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Olivier Vernon

May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker draft pick Oshane Ximines (53) looks on during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)
May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker draft pick Oshane Ximines (53) looks on during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)

The Giants have agreed to terms on a rookie deal with third-round draft choice OLB Oshane Ximines, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed on Sunday. 

New York was expected to be pass-rush heavy this offseason, knowing they needed a big upgrade at that position. However, Ximines was their only draft choice to bolster the defensive line. 

During his time at Old Dominion, a smaller Division I school, Ximines put together some pretty impressive numbers. He had 32.5 career sacks and 176 total tackles with four fumble recoveries and one interception as well. In his senior year last season, he strung together 11.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss with 58 tackles and two passes defended. 

Tags: Lorenzo Carter, Olivier Vernon
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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Eli Manning during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Eli Manning during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Giants GM Dave Gettleman believes his culture overhaul of the Giants' locker room will result in more wins. Coach Pat Shurmur believes Eli Manning has just enough left in his right arm to make his team a contender. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher believes he can piece together enough of a pass rush to help the Giants make a run, too.

They are, if nothing else, dreamers. They believe in the potential of their team. But are they realistic or are they delusional about the roster they've created?

Here's a way-too-early look at how the Giants' 2019 season just might go…

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants let a lot of big-name, big-talent players go this offseason. In fact, Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins and Olivier Vernon were easily three of the most important players the Giants had.

How will they survive without them? The answer to that will be provided by the performances of several key players this season.

So here's a look at the Giants' 10 most important players for 2019:

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Landon Collins, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins answers questions from media during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins answers questions from media during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Giants' offseason has been eventful to say the least. 

Landon Collins was allowed to walk into free agency, and is now circling his calendar twice for the next six years with the Redskins for his revenge tour. Odell Beckham Jr. is now a Brown in what was the most surprising trade of the year. And Olivier Vernon joined him in a not-so-surprising trade to Cleveland.

All of this came after GM Dave Gettleman traded Eli Apple and Damon "Snacks" Harrison to the Saints and Lions respectively before the trade deadline last season. There is one Giant, though, that survived through the roster carnage. 

Tags: Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon
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Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coaches against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coaches against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The top of the first round was shaping up like a dream for James Bettcher. As the sixth overall pick got closer and closer, there were still a couple of prized, elite defensive players on the board.

And yes, the Giants defensive coordinator wanted them. He had his eyes on Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Those two have Pro Bowl potential, according to many scouts. They could've changed the makeup of the Giants' defense.

What defensive coordinator wouldn't have wanted one of them instead of Duke quarterback Daniel Jones?

Tags: Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coaches against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coaches against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The top of the first round was shaping up like a dream for James Bettcher. As the sixth overall pick got closer and closer, there were still a couple of prized, elite defensive players on the board.

And yes, the Giants defensive coordinator wanted them. He had his eyes on Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Those two have Pro Bowl potential, according to many scouts. They could've changed the makeup of the Giants' defense.

What defensive coordinator wouldn't have wanted one of them instead of Duke quarterback Daniel Jones?

Tags: Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker draft pick Oshane Ximines (53) looks on during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)
May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker draft pick Oshane Ximines (53) looks on during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)

Coming into the 2019 NFL Draft, the Giants needed to address their pass rush. Ranking 30th in the league last year just doesn't cut it, and with Olivier Vernon -- the team's best option off the edge -- traded to the Browns this offseason, it became that much more of a priority. 

And when Josh Allen, arguably the best edge rusher in the Draft, fell to the Giants at No. 6, it seemed liker a no-brainer. But GM Dave Gettleman wanted his quarterback of the future in Daniel Jones, and made their pick. Montez Sweat was also on the board at No. 16, but Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence heard his name called instead. 

It wasn't until the third round that the Giants got their edge rusher in Oshane Ximines, the first player to ever be drafted out of Old Dominion. He may be from a small school, but he totaled 32.5 sacks over his four-year career with the Monarchs. 

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: NASHVILLE- Dave Gettleman can be hard to decipher sometimes, but history suggests he's not a very good liar. He tells it like it is, even if his plan isn't always crystal clear at that moment.

