New York Giants Replace Odell Beckham Jr. With Golden Tate

New York Giants signed Golden Tate to a four-year contract during the 2019 offseason.

The New York Giants have found their replacement for Odell Beckham Jr. only two days after the news broke that the star receiver was traded to the Cleveland Browns for A first and third round pick and safety Jabrill Peppers.

The Giants have signed former Eagles wide receiver Golden Tate, according to Adam Schefter.

Tate is a clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver who has put up solid numbers throughout his career. Last season with the Eagles, Tate put up 795 yards and 4 touchdowns. Between 2014-17, Tate didn’t miss a single game, which promoted a great bill of health. Beckham played in only 12 games the past two years which certainly played a factor in his trading.

Tate signed a four-year deal with Big Blue, earning $37.5 million over the course of the deal. With $23 million guaranteed, Tate will act as the top option for the Giants moving forward. He’s a stellar route runner with sneaky moves in the open field.

In the past five season, Tate has recorded over 1,000 yards three times. He’s not a red-zone target per-say, but he’s fantastic at getting the ball down the field – he also has a ton of playoff experience and has won a Super Bowl. Bringing a true professional into the locker room will help establish a successful mentality moving forward.

Veteran quarterback Eli Manning now has a top option at wideout and the next Giants’ QB will have a good supporting cast to work with.

New York Giants: Justin Tuck Believes Beckham Jr. Needed A Change Of Scenery

It’s hard to take in the fact that the New York Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. The move shocked fans around the league, and one day after the deal happened, there’s still plenty of reactions pouring in from fans and media personalities alike about the entire situation. Those personalities include former Giants players, such as Justin Tuck, who has come out backing the front office and General Manager Dave Gettleman in this situation.

“I think Gettleman is doing what he thinks is best for the franchise for the long-term, and I don’t think anybody can question that,” Tuck said to the New York Post. He also claimed that he would be against the move if the Giants are in the same position two years from now, but that it’s too early to make the judgement.

“Everyone gets so emotional about these things, but I think all the players understand this is a business, and we need to approach it as a business, and things like this happen unfortunately. Long story short, I think Odell needed a new change of scenery as well as this team needed to move on and try to get what they got for him.”

But it seems unlikely that this deal happened because of Beckham needing a change of scenery, at least on his end. Beckham was one of the most enthusiastic players last season, even when the team’s record continued to get worse and worse. It seems that the move was not because of Beckham needing a change of scenery, but because of the upper executives deciding to pull the plug on Beckham’s time with the Giants.

According to Tuck, though, the move makes sense because the Giants were going to be in a rebuilding phase whether or not they moved Beckham.

“Also I think Gettleman’s looking at it from a perspective of this team had a lot of holes that he needs to find a way to fill, and they’re in a rebuilding phase anyway,” Tuck said.

But even if that’s what the Giants are doing, it’s never popular when a team looks like they aren’t even attempting to compete. The Giants are very obviously rebuilding and, with months left until the season, everyone can see that it’s their main focus this year. After the controversial move to send Beckham away, it will be interesting to see just how much fan enthusiasm is affected by knowing this.

New York Yankees: Jacoby Ellsbury Could Miss Entire 2019 Season

New York Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury

When factoring in the minor injuries that manage to keep New York Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury off the field, it seems likely that he might not play at all in 2019. Being that the veteran hasn’t played in a professional game since 2017, his chances of returning in the next two months aren’t high.

A recent injury – plantar fasciitis – has restrained his ability to run in recent weeks. Manager Aaron Boone has stated that Ellsbury is far from returning to form and will likely miss a good chunk of the season if he can even make his way back to relative health.

The Yankees don’t have time to be patient with paraplegic Ellsbury:

“Jacoby’s been gone for so long,” Boone said, “it’s getting him back into baseball activities, and he’s going to be way behind from that standpoint anyway.”

“First thing’s first with Jacoby — getting him here, obviously going through his physical (exam), and starting to introduce him again to baseball activity. That’s kind of the next step. I haven’t gotten that far down the road yet with Jacoby.”

