New York Giants: Kelvin Benjamin goes at Joe Judge, Giants players defend coach

New York Giants, Joe Judge

Kelvin Benjamin had a chance to revitalize his career as a free agent signing with the New York Giants this offseason, but that’s far from how things actually turned out. The 30 year old wide receiver ended up released, and not only missed out on a chance to play this season but also caused quite a bit of drama on the way out.

It all stems from Benjamin showing up for practice on Wednesday and apparently getting into a dispute with head coach Joe Judge over his weight. The Giants required Benjamin to cut his weight down to 251 pounds, but his weight instead increased slightly since the end of minicamp. But Benjamin claims that others in the team building had previously told him that his weight was fine, and that the weight cut was an impossible request.

“I’m like: ‘I’m trying everything I can to be here. You won’t even let me on the field to show what I can do. I played receiver at 268 [pounds] and I almost had 1,000 yards [in 2016]. So why do you want me to come back at 251 at tight end?’” Benjamin told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday.

He claims that Judge just personally doesn’t like him, and that it led to the confrontation at practice and his release.

“The day before practice, he didn’t bring all of this up. I just felt like the dude didn’t like me. Mr. Gettleman knew exactly what went down. It’s crazy how they twisting the narrative about everything like it’s a joke. They make it seem like we don’t even matter,” Benjamin said about Judge. He’d also say other things, claiming that Judge’s style won’t win a Super Bowl.

It’s not the first time Judge has been criticized for his style, but some players disagree.

New York Giants defend Joe Judge

Since the incident, several New York Giants players have been active in defending their head coach.

“He’s very intense, but I feel like he prepares us each and every day for the game. That’s his motto. That’s his mindset and it helps and it works. So for us, it gets us excited for practice,” said defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence.

His sentiment was echoed by cornerback James Bradberry, who has looked like one of the best corners in the league under Judge’s leadership. He spoke with the New York Daily News, and gave his take on the situation.

“It ain’t for everybody. You feel me? He’s entitled to his opinion. I definitely think Coach Judge is tough. But football is tough. There’s a lot of pressure being in our shoes, so I don’t expect him to give us our way all the time,” Bradberry stated. “A tough coach, that’s how you build structure. That’s how you build discipline.”

“It ain’t for everybody, man, ya know? It ain’t for everybody,” Bradberry would add.

It’s a sentiment that seems to follow in the footsteps of two very successful head coaches that Judge has worked under – Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. Both of them have had problems with players over the years due to their strict nature, but have found tremendous success despite their style being deemed ‘not for everyone’ by many former players.

The current Giants roster, at least, seems to be all for Judge’s current style. As do the free agents who joined this offseason, many of whom specifically cited Judge as part of their reason for picking the Giants.

His style may not be for Kelvin Benjamin, but at the very least, it’s working with the group of players the Giants have now.

New York Giants: Kelvin Benjamin rips Joe Judge in post-cut tirade

new york giants, kelvin benjamin

An odd situation occurred on Wednesday at the start of training camp for the New York Giants. With the team taking the field preparing to start the off-season, TE/WR Kelvin Benjamin was stopped short of joining his teammates by head coach Joe Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman.

Gettleman was seemingly doing Benjamin a favor, bringing him in for minicamp and letting him compete on the back end of the roster. However, Judge asked him a simple question two months ago, and it was regarding weight loss.

Essentially, Judge requested the veteran receiver cut 20 pounds off his frame, but Benjamin was unable to do so. Instead, he showed up to practice 17 pounds overweight, which incited a quick response from Judge, sending him on his way and cutting him that very moment.

After Benjamin walked off the field somberly, Zack Rosenblatt of nj.com managed to secure an interview with Benjamin later on in the day.

“It was just like they were trying to sabotage me to get me out of there,” Benjamin said.

“I just felt like from Day 1, once I stepped on the field, once I put on the colors, he never liked me,” Benjamin said. “He didn’t even want me there.”

It is entirely possible Judge with simply doing Gettleman a favor, bringing Benjamin in to practice with the team in an attempt to revive his NFL career. However, it seemed as if there was never any serious chance that Benjamin would make the roster, spurring his aggressive tirade after cleaning out his locker.
Kelvin went as far as the rip Judge, stating that he cusses and will never win a Super Bowl. Someone should probably tell Benjamin he’s one quite a few with the New England Patriots and a National Championship with Alabama. His success far supersedes Benjamin and his lack of discipline in the NFL.

