New York Rangers: Players outside of North America will have to ‘self isolate’ per NHL Commissioner

New York Rangers

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was a guest on the “Today Show” on Wednesday morning and made it clear that players like New York Rangers Henrik Lundqvist and Mika Zibanejad will need to be quarantined when they come back to the United States.

The NHL has been on pause since Mar. 12 but with yesterday’s announcement hockey is getting closer to returning. Rangers players that are outside of the United States will need to come back to New York once the NHL begins phase three of the Return to Play format.

Bettman broke down where players have been staying since the pause went into effect some three months ago,

“We have about 44% of the of our players are in the cities in which they play, and 83% of our players are in North America, but you’re right 17% of our players are coming from outside of North America, they’re going to have to come back, they’re going to have to self isolate they’re going to be tested. We’re going to have to make sure they’re symptom-free, which is again why we’re doing this and steps, we can use the individual training phase, phase two, as we call it, to do that and get everybody back together as a community but once we go into training camp mode. There will be lots of testing not quite as much as when we’re actually playing in phase four. But we’re going to be monitoring everything very closely because we know we’ve got to bring back a large group of people from all over, and we have to make sure, as we’re bringing them together We’re not bringing COVID-19 with them.”

The Rangers do not need to recall players when phase two begins as it is a voluntary return. Players will be able to enter the team’s training facility in a group of six to skate and workout without coaches or trainers.

Phase three will be the start of the training camp which should begin sometime in mid-July. Aside from Lundqvist and Zibanejad players such as Kaapo Kakko and Alexandar Georgiev will have to head back to New York. Though no formal announcement has been made by the team, they would probably have to come back by mid-June so that the could self isolate for the 14 days prior to the start of phase three.

Tuesday’s announcement officially ended the regular season and based on the 24-team playoff format, the Rangers qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

Maybe Thibodeau will excel as the head coach of the New York Knicks

New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau

Tom Thibodeau is the leader in the clubhouse for the New York Knicks job.  Others that will get an interview are Mike Miller and Kenny Atkinson.

As it appears now, it’s Thibodeau’s job to lose. A lot the Knicks fan seem to think that Thibs is not the right man for the job.  We, Empire Sports Media, have also had our doubts about him as well.

But maybe we’re all over thinking this. Fans like to think Thibs will be running the Knicks players into the ground like he in Minnesota.  A good majority of people criticize that last season of his in Minnesota.  Not every coach is going to have incredible seasons every year. Unless you’re Phil Jackson.  There’s going to lots of ups and downs.

The thing about Thibs people forget about is he’s a proven coach.  Yes, it didn’t work out in Minnesota but in a way it did.  He got the Timberwolves to the playoffs for the first time since 2004.  If he can get the Knicks to the playoffs again, they’ll throw him a parade.

Thibs as a winning mindset. He requires the absolute best from his players at all times.  That’s why he was so successful in Chicago. People forget Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and Joakim Noah were all 25 or younger when they went 62-20 in 2010-11.  So he can develop the young guys and preach a defensive mentality.

One Knicks players that will benefit from Thibs is RJ Barrett.  He wants to be the best and who better than an old-school, no nonsense mindset than Thibs.

Regardless of some of the positive surrounding Thibs. Knicks fans will always look at the negatives.  We’re never satisfied with any moves and have no patience.  Hopefully, this time around is different for the New York Knicks.

New York Giants: Ranking Daniel Jones’s Best Throws From Rookie Season

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Happy Birthday, Daniel Jones!

To celebrate the New York Giants quarterback’s 23rd birthday, I will be reflecting on his awesome rookie season in today’s article. Today, I will rank Daniel’s top five throws from his rookie season. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

5. Tight Window Bullet Touchdown On The Run vs. Eagles

In the final game of the season, Daniel threw one last dime to Golden Tate. This play is so impressive because of what happens pre-throw. Jones is pressured instantly and feels that pressure coming from his right side. He escapes and keeps his eyes downfield and finds Golden Tate for a touchdown. The throw was fit into a perfect spot where only Tate could get it, despite excellent coverage by the Eagles’ defensive back.