The Yankees will be bringing the outfielder to spring training to get him some work, but who knows how long it will take for him to regain his timing and effectiveness at the plate, let alone run on defense.

The New York Yankees are on the hook monetarily:

The Yanks still owe Ellsbury $47 million over the next two years. Saying that number out loud really makes me angry. The expectation for him to play any role this season is low, and we shouldn’t bank on him even featuring at all. With the probability of additional injury being over 50%, especially after hip surgery last year, recouping some of his lost cap in insurance would likely be the most value he provides to the team in 2019.

New York Giants: Three Wide Receivers That Could Replace Odell Beckham Jr.

On Tuesday night, the New York Giants shocked the NFL world. They traded superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns. This opened up another huge hole on the Giants’ roster.

The Giants received the 17th overall pick in the Beckham Jr. trade. Much speculation has been made around what the Giants plan to do with that pick. Now that the Giants do not have a true number one receiver on the team, they could consider drafting a wide receiver at 17.

D.K. Metcalf

Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf became a superstar at the 2019 NFL Combine. Metcalf is a huge receiver, standing tall at 6 feet 3 inches and weighing in at 228 pounds. D.K. became a social media sensation with posted images of his shredded body. Since then, he has been on the rise as a prospect.

Metcalf has likely sky-rocketed his draft stock into the top 10. However, he has been projected all over the place. Some analysts have mocked him in the top 10, some outside of the top 20.

Despite his big frame, Metcalf is a speedy receiver. He ran an incredible 4.33 40-yard dash. His incredible Combine did not stop there, however. Metcalf also posted 27 bench press reps and measured a 40.5-inch vertical jump. It will be tough for NFL teams to matchup against an athletic freak like D.K. Metcalf.

D.K. Metcalf is not just impressive during workouts. He has shown tremendous talent on the field, too. Metcalf only played in 7 games in 2018 due to injury, but he was very productive when he was on the field. In 2018, D.K. Metcalf caught 26 passes with 5 touchdowns and 569 yards. His 21.9 yards per catch average is especially impressive.

A.J. Brown

D.K. Metcalf is not the only great receiver coming out of Ole Miss this year. His teammate, A.J. Brown was Ole Miss’s true number one receiver in 2018. Brown played only one season of football in college (2018), but it was impressive enough to prove that he is ready for the NFL.

A.J. Brown caught 85 passes for 1,320 yards in 2018. He also added 6 touchdowns. Brown was not as much of a deep-threat as Metcalf was, but he could do it all. He still managed to have a 15.5 yards per reception average and Brown is an excellent route-runner. Brown stands at about 6 feet 1 inch and 225 pounds. This is a great size for a receiver prospect.

Brown posted a 4.49 40-yard dash at the Combine. Not blazing speed, but definitely good enough to compete in the NFL. A.J. also showed strength and explosiveness with 19 bench press reps, a 36.5 vertical jump, and 120-inch broad jump.

A.J. Brown is not simply a possession receiver either. He has shown the ability to make plays after the catch. Check out this 84-yard catch and run:

Here is a clip of Brown making a one-handed catch at the Combine, thrown by Dwayne Haskins. Could this connection come to Big Blue in 2019? Since the Giants now hold the 6th and the 17th overall picks, it is a real possibility.

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown

Oklahoma has produced some of the best prospects in recent years. Last year’s number one overall pick, Baker Mayfield to name one. This year’s top quarterback prospect Kyler Murray to name a second. Kyler Murray’s favorite target, Marquise Brown, to name a third.

Marquise Brown is a speedy receiver out of Oklahoma who has the potential to be the next Tyreek Hill or Desean Jackson. In 2018, Brown caught 75 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. Brown did not run the 40-yard dash at the Combine, but he has been praised by NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah for being the “fastest player in the draft” on multiple occasions.

Football talent runs through Marquise’s blood. He is the cousin of top NFL receiver Antonio Brown. However, Marquise and Antonio have different playstyles. Antonio is a possession receiver, but Marquise is a deep threat.

