The Giants placed WR Kadarius Toney on the COVID list Thursday after the rookie tested positive for the virus. Toney can only take part in meetings remotely until he's cleared and obviously won't practice with the team while on the list. This shouldn't affect his regular-season status. Toney's summer will be interesting to track, though.
Giants TE Kyle Rudolph is opening training camp on the active/PUP list. That's not surprising, given that the veteran TE had foot surgery shortly after signing with the team. He can be activated at any point during camp. If Rudolph remains on the list until the final roster cutdown, he'd be eligible for the regular-season PUP. That would require him to miss 6 games. We'll keep an eye on Rudolph's status, mostly for the sake of Evan Engram's snap/target competition.
The Giants announced Thursday that RB Saquon Barkley is opening camp on the active/PUP list. That means the team can activate him at any point. Barkley would need to remain on the list all the way until the final cutdown to 53 players to be eligible for the regular-season PUP. We'll obviously track his participation and status throughout camp. We're assuming at this point Barkley will be active for the start of the season.
Giants RB Saquon Barkley (knee) said "we'll see" when asked Monday about his availability for Week 1. "Taking it day by day. Just listening to my body," he added. "Whenever I'm able to get out there, just make sure I'm 110 percent. Not just for ... my well-being, but just so I go out there and compete at a high level and show the world who Saquon is." While it would have been nice for Barkley to sound confident about his readiness for the start of the season, this was a more honest answer. We're still almost 2 months away from Week 1, so it's reasonable that neither he nor the Giants know whether he'll be ready. We should have a better idea by the end of August. For now, Barkley is the biggest risk/reward pick in Round 1 of fantasy drafts.
Giants RB Saquon Barkley, speaking to the media for the 1st time this year, refused to give a timetable for his return from knee surgery. "You know me, I’ll take it one day at a time," Barkley said. "It’s going to be whenever my body tells me I’m ready." It's noteworthy because players tend to be over-optimistic about their recoveries. ESPN's Jordan Raanan suggested a couple of weeks ago that Barkley might be limited at the beginning of the season. His status will be 1 of the bigger fantasy storylines this summer.
Expecting Giants RB Saquon Barkley to "return to his rookie season form as well as the same usage in the first few weeks of the 2021 season was never realistic," ESPN's Jordan Raanan writes. Barkley has had a setback-free rehab so far and has resumed sprinting. But he's returning from a serious knee injury that included damage to his ACL, MCL and meniscus. He's expected to be limited in training camp and won't be integrated "back into the full-time mix ... until sometime during the regular season." The Giants added RBs Devontae Booker, Corey Clement, Ryquell Armstead and rookie Gary Brightwell this offseason. No big names -- but some bodies to potentially take some snaps and touches off Barkley's hands. We'll keep a close eye on his progress this summer.
The Giants have signed former WR Kelvin Benjamin as a TE. The 2014 1st-rounder topped 1,000 yards with 9 TDs as a rookie, missed 2015 with a torn ACL and then rebounded for a 63-941-7 line in 2016. But he bounced around to 3 different teams the next 2 seasons, totaling 73 catches and 4 TDs. And he's been out of the league the past 2 years. Benjamin is now 30. He has TE size at 6'5, 245 pounds and would be a catch-first player if he makes it. But Benjamin isn't even a lock to make the Giants' final roster and is a long shot to find meaningful playing time.
The Giants spent a 6th-round pick on Arizona RB Gary Brightwell in the 2021 NFL Draft. Brightwell amassed just 245 carries across 4 years with the Wildcats, topping out at 91 rushing attempts as a redshirt freshman in 2018. Brightwell did average 17.6 rushes per game over 5 contests in 2020 but managed just 4.4 yards per rush and 4.1 yards per catch across his 13 receptions. Brightwell followed that with lackluster testing, including a 4.62-second 40. He could fight for a backup job right away in a weak depth chart behind Saquon Barkley, but there's not a lot to get excited about here.
OLB Azeez Ojulari has joined the Giants in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Ojulari racked up 9.5 sacks among 12.5 tackles for loss in 10 games last season, adding 4 forced fumbles. Pro Football Focus awarded him the 2nd-highest pass-rushing grade among 325 draft-eligible edge defenders nationally for the season. The Giants have an immediate need at the spot, and Ojulari doesn’t turn 21 until mid-June. He's a high-upside option for dynasty leagues that favor sack/pressure scoring.