“I have a perspective on Joe Judge,” Benjamin said. “He’s not a coach that can ever win a Super Bowl because he sits there and cusses all day. You can tell he’s one-sided about everything. He’s a know-it-all. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. We all can learn from each other. We’re all humans at the end of the day. The true colors will come out.”

New York Giants: Best case scenario for Kelvin Benjamin could be fruitful

new york giants, kelvin benjamin

The New York Giants signed Kelvin Benjamin after a tryout last weekend, and while he most likely is just a camp body as the Giants filter out the roster, there is some upside that could be fruitful.

Benjamin has been out of the NFL for the past two years and is currently 30 years old, which likely indicates his best days are behind him. Benjamin last played in 2018 with the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, tallying 380 yards and one touchdown. His lone score was Josh Allen’s first touchdown in the NFL, but most don’t remember that Kelvin played a part.

Benjamin was drafted back in 2014 by current New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman. The former 28th overall pick was impactful for his first two seasons, recording 1,008 yards and nine scores in 2014 at 23 years old. A year later, he recorded 941 yards and seven scores, seeing a slight drop off in production but overall maintaining his stature. It wasn’t until 2017 that things seemed to hit a wall. His statistics saw a massive decline, earning just 692 yards and three scores.

Gettleman was enamored by the 6’5″ pass catcher, indicating he had incredibly talented hands while also being an opposing possession receiver.

“You can’t coach 6-5, 240, 34-inch arms and 10-inch hands. You can’t coach that,” Gettleman told reporters at the time. “This guy has unusual ball skills and what we call a very big strike zone.

The start of his NFL career was promising, but what is his value now for the Giants, and what would be the best-case scenario look like?

The Giants could look to cross-train Benjamin at wide receiver and tight end, which is where I think the most value lies. He looks like he’s lost a bit of weight and added more athleticism compared to his last tenure in the league. If he still has a bit of gas left in the tank, Benjamin could offer a reserve possession receiver behind Kenny Golladay, who has a questionable injury history. Golladay missed 11 games last season with a knee issue, and while everything checked out clean during his medicals, it’s never a bad idea to have a supplement just in case that fits the scheme.

In addition to offering value as a possession receiver, Benjamin could also be an intriguing pass-catching tight end. For example, if Kyle Rudolph misses any time, they can call upon Benjamin to sit down in the middle of the field and collect curl and hook passes. Last season, Evan Engram was tortured with drops and turnovers, as his weakness lies directly in the middle of the field within the 0-10 yard range from the line of scrimmage. Having an adequate option behind Rudolph, who’s rehabbing from a foot injury currently, is beneficial.

New York Giants signing WR turned TE Kelvin Benjamin to deal

New York Giants to bring Kelvin Benjamin in for a workout.

The New York Giants have signed wide receiver turned tight end Kelvin Benjamin, to a deal after a successful training session over the weekend. Benjamin, who has added a bit of weight since his last action in the NFL in 2018, will be a pass-catching TE and hopefully a developmental blocker.

Back in 2018, Benjamin caught 25 passes for 380 yards and one score, recording a 37.3% catch rate, a dismal performance. His last successful season came in 2016 when he was 25 years old, posting 941 yards and seven scores over 13 games started. Benjamin has experienced success in the past, but he is now 30 years old and looking for another opportunity in the NFL.

The former first-round pick stands at 6’4″ and 245 pounds, but he might’ve gained a little bit more weight given his transition to a tight end. The Giants currently have Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph at the position, but Benjamin will give the team his best this summer as he looks to get a spot on the active roster.

While Benjamin might just be a camp body on a minimum deal, you never really know what a player can accomplish in a position change. Considering the fact that Tim Tebow recently signed with Jacksonville as a TE, Benjamin has the pass-catching history to be a decent option in that category. However, it is unknown how refined he is as a blocker, and simply being a big guy doesn’t indicate he has quality fundamentals.

New York Giants: Kelvin Benjamin to try out during mini-camp

New York Giants to bring Kelvin Benjamin in for a workout.

The New York Giants will have more than just rookies around during their rookie mini-camp. They’ll also have some veteran players trying out, and one of those players is Kelvin Benjamin, a wide receiver that could really add to what they already have at the position. Benjamin is a former draft pick of Dave Gettleman, but more notably, he was very productive for his first couple seasons before his career was thrown off due to injury.

Benjamin hasn’t played since 2018 and wasn’t that productive of a player when he was active during that time with Buffalo and the Chiefs. At least, not in comparison to his early years. He had a thousand yard rookie year but fell to 354 yards with the Bills in 2018 and 26 yards in three appearances with Kansas City.

He had one of the worst catch rates in the league before being released with Buffalo, but it’s possible that the time off and playing in an organization run by his former GM could help him recover his career.

