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Report: Giants prioritizing Hakeem Nicks over Victor Cruz

By Larry Hartstein |

Victor Cruz had a much better season, but Hakeem Nicks' contract is a bigger priority for the Giants, NFL sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Cruz, 26, enters free agency off two seasons in which he's averaged 84 catches, 1,314 yards and 9.5 touchdowns.

Nicks, 25, has one year left on his rookie deal. Knee and foot injuries limited him to 13 games in 2012, as he finished with 53 catches for 692 yards and three scores.

Schefter reports the Giants are putting a bigger emphasis on signing Nicks to a long-term deal because they view him as a legitimate No. 1 receiver.

In 2010 and 2011, Nicks averaged 77.5 grabs, 1,122 yards and nine touchdown catches.

Team co-owner John Mara was asked Friday about negotiations with Cruz's agent.

"We certainly want him back, but like with any player, there's a limit to where we're going to go," Mara said. "He's been a terrific player for us, he's a fan favorite, he does a lot for our franchise, but there is a limit."

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Devin Hester possibly seeks trade from Chicago Bears
By Chris Wesseling
Around the League Writer

Chicago Bears kick returner Devin Hester closed out an emotionally draining 2012 season by informing reporters that he would consider retirement this offseason.

After a month of introspection, Hester now believes he would benefit from a "fresh start" while playing two or three more years.

Frustrated that coaches have been unsuccessful in carving out an offensive package similar to Randall Cobb's in Green Bay, Hester no longer wants to play wide receiver if he stays in Chicago.

The 30-year-old has been accused of being mentally and emotionally weak because he tends to check out of games if he's not heavily involved. Hester acknowledged as much over the weekend.

"I know some of the plays I should have made in terms of catching the ball. But I just wasn't feeling it," Hester explained. "My mind wasn't there the majority of the time."

With a new regime in town, the time is right for the Bears to turn the page on their overpaid return specialist. Hester readily admits the "possibility" that he could seek a trade. Due for a sizable (prohibitive?) roster bonus this offseason, Hester might not even be afforded that opportunity.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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Raiders will lower seating capacity

The Raiders are taking a page out of the Jaguars’ playbook, not on the field but in the stands.

In what is being termed a “capacity adjustment,†the Raiders are planning to block off many upper-deck seats, reports. The move is reminiscent of the tarps the Jaguars have put up in their stadium, blocking off thousands of seats that they’re unable to sell.

Although it is not yet known how many seats the Raiders will block off, it will likely give the Raiders the NFL’s lowest seating capacity. The Raiders already had the second-lowest capacity at 63,132, higher only than the Bears, who can seat 61,500 at Soldier Field.

The Raiders are expected to close “Mount Davis,†the upper deck addition that was part of the deal that got the Raiders to move back to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1996. That addition, which blocked the view of the Oakland hills that was long considered one of the nicest features of the Oakland Coliseum, has long been controversial, and the “Mount Davis†nickname was a shot at the late Raiders owner Al Davis.

The Raiders have frequently struggled to sell tickets in Oakland, and most of their home games have been blacked out. In 2012 they had only one blackout, thanks in part to the new NFL rule that allowed teams to lift blackouts while selling only 85 percent of their tickets.

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Jets sign safety Dawan Landry


The New York Jets addressed their glaring need at safety by replacing one Landry with another.


Nearly one month after losing LaRon Landry to the Indianapolis Colts, the Jets signed his older brother, Dawan Landry. Contract terms were not disclosed by the team.

LaRon congratulated his brother in a tweet Tuesday afternoon.

"My big bro just sent me a text sayin 'Jet life to da next life'.. congrats big bro," he wrote.

Dawan Landry, 30, cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars before the start of free agency, will be reunited with Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman. He played under the Jets' coach and defensive coordinator for the first three of his five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, from 2006 to 2008.

Dawan Landry played an instrumental role last offseason when LaRon, a free agent, was looking for a team. He provided his younger brother with a scouting report on Ryan and his defensive system.

LaRon Landry signed a one-year contract with the Jets and made his first Pro Bowl, but he bolted for a four-year, $24 million contract with the Colts.

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I still dont see the logic of the draft, if someone is naturally gifted but falls out of education the fact he misses out on sport because of it is as dumb as it gets for me!

I don't understand what u mean


If you can play they will find you , you don't necessarily have to attend college , but it makes it that more difficult. Most need to attend school mostly because theres an age restriction to join NFL 

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There should just be scouting system that lets teams hunt for someone without hem having to make a selection list!


selection list is made by the order in which the clubs finished in terms of record, the worst record overall picks first and the champions last , everyother club in between based on record


you must compile a list of players that fit you teams need , because based on you drafting position that player might be gone and you have to have other guys you would take


some teams like to draft to fit there needs , others like my team NY Giants, have history of just taking the best player available regardless of need or position 


there is 30 teams hunting mofo you must have a list of players at the ready because when you have your turn to select you have only 5 mins to decide on a player who your about to invest millions into

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Te’o visits with Giants




Manti Te’o never actually saw his imaginary dead girlfriend Lennay Kekua, but the past two days he got an up-close-and-personal look at the Giants during a visit at the team facility two weeks before the NFL Draft.