So when he said it was his "dream" to find a successor to Eli Manning and glowed about the "Kansas City model" of having a young quarterback to sit behind a veteran for a year, I believed him. I also believed him when he insisted he wouldn't "force" a pick or "reach" for a quarterback. And I believed him when he glowed about the defensive players at the top of the draft, and how he thought one of them would absolutely be there for the Giants at 6.

And when he was asked about the possibility of trading up, I took "no guts, no glory" as a sign that he'd be willing to do that for the right player.

Tags: Eli Manning, Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) celebrates after sacking Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley (9) during the first half in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) celebrates after sacking Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley (9) during the first half in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE - Josh Allen, the best edge-rusher available in this year's NFL draft, thinks it would be "crazy" if he ended up playing NFL football not far from where he grew up in Montclair, N.J.

It would be even crazier if he ended up playing for the Giants and not the Jets.

Tags: Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Cleveland Browns offensive guard Kevin Zeitler blocks Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Channing Ward during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Browns offensive guard Kevin Zeitler blocks Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Channing Ward during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur is excited to work with the Giants' offseason acquisitions, from safety Jabrill Peppers to wide receiver Golden Tate, but the one that stands out to him is offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler.

"When you add a solid, veteran player that's established himself and he's consistent and tough and has all the attributes you're looking for in an offensive lineman to add to that crew, we got better," Shurmur said, according to the New York Post's Paul Schwartz.

While they were announced as separate deals, Zeitler's trade -- when the Giants dealt pass rusher Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns -- went into the NFL transaction log combined with the blockbuster Odell Beckham Jr. deal given both trades were agreed to before the new league year began.

Tags: Chad Wheeler, Cleveland Browns, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Jamon Brown, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Will Hernandez
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New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Dave Gettleman was absolutely right when he lamented the fact we're living in an "instant gratification world" during his conference call on Monday. There's a rush to judge everything, a demand for an immediate payoff. Everyone wants to be first with a knee-jerk reaction or a juvenile social media take.

And so it was with the Giants' trade of Odell Beckham Jr. and, really, their entire offseason. Gettleman didn't get nearly enough for his star, some screamed. He has no plan, yelled others. Tweet by tweet, it was clear the world of keyboard warriors believed he didn't have a clue.

Tags: B.J. Hill, Cleveland Browns, Dalvin Tomlinson, Eli Apple, Evan Engram, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 9, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates his touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars with offensive tackle Nate Solder (76) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. The touchdown was the first of his NFL career. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 9, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates his touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars with offensive tackle Nate Solder (76) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. The touchdown was the first of his NFL career. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Giants were 5-11 last year and missed the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons, and now the consensus seems to be that things will only get worse. There's little hope outside the Meadowlands after GM Dave Gettleman tossed Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins and Olivier Vernon away.

Yet Gettleman still thinks he can build a winner this season. Even new receiver Golden Tate insisted "I don't think we're as far off as people may think." Pat Shurmur has pointed to the 12 games the Giants played last season which were decided by a touchdown or less, including eight they lost, as a sign that it's a short leap to competitive football.

Are they all delusional? Or is there really a chance the Giants could be … good?

Tags: Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dave Gettleman - Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Dave Gettleman - Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Just 15 months ago, the Giants hired Dave Gettleman to fix the franchise. He earned praise for a series of early housecleaning moves. He seemed tough and honest, and it looked like he had a handle on the franchise's biggest problems.

Now, suddenly, his new title is "embattled GM".

Tags: Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden (44) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Oct 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden (44) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

After making the splash of signing WR Golden Tate on Thursday night, the Giants switched to defense and signed OLB Markus Golden to a one-year deal, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

The Giants were in the market for an edge rusher after the Olivier Vernon trade to the Browns, and they're banking on Golden to be an immediate impact player in his place. He will be playing on a prove-it deal as his recent seasons warrant.

Golden was a former second-round choice by the Cardinals back in 2015, and he totaled four sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and 30 combined tackles in 15 games that year. It was in 2016, though, that he broke out with 12.5 sacks, 51 combined tackles, and 22 quarterback hits...

Tags: Olivier Vernon
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Giants add veteran Golden Tate 00:00:45
New York Giants add veteran receiver Golden Tate on a 4-year, $37.5 million dollar deal. NFL insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses the signing.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Buried at the bottom of the Giants' press release announcing the big Odell Beckham Jr. trade on Wednesday, was a quote from GM Dave Gettleman about his offseason plan.