4. The First Pass TD New England Allowed In 2019

The New England Patriots’ defense was incredible through the first five weeks of the 2019 NFL season. Heading into their Week 6 matchup with the New York Giants, the Patriots’ defense had not allowed opposing teams to score a single touchdown pass. That was until Danny threw this absolute DIME to Golden Tate in the second quarter.

3. Daniel Drops It In The Bucket For A TD On 4th and 18

Daniel Jones flashed his clutch gene in his rookie season. From his 4th quarter heroics in Tampa Bay, all the way to this insane fourth-down touchdown pass. Once again, Daniel is pressured instantly on this play. It is a long fourth and eighteen with the Giants down 12 in the fourth quarter. Daniel sees that pressure coming, shakes it off, then heaves one while being hit by Khalil Mack. The ball floats behind All-Pro Eddie Jackson and into the hands of Golden Tate. Once again, Jones and Tate connect as Daniel throws the ball where only his receiver can get it.

2. Deep Bomb To Slayton In Daniel Jones’s First Start

This was Daniel Jones’s first “OMG” throw in the NFL. Pressure coming from the right side, Jones is flushed out of the pocket. He rolls to his left, then launches an absolute bomb forty yards downfield to Darius Slayton. The best part of this throw: Jones is rolling left and throws it to the right. Any questions about Daniel’s arm strength heading into his first career start were thrown out of the stadium on this play.

 

1. Jones Threads The Needle For A TD To Ellison vs. Arizona

Finally, Daniel Jones’s best throw of the 2019 NFL season: this tight-window touchdown pass to Rhett Ellison. Daniel is working from a clean pocket on this play, finally not dealing with insane pressure. He surveys the field and finds Rhett Ellison down inside the five-yard line. This ball traveled roughly thirty yards through the air. Ellison was double-teamed but Jones fit this ball into the tightest window possible, perfectly timed for Ellison to haul in the pass before getting sandwiched between two defenders. It is rare to see a quarterback make a throw like this. This was a gutsy throw made with precision-accuracy.

Daniel threw a lot of great passes in his rookie season and this list easily could have been a top-ten. But I think these five throws are his most impressive.

Disagree with my list? Was I missing a specific throw? Did I underrate one of Danny’s Dimes? Come discuss it with me on Twitter!

This is why former Mets’ pitcher Bartolo Colon wants another shot in the majors so badly

Simeon Woods-Richardson

Veteran pitcher and folk hero Bartolo Colon, who pitched for the New York Mets between 2014 and 2016 (with a run into the World Series in 2015 in between) has recently said that he isn’t giving up on his dream of returning to the majors.

In fact, he even said that the Mets hold a special place in his heart, and that he would like to retire with the organization if it was up to him. In Queens, he had a 3.90 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 588.2 innings, starting 95 games between the three years. He was dependable and effective, and the fans know that.

Colon turned 47 over the weekend. He couldn’t find a major league deal over the spring and was getting ready to pitch in the Mexican League before the coronavirus pandemic put those plans to a halt.

Will the Mets give him another shot?

According to the Associated Press, cited by the New York Post, there is a reason why Colon is so desperate to return to the major leagues.

“I’m not retired. That’s not in my mind,” Colón told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “I’m still hoping of reaching my goal of pitching 46 innings. I’ll sign with the first team who wants me.”

Why 46, you may ask? Because that’s the amount of frames separting himself from the record of most innings pitched by a Dominican pitcher, held by Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.

After pitching for the Texas Rangers in 2018, the “Big Sexy” reached 3,461 2/3 innings. He is 247-188 in 565 games — 552 as a starter since he debuted with the Cleveland Indians back in 1997. His time on the Mets, though, was the last time he was particularly successful.

Marichal pitched 3,507 innings in 471 games over 16 years.

Colon knows that the clock is ticking and time isn’t precisely on his side.

“I know this is not a sport for the old, it’s for the young,” Colon said. “I keep training. Even though I’m not playing right now, I tried to keep fit.”