Marquise Brown also has the ability to turn a short reception into a long touchdown. This play should remind fans of Odell Beckham and his ability to take a slant to the house:

New York Giants: The Gettleman Formula Isn’t as Crazy as You Think

New York Giants, Odell Beckham Jr.

Disclaimer: Former New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. IMPROVES ANY OFFENSE.

I need to preface this with three things: OBJ is a great player, I personally like OBJ, but I also like the trade. It’s obviously not about any issue with his talent. It’s about digging out of the Reese and Ross regime mess, about getting back to the basics of building a football team from the inside-out, it’s about the opportunity to receive decent compensation, and perhaps it’s indirectly about some perceptions (real or fake) about OBJ’s maturity and satisfaction with the New York Giants.

This is a transitional period for the New York Giants in multiple ways:

The front office has a drastically different football strategy than the previous front office, it’s trying to improve a roster that has been void of consistent quality draft picks for a decade, on the docket is to develop and execute a plan to eventually move on from 2-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning; all this while trying to balance the process of removing heavy contracts while still trying to stay competitive. No easy task.

Back to the basics:

Some like to view Dave Gettleman as this great enigma. He’s been very clear with his philosophy – and I’ve agreed with it 100%. Time to get back to New York Giants football: Building a team from the inside-out. Gettleman has done more in one year with the offensive line than Jerry Reese and Marc Ross did in 10 years. If the offense is the car and the QB is the driver, the offensive line is the engine. The car and the driver can only go as far as the engine can take them. Gettleman and Shurmur both understand this and swear by it.

Some may call it rebuilding, I’ll call it a readjustment of philosophy:

The Reese/Ross regime philosophy was the opposite. They neglected the OL (its true they used draft picks, but refused to adjust when plans continually failed) and built from the outside-in. They focused on WRs that can’t run routes, and speed TEs w/ drop issues, LTs that lack technical skills while being uncoachable, CBs with the maturity of a 9-year-old, to name a few.

Technical skills were of little importance: It was all about size, speed, and strength. Reese and Ross built from the outside-in, drafted track and field stars, and were practically married to their draft picks. Gettleman builds from the inside-out, finds football players, and he isn’t afraid to move on when he notices something isn’t working. Two very different philosophies. Gettleman is doing things his way.

“Run the ball, stop the run, rush the passer.”

Nowhere in there does it say build around an $18M WR. I’m not trying to be flippant. But it’s true. Here’s my personal philosophy with WRs. It doesn’t matter how big and fast you are if you can’t run a route, if you confuse the QB, or can’t catch the ball.

When I look at WR skillsets I look for: Smart players, good route runners, have a good feel for space, are where they’re supposed to be on time, hard workers, excellent hands, and still able to catch in traffic and contested areas. In a nutshell, be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be, create separation, and catch the ball. There are many ways to create separation. Size and speed are just a bonus.

Most of these skills apply to OBJ, but they also apply to many WRs – to include Sterling Shepard. OBJ (or any $18M WR) is not a pillar to build a team around. Premium WR’s are not part of the frame – they’re a piece – and a luxury piece. The Giants aren’t there right now.

“They went Baker… I was taking Saquon.”

The first pick as GM by Dave Gettleman was Saquon Barkley. We know the accolades. Saquon Barkley isn’t just an RB, he’s the face of the modern NFL offense. He’s a player a team can build around and run their offense through. If you want a model, look to the 2nd half of last season when the Giants averaged 27.5 pts/gm.

With an improved offensive line, Eli was allowed the platform to get in a rhythm, spread the ball around, and throw down the field. Running the offense through Saquon openedup play action for Eli – his bread and butter that could never be utilized in recent years due to the lack of a run threat. OBJ missed the last four games of last season. During three of those games, the Giants stuck to the script and scored points of 40, 27, and 35.

While Saquon averaged over 100 yds rushing a game, Eli had 269 yds/game, a 66% comp and a 3:1 TD to INT ratio. In contrast, McAdoo’s offense mainly consisted of a constant game of hot potato, seeing if Eli could throw the slant to Odell before getting nailed by a free rusher.