"You can win while you build a roster," he said.

And the deal he struck with receiver Golden Tate on Thursday is proof he's going to try.

Tags: Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dave Gettleman - Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Dave Gettleman - Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon are officially Cleveland Browns, as the Giants' trades were made official when the new league year kicked off at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. 

Giants GM Dave Gettleman released an official statement about the trades by first wishing both former Giants nothing but the best as the move on with their careers. 

"The New York Football Giants would like to thank Odell Beckham, Jr. for his contributions," Gettleman said. "We truly wish him well in Cleveland, and we want to wish OV the best and nothing but success for both of them."

Tags: Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Scott Thompson
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Nov 25, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) reacts after making a play during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports (Harrison Barden)
Nov 25, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) reacts after making a play during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports (Harrison Barden)

NFL free agency will kick off this week, and every team in the league will be checking in on the top players looking for a new home to see if they could be a fit for their club in the 2019 season.

For the Giants, there have multiple holes that need filling on their 53-man roster, and they are sure to scoure the market to see who they can add at the right price. But Big Blue isn't sitting on a pile of money. Instead, they have around $25 million in cap space after their latest move - the Olivier Vernon trade to the Browns for G Kevin Zeitler - gave them an extra $1.5 million.

So, unlike their MetLife Stadium counterpart in the Jets, they will need to be cautious with how much they spend on free agency as they will have to save money for their draft picks, too. Still, there are some bargain players out there that could make an immediate impact next season.

Tags: Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon, Scott Thompson
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The decision to let safety Landon Collins walk away for nothing sent shockwaves through a Giants fan base that still seems to be trying to figure GM Dave Gettleman out. One minute acts like the Giants are close to being a contender. The next he sounds like he's rebuilding. Then he's cutting costs on players like Collins, while not blinking at the $23.2 million cap hit for aging quarterback Eli Manning.

Trying to decipher his moves the last 15 months has been like riding the Mad Tea Party ride at Disney. Just as the franchise seems to turn one direction, it lurches towards the other. Meanwhile, everyone is nauseous and wondering: Is there any real direction at all?

The answer to that is, like many things, complicated and not often clear. There's no doubt the mess Gettleman inherited - on the field, in the locker room, and to a smaller extent under the salary cap - was significant when he was hired in December, 2017. Even Gettleman may have underestimated how extensive the problems were, though he adamantly denies he did.

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Jason Pierre-Paul, Landon Collins, Nate Solder, Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants trade Vernon for Zeitler 00:01:01
The Giants shipped Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns for OG Kevin Zeitler. See why SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano likes the move.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Giants GM Dave Gettleman got rid of an over-priced pass rusher he was likely about to cut and managed to get a starting guard in return, while clearing at least a little bit of salary cap space and moving back about 20 places with one of his picks on Day 3 of the NFL Draft. 

It's hard not to view that as a steal for the Giants and a big win for a general manager that has been battered by the fan base lately.

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Damon Harrison, Jamon Brown, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 15, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive guard Kevin Zeitler (70) during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports  (Kevin Jairaj)
Oct 15, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive guard Kevin Zeitler (70) during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Jairaj)

The Giants made their first big acquisition of the offseason on Friday by trading LB Olivier Vernon and a fourth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for right guard Kevin Zeitler and a fifth-round pick. 

Zeitler is under contract through 2021 and is owed $10 million next season, which saves the Giants just $1.5 million in cap space after their $8 million owed to Vernon in dead cap money. 

Zeitler, 29, helps shore up a porous offensive line that has been a weakness for the Giants over the last several seasons. Here is what you need to know about the newest Giant...

Tags: Olivier Vernon
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Olivier Vernon (54) Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Olivier Vernon (54) Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

The Giants traded linebacker Olivier Vernon to the Browns in exchange for offensive guard Kevin Zeitler on Friday, SNY.tv's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

New York ultimately clears $1.5 million of cap space in the trade. Zeitler, who is entering the third year of a five-year, $60 million deal, carries cap hits of $10 million this season and in 2020, and $12 million in 2021.

Vernon, meanwhile, is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $85 million deal. The Giants are responsible for $8 million in dead money even though Vernon carries cap hits of $19.5 million in 2019 and 2020. Cleveland is on the hook for $15.25 million of Vernon's salary.