“I had to decide to stay in Mexico or get back to the Dominican Republic. I went to my country and they also have quarantines and curfews,” he said. “I’m still waiting. The Monclova people say they will tell me what will be happening with the season, depending on the virus.”

The Mets’ rotation is actually thin in depth now that Noah Syndergaard will miss the year with Tommy John surgery. Will they consider bringing Colon back for a farewell tour?

Brian Cashman wanted no part of the New York Yankees’ GM job at first

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

Every New York Yankees‘ fan dreams about what it would be like to be decision-maker of the team, baseball-wise. We fantasize about our perfect lineup, rotation, on-field strategy, defensive alignments, philosphy at the plate, and, especially, building a winning roster.

However, it would seem like current General Manager Brian Cashman didn’t want any part of the job at some point, before he was hired to perform it. It wasn’t just being the Yankees’ GM: it would also mean the he had to be George Steinbrenner’s GM.

“Early on I was with [GM] Woody Woodward, whose nickname was ‘The Pharmacist’ because his office drawer was filled with vitamins to try and keep him healthy while he was under such siege from The Boss,’’ Cashman recently said on a fund-raising call for Family Center’s Emergency Family Assistance Fund. “I remember saying to myself, ‘I would never want that job.’ Why would I not want the job? Because it is a no-win, so stressful.’’

Cashman took on the Yankees’ GM gig on February 3, 1998, right after Bob Watson stepped down. The 2020 season, if there is one of course, will be Cashman’s 23rd year in charge of the organization’s baseball calls.

A Yankees’ lifer

All in all, Cashman has 34 of his 52 years working for the Yankees, more than half of his life to date.

“It has been an amazing magic-carpet ride which has led us to this season,’’ he stated. He started back in 1986 as an intern in the minor league scouting department.

Coronavirus has, so far, prevented the season from starting, and Yankees’ fans are understanbly growing impatient. However, MLB and the players’ union are still trying to find common ground. Right now, the most prominent hurdles are health, safety and financial issues.

The New York Yankees managed to build a fantastic roster and are considered among the favorites to win it all. They added ace Gerrit Cole, among others.

“We believe we have another championship-caliber team on our hands, and we just want to deploy it the best way we possibly can. We have been knocking on the door and are always in championship mode,’’ Cashman said.

Former Yankees’ reliever Andrew Miller slams MLB’s COVID-19 restart plan

New York Yankees, Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller, before fetching prospects Clint Frazier, Ben Heller, J. P. Feyereisen and Justus Sheffield in 2016, was a top-flight reliever for the New York Yankees. He was perhaps the top left-handed in baseball at the time, and the return was on par of what should be expected.

The reliever, who is now considered to be on a normal routine by his team, the St. Louis Cardinals, after not getting a feel of his pitches over the spring, wasn’t happy after he saw the owners’ proposal to further cut player salaries in a shortened 2020 season, according to NJ.com.

“I saw the proposal,” Miller, the Cardinals’ players union representative, told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “We want to play. It’s what we love to do. We also have principles and a responsibility to protect the rights of players. If this was truly about getting the game to the fans in 2020, we would have no issues finding that common ground.

“We will continue to work towards that, but I’m disappointed where they have started the discussion,” Miller said.

Yankees’ star Gerrit Cole would take massive pay cut

The MLB owners plan to drastically cut the game’s richest and highest paid players. Take the example of the New York Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole: he is supposed to make $36 million this season, and would make between $5 and $6 million.

Players who make near the league minimum or a little bit more than that wouldn’t see drastic changes in their payday.

The proposal came after the players rebuffed the owners’ attempt to install a 50-50 revenue split. The two sides had agreed to fully prorated salaries back in March.

“We made a proposal to the union that is completely consistent with the economic realities facing our sport,” MLB said in a statement, according to the report. “We look forward to a responsive proposal from the MLBPA.”

Miller performed while he was on the Yankees for a season and a half. He had a 1.77 ERA and 45 saves in 104 games.