It’s time to move on from that nightmare and get back to New York Giants football. The Giants are finally creating an offensive identity: Control the line of scrimmage, establish the run, maximize Saquon’s potential, allow Eli time to utilize the whole field, utilize the entire offense, spreading the ball to all WRs when available– not just OBJ. This may sting for some fans, but last season Saquon became more valuable than OBJ to the New York Giants offense.

By trading OBJ and Vernon, the Giants clear $30M in cap space starting next year:

This aspect is about moving forward with a clean slate and a sense of freedom to build the team in Gettleman’s vision. An architect may have a blueprint, but they need materials to put everything together. Now possibly part of that blueprint could be the re-signing of WR Sterling Shepard. That wouldn’t have been an option if OBJ was still on the team making $18M a year. Shepard checks a lot of boxes I look for in a WR. All things considered, I would rather have Shepard and his relative cap number than OBJ and his $18M.

“I didn’t sign him to trade him.”

I believe him. So then why sign him, to begin with? Something must have happened between the time he was signed in August of last year, to the time he was traded. In the ESPN interview in October, OBJ said some doozies. As much as I like OBJ, and I think he’s a good guy – he was a little too honest. Some feelings became clear that could be an issue down the road. He was hesitant to defend his QB, implying he might be the reason why he couldn’t maximize his potential. He also wasn’t willing to say he was happy in New York – after the Giants just shelled out a $90M contract and made him their marquee player.

Even Lil’ Wayne had an “Uh-oh” reaction. OBJ needs to have the maturity to understand that’s not a good look. Rams HC Sean McVay has a “We, not me” slogan. OBJ came across as a “me” player; worried about how he performs and how he maximizes his potential, even to the extent of slighting teammates and his organization. I know this couldn’t have gone over well with Shurmur, Gettleman, and Mara. For good measure, the next month OBJ casually criticized HC Shurmur’s game plan as a reason for the Giants losing to the Eagles. Not cool OBJ.

All things considered, I think the compensation is adequate:

It’s possible there was already a thought that if OBJ is disgruntled six weeks after getting a check for $41M, there might be more issues on the way at some point in the future. Five years is a long time. A GM shouldn’t have to constantly worry about how their players will act when the going gets tough.

After seeing Antonio Brown go for a 5th and a 3rd, perhaps better to sell in a seller’s market if the opportunity presents itself. Jabril Peppers is an excellent get by Gettleman. I was a fan of Landon Collins. I think he’s the best pure box safety in the NFL. But he was unable to cover TEs which proved to be a liability. Peppers is a versatile SS with sideline to sideline speed that can cover TEs – at literally 10% the cost of Landon Collins. Peppers can also return punts and kicks. The multi-role value there is substantial.

The Giants get another 1st Rd pick at #17 – which gives the Giants three picks in the top #37. With the added 95th pick via the Browns, the Giants have five picks in a span of only 49 between the 95th and 143rd picks. After the Day Two board reset, the Giants have the picks to package and potentially go grab a player or two at the top of the 4th round. This is a very positive reset button to potentially get a good crop of young talent in a deep defensive draft class. It’s unrealistic to think all twelve picks will work out – but there’s strength in numbers.

All signs point to Saquon:

For years the Giants offense ran through OBJ. Making an elite WR the focal point of an offense has its drawbacks when the offensive line is inadequate to provide the proper protection to the QB. The WR doesn’t have time to finish the route, the QB can’t get through the reads, the offense is a fraction of what it could be. I guess the Reese and Ross show never saw the fundamental flaws with that strategy. That’s changed. This offense now runs through Saquon. Saquon Barkley had over 2000 yards from scrimmage last year – with a below average to average offensive line.

Now picture Saquon with a good offensive line and consistent holes. For everybody that’s sad to see OBJ go, be happy you get to be a Giants fan and watch Saquon maximize his potential. It’ll be fun to watch.

The Gettleman Formula is building a tough and gritty offensive line, to protect the QB, to maximize Saquon’s potential, and to rebuild the defense with young, fast playmakers. Remind you of anything? It should. This is how Giants football should be.

