New York Giants: Daniel Jones planning to learn from Josh Allen this offseason

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

This season, it will be impossible to avoid the comparisons between New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and Josh Allen. As much as coaches like to talk about not comparing players, it’s clear that Allen’s success has played some role in the Giants’ hiring decisions. After all, it’s likely Brian Daboll wouldn’t be here as Giants head coach if it wasn’t for his role in developing Allen into a franchise QB.

While the Giants are far from bound to Daniel Jones forever, it’s clear that the team’s owners intend to at least try giving Jones one more shot to succeed with a better support system.

It’s a high pressure season coming up, and Jones plans on using the offseason to learn from someone that’s already had success with Daboll: Josh Allen himself.

Daniel Jones plans to talk with Josh Allen

“Going forward I plan to try to get in touch with him,” Jones told the New York Post.

It looks like he specifically plans to seek advice on getting things working with his new head coach.

“I think just kind of general stuff on how they made it work so well… How he went about building that relationship, and how he learned best and just made it work.”

Jones going to Allen makes a lot of sense, given the Bills DNA in this rebuild. The connection only deepened further when the Giants signed Shea Tierney from Buffalo as quarterbacks coach.

The former Bills assistant QB coach also played a hand in Allen’s improvement, and was on the Alabama staff with Daboll in 2017 as an analyst.

Allen, however, is surrounded by better talent than what the Giants have right now. Even if the Giants make big strides this season in coaching, we’ll have to wait and see if there’s enough talent for Jones to show a turnaround like Allen’s.

Report: Knicks looking to free up minutes for Cam Reddish

The New York Knicks appear to have turned into sellers instead of buyers.

With barely a week before the Feb. 10 trade deadline, the earlier report of the Knicks making their veterans available is getting louder. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer doubled down on this when he reported that the Knicks are looking for ways to free up the logjam in their suddenly deep rotation.

“New York is looking to free playing time for Cam Reddish in Tom Thibodeau’s rotation after acquiring the Duke product from Atlanta for a first-round pick. Each of Nerlens Noel, Evan Fournier, Alec Burks and Kemba Walker are all considered available,” Fischer wrote.

But it is unclear what the market is for their veterans who are either miscast, struggling to fit, or dealing with injuries.

Noel has only played 22 games this season due to several injuries. Walker was able to bounce back from nine DNPs and had a nice stretch, including a 44-point game and Christmas triple-double, before his knee flared up again. He had been a shell of himself since returning from his nagging knee injury. Alec Burks has gone in and out of the starting lineup, forced to play point guard while Walker and Derrick Rose were out. Evan Fournier has found his rhythm of late, but the emergence of Quentin Grimes, who offers more defensive upside, and the acquisition of Reddish, is hanging over his head.

If the reports are accurate, it is safe to assume that the Knicks are trying to consolidate some of their contracts in a 2 or 3- for-1 deal or in exchange for future assets and matching salaries.

Walker has an expiring $9.1 million salary next season, while Noel (owed $9.2 million next season) and Burks (owed $10 million next season) are basically expiring deals next season with their third year as a team option. Only Fournier is signed beyond next season. Fournier is owed $18 million next season and $18.8 million in 2023-24 with a $19 million team option in the 2024-25 season when he would still be relatively young at 31.

Contending teams could take a flier on the Knicks veterans to shore up their bench or fill up vacuums left by injured players. But among the four, only Burks and Fournier have proven to be durable and more reliable this season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the market for another ball-handler, with Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio lost for the season. The Dallas Mavericks have lost some shooting with Tim Hardaway, Jr.’s season-ending foot injury. But the Mavericks have not made Knicks target Jalen Brunson available. The Utah Jazz just lost Joe Ingles, a key piece off the bench, to an ACL injury.

They are just some of the teams that this shrewd Knicks front office could take advantage of.

But if all else fails, the Knicks might be better riding with them for the rest of the season and wait for the summer to make significant moves.