The Giants, of course, have already added significant talent at wide receiver. They added Kenny Golladay in free agency and spent a first round pick bringing in shifty prospect Kadarius Toney. Prior to those additions, the team added former Bengals first round pick John Ross, as another addition that could help their lineup if the player can recover his potential.

Picking up Benjamin, if the Giants do decide to sign him, could further improve their offense that already includes returnees Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and a healthy Saquon Barkley. Specifically, Benjamin is another big target that could easily help provide another down the field threat while defenses focus on some of the Giants’ more high profile threats.

It might seem overkill bringing in another receiver for a tryout, but it’s clear that the Giants front office this season intends to address the problem at the position and not put all their eggs in one basket via the Golladay signing.

New York Giants: 3 wide receivers to replace Corey Coleman

New York Giants to bring Kelvin Benjamin in for a workout.

With New York Giants reserve receiver Corey Coleman going down with a torn ACL, general manager Dave Gettleman must bring in more competition to compete for the No. 3 spot. There are several quality pass catchers that can come in and make an impact, potentially even more-so than Coleman in 2019.

However, Corey was going into his second year in head coach Pat Shurmur’s system and had the knowledge of the playbook to finally be influential. Hopefully, the Giants can bring a smart receiver in that can pick up the playbook quickly.

Here are 3 wide receivers the New York Giants should look at:

1.) Kelvin Benjamin

A big body that has had very productive seasons in the past, Benjamin could be a solid player to join the offense. He was drafted by Gettleman in 2014, and the familiarity could make him a good fit. There have been locker room concerns from the 28-year-old in the past, but if he joins a group where he isn’t expected to be the top options, he can sit back and quietly make plays.

The Giants will bring him in for a workout on Saturday to try and add more talent to the unit.

2.) Michael Crabtree

One of the NFL’s best red-zone receivers, Crabtree could be a stellar pickup for the Giants and Eli Manning. He has solid hands and has a competitive spirit. As one of the healthiest receivers in the league over the last 10 years (missed 18 of 141 total games), he would provide consistency in that category.

Additionally, he can handle a big load if necessary, recording over 50 receptions over the last five seasons. He’s just two years removed from a 1,000-yard season. Crabtree might be a bit more pricey than the other options, though.

[su_posts template=”templates/teaser-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”151323″ order=”desc”]

3.) Pierre Garcon

While Garcon has missed eight games each in the past two seasons due to knee surgeries, he still managed to haul in 64 passes for 786 yards and one score. Prior to going down in 2017, he racked up 79 completions for 1,041 yards and three touchdowns. His veteran leadership and experience would be great for the offense and players like Darius Slayton.

In a reserve role, he could be a great option, but over usage has hurt him in the past. A veteran deal for a trustworthy player isn’t a bad idea.

New York Giants News, 7/27 – The curse of Odell Beckham Jr. is real

New York Giants, Golden Tate

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

First Sterling Shepard, then Corey Coleman, then Brittan Golden…who’s next on the injury list knock on wood. Maybe the Odell Beckham Jr. curse is real.

The Giants are two practices into training camp and are already facing an uphill battle at the wide receiver position. Fortunately, GM Dave Gettleman will be bringing in several pass catchers to try out, including former draft pick while at Carolina, Kelvin Benjamin.

Several receivers the Giants should look at are Benjamin, Michael Crabtree, and Pierre Garcon. Three veterans that can pick up a starting workload and supplement the loss of impact players. Hopefully, Gettleman can find a serviceable replacement on a veteran deal.

However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see rookie Darius Slayton earn more reps and playing time, despite him dealing with a pulled hamstring at the moment. His speed and agility can be beneficial. He progressed very well during mini-camp after struggling with numerous drops early on in the offseason.

Aside from the receivers, the quarterbacks have started off rocky, but both looked far better in day two of practice. Daniel Jones has hit on numerous long-balls and finished Friday 9-of-12 with two impressive touchdown throws.

Nonetheless–

Your top Giants news of the day!

Dan Salomone (Giants.com) – Who stood out at Giants training camp? (7/26)

Ryan Dunleavy (NJ.com) – Giants QB practice report: Daniel Jones goes deep on high-completion day | Full breakdown

Paul Schwartz (New York Post) – How Dave Gettleman is going to break the bad news to Eli Manning

Dan Benton (Giants Wire) – Report: Giants will work out Flynn Nagel, other receivers

Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants: Nate Solder preparing to be rock he’s being paid to be

[su_posts template=”templates/teaser-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”151323″ order=”desc”]