Tags: Olivier Vernon
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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

INDIANAPOLIS - Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur were vague about the Giants' offseason plans when they met the media at the NFL scouting combine last week, and sometimes they seemed to be saying different things. But they did at least seem to drop plenty of hints.

So between those hints, their words, and plenty of info from NFL sources, here are 10 things we learned about the Giants' plans while they were at the combine...

1. Eli Manning will be the Giants' starter in 2019 -- at least at the beginning

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint is tackled by New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon and safety Landon Collins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint is tackled by New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon and safety Landon Collins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

INDIANAPOLIS -- If there's one thing that everyone in the Giants organization seems to agree on, it's that they lack playmakers on defense. With a few more, they've reasoned, they could've held on to win a few more games and their offseason conversation would be much different.

So why, then, do they seem like they're about to let their two best defensive playmakers walk away?

Tags: Curtis Riley, Landon Collins, Lorenzo Carter, Michael Thomas, Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Olivier Vernon (54) Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Olivier Vernon (54) Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

The Giants have discussed the possibility of trading or cutting linebacker Olivier Vernon, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

New York could consider cutting the 28-year-old Vernon, who is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $85 million contract, as a cap casualty, however the team could either bring him back at a reduced salary or trade him. A source told Vacchiano that all options are on the table.

Giants GM Dave Gettleman said earlier this week he doesn't want to restructure contracts that would increase the Giants' salary cap figures in the future. 

Tags: Olivier Vernon
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May 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants owner John Mara (left) and general manager Dave Gettleman on the field during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)
May 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants owner John Mara (left) and general manager Dave Gettleman on the field during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)

INDIANAPOLIS - The Giants were a bit of a mess when their season ended two months ago. They had a 5-11 record and their immediate direction was uncertain. Even the identity of both their Quarterbacks of the Future and the Present weren't completely clear.

The first answers to some of the most crucial questions could come on Wednesday when both GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur are expected to speak to the media at the NFL's annual scouting combine. Here's a preview of some of the key questions they're likely to be asked, and what they are expected to say...

1. Are the Giants committed to Eli Manning at quarterback for (at least) one more season?

Tags: Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants GM Dave Gettleman (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
Giants GM Dave Gettleman (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The first time the Giants organization seemed to really begin thinking about what comes next at quarterback after Eli Manning was about three years ago. They still had plenty of time back then, but seemed to understand it would run out fast.

Still, they have declined to address that need ever since -- at least not in the first round of the draft -- and suddenly they are standing at the end of Manning's road. He's 38 and his contract is up at the end of the season, but the Giants have no replacement ready because they have continually kicked this hugely important decision farther and farther down the road.

And yes, even now, they might do it again.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, B.J. Goodson, B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Lorenzo Carter, Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 25, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) and running back Saquon Barkley (26) in the tunnel before game against Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Nov 25, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) and running back Saquon Barkley (26) in the tunnel before game against Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

As they do every year, Pro Football Focus released their Top 101 players for the 2018 season, and three Giants made the cut. 

Leading the pack was Offensive Rookie of the Year in RB Saquon Barkley, who came in at No. 27 on the list. Barkley bursted onto the NFL scene without a hitch, becoming the third rookie in NFL history to amass 2,000 yards or more from scrimmage.

The list also points out this insane stat: Barkley led the NFL in missed tackles with 71 forced on the season, with 31 coming after the catch. 

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants never once looked like a threat to make Super Bowl LIII and it's hard to envision them right now as a threat to make Super Bowl LIV either. They have so much work to do just to become a winning team again. Right now even a playoff berth feels far away.

Their work towards the 2019 season has already begun, of course, and beginning on Monday they are free to start reshaping their roster. There will be some cuts and restructured contracts in the next few weeks, as the Giants get ready for the opening of NFL free agency on March 13.

Here are some of the biggest decisions they face:

Tags: Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Chicago Bears tight end Ben Braunecker is stopped from a fourth quarter touchdown by New York Giants safety Michael Thomas and cornerback B.W. Webb at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears tight end Ben Braunecker is stopped from a fourth quarter touchdown by New York Giants safety Michael Thomas and cornerback B.W. Webb at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

The Rams beat the Saints 26-23 in the NFC championship game, which means two things:

1. Los Angeles is going to the Super Bowl.

2. Another Giants player will make the Pro Bowl.

Tags: Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley
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This season, the Giants' offense usually had the spotlight shining bright on them.

