New York Giants: Terrell Thomas

We get back out to New York Giants OTAs on Thursday this week, but until then we have to rely on information the team puts out about who looks good in practice and who's playing in what roles. So here's a link to today's Giants.com OTA report, which mentions a few specifics. This one caught my eye:
McClain
4. Jameel McClain is a great wingman for Jon Beason at linebacker. He flashes the same leadership qualities and has a good eye for defensive adjustments, often barking out audibles based on what the offense is showing.

Obviously, it's no surprise that the team's official web site has positive things to say, but part of the reason the Giants signed McClain is that he's a veteran who's played at a high level in a winning organization (Baltimore) and has been a leader on defense in the past. Having lost Justin Tuck and Terrell Thomas, two of the more vocal on-field and off-field leaders their defense had, the Giants wanted to bring in someone who could help get and keep things organized. Antrel Rolle does a good job of that in the secondary, and Beason ran things in the front seven after coming over in the trade with Carolina, but the more help on this front, the better.

The Giants are obviously a roster in tremendous flux, and one of the major questions is the extent to which all of the new pieces will fit together. If McClain can be the kind of player and leader who can help with that, he'll have a value to them beyond what a lot of people may have been expecting when he signed.
You ask, I try to answer. Provided you use the #nygmail hashtag on Twitter, that is.

 
Thanks for all of your questions. I'll be around all weekend if anything happens. Otherwise, enjoy.

On Jon Beason's contract numbers

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
12:55
PM ET
Linebacker Jon Beason's deal with the New York Giants is for three years and up to $19 million, with $7 million guaranteed. If he hits all of his incentives and doesn't get cut, he'll earn $12 million in the first two years.

Beason
That $6 million-plus-per-year is a good bit more than what I thought Beason would end up getting from the Giants. I thought they had him slotted for something like $4 million per year, and to see them exceed that by so much was a bit startling. Karlos Dansby, who just had a monster year as an inside linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals, got $6 million per year from the Cleveland Browns. First glance, it appears Beason took the Giants to the cleaners.

So why spend so much on a position they've effectively ignored since Antonio Pierce retired? Well, there are a couple of reasons the Giants may have stretched for Beason:
  1. They know they like him. Beason fit perfectly into the Giants' defense last year as a guy who could make the calls and get everybody lined up where they needed to be. He got the system and the terminology immediately, and the players responded to the way he delivered it. Bringing in someone else from the outside, the Giants couldn't have been sure that person would slide in as neatly.
  2. They need leadership. Cornerback Terrell Thomas is not in their plans. Defensive end Justin Tuck could be back, but they're not exactly going out of their way to convince him to stay. Safety Antrel Rolle has only one year left on his deal. Along with Beason, these were the strong leaders on the Giants' defense in 2013. Two could be gone this year and three next year. The Giants value locker-room leadership and on-field leadership, and as a result Beason likely had more value to them than an outsider (and better player) like Dansby may have had.
  3. He's only 29, and while he's had injuries in the past, he did stay healthy in 2013. They have reason to believe his best days are not yet behind him.
  4. The guarantee is low. This is the big difference. Dansby got more years (four) and more guaranteed money ($12 million) from Cleveland. The Giants aren't as heavily committed to Beason. So if he disappoints or gets hurt, they're not saddled with some huge contract they can't escape. If he stays healthy and plays out the whole deal, they'd probably argue that it was money well spent.

The Giants made Beason a priority and once other teams expressed interest, I'm sure they ended up offering more than they initially offered. Good for Beason, who acted as his own agent, for getting what looks to be a very nice deal from the Giants, who decided they couldn't live without him.
The second day of free agency offered a little bit of everything for the New York Giants. They reached agreement on a new deal with middle linebacker Jon Beason, which was a good thing. They lost out on wide receiver/kick returner Jacoby Jones, who re-signed with the Ravens. Their Tuesday deal with pass-rusher O'Brien Schofield fell apart when questions surfaced about his knee during his physical. And they signed a young center who hasn't played since 2012 but could well be in line to start for them in 2014.