New York Yankees: Outfielder Mike Tauchman ready to make an impact

Mike Tauchman, New York Yankees

 

New York Yankees Mike Tauchman has been a slow blooming acquisition of the Yankees from the Colorado Rockies. He has spent most of his time in the minors but also has shown his abilities to play almost anywhere on the field. Late in the season he became one of the Yankees hottest bats. Let’s find out a bit more about this versatile player.

Mike is 29 years old; he is a multi-talented athlete having attended high school in Palatine, Illinois, where he played baseball and was the quarterback for the football team. In his senior year, he led a come from behind win against future NFL quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He attended Bradley University, where he played baseball for the Bradley Braves. In his senior in 2013, he won the Missouri Conference Player of the Year Award.

After college, he would be drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2013 summer draft. From 2013 through 2016, he would hit only one home run. But in 2017, he would hit 16 long balls. He would make his major league debut on June 27, 2017. He would play in 31 games in 2017 hitting .222. In 2018 he would be Pacific Coast League Player of the Week from May 14–20. In this week, he would make a big splash. He would hit .417 with five home runs with eight runs scored and a total of 27 bases. That wouldn’t last as he would only hit .097 for in 21 games in the major league. General Manager of the Yankees Brian Cashman saw something special in Mike and made a trade for him, making him a New York Yankee.

After the trade in March, he would make the opening day roster, which was a surprise to many Yankee fans, as it had appeared that Tyler Wade had earned the spot. Many questioned Cashman’s wisdom. In the first half of the season, he would bounce back and forth from Scranton Wilkes/Barre and the stadium. Before the All-Star break, he would hit .228 with four home runs in 42 games.

In the summer dog days, Tauchman would catch fire. In his final 45 games, Tauchman powered nine home runs, 20 extra-base hits, 30 RBI, and slashed .315/.395/.582. Tauchman’s peak came in July when he had 13 RBI in 16 games, plus an OPS of 1.224. He seemed to find power and became a clutch hitter out of thin air and become an unexpectedly reliable contributor for the team. Unfortunately, Tauchman’s season came to a premature end after a Grade 2 calf strain sidelined him in September. He likely wouldn’t have played much in the playoffs anyway, but it was a sour end to a breakout season for Tauchman.

At 29, Mike should be coming into his prime. Last year the Yankees used him out of necessity due to the unprecedented number of injuries. This year, after last year’s surprising season, you may be seeing Mike “The Sockman” taking a much more major role in the Yankee success. He will most likely be platooning between the center and left field at least until Aaron Hicks returns from Tommy John surgery. Aaron Boone will want to keep Tauchman around as he also adds a crucial left-hand bat to the New York Yankee’s overly heavy lineup of right-handed batters.

Tauchman finished the year with a .277 batting average, hitting 13 home runs in only 82 games. With his excellent outfield defense, Mike is ready to contribute and wants to make an impact in his second season.

Meet the 2020 New York Liberty

After yesterday’s mandated roster cutdowns, the New York Liberty are at a dozen players ready to do battle if/when the 2020 season commences.

If and when we get a 2020 WNBA season, the New York Liberty will be ready.

The team announced several roster moves this week, waiving veteran interior prescience Reshanda Gray and declaring that international young stars Marine Johannes and Han Xu would remain overseas. These transactions put the Liberty in compliance with WNBA roster procedures, which dictated that teams had to trim their roster to a dozen players at most. Such a declaration ensures players will be paid beginning on June 1.

New York’s roster certainly looks a little different from when we last saw them. The face of the franchise and all-time leading scorer Tina Charles was dealt to the defending champions in Washington. Tanisha Wright retired and fellow veteran Brittany Boyd was waived. Another guard, Bria Hartley, signed with the Phoenix Mercury.

In their place, the Liberty are now a squad that consists of the mandated 12 players…half of which are rookies. What will new head coach Walt Hopkins be dealing with when they get back to action? Meet the team below….

