had some rocky times early. That Rolle was voted one of five team captains Thursday, Coughlin said, speaks volumes about what he's come to mean to the Giants as a player and one of their defensive leaders. Rolle's an interesting guy, sometimes prone to saying over-the-top and kind-of-silly things on his radio appearances or in group media interviews. But he's got that kind of easy confidence about him that rings genuine to teammates. He's shown versatility and a willingness to move in and out of different roles as the team has required. And when he talks, teammates listen. My sense is he drew a good bit from veteran Deon Grant when Grant was with the team in 2010 and 2011. Grant was the kind of guy who wasn't scared to say what was on his mind when he felt something needed to be said, and he was the kind of guy teammates took seriously.

Behind enemy lines: Sounds like a broken record, but the fact is the Dallas Cowboys just keep getting thinner on the defensive front. With starting defensive tackle Jay Ratliff already out and starting defensive end Anthony Spencer's chances of playing looking slimmer by the missed practice, reserve defensive tackle Ben Bass got hurt in practice Thursday. That could leave the Cowboys with only three defensive tackles, total, for the game. At a position where rotating players is vital, that's not enough. The Giants would do well to consider running the ball up the middle and wear down the few defensive tackles the Cowboys have.

Around the division: If you were wondering when Riley Cooper was going to get into a fight with a teammate in practice, the answer turned out to be Sept. 5. Cooper, who made headlines last month when he was caught on tape using an angry racial slur, scuffled with known hothead cornerback Cary Williams. Cooper says it was nothing, but to me it says more that Williams didn't want to talk about it. I think the Eagles are going to be a mess, but I thought that before this happened.

Around the league: Eli Manning's big brother threw for 462 yards and a league-record-tying seven touchdown passes Thursday night in the NFL's season opener against the team that had the No. 17 pass defense in the league last year and won the Super Bowl. The Giants had the No. 28 pass defense in the league last year and did not qualify for the playoffs. Peyton Manning and the Broncos will be at MetLife Stadium nine days from now to face the Giants. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

Giants react to Cooper's racial slur

August, 1, 2013
8/01/13
6:52
PM ET


The Giants reacted to Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper's recent use of a racial slur and his subsequent apology.

“It’s a really unfortunate situation,” Giants cornerback Aaron Ross said Thursday. “I think that word is kind of taken out of society these days. It’s one of those words you don’t want to use. That’s pretty much the Eagles’ problem that they have to deal with. But it’s really unfortunate it came out.

“We don’t have that problem over here. And hopefully we’ll never have that problem.”

Giants defensive end Adrian Tracy said he could see Riley’s words adding fuel to the Eagles wide receiver’s opponents.

“I love the nature of football because I feel like all your aggression, no matter what your emotions are, you can get out in a positive manner and not be arrested for it. You may be fined, but you won’t get arrested for it,” Tracy said. “People play with anger all the time and this is an outlet for us to do so, so if people are angry and within the confines of the rules express their anger, I don’t think he’s going to be the only player, I’m sure there’s little lists that everybody has.”

Tracy added: “Nobody is perfect, everybody has done something that others feel offended by. For you to hold a grudge or feel strongly toward a person for a mistake they made is not only going to set yourself backwards but the whole team chemistry.”

Said Giants punter Steve Weatherford: “It’s obviously a black eye for him and a black eye for that franchise. It’s disappointing for him because we’re role models at this point in our career and we have a pedestal to inspire and motivate. So that was unfortunate.”

Said Eagles running back LeSean McCoy: “I forgive him. We’ve been friends for a long time. But in a situation like this, you really find out about someone. Just on a friendship level, I can’t really respect someone like that.”

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