A variety of activity for a team embarking on a major offseason roster rebuild. Here's a look at where things stand with those and other Giants-related situations as we turn our attention to Day 3:

Tuck
The pass rush: Free-agent defensive end Justin Tuck was in Oakland on Wednesday to visit the Raiders. The Giants offered Tuck a contract prior to the start of free agency, but the offer was not to his liking, and he's out testing the market to see whether someone will pay him something closer to what he thinks he's worth. If that doesn't happen -- or if he can generate enough interest elsewhere to convince the Giants to improve their offer -- there remains a chance Tuck could be back with the Giants. But the sense I get is that Tuck is disappointed that the Giants haven't tried harder to keep him and that he's seriously considering leaving.

Odd as it may sound, the Schofield situation could help Tuck's case. The Giants agreed with Schofield on a two-year, $8 million contract on Tuesday because they viewed him as a pass-rusher. Now that that deal has fallen apart, the Giants have to look elsewhere for pass-rush help, and bringing Tuck back might be more important than they thought it was 24 hours ago. Not that Schofield was ever going to be a one-for-one Tuck replacement, but they're hoping to stock up on overall pass-rush depth, and losing Tuck would push them in the other direction.

Tuck was still meeting with the Raiders late Wednesday night, and it's entirely possible they could convince him to stay out there. The Raiders had a bit of a rough day, as you may have heard, and need to spend money on someone.

Schwartz
The offensive line: The Giants announced the signing of free agent Geoff Schwartz, who is slated to play left guard with Chris Snee at right guard and ... well, someone at center. They also announced the signing of J.D. Walton, who was the Broncos' starting center in 2010 and 2011 before a serious ankle injury knocked him out in early 2012. Walton missed the entire 2013 season while recovering from the injury, but he doesn't turn 27 until later this month and could be an upside play for them at center -- a potential right-away and long-term starter at the position if he's healthy.

However, with David Baas having been cut, there's no way the Giants can stand on Walton as their only option at center. They haven't ruled out the possibility of re-signing Kevin Boothe to play center, and the fact remains that the top centers on the market haven't signed anywhere. So it's possible they could still get into the mix for someone like Evan Dietrich-Smith, Brian De La Puente or Ryan Wendell. Remember, Snee is no sure thing coming off his second hip surgery in as many years, and the Giants need offensive line depth in the worst way. If they ended up with a healthy Snee, a healthy Walton, Schwartz and another top-level center as interior line options for 2014, that would be a nice problem to have.

The Giants also had former Rams guard Shelley Smith in for a visit Wednesday. Smith is regarded as a top run-blocker who struggles in pass protection, but he's young still. Smith is scheduled to visit the Patriots today, so he's no sure thing to sign. Point is, the Giants know their needs on the line are extensive, and they're working to fix them.

Cornerback: The Giants did place an exploratory call to the Buccaneers a few days ago when they put Darrelle Revis on the market. But those talks went nowhere, and the Giants weren't a factor once Revis was cut Wednesday. He signed with the Patriots almost immediately, as though that had been the plan all along.

The Giants continue to look for a cornerback to go with Prince Amukamara and Trumaine McBride, and they had Tracy Porter in for a visit Wednesday. Porter left the building without a deal, but that doesn't mean he won't sign. Several other cornerback options remain available on the market, and it's possible the Giants could find one in the first or second round of the draft.

Jilted by Jacoby: The Giants wanted Jones. They saw him as a game-changer as a return man, and they desperately want to upgrade their return units in 2014. But they also saw Jones as someone who could help as a wide receiver -- something that, say, Devin Hester doesn't offer. So while they could go out and get someone like Hester for returns, they have been hoping their answer for the return game could also contribute something else. I haven't heard what Plan B is on this. Maybe someone like Ted Ginn Jr. We shall see. They'll still need a wide receiver to replace Hakeem Nicks, unless they think Rueben Randle can elevate himself to that level in time for 2014.

Assorted tidbits: Cornerback Terrell Thomas was also scheduled to visit the Raiders. Thomas has not received any contract offer from the Giants, who seem content to let him walk. ... Linebacker Keith Rivers signed a two-year, $5 million deal with the Buffalo Bills. ... The Giants re-signed Curtis Painter, who was Eli Manning's backup quarterback in 2013. Training camp will tell whether Ryan Nassib is ready to beat him out or will have to spend another year as the No. 3 quarterback. ... In answer to many of your Twitter questions, I'm hearing nothing about the Giants and tight ends. No tight ends have signed yet, though.