Based on Tom Thibodeau’s past teams, he rarely had a blockbuster in-season acquisition. Only the Derrick Rose trade last year could count as a significant move by a Thibodeau team. But the familiarity was already there. Unless a superstar to their liking becomes available, it’s safe to assume again that the Knicks will just work on the margins. Expect no fireworks come Feb. 10.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Yankees could go with a familiar face at first base, but it will cost them

anthony rizzo, yankees

When and if a new Collective Bargaining Agreement can be reached, the New York Yankees will have several issues to solve, and they may have less than two weeks to do it. There are three major issues that the Yankees have on their plate. A new shortstop, a permanent first baseman, and the possibility of needing another starting pitcher. Getting that shortstop seems to be the priority, but deciding on a first baseman for the new season is just as important.

When we speak about first base, the Yankees do have obvious options. They already have Luke Voit on the books, they could re-sign last year’s acquisition of Anthony Rizzo, who is a free agent. The other options are a trade with the Oakland Athletics for Matt Olson, and lastly, spending big for the Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman.

Although, still very unclear as to what the Yankees will do, here is how things are shaping up. Voit, although the cheapest way to go, and already held over for another season, was not productive at the first base position last season after being the home run leader in 2020. He could be satisfactory, but his inability to keep the lower part of his body (feet and knees) healthy could be a challenge for the Yankees, keeping him off the field and becoming useless. So let’s say he is not the most desirable to take on the job.

Herein comes the roadblocks. The Yankees hiring the Braves Freddie Freeman seems pretty unlikely. This is true mainly because he will demand a contract in the area of $180 million over the next six years. That is something the Yankees, although interested, might not be willing to pay. He has already refused the Braves’ offer and seems likely not to stray too far from those wants. N

No matter how attractive to the Yankees, being the best man for the job, the Yankees have to consider they may have to pay big for a shortstop and a pitcher, they also have slugger Aaron Judge, the face of the Yankees, waiting in the wings for a big contract extension. Add that to two huge contracts, Stanton and Cole, already on the books, the money doesn’t seem to be there to add Freddie Freeman.

The second roadblock would be the acquisition of Matt Olsen from the Athletics. Before the lockout, the two sides in that discussion could not form a deal. The A’s wanted Anthony Volpe in a trade package that also might include Oswald Peraza. The Yankees refused.

According to SNY’s Andy Martino, the Yankees were unwilling to send top shortstop prospects Anthony Volpe and/or Oswald Peraza to the A’s in exchange for Olson before the lockout. Several other analysts also echoed that suggestion. Unless the Yankees do a complete turnaround, that trade does not look likely, as the Yankees will be unwilling to strip their farm system for one player.

The answer that is becoming more clear by the day is that the Yankees will settle with re-signing Anthony Rizzo. There are several reasons that that choice makes sense. For one, although not the most important consideration, is that Rizzo likes New York and wants to remain with the team.

Last season he disappointed some, but still, in 49 games played after the trade deadline, he hit .249 with 8 home runs. Between the Yankees and the Cubs, the only other team he has ever played for, he hit a total of 21 home runs, nothing to make fun of. Also, the Yankees have to consider his excellent defense. His home run total and batting average was better than Voit and has a much better injury history than Voit. Considering all these facts, it seems the best overall option for the Yankees is to resign Anthony Rizzo.

Giants steal Bills’ assistant QB coach Shea Tierney as latest staff addition

Shea Tierney, giants, bills

The New York Giants are in the middle of hiring their new offensive staff under new head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen.

With Buffalo Bills assistant OC Ken Dorsey being promoted to offensive coordinator, Daboll is looking at alternative options for the vacant position.

There are reportedly three finalists for the OC spot, including Mike Kafka of Kansas City, Pep Hamilton of Houston, and Chad O’Shea from Cleveland.

However, Daboll is keen on stealing a few more coaches from Buffalo that he is heavily connected to. Former assistant quarterbacks coach with the Bills, Shea Tierney, will be making his way over to the Giants as the team’s quarterback coach, per Dan Duggan of The Athletic.

Tierney has played an instrumental role in helping quarterback Josh Allen reach his potential. Tierney originally joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013, then acted as an offensive analyst under Nick Saban and Daboll with the Alabama Crimson Tide from 2016–2017.

After his short stint in Alabama, Tierney followed Daboll to the Buffalo Bills in 2018.

Per the Buffalo Bills website, Tierney helped guide Josh Allen to finish second in MVP voting and set single-season franchise records for passing touchdowns, completions, 300-yard games, passer rating, completion percentage, passing yards, and total touchdowns during his first year with Buffalo.