How could it not with the aging Eli Manning analyzed with a fine tooth comb under center, the comeback of star WR Odell Beckham Jr., and rookie RB Saquon Barkley looking to prove he was worth the No. 2 overall pick over the top quarterbacks in his draft class (he's the top Rookie of the Year candidate, so that answers that question).

But what about the Giants' defense? They had a lot of intrigue entering the season with a new, aggressive coordinator, a few new pieces, and the goal of returning to the crew that was one of the stingiest in scoring back in 2016. But that wasn't the case at all.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, Olivier Vernon, Scott Thompson
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning reacts after throwing a interception to Indianapolis Colts free safety Malik Hooker during the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar via USA TODAY NETWORK)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning reacts after throwing a interception to Indianapolis Colts free safety Malik Hooker during the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar via USA TODAY NETWORK)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Indianapolis Colts are a legitimately good team that might finish this season with 10 wins and a berth in the playoffs. And the Giants, as awful as they've been all year, took them to the wire. They were one drive -- maybe one pass -- away from winning this game.

Instead they lost 28-27, leaving them with nothing but a moral victory. And while it was another sign that they've improved since their miserable first half of the season, they're still 4-3 since their 1-7 start.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Indianapolis Colts, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants lose 28-27 00:01:02
The Giants couldn't stage a last-minute comeback and fell to the Colts 28-27. Head Coach Pat Shurmur reacts to the loss.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Eli Manning had a chance for some late-game magic, when he had 55 seconds to play, and all he had to do was get the Giants into field-goal range. Instead, he threw a game-sealing interception on an ill-advised pass over the middle.

But don't blame this 28-27 loss in Indianapolis on him.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Indianapolis Colts, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants resilient against Bears 00:01:38
Pat Shurmur is proud of the squad for beating the bears in overtime. Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. weight in on the 3-point victory

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It got lost in the shuffle last week, when everyone freaked out over the way Saquon Barkley wa used in the second half in Philadelphia, but the Giants' defense was absolutely terrible. The Eagles rolled over them in the second half. The Giants defense couldn't get off the field.

They needed a big bounce-back game this week.

They seemed to have it. Then they blew it. And then they bailed themselves out in the end.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, B.W. Webb, Chicago Bears, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants linebacker Olivier Vernon (54) warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants linebacker Olivier Vernon (54) warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

A disappointing season for the New York Giants on both sides of the football has taken its toll on the offensive and defensive ranks. It's a season that veteran linebacker Olivier Vernon would likely be happy to put in the rearview mirror.

Vernon has tallied 45.5 sacks in 98 career games -- including 16.5 tackles of the quarterback while in Giants blue -- but only has one sack and 10 tackles so far in six games this season. After missing the first five games to open the season with a high ankle sprain, Vernon's impact has been a muted one in the team's first year of a switch to a 3-4 defensive scheme.

"You never really want to miss time when you're out there, you work hard before every season coming up," Vernon said Friday after practice. "It was just one little bump in the road, and all I can do right now is just the normal game plan and be out there for my team and make the plays that come to me."

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Olivier Vernon (54) Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Olivier Vernon (54) Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

The Giants defense has been an overall disappointment this season, but perhaps the most disappointing player has been Olivier Vernon. 

The 28-year-old pass rusher has failed to do exactly that -- rush the passer. 

Vernon, who moved from a defensive end to an outside linebacker in the Giants' new 3-4 base defense, has just one sack and six quarterback hits through six games. He also has 10 tackles but just one for loss of yards. 

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Giants run their way to a win 00:01:35
Saquon Barkley rushed for over 100 yards as the Giants hold on to beat the Bucs 38-35 for their first home win of the season.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - A second straight win against another bad team may not be good news for anyone rooting for the Giants to land a Top 5 pick in the next NFL draft.

But it sure did feel good to everyone at the Meadowlands on Sunday afternoon.

Even though the Giants seemed to barely hang on to their 38-35 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was still a reminder of the value of a victory. They topped 30 points for just the second time in 42 games, dating back three seasons. They got a defensive touchdown and forced the Bucs to bench their starting quarterback (although that turned out to be a not-so good thing).