Updating Giants free agents

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
8:50
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A list of the New York Giants' free agents and where things stand with them at the end of the second day of free agency:

LB Jon Beason: Agreed to a new contract with the Giants.

G/C Kevin Boothe: Remains unsigned, possible to return.

RB Andre Brown: Unsigned. Visited Oakland Raiders. Unlikely to return due to Rashad Jennings signing.

K Josh Brown: Re-signed with Giants for two years, $2.5 million.

S Stevie Brown: Re-signed with Giants for one year, $3 million.

RB Peyton Hillis: Re-signed with the Giants for two years, $1.8 million.

DT Linval Joseph: Signed with Minnesota Vikings for five years, $31.25 million

CB Trumaine McBride: Re-signed with Giants for two years, $3.1 million

S Ryan Mundy: Signed with the Chicago Bears for two years.

WR Louis Murphy: Unsigned. Unlikely to return.

TE Brandon Myers: Signed with Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two years, $4.25 million

WR Hakeem Nicks: Unsigned. Has drawn little interest on market so far. Unlikely to return.

QB Curtis Painter: Re-signed with Giants as backup quarterback.

TE Bear Pascoe: Unsigned.

DT Mike Patterson: Unsigned. Giants have some interest in bringing him back.

LB Keith Rivers: Signed with Buffalo Bills for two years, $5 million.

DT Shaun Rogers: Unsigned. Unlikely to be back. Could retire.

CB Aaron Ross: Unsigned. Unlikely to be back.

CB Terrell Thomas: Unsigned. Has not been offered a contract by the Giants. Visited Oakland Raiders. Unlikely to be back.

DE Justin Tuck: Unsigned. Also visited Raiders. Could return, but not satisfied with what the Giants have offered.
Linebacker Jon Beason got a lot of credit for his role in the New York Giants' in-season defensive turnaround in 2013. But on Wednesday, he got something even better than credit -- he got a new contract. The Giants and Beason have agreed on a deal that will keep the free-agent linebacker with the team. And while it's a bit out of character for the Giants to make linebacker a priority, this was an important move for them to make.

Beason
First of all, the extent to which the Giants have overlooked the linebacker position in recent years has been a detriment, and they've ignored the extent to which it's hurt them. It's fine to prioritize the pass rush and the secondary in this day and age, but to leave linebacker as barren as it was prior to the Beason trade last year is pure negligence. I'm sure every Giants fan can recall games in 2010, 2011 and 2012 where a familiar division opponent like the Eagles picked them apart over the middle with short stuff. It's how Tony Romo and the Cowboys took them apart in Week 1 in Dallas just this past year.

Beason's arrival in exchange for the low, low price of a seventh-round draft pick at the end of September changed things. Not only did he play well, showing surprising sideline-to-sideline speed and energy for a guy who'd had leg injuries and tumbled down the Panthers' depth chart, but he also eagerly and effectively assumed the role of defensive leader. The Giants instantly installed him as the middle linebacker and gave him the responsibility for relaying the defensive calls on the field. They needed someone in the middle of the field who could get and keep everyone organized, and Beason offered that to an extentDan Connor and Mark Herzlich could not. The players believed in him and respected him, and the way he played and led justified it.

So you can argue that Beason's performance is what convinced the Giants to finally spend for a linebacker for a change. I don't know what they spent yet. I know they thought they could sign him for something in the $3 million or $4 million per year range. I know there were other teams interested, and Beason was holding that over the Giants' heads in negotiations as recently as Wednesday morning, so it's possible they ended up spending a bit more than they projected. But I'm sure it's not a contract that will break the bank, given where the market is for inside linebackers league-wide. And considering they're surely losing Terrell Thomas and possibly defensive co-captain Justin Tuck from the leadership ranks of that defense -- and defensive co-captain Antrel Rolle is only signed for one more year -- Beason has value to the Giants that goes beyond any stats he might put in the box score.
The New York Giants have reached an agreement with cornerback Trumaine McBride on a two-year, $3.1 million deal, per ESPN and media reports.

McBride
It's a nice re-signing for the Giants. After a year out of the league in 2012, McBride joined the Giants in 2013 and found himself a starting cornerback following injuries to Corey Webster and Aaron Ross, and he played much better than expected. He was likely to draw interest from other teams had he hit the open market at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, so if he's a guy the Giants liked, good for them for keeping that from happening. If nothing else, he's an insurance policy in case they get shut out in their pursuit of a top free-agent cornerback or can't find one early in the draft.