G/F Rebecca Allen

Experience: 6th season
From: Australia
Acquired: 2015 free agent

A Victoria, Australia native, Allen earned the nickname “Spida” for her tenacious defense. But Allen began to turn heads during a 2019 breakout campaign that saw her set a new career-best in scoring (7.2 points per game) and finish fifth in the WNBA’s three-point percentage rankings (.426). In an August tilt against Minnesota, Allen set a franchise record with 20 points in a single quarter, two short of the WNBA record set by Diana Taurasi. Entering her sixth season in seafoam, Allen is now the longest-tenured New Yorker after the departures of Charles and Boyd.

G Layshia Clarendon

Experience: 8th season
From: Cal-Berkeley
Acquired: 2020 free agent

The newly acquired Clarendon (most recently of the Connecticut Sun) is the most tenured member of the Liberty as she enters her eighth season of action. Injuries limited her to nine games last season but she has been highly regarded for her leadership skills on and off the court. Clarendon was a first-round selection of the Indiana Fever in 2013 and reached the WNBA All-Star Game proceedings as a member of the Atlanta Dream four years later. Her resume also boasts experience with the United States national basketball squad, helping them capture the gold medal in the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Tenerife, Spain.

G Asia Durr

Experience: 2nd season
From: Louisville
Acquired: 2019 1st-round pick (2nd overall)

The hype over Ionescu has some hidden the fact that the Liberty are set to welcome back another top-two pick. Injuries would cost Durr nearly half of her rookie season, but she managed to provide a preview of what’s to come during her abbreviated debut. Of note, Durr put up a career-best-to-date 20 points in one of her first starts, a 75-69 triumph over Minnesota last June. Durr, along with teammate Kia Nurse, is also one of the newest athletic faces of the Jordan Brand, becoming the second and third WNBA players to don the Jumpman logo.

G Sabrina Ionescu

Experience: Rookie
From: Oregon
Acquired: 2020 1st-round pick (1st overall)

We could list every collegiate accolade that Ionescu earned during her time in Eugene, but, alas, we’re not paid by the word. To sum it up, Ionescu is the first top overall pick in Liberty history and the NCAA’s all-time leader in triple-doubles (26, more than double her closest competitor). Among her potential carry-on luggage on her flight to New York will be a trio of Pac-12 Player of the Year trophies and Nancy Lieberman Awards (awarded to women’s Division I basketball’s top point guard), as well as the most recent Player of the Year titles from the Naismith committee and the Associated Press. A sign of potential things to come were on display when Oregon took on Team USA in an exhibition last winter; she tallied 33 points and the Ducks dealt the Americans their first loss to a college team since 1999.

G Jazmine Jones

Experience: Rookie
From: Louisville
Acquired: 2020 1st-round pick (12th overall)

Chosen with one of the picks acquired from the Charles trade, Jones is a former teammate of Durr with the Cardinals (despite earning a scholarship offer from ACC competitor Florida State in the eighth grade). She enjoyed a breakout season in her final year in red, averaging a career-best 14.1 points and appeared on the premier editions of the All-ACC and ACC All-Defensive squads. The Jones family is certainly no stranger to athletic heroics. Jazmine’s sister GiGi partook in hardwood exploits at Appalachian State and Jacksonville and her brother Reginald Jr. was a tight end at Florida A&M.

G Kia Nurse

Experience: 3rd season
From: Connecticut
Acquired: 2018 1st-round pick (10th overall)

If there’s a veteran face of Liberty basketball, it probably would be the Hamilton, Canada native Nurse. She partook and start in every Liberty game last season and broke out to the tune of 13.7 points per game and her first WNBA All-Star Game appearance (named a starter for Elena Delle Donne’s squad in the latter). Nurse would also partake in the league’s three-point competition, having ranked sixth in successful attempts (65). The extended hiatus has been any but an offseason for Nurse. She has become the Liberty’s social media star, hosting the socially distanced talk show “Kickin’ It with Kia” on the New York accounts and recently took home MVP honors in Australia’s WNBL as a member of the Canberra Capitals.