New York Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka New Pitch Could Be Lethal in 2019

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

Testing new pitches and grips is an essential part of spring training for most major league pitchers. For New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka, a new pitch might even be introduced to his regular arsenal.

The Yankees’ Opening Day pitcher is working on developing a knuckle-curve, a bit different than his regular curveball in regard to movement and velocity. Watching it live is interesting – the pitch stars off rising but then takes a nasty dip at the end to trick the batter.

The best part is, Tanaka already has one of the most deadly splitters in the game. It’s his strikeout pitch, leaving batters swinging at air.

His Splitter attracts a 55.5% chase rate across the MLB (min. 400 pitches). Adding a unique pitch like a knuckle-curve will only help him dominate even more. Adding pitches to your repertoire aids in keeping the batters guessing – especially when they’ve faced this specific pitcher before.

Tanaka’s best pitchers are his splitter and slider, everything else is average to below-average, which is why he utilizes those two pitches so frequently. Testing out the knuckle-curve in pre-season games is exactly what he should be doing if he plans to use it during the regular season.

The New York Yankees need to work around Tanaka’s weaknesses:

The problem with Masahiro is that if his two best pitches aren’t working, he generally gets himself into trouble. Batters tend to force him to lean on his other pitches, focusing on the strike zone. Having patience and not chasing his slider and splitter is essentially the way to beat Tanaka. Both of those options aim towards the outside of the strike zone, but a knuckle-curve would start high and wiggle its way into the top of the zone. A deadly pitch if he can perfect it.

The benefits of the new pitch are intriguing. Theoretically, it would play well off of his low and away sliders and splitters. Dropping the ball into the top of the strike zone and taking some velocity off of it would be confusing for batters and force them to approach his style more aggressively. We could see an up-tick in strikeouts from Tanaka in 2019 as a result.

Reducing speed isn’t always a bad thing:

His new pitch will likely clock in at around 80 MPH, which is far below his averaged 86 MPH splitter. The difference isn’t just speed, though, it’s movement and trajectory. When his splitter fails to bite, it often results in an earned run. A flat 86 MPH meatball if you will. Having two primary pitches isn’t ideal, so developing another option that offers something completely different is in the best interest of the starter.

New York Giants Reveal Plans at Right Tackle Ahead of Draft

New York Giants, Eli Manning

General manager Dave Gettleman has made it very clear that the New York Giants are under his command – releasing fan favorites left and right. The departure of Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins was a punch in the gut, but they represented the past regime’s failure year-in and year-out.

The most intriguing aspect of this process has been Gettleman’s approach towards free agency. By keeping quiet, he’s revealed several plans for the draft ahead and what is in store in his diabolical plan for a resurgence. On Wednesday, Gettleman reassured the fan base than, in fact, he does have a plan and the moves leading up to this point have all been a part of it.

Deciphering the New York Giants’ plan at right tackle:

The fact of the matter is that the Giants would have made a run at right tackle Daryl Williams if they were keen on adding a quality player to the position during free agency. In the trade with Cleveland, the Giants acquired the No. 17 overall pick, which is steering more towards an offensive line selection.

Williams signed a one-year, prove-it deal with the Panthers for $7 million. This is a seldom price to pay considering how badly the Giants need an upgrade at right tackle. It’s theoretically the last piece in the puzzle, but Gettleman has made it clear that he prefers to utilize draft capital alternatively.

The Giants may opt to optimize for cost-efficiency:

The Giants already have two big offensive line contracts on the roster in Nate Solder and Kevin Zeitler, so addressing the weak spot through the draft could certainly be the right move. Alabama tackle Jonah Williams comes to mind when considering players at No. 17. He’s expected to be on the board at that point in the draft and he fits the bill perfectly for a right-handed quarterback.

Williams is a pure hog-mollie, centered around power and mobility. He has the athleticism to play both left and right tackle, which is an added bonus for the Giants. Despite his strengths, Williams has shorter arms restricting his reach. There are scouts that believe he would be a better guard option, but there’s no question he be a great option if available for Big Blue on draft night.