It is possible that Tierney would’ve been promoted to the head quarterback coach job with Dorsey being promoted to OC in Buffalo, but clearly, he’s loyal to Daboll, joining his ranks with Big Blue.

Giants hosting in-person interview with Chiefs QB coach and passing game coordinator on Wednesday

mike kafka, giants, chiefs

The New York Giants have boiled down to three offensive coordinator finalists, Mike Kafka of the Kansas City Chiefs, Pep Hamilton, formerly of the Houston Texans, and Chad O’Shea of the Cleveland Browns.

The Giants are preparing to interview Kafka for the vacant offensive coordinator position on Wednesday. According to Adam Caplan, he will have his first in-person interview with Brian Daboll and management.

Kafka would be a huge grab for Big Blue, having played an integral part in developing Patrick Mahomes into the elite quarterback he is today.

Having once been a journeyman quarterback in the NFL, the 34-year-old is ready to make the jump to OC after proving his worth in Kansas City.

Mahomes recently promoted Kafka for his increased pocket presence and helping him refine several abilities:

“First off I’ve gotten more familiar with the offensive line in general. Just being able to play behind those guys, go to battle with them, getting a good feel for them definitely helps out a ton. I think I’ve just continued to work on the fundamentals. Coach (Mike) Kafka has really kind of engrained that in me as the season’s gone on and I think I’ve gotten better as of late because of that,” Mahomes said. “Trying to figure out that right balance of when to scramble and run and do that stuff and when to stay in the pocket and make the throw is something I’ll always work on. Definitely think I’ve gotten better as these weeks have gone on.”

The Giants would have an elite pairing:

Pairing Kafka with Daboll, who helped develop Josh Allen, would provide quarterback Daniel Jones with two of the league’s best offensive minds. Understanding how to grow a quarterback is extremely valuable, and having two coaches with essential experience would promote a healthy situation for Jones or whatever quarterback the Giants plan to roll with in the future.

Big Blue has an interesting situation developing with Jones. They have to decide on his fifth-year option by May. If they elect to decline it, they would virtually be using the 2022 season as a prove-it year, giving them the opportunity to slap him with a franchise tag or extend him on a legitimate contract.

Brian Flores takes aim at Giants after perceived “sham” interview

brian flores, giants

A few days after the New York Giants officially hired Brian Daboll to be their new head coach, candidate Brian Flores aimed at the organization for perceived racial bias.

Many factors play into Flores’s class-action lawsuit against the Giants and Miami Dolphins, but one thing seems for sure, co-owner John Mara considered Flores, a legitimate candidate for the head coaching spot.

Mara reached out to Flores immediately after he fired Joe Judge to indicate that he was interested in his services, but after hiring general manager Joe Schoen from the Buffalo Bills, he gave the majority of power to his new football czar.

However, texts from Bill Belichick indicate that Flores never really had a chance and that Daboll was in line to be the next head coach of the Giants, despite Mara’s interest in the form of Miami HC.

Belichick accidentally texted Flores instead of Daboll, prematurely congratulating him on landing the job, which started a tsunami of legalities with Flores at the helm.

“It was a range of emotions,” Flores said while appearing on “CBS Mornings” Wednesday. “Humiliation. Disbelief. Anger. I worked so hard to get where I am in football to become a head coach. To go in on what was a sham interview, I was hurt.”

Whether or not Flores has a legitimate case is yet to be seen and will be determined in court, most likely. The Giants are content with her head coaching search and process, stating that Flores was involved until the 11th hour, which contradicts Belichick’s texts.

“We are pleased and confident with the process that resulted in the hiring of Brian Daboll,” the Giants said in a statement. “We interviewed an impressive and diverse group of candidates. The fact of the matter is, Brian Flores was in the conversation to be our head coach until the eleventh hour. Ultimately, we hired the individual we felt was most qualified to be our next head coach.”

It really boils down to where Belichick got this information in the first place and if it was a current member of the New York Giants.

Flores also targeted the Rooney Rule, put in place to guarantee minority candidates an opportunity to sit in front of ownership and make their case for vacant head coaching positions.

“The Rooney Rule was intended to give minorities an opportunity to sit down with ownership,” Flores said. “What it’s turned into, it’s just guys checking a box.”