But signing McBride should not deter the Giants from those pursuits. They have expressed interest in several of the top cornerbacks on the market, and they would be much better off in the secondary if they could land someone like Alterraun Verner or Captain Munnerlyn or one of the many cornerbacks hitting the market Tuesday afternoon. That would enable them to use McBride as the nickel corner or as a reliable backup to their inside and outside starters. That's the ideal role for a guy like McBride. The Giants used him as a starter in 2013 and know they can do it again in a pinch, but their preference would be to get a premier guy who pushes McBride down the depth chart a bit, strengthening them overall at this important position.

It appears as though veteran Terrell Thomas, who served as the Giants' nickel corner in 2013, will hit the open market. 2012 third-round pick Jayron Hosley is still looked at as a guy who can play the nickel, but injuries have hampered his development.

Big Blue Morning: Happy New Year

March, 11, 2014
Mar 11
9:30
AM ET
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.

Top free-agent roundup: NFC East

March, 10, 2014
Mar 10
10:00
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Here are the top 15 free agents, followed by their rankings, entering Tuesday's signing period as compiled by NFC East reporters Dan Graziano, Todd Archer, Phil Sheridan and John Keim. There are some strong options at the top, but there is not a lot of depth in the NFC East when it comes to free agency. And if Dallas' DeMarcus Ware gets released, he vaults to a top spot on this list. As always, ESPN's free-agent tracker will keep you updated during this period.

1. LB Brian Orakpo, 8.5: The Redskins used the franchise tag on him, so barring a surprise, he’ll be back. It’s a controversial move among fans, but the Redskins need his pass rush and promise to unleash him more often. His career best for a single season is 11 sacks.

2. DT Linval Joseph, 8: A very big, strong and young (25) interior run-stuffer who has also shown the ability to create pressure from the interior, Joseph could be available because of the Giants’ depth at defensive tackle and their many needs.

3. DT Jason Hatcher, 8: He is coming off an 11-sack season, but he turns 32 in July and Dallas doesn’t have much cap space.

4. LB Jon Beason, 7: The Giants are working hard to sign him before free agency opens, as his leadership and high-energy play at middle linebacker helped transform their defense during the 2013 season.

Nicks
5. WR Hakeem Nicks, 7: This grade is based on talent and past accomplishments, and a feeling that he was being overly careful in 2013 in order to hit free agency healthy. Lacks his early career speed, but knows how to play the position as well as anyone.

6. WR Jason Avant, 7: For a team in need of a third-down possession guy, the sure-handed Avant will be a great value.

7. P Donnie Jones, 7: The Eagles are expected to re-sign Jones, who was an underrated contributor to their NFC East title team.

8. DE Anthony Spencer, 6: He is coming back from microfracture surgery, so the cost won’t be high.

9. LB Perry Riley, 6: The Redskins need to re-sign him because they already have a hole at inside linebacker after London Fletcher retired. But they won’t break the bank for Riley, who needs to improve in coverage.

10. DE Justin Tuck, 6: Coming off an 11-sack season that came out of nowhere after two down years, Tuck turns 31 later this month but is a locker-room leader and a 4-3 defensive end who can set the edge against the run.

Vick
Vick
11. QB Michael Vick, 6: With Nick Foles' ascension, Vick is looking for a chance to start elsewhere.

12. RB Andre Brown, 5: He played very well in his first few games back off a broken leg, but faded down the stretch and fumbled too much in the final few games. He is likely not a guy who can be relied on as a starter, but potentially a valuable piece.

13. TE Brandon Myers, 5: A huge disappointment in New York after catching 79 passes as a Raider in 2012, Myers also contributed little as a blocker. The Giants are likely to let him go. He could fit better with a different system.

14. CB Terrell Thomas, 5: He played all 16 games after missing the previous two seasons because of ACL tears in the same knee. Thomas believes he can hold up as a starter off a real offseason, and would like to cash in.

