Giants fans continue to get a little respite from reality with some minor free agency moves and NFL news amidst the Coronavirus chaos.
Inevitably, the NFL still had to make some of the same hard decisions as other companies, organizations, governments, and people.
Giants Quest Diagnostics Center Closed Until April 8th
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the NFL ordered all team facilities to close their doors this week.
The Giants closed the doors to their facility on March 20th. There are some exceptions for medical and training staff as well as players that are receiving treatment for prior injuries. Honestly, April 8th seems very optimistic.
Sorry, Las Vegas: The 2020 NFL Draft Is a “Go”
The NFL also informed Las Vegas that the 2020 Draft would not take place in the Raiders’ new home and canceled all planned draft events.
However, the NFL also sent out a memo this week informing teams that the 2020 Draft would still take place as scheduled from April 23-25. The details are still to be worked out. The memo stated there would be no invitations extended to draft prospects and families.
The NFL suggested each team should begin planning to use a small staff and have the ability “to communicate internally, with other clubs and with draft headquarters.”
The plan is to have a televised draft with no live audience. I’m sure The Godfather of the NFL, Gil Brandt, will have many stories to share about his early drafts.
The Giants came to agreements with three (3) free agents and an XFLer.
Dion Lewis (RB)
In keeping with the theme of “familiarity”, the Giants picked up former Patriot and Titan, Dion Lewis. Lewis will be a complementary back to Saquon Barkley.
Lewis had a similar role in Tennessee the last two seasons in running with Derrick Henry. Of interest to fans will be how Lewis will be used by Joe Judge and Jason Garrett.
While Lewis was the pass-catching RB in the Titans’ offense, Saquon has already proved he can be a 3-down back with good hands. Both have similar skill sets. Lewis does have plenty of experience returning kicks, although that was back in 2017 with the Patriots…and Joe Judge.
Corey Coleman (WR)
A former first-round pick of the Browns in 2016, Corey gets another shot to win a position on the Giants in 2020. Coleman was signed in 2018, played eight games for the Giants and was the leading kickoff returner that year. He tore his ACL at the start of training camp in 2019 and spent the season on injured reserve. This is a potential low risk-high reward move by the Giants.
The top three receivers (Tate, Shepard, Slayton) are set. Coleman can get himself in the mix if he’s fully recovered from the knee injury and can stay on the field.
Austin Johnson (DL)
The Giants agreed to terms with another former Tennessee Titan, Austin Johnson.
This is a curious move in that the Giants already have a glut of interior defensive linemen on the roster.
Johnson was in the Titans’ DL rotation the last four seasons with modest career statistics. He is also a player that doesn’t miss games. And yes, the connection here is that Johnson played his college ball at Penn State where he was coached by Giants Defensive Line Coach, Sean Spencer, known as “Coach Chaos”.
Dravon Askew-Henry (DB)
The XFL’s New York Guardians got a mention in the NFL free agent world this week. Askew-Henry has agreed to terms with the Giants.
Dravon was an undrafted rookie for the Pittsburgh Steelers last year. He didn’t make the team. However, he did play for the Guardians this year during the abbreviated inaugural XFL season.
With the NFL 2020 Draft still a “go”, we’ll look at who the Giants will take with the 4th pick. The Twitter GMs are pushing for an offensive tackle to protect Daniel Jones. That may happen…but not with the 4th pick.
Stay safe. Stay Healthy. Social distancing. Flatten the Curve.
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