At the end of the day, Flores will need to provide ample proof of the wrongdoings from the Giants, but at this point in time, all we can do is sit and wait for more truth to be uncovered.

Knicks could look to acquire veteran point guard from the Timberwolves at trade deadline

patrick beverly, knicks, timberwolves

Following the 2020–21 season, the New York Knicks had established a culture and benchmark for their success. Despite being knocked out of the playoffs in the first round, making it, to begin with, was a major surprise, let alone securing the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference.

However, this season, the team is struggling considerably to elevate their game, especially with power forward Julius Randle regressing to the mean.

As we approach the trade deadline on February 10, the team is looking to potentially inject more talent into the roster, especially at the point guard position with Derrick Rose not expected to return until after the All-Star game.

Losing Rose resulted in a major negative impact, representing a loss in floor general mentality and facilitation. Rose calmed down the entire team, managing the offensive flow and attacking the basket with intelligence and efficiency.

Before suffering an ankle injury, Rose was averaging 12 points per game, shooting 40% from three-point range and posting 4.0 assists per night.

Relying on Randle to be the team’s primary passer and assist maestro was never a sustainable strategy. According to Jake Fisher of Bleacher Report, reports have indicated that the Minnesota Timberwolves might be willing to part ways with one of their veteran players, Patrick Beverley.

Many believe Beverley is still an incredibly valuable piece to Minnesota, given his leadership qualities and efficiency. This season, Beverley is only averaging 8.8 points per game, but he’s also recording a career-high 5.0 assists and shooting 41% from the field. Beverley is an experienced point guard who could help supplement deficiencies on both sides of the ball.

Beverley is currently in the last year of a three-year, $40 million deal he initially signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. At 33 years old, he’s set to earn $14.3 million this year, but if traded, the Timberwolves would have to consume most of that salary.

The Knicks could likely acquire Beverley for pennies, injecting more PG talent into the roster and leadership they desperately need, with Randle struggling to maintain his form and showing hostility at times with a media.

Beverley is a well-respected player in the NBA and an important locker room guy for Minnesota.

However, Beverley has indicated he wants to stay in Minnesota, so if management is really keen on trading him, they have to find the right opportunity where he can thrive and find a good home.

The Knicks would offer him an opportunity to make an impact immediately on the biggest stage, a nice place to land.

Yankees have no shot at a blockbuster trade after refusal to part ways with prospects

The New York Yankees are gearing up for a busy off-season once the lockout ends, especially after being connected in various trade scenarios with the Oakland Athletics.

Prior to the lockout, the Yankees were connected to star first baseman Matt Olson, who is coming off his best year as a professional. In 2021, Olson hit .271 with 39 homers and 111 RBIs. He posted a career-low 16.8% strikeout rate and 37.8 offensive WAR.

If the Yankees were really intrigued by his services in a prospective trade, there is no doubt Oakland would’ve asked for a major haul in return. Including multiple prospects and even starting-level talent at a price-efficient cost, the Yankees would’ve had to build a hefty package to acquire the lefty batter.

However, Andy Martino of SNY reported that the Yankees are “unwilling” to send either Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza to the Athletics in exchange for Olson.

Considering how many shortstop prospects the Yankees have in their farm system, being reluctant to send one of their top guns may end up biting them in the butt. Unless, of course, they envision one of the two changing positions to help establish the infield.

The expectation is that Volpe and Peraza are about one or two years away from making their MLB debut, but the team is looking long-term with their success and not giving up on young talent in exchange for proven commodities.

There is a legitimate strategy built-in to this thought process. Money is money, the Yankees can afford to spend whatever amount to acquire big names, but giving away young talent can have a reverberating consequence in the future.

With the inability to further develop Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar, and injuries to Luis Severino, the Yankees might’ve thought to part ways with prospects in exchange for proven players.

However, it is clear they’re incredibly high on Volpe and Peraza, who have both been dominating at the minor-league level.

This past year, Volpe hits .294 across two minor-league teams, recording 27 homers and 86 RBIs. Peraza, on the other hand, hit .297 with 18 homers and 58 RBIs, performing very well with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in Triple-A ball.