15. S Danny McCray, 5: He is a core special teamer only, so the Cowboys could find value here.

Free-agency primer: Giants

March, 7, 2014
Mar 7
11:00
AM ET
» AFC Free-Agency Primer: East | West | North | South » NFC: East | West | North | South

Key free agents: DT Linval Joseph, LB Jon Beason, WR Hakeem Nicks, DE Justin Tuck, RB Andre Brown, TE Brandon Myers, CB Terrell Thomas, CB Trumaine McBride

Where they stand: The Giants have 23 unrestricted free agents and a crying need to rebuild an offense that bottomed out around quarterback Eli Manning in 2013. They need to find a wide receiver, a running back, a tight end and at least two starting offensive linemen. New offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is likely to have some input in the kinds of players they pursue in free agency because he's installing a relatively new offense in New York for the first time in 10 years. They will also need to plug holes on defense if they don't re-sign Beason, Tuck or Joseph. And they could use an upgrade over McBride at cornerback.

What to expect: The Giants are trying to lock up Beason in advance of free agency but haven't yet. Once the market opens Tuesday, expect them to be aggressive in their pursuit of interior offensive linemen. If they find an upgrade at center, they can gain significant cap room by designating David Baas a June 1 cut. But they will go after at least one free-agent guard (Geoff Schwartz, Jon Asamoah, guys like that) and possibly more. Improving the protection of Manning is a primary goal for the Giants this offseason. Beefing up the interior of the line would also help them re-establish the run game. As they pursue wide receivers, keep an eye on players like Dexter McCluster and Golden Tate, who could help the Giants' weak return units.

Combine watch: CB Justin Gilbert

February, 20, 2014
Feb 20
10:00
AM ET
With the NFL scouting combine set to begin this week, we're taking a look at a handful of prospects the New York Giants might consider with the No. 12 pick in the first round. After profiling offensive players in each of our first four installments, today we finally look at a defensive player.

Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Why they'd take him: The Giants desperately need to improve on offense this offseason, but that doesn't mean they can ignore the defense completely. They appear to be done with Corey Webster, and while Trumaine McBride played well last year, he didn't necessarily solidify himself as the long-term starter opposite Prince Amukamara. 2012 third-rounder Jayron Hosley hasn't developed much, and starting a pair of young first-round picks at cornerback isn't a bad-sounding idea in today's pass-happy NFL. Amukamara looks like a solid player, but he's not a dominant, shut-down type of corner. Strong play on the opposite side of the field would only help him.

Where he ranks: Our pre-draft rankings have Gilbert as the No. 12 overall player and the No. 1 cornerback. Mel Kiper's latest mock draft Insider has him going No. 10 to the Lions. Todd McShay's latest mock draft Insider has him going No. 21 to the Packers.

Something positive (via ESPN's scouting report): "Excellent height and weight combination (6-0 1/4, 199 lbs) and appears to have long arms for the position."

Something negative: "Will relax on occasion and can lose leverage as a result. Will gamble jumping routes which can make him vulnerable to double moves at times."

History: The last time the Giants took a cornerback in the first round was 2011, when they took Nebraska's Amukamara with the No. 19 pick. They took Aaron Ross in the first round in 2007 and Terrell Thomas in the second round a year later.

Big Blue Morning: Terrell Thomas

February, 12, 2014
Feb 12
8:30
AM ET

I spoke with Terrell Thomas on Tuesday night. We have been working on a project for later in the week about Michael Sam, the NFL draft prospect who came out as gay Sunday, and I reached out to Thomas because I know him to be a thoughtful guy who might have something interesting to say on the topic. He had a lot to say, most of it about his belief that Sam could have a tough time in NFL locker rooms because of his announcement.

"I think society is ready for it and America's ready for it, but I don't think the NFL is," Thomas said. "As a player, all you want to know is if he can play. That's on the field. But in the locker room, it's different. There's a lot of talk and joking around, and some guys walk around completely naked all the time, and they might not want to do that anymore. When you add that situation to the mix, I think it's going to make some people uncomfortable."

Thomas
I was kind of surprised by Thomas' take, and told him as much, but he stood by it. My own experience in NFL locker rooms and around NFL players has led me to believe they're more tolerant than many people give them credit for being, and Thomas is the kind of guy who generally helps support that belief in my mind. But he's genuinely conflicted on this, and I believe he was speaking analytically about the locker room culture as he sees it -- not speaking in a manner angry or hurtful toward Sam specifically. That doesn't mean I agree with his take, but it's worth hearing his reasoning because, as I said, he's thought it through. I even asked him why he thought Sam's University of Missouri teammates accepted him so openly but an NFL team would not.