The Athletic's Dan Duggan doesn't expect Giants 1st-round WR Kadarius Toney to win a top 3 role this season. Toney played 82% of his snaps in the slot at Florida last season and figures to be primarily a slot guy in New York. So he'd either need to beat out Sterling Shepard -- or have the Giants kick Shepard outside to replace Darius Slayton. The 1st-round draft capital should help Toney get on the field. And he's a guy who can also contribute via end arounds, jet sweeps, etc. But he still doesn't look like a great bet to be a reliable fantasy producer as a rookie.
The Giants added Florida WR Kadarius Toney with the 20th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Toney has just 1 season of experience as a full-time WR. He was a dual-threat QB in high school and spent his first 3 years at Florida splitting time between WR, RB and Wildcat QB. Toney broke out at WR this past season, though, leading the Gators with 70 catches and 984 receiving yards and finishing 2nd to TE Kyle Pitts with 10 TDs. He added another 161 yards and a score on 19 carries. Toney is a fun watch. He has elite start-stop and change-of-direction ability. And his combination of vision, burst, contact balance and leg drive make him 1 of the best after-catch receivers in this class. Toney flashes potential as a route runner but has a ways to go in that department. There are also durability and character concerns here. Toney missed 10 games at Florida with shoulder and shin injuries and was involved in 2 off-field incidents involving guns. As a pro, he projects as a slot receiver who can also add value on end arounds, jet sweeps, etc. We’ll see exactly how he fits in a WR corps alongside Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton.
Giants RB Saquon Barkley (knee) is "on track" to be ready for the start of the season, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Barkley tore his right ACL on September 20, so he'll be nearly a year removed when the 2021 campaign kicks off. We'll keep a close eye on his progress this summer. Barkley's ADP is sitting at 1.03 in early best-ball drafts at FFPC, so don't expect to get a post-injury discount.
Giants team doctors are concerned with 1 of TE Kyle Rudolph's feet and believe he needs surgery, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Rudolph missed the final 4 games of last season with a foot injury, but we never got any details on it. He agreed to -- but didn't sign -- a 2-year, $14 million deal with New York last week, but that's now hanging in the balance. We'll see where this goes, but Rudolph is no better than a late-round flier in fantasy drafts right now.
Update: Rudolph has officially signed his contract with the Giants. It's unclear if he'll need surgery on that foot.
The Giants and WR Kenny Golladay agreed to a 4-year, $72 million deal with $40 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Golladay's market seemed cooler than expected, but he reportedly had the Giants and Bears hot for him. He ends up getting $18 million per season to become the league's 6th-highest-paid WR. Golladay gives the Giants a true alpha -- something that can't be said about WRs Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. He immediately becomes the favorite to lead the team in targets, although OC Jason Garrett and QB Daniel Jones add risk to the landing spot.
The Giants signed TE Kyle Rudolph to a 2-year, $14 million deal, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Rudolph was dumped by the Vikings earlier this month in what was largely a salary-saving move. Rudolph is 31 now but still ranked 21st among 43 qualifying TEs in yards per route run and received strong blocking grades from Pro Football Focus last year. He's unlikely to be a fantasy factor in New York but could be a drain on TE Evan Engram's production.
The Giants wasted little time in giving their franchise player a longer-term contract. The 2 sides have agreed to a 3-year pact worth $63 million, with $45 million fully guaranteed, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. That contract would carry Williams through his age-29 season.
The Giants have agreed to a 1-year, $2.5 million deal with WR John Ross, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Ross has collected just 51 receptions through 4 injury-riddled pro seasons. The Giants offense, though, presents an opportunity for him to earn a top 3 spot among WRs. We'll see whether the team adds anything else to that position in free agency or the NFL Draft.
RB Devontae Booker has inked a 2-year, $6 million deal with the Giants, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Booker is coming off a solid season in Vegas that saw him average 4.5 yards per carry and haul in 17 of 21 targets. He's a reliable pass-catcher but is stretched as anything more than a change-of-pace back. That's exactly what he'll be in New York as long as Saquon Barkley makes a successful return from last year's torn ACL.
The Giants have applied the franchise tag to DE Leonard Williams, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's an unsurprising move after Williams posted 11.5 sacks in his 1st full year with the team. That beat his previous season high by 4.5 and ranked him 7th in the league. Williams turns 27 in June and looks like a good candidate for a long-term deal with the Giants.
The Lions don't plan on using their franchise tag on WR Kenny Golladay, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. So the 27-year-old will hit the free-agent market next week. Golladay's 2020 was wrecked by a hip injury, but he posted 70-1,063-5 and 65-1,190-11 lines in 2018 and 2019, ranking among the top 25 WRs in yards per route run both years. He figures to garner big money from his next team. The Lions' WR depth chart, meanwhile, now reads: Tyrell Williams, Quintez Cephus, Geronimo Allison. They'll certainly add to the position in free agency and/or the draft.