Report: Yankees are unwilling to include their two top shortstop prospects in trade packages

Every team in the league knows that the New York Yankees are looking for a shortstop and would like to upgrade pitching and first base, mainly because they don’t trust Luke Voit to remain healthy for a full season.

The Yankees have been linked with a trade with the Oakland Athletics for all of the offseason. They have the pitchers (Chris Bassitt, Frankie Montas, and Sean Manaea) and the first baseman (Matt Olson) that interest the Bombers.

However, a trade may not happen at all, because the Yankees don’t want to part with their top prospects. According to Andy Martino of SNY, New York is strongly opposed to the idea of giving away top shortstop prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza. Both made recent top 100 prospects list, with Volpe universally considered a top-15 asset.

Olson, 28 by the time the season starts, will not be cheap: he has two seasons of team control remaining and is fresh off putting a 5.0-fWAR season. He hit .271/.371/.540 with 39 home runs, 111 RBI, and a 146 wRC+, and is considered an excellent defensive first baseman.

The A’s asked for the moon, understandably, but the Yankees didn’t bite

Naturally, he would cost some assets, and the A’s, understandably, would ask for the moon. And that includes Volpe or Peraza plus other pieces, but the Yankees are reluctant.

Martino confirmed that the aforementioned scenario took place before the lockout: the Yankees were unwilling to include their young shortstops in any negotiations.

The A’s are expected to shed payroll, but they have some leverage because the Atlanta Braves also want Olson. If they re-sign Freddie Freeman, though, they may be forced to take a package they don’t want.

If the Yankees sign one of the top-two shortstops available in free agency, Carlos Correa or Trevor Story, they would be much more inclined to trade Gleyber Torres than their two top prospects at the position.

One player the Giants should steal from the Buffalo Bills in free agency

isaiah mckenzie, giants, bills

The New York Giants have a long and arduous off-season ahead, especially after head coach candidate Brian Flores filed a class-action suit against the team on Tuesday afternoon. Flores indicated there was racial bias involved in the head coaching search, as the Giants landed on Brian Daboll of the Buffalo Bills.

According to texts from New England coach Bill Belichick, the Giants were close to hiring Daboll before Flores even interviewed, arguing that they were simply adhering to the Rooney Rule requirements.

Nonetheless, the Giants will begin looking to the future with new management in place. Part of their rebuild process will be to clear up money so they can sign several free agents off the open market. Currently, the Giants have $-10.7 million in cap space, putting them in a peculiar situation.

New GM Joe Schoen will have no choice but to part ways with several high-profile players making big money. Notably James Bradberry, Blake Martinez, Sterling Shepard, Kyle Rudolph, and punter Riley Dixon. It’s possible they re-work deals to reduce the cap hit, but there will be casualties that will likely be addressed through the 2022 NFL Draft.

One way Schoen and Daboll can impact the team positivity is to bring in familiar faces from Buffalo. They’ve already signed practice squad RB Antonio Williams to a futures deal, indicating a shift in culture familiarity.

Another name that could pop up come the off-season is Bills’ WR Isaiah McKenzie, who had himself a relatively quiet campaign but could be an impact player for Big Blue down the road if considered.

McKenzie finished the 2021 season with 178 receiving yards and 1 TD, tallying 47 rushing yards and a score on the ground as well. There’s a belief that Buffalo may try to bring him back, but given Daboll’s influence and his likely cost-efficient deal, the Giants could take a swing at the dual-purpose weapon.

As a former 5th round pick, McKenzie once ran a 4.42 40-yard dash and showed great game speed. His agility and quickness make him a legit weapon, and with Daboll likely to implement a more motion-heavy system, his services could be useful.

Here’s a great story between McKenzie and Daboll:

It was only a few weeks ago that Daboll came running down the tunnel expressing his love toward McKenzie after a huge win over the Patriots the day after Christmas.

“Dabes is running down towards me in the locker room with the biggest smile on his face, like jumping, knees up,” McKenzie explained. “I’m like, ‘Damn, boy, what is up with you?’ He hugged me and he slapped my hand and hugged me and said, ‘I love you, and I’m proud of you.’”

At one point this past season, McKenzie was benched for two games due to a botched kick return, but Daboll never lost faith in him, finally convincing head coach Sean McDermott to give him another opportunity. McKenzie ended up the star of the game Vs New England, finishing with 125 total yards and two scores.