"That's the hardest question. If a bunch of 18-year-olds can accept him, why can’t a bunch of grown men?" Thomas said. "I just think it's different when you put him in an NFL locker room with a bunch of grown men the way we are around each other, and with people who don't already know him. Their locker room accepted him, but at the same time, their locker room knew him before he came out. If he would have said it after his second year in the league, things might be different. But to come in as a rookie who nobody knows and have this be the big story, that could make it tough for some people to handle. It's going to put people on edge. Not necessarily make everybody uncomfortable, but maybe guys just might not know how to act."

Disappointing if true, but I'm not going to be one of those who jumps on Thomas' case for his opinion. It's his, and he has the right to it, and this is a discussion that's just beginning and isn't always going to go the way people want it to go. I appreciate Thomas' time and his openness.

On a Giants-related note, Thomas is an unrestricted free agent and says he has not had any contact yet with the team. He expects his agent to talk to the Giants prior to the March 11 start of free agency, but he doesn't expect to sign prior to hitting the open market.

"I know my agent will talk to them, and if they come back with something that's extremely favorable, I'd sign it," Thomas said. "But more than likely, I'm going to hit the market. I feel I owe it to myself, and I think the Giants understand that and would agree."

Thomas played a full season in 2013 after missing the 2011 and 2012 seasons following two separate ACL surgeries on his right knee. He's had three of those in total, and they have delayed his free-agent payday. I'm not sure what the market will be for Thomas given his health concerns, but he says he's enjoying his first real, non-rehab offseason in a long time and is eager to find out. It's possible he could be back with the Giants in 2014, but as of now they appear to be focused on other of their own free agents, including linebacker Jon Beason, safety Stevie Brown and running back Andre Brown.
Wondering how much money the New York Giants have coming off the books in the 2014 offseason? Lots. Many of these guys will have to be replaced, obviously, with new guys who cost money. But the Giants have a long list of 25 free-agent-eligible players this offseason. This is that list, sorted by 2013 cap numbers:
* - Restricted free agent
Good morning and welcome to Week 2 of the New York Giants' offseason. Here's a look at some of the things we'll be monitoring this week:

The Giants are on the hunt for a new offensive coordinator following the resignation last week of Kevin Gilbride, but they also could be looking for a new defensive coordinator. Perry Fewell is interviewing Monday for the vacant head coaching position of the Washington Redskins. The Redskins are casting a wide net and looking at a lot of current NFL assistants, but I'd caution against assuming that Fewell is a Rooney-Rule token interview candidate. He's well regarded and well liked, and his defense performed very well against two different Redskins quarterbacks in 2013. Also, Fewell's been through that wringer before and likely wouldn't be bothered if he weren't convinced he was being taken seriously. I still think it's going to be tough for defensive coaches on the current market (Lovie Smith to Tampa notwithstanding), given the emphasis on offense and the 2013 success of fresh-offensive-idea rookie coaches like Chip Kelly in Philadelphia and Mike McCoy in San Diego. And anyone who's going to hire Fewell as a head coach is going to want to know (and be impressed with) his choice for offensive coordinator ahead of time. But there's no reason to think Fewell, who has a bit of head coaching experience from his time in Buffalo, isn't a real candidate in Washington. Could leave Tom Coughlin searching for two new top lieutenants.

At the end of last week, word around the Giants was that we shouldn't assume Gilbride would end up being the only coach to leave. Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn would seem to be in at least some trouble, given the way his unit performed this year. Coughlin has expressed support for his staff, but that didn't save Gilbride, and this week should offer a better sense of what other coaches may end up needing to be replaced.

While focus is on the coaching staff right now, the Giants can negotiate with their own free agents in advance of the start of the new league year. Part of the point of the organizational meetings they're having is to decide how to proceed with those free agents -- set priorities and desired prices, etc. My sense is that wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, defensive tackle Linval Joseph and cornerback Terrell Thomas will want to test the open market while Justin Tuck likely just wants a deal that keeps him in New York. But we should have a better idea about those situations within the coming weeks as well.

Twitter mailbag: Will Tuck return?

December, 28, 2013
12/28/13
10:00
AM ET
 

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