F Leaonna Odom

Experience: Rookie
From: Duke
Acquired: 2020 2nd-round pick (15th overall)

Another ACC-spawned defensive lockdown artist, Odom developed a scoring game during her latter seasons in Durham. The California native not only averaged a career-best 14.3 points in her senior season and also finished fourth in the ACC with a 54.7 field goal percentage. She also served as a flexible option, playing four different positions on the floor last year. Her defensive prowess put her on numerous award watch list (particularly the Cheryl Miller and Kartina McClain accolades bestowed to the best forwards) and her athleticism allowed her to jump up the draft board.

F Kylee Shook

Experience: Rookie
From: Louisville
Acquired: 2020 2nd-round pick (13th overall)

Another Durr teammate and Louisville alumna, Shook was another player known for her defensive prowess. Ionescu, for example, will be quite pleased to have Shook on her side in the coming years. When the Cardinals and Ducks squared off last November, Shook’s box score boasted 18 points and 15 rebounds, while Ionescu was held to 6-of-20 shooting in UL’s 72-62 victory. Shook would later become the all-time leading blocker in Cardinals history, surpassing five-time WNBA All-Star Angel McCoughtry. Her newfound ability to shoot from deep could also come up big in the new system.

C Kiah Stokes

Experience: 5th season
From: Connecticut
Acquired: 2015 1st-round pick (11th overall)

The Liberty get back an exciting interior prescience in Stokes, who partook in Turkey’s EuroBasket proceedings but opted to sit out the entire 2019 WNBA season for personal reasons. Another holdover from the team’s final MSG days, Stokes is already the all-time leading blocker in Liberty history (163 over her first four seasons). More recently, Stokes has established herself on the Turkish basketball circuit, winning a pair of titles Fenerbahçe Women’s Basketball. The block master was the recipient of a new contract with the Liberty at the start of the offseason.

F Megan Walker

Experience: Rookie
From: Connecticut
Acquired: 2020 1st-round pick (9th overall)

Another rookie yielded from the blockbuster Charles transaction, Walker was a rare junior entry into the draft proceedings. She show her way up the draft board with a breakout season in Storrs, putting up 19.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, a campaign that netted her first-team All-American honors and the AAC’s Player of the Year Award. Another three-point threat, Walker should work well with Nurse, her fellow former Husky. She sank 45.1 percent of her triple attempts last season, a mark good for ninth in the nation.

F/G Jocelyn Willoughby

Experience: Rookie
From: Virginia
Acquired: 2020 trade with Phoenix

Willoughby was originally chosen with the 10th pick of the WNBA Draft, but came to New York in exchange for Shatori Walker-Kimbrough’s contract (the latter was acquired from Washington in the Charles deal). Former Liberty star and ESPN expert Rebecca Lobo noted that Willoughby “can score at a high clip and high efficiency from the three-point line” Willoughby also has a pleasant knack for getting to the foul line. She shot 87 percent from the charity stripe in her senior year in Charlottesville, reaching double-digit attempts on her own eight times.

C Amanda Zahui B

Experience: 6th season
From: Minnesota
Acquired: 2016 trade with Tulsa

Zahui B took advantage of a new opportunity when she was pressed into regular starting duties for the first time in her career last season. The former second overall pick and Stockholm native put up new career-best averages of 8.6 points and 6.3 rebounds over 24 games before repping her homeland Sweden during EuroBasket proceedings. She wound up guiding the Swedes to their best-ever EuroBasket finish (5th). Back in America, Zahui B stole the show in a June win in Los Angeles, tallying the best single-game output of any 2019 WNBA player with 37 points.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

 

New York Jets: Joe Flacco is ready to take on a support role with Sam Darnold

New York Jets, Joe Flacco

The signing of Joe Flacco by the New York Jets was a fantastic move to back up Sam Darnold in his development. Darnold has yet to play a full 16 games over his first two seasons in the NFL, missing three games in 2019 due to mono. Having a capable backup as essential, as we have seen in recent years with Nick Foles winning a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles and even how integral Josh McCown was in Darnold’s progression.