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Janoris Jenkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Is there a playoff team in NY? 00:00:47
SNY takes on the question... Could you make an NFL playoff team by combining players from the Jets and Giants in 2018?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

This is a terrible time for New York football, with the Giants and Jets sitting on what feels like rock bottom. They are a combined 5-14 this season, and the playoffs are already out of reach. And they are a combined 13-38 (.254) since the beginning of 2018.

But while there may not be hope at the moment for either team, there is still some talent on their two rosters. If they could only somehow combine the two, they might even have the makings of a playoff team.

 

Tags: Dalvin Tomlinson, Darron Lee, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Jamal Adams, Jordan Jenkins, Landon Collins, Marcus Maye, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Is there a playoff team in NY? 00:00:47
SNY takes on the question... Could you make an NFL playoff team by combining players from the Jets and Giants in 2018?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

This is a terrible time for New York football, with the Giants and Jets sitting on what feels like rock bottom. They are a combined 5-14 this season, and the playoffs are already out of reach. And they are a combined 13-38 (.254) since the beginning of 2018.

But while there may not be hope at the moment for either team, there is still some talent on their two rosters. If they could only somehow combine the two, they might even have the makings of a playoff team.

 

Tags: Dalvin Tomlinson, Darron Lee, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Jamal Adams, Jordan Jenkins, Landon Collins, Marcus Maye, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Is there a playoff team in NY? 00:00:47
SNY takes on the question... Could you make an NFL playoff team by combining players from the Jets and Giants in 2018?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

This is a terrible time for New York football, with the Giants and Jets sitting on what feels like rock bottom. They are a combined 5-14 this season, and the playoffs are already out of reach. And they are a combined 13-38 (.254) since the beginning of 2018.

But while there may not be hope at the moment for either team, there is still some talent on their two rosters. If they could only somehow combine the two, they might even have the makings of a playoff team.

 

Tags: Dalvin Tomlinson, Darron Lee, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Jamal Adams, Jordan Jenkins, Landon Collins, Marcus Maye, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) talks with tight end Evan Engram (88) after an incomplete pass in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)
Oct 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) talks with tight end Evan Engram (88) after an incomplete pass in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)

Things certainly are not going as intended for this Giants team that currently sits at a lowly 1-7 in their bye week. And as they sit on Sunday to reflect, there are some that need to step it up if they don't want to continue this trend in the second half. 

Of course, that could be said for the entire team. The Giants rank 27th in scoring (18.8 points per game), and they convert only 40 percent of their red zone trips into touchdowns, which is second-to-last in that category. For the defense, they sit 18th in yards allowed per game (366.4), while allowing 25.6 points per game as well. 

But there are certain Giants that should be performing better that simply haven't hit the mark. And to change the tides in East Rutherford, the Giants need them to have a better second half...

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Nate Solder, Olivier Vernon, Scott Thompson
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets have promised an aggressive approach to rebuilding their roster, and they certainly have plenty of holes still to fill as the trading deadline approaches on Tuesday afternoon. They have the salary cap room to add players. They haven't been afraid to spend draft picks to do it.

So how active will they be in the next few hours?

That will depend on the price and who is actually available. If they can pry an edge rusher like Chandler Jones away from the Arizona Cardinals, for example, it might be worth it. A team source said the Jets are definitely on the lookout for help at key positions, such as edge rusher and receiver, and they have no fear of being "aggressive" for the right guy.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Olivier Vernon, Quincy Enunwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants' Landon Collins (21) returns an interception for a touchdown during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Giants' Landon Collins (21) returns an interception for a touchdown during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When the Giants traded cornerback Eli Apple last Tuesday, it signaled they were open for business and it left everyone wondering "Who's next?" Then on Wednesday morning, the Giants shipped out defensive tackle Damon Harrison.

Since then, the feeling around the league is that no one on the Giants' roster is safe.

That's not completely true, of course. Odell Beckham Jr.'s recently signed mega-deal makes him virtually untradeable (even though the Giants have received "decent offers" for him). And Eli Manning has a no-trade clause that he's unlikely to waive. And obviously GM Dave Gettleman isn't going to sell off Saquon Barkley or anyone else from his first draft with the team.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Eli Manning, Ereck Flowers, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: John Mara finally admitted the obvious last week when he conceded the Giants' problems run deeper than he and his front office anticipated. He didn't use the word "rebuilding." But he did say "I'm not sure it will be a quick fix."