However, Flacco is keen on playing in the NFL for many more years, but coming off a severe neck injury is problematic. The Jets can ease him into their offense and utilize him to supplement any injuries throughout the 2020 campaign. Flacco isn’t just trying to play, though, he is also on board with helping the Jets’ young franchise quarterback develop further and cement himself on the team. Darnold has yet to show his elite side on a consistent level, failing to throw more than 19 touchdowns over the last two years.

“I want to, first and foremost, help the team in any way possible, but also be a guy that Sam can lean on and can learn from,” Flacco said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I would say those are the two most important things: to help out the guys on the team and to help out Sam to do all he can.”

Helping Darnold will be Flacco’s primary task with the New York Jets, and that will give him the time to recover properly from his injury and return to football shape. He is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and an MVP, attesting to his quality and what he brings to the table. This could also indicate the Jets are confident they can win now, and having a capable backup would be essential in a potential playoff situation (given an injury).

“[I] took a while to really think about what I wanted to do,” he said. “My mind was just all over the place even a couple of months into the offseason. I was kind of going crazy about the whole thing.”

“For me personally, I want to play football,” Flacco said. “I’ve had some things happen and got injured and had to have surgery. I’ve got to find my way back into the league. I want to play for years to come. I think these guys have given me a great opportunity and hope I can make the most of whatever my situation and whatever my role ends up being.”

General manager Joe Douglas did a phenomenal job bringing in an experienced quarterback like Flacco to help the offense. While he might not be throwing a football in a live game anytime soon, his experience is essential and will give them the confidence to move forward knowing they have quality depth of the quarterback position.

New York Giants: Could Andrew Thomas start off his career at right tackle?

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

Could the New York Giants swap Andrew Thomas to right tackle? Would it make sense?

When the New York Giants drafted Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the expectation was that he would fill the starting left tackle position immediately. Replacing Nate Solder as Daniel Jones’s blindside protector, Thomas has the highest floor of any of the prospects coming out of the draft at the tackle position. He has a phenomenal anchor in pass protection and can mirror defensive ends well, he also has the mobility to move to the second level in the run game and the strength to overpower defenders of the line of scrimmage.

However, he is a bit undersized for the left tackle spot and lacks a bit of athleticism compared to third-round pick Matt Peart out of UConn. Peart entered the NFL as a far superior athlete over Thomas, and that spurs the question, could he eventually be the Giants’ starting left tackle?

While Thomas has played predominately left tackle at the collegiate level, his size better fits the right tackle position. Peart stands at 6-foot-7 and 318 pounds. He posted a 5.06 40-yard dash and 26 reps on the bench press at the combine. He “wowed” scouts with his size, strength, speed, and athleticism. While he is a bit more of a developmental piece, his long arms and frame suit left tackle position in the future.

Nonetheless, I do believe the Giants will utilize Peart at right tackle considering Thomas’ draft spot. You don’t normally select a right tackle as high as number four in the draft, but things could shake out differently in the future.

“I would think they’d probably play Andrew Thomas at left,” said Senior Bowl executive, Jim Nagy. “But if you were starting from scratch and where they got drafted from wasn’t an issue, you’d probably put Peart and left and Thomas on the right.”

“Usually you can’t get a guy with starting left tackle ability in the third round, and he’s got that type of upside,” Nagy said. “His feet, his length, he’s done some really good stuff in pass pro. He’s a better athlete than Andrew Thomas.

Joe Judge opened the door for flexibility going into year one under his control:

“Everyone is going to come in on Day 1 and compete and as they shake out,” Judge said. “Whether that demonstrates being a starter at whatever position, that’s where they’ll fall. We went into this with several players we all thought had the ability to go on both sides, right or left. We made a decision that we’re going to let training camp figure that out.

The Giants are in a position to move pieces around if they see fit. While Peart needs at least one year to develop, they will have the adaptability from their players to interchange positions if need be. With that being said, allowing Thomas to gain essential experience with Jones should be a priority, and that’s how I see the offensive line playing out in 2020.