No it won't be -- not with a team filled with bloated contracts, saddled with a 37-year-old quarterback, and having won just 4-of-its-last-23 games. It could be a painful, long and probably difficult process.

But at least they're finally doing the right thing now.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins (20) works out prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Oct 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins (20) works out prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When the Giants traded cornerback Eli Apple on Tuesday, it signaled they were open for business and it left everyone wondering "Who's next?" Then on Wednesday morning, the Giants shipped out defensive tackle Damon Harrison.

And now the feeling around the league is that no one on the Giants' roster is safe.

That's not completely true, of course. Odell Beckham Jr.'s recently signed mega-deal makes him virtually untradeable, and Eli Manning has a no-trade clause that he's unlikely to waive. And obviously GM Dave Gettleman isn't going to sell off Saquon Barkley or anyone else from his first draft with the team...

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Eli Manning, Ereck Flowers, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants linebacker Olivier Vernon (54) warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants linebacker Olivier Vernon (54) warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

There's at least one key defensive player who reportedly won't be joining CB Eli Apple and DT Damon Harrison as trade pieces in the Giants' fire sale.

A source with knowledge of the team's plans told NJ.com that Big Blue won't be dealing DE Olivier Vernon before the upcoming Oct. 30 trade deadline.

The 28-year-old Vernon, who signed a massive five-year, $85 million deal in 2016, has not requested a trade despite the franchise's switch to sell-now mode, the report said.

Tags: Olivier Vernon
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Saquon Barkley (26) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Saquon Barkley (26) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Giants (1-5) at the Atlanta Falcons (2-4) at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Monday, Oct. 22 at 8:15 p.m.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 17, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; 
		Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) is hit after the throw by New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)
Dec 17, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) is hit after the throw by New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

The Giants were looking to catch a break this Monday as Falcons wide receivers Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu were both banged up last week. But the latest injury report on Saturday had only K Matt Bryant out for Monday's contest. 

So, one of the NFL's deadliest wide receiving tandems will be at full strength for QB Matt Ryan to work with. For most defenses, WR Julio Jones is enough to deal with, but Ridley and Sanu make matters worse with the production they have put up so far thi season. 

While Jones leads the team in yards for a mile (708), the rookie Ridley leads receivers in touchdowns (6) while Sanu has 303 yards and three touchdowns on the year as well. Jones is still looking for his first touchdown after six weeks.

Tags: Olivier Vernon, Scott Thompson
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Olivier Vernon (54) Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Olivier Vernon (54) Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

All 53 Giants players practice on Thursday, but DE Olivier Vernon was still a limited participant. Until today. 

Vernon (ribs) was upgraded to a full practice participant on Friday ahead of the Giants' Monday Night Football matchup on the road against the Falcons. The veteran edge rusher obviously has more time to get healthy with two more days before gameday, but it is good to see him out there in full. 

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher preaches to "never look back," but when it comes to Vernon, he loved what he saw last week...

Tags: Nate Solder, Olivier Vernon
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Giants prep for Falcons 00:01:22
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the New York Giants remain confident going into their Monday night match-up against the Atlanta Falcons.

It's always a good day at practice when all 53 players are out and about, and that was the case for the Giants on Thursday. 

There were a few limited participants, though, with LT Nate Solder (neck) and DE Olivier Vernon (ribs) among them. Solder said after practice that he feels fine and should be ready to go on Monday. 

And the way head coach Pat Shurmur spoke about Vernon appears to indicate he will be full-go against the Falcons as well...

Tags: Evan Engram, Nate Solder, Olivier Vernon
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Not only was this a divisional game with a heated rival, but this Giants-Eagles matchup at MetLife Stadium on Thursday night was viewed as the game to save the Giants season. Sense of urgency was the word thrown around by the team leading up to tonight, but unfortunately that isn't what was seen on the field. 

The Giants lost badly in a 34-13 wallop that left fans speechless and sullen in their seats. With the exception of one dynamic rookie, the performance by the home team wasn't anything to be proud of. And to put it bluntly: What played out tonight was certainly comparable to the miserable group of last season. 

So, let's take a deeper look at what happened at each position in the Giants' fifth loss of the season...

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Dalvin Tomlinson, Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Scott Thompson
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