For nearly all four of Te’o’s brilliant years at Notre Dame he was known as a highly productive linebacker and a sure-fire first-round draft pick. As a senior he was the runner-up to Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M for the Heisman Trophy, but he gained unwanted notoriety for being the victim in an elaborate internet “catfishing’’ hoax.

His ability to deal with the death of his girlfriend, Kekua, was an emotional storyline of Notre Dame’s undefeated 2012 regular season, but in January it was revealed Te’o never actually met Kekua, and it was an internet-only relationship. She never actually existed, and he had been duped.


The tabloid-ready story made its way to the NFL Scouting Combine, where Te’o impressed observers during a heavily attended interview session with his candid recounting of the bizarre situation, admitting, “It’s definitely embarrassing to go through.’’

Giants general manager Jerry Reese did not seem disturbed by the scam and promised to bring Te’o in for a visit and to “investigate’’ this most unusual controversy.

“We’re more interested in what kind of football player he is than anything else,’’ Reese said at the Combine.

Te’o’s visit with the Giants began Thursday night and concluded yesterday. He previously met with the Dolphins, Vikings, Lions, Bengals and Bears and is scheduled to meet next week with the Chargers. Teams can bring in up to 30 non-local prospects for visits.

Based on his pedigree and the Giants’ need, Te’o makes plenty of sense as the pick at No. 19 in the first round and is expected to be on the board when the Giants are on the clock.

Working against Te’o is the fact the Giants have not taken a linebacker in the first round since 1984, when they selected Carl Banks out of Michigan State. Te’o was an effective player at Notre Dame and also considered to be a team leader. He had an abysmal showing against Alabama in the BCS Championship Game, followed by the revelation of the “catfishing’’ hoax. Those are considered two heavy strikes against him, and it remains to be seen how those negatives will factor in on draft day.

“I think Manti has handled this situation as best as he can and has shown some maturity about it,’’ Justin Tuck, a Notre Dame graduate, said on ESPN New York 98.7. “Regardless of where he ends up, it still is going to be kind of a black cloud above his head for a while.â€

Te’o also did not help himself by running a disappointing 4.82 in the 40-yard dash at the Combine, though he improved his time to 4.69 at Notre Dame’s Pro Day.

It seems the Giants will select a linebacker during the draft. They released Michael Boley, and did not make much of a play to re-sign Chase Blackburn (who landed with the Panthers). The Giants did re-sign Keith Rivers and added in free agency former Panther and Cowboy Dan Connor, but the position needs to be fortified, with Mathias Kiwanuka returning to his natural defensive end spot.

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Darrelle Revis trade talks on hold



FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets have put trade talks with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on hold regarding Darrelle Revis, whose MRI confirmed Monday he's ahead of schedule in his rehab, sources have told ESPN.


As the Jets began voluntary workouts in the morning, sources told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio the team, before continuing to explore a trade, would examine its star cornerback for the first time since an October surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee.


Revis, examined at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York by Dr. Russell Warren, received positive but not unexpected news, a source told's Rich Cimini.


Revis was cleared by Warren to begin running without restrictions.


After completing his early morning appointment, Revis was scheduled to report to the Jets' facility for the start of the offseason program.


The team's doctors likely will further review the MRI results and present Revis with a detailed rehab schedule. He was also expected to meet for the first time with general manager John Idzik, who was hired the day after reports of trade talks first surfaced.

Meanwhile, though his days with the Jets appear numbered, backup quarterback Tim Tebow showed up early Monday morning, as promised, for the offseason program.

Receiver Santonio Holmes didn't report. He's still rehabbing his surgically repaired foot and taking classes at Ohio State, so he may not show up until late in the spring.

But unlike Revis, Holmes doesn't have a workout bonus in his contract, which was renegotiated last month. He took a $3.5 million pay cut and will make a guaranteed $7.5 million this year.


Right tackle Austin Howard, a restricted free agent, also reported after signing his one-year, $2 million tender.

Tebow, known for his early arrivals, checked in about 90 minutes before the start of an 8 a.m. team meeting. How long he remains with the Jets has been an ongoing question throughout the offseason. The team is prepared to part ways with the quarterback and they've been trying to trade him.

Revis wanted to remain in Arizona, where he has been rehabbing his knee since January, but he reported because the team refused to excuse him for two weeks, sources told's Rich Cimini.

He preferred Arizona, in part, to avoid the distraction of being with the team during trade talks. There's a chance he could be dealt before the April 25-27 draft.

Revis also has a $1 million workout bonus that he would forfeit if he doesn't participate in 83 percent of the voluntary workouts.

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2013 Giants schedule


The Giants may not own the toughest schedule in the NFL this time around but it won't be a cakewalk either in 2013.

The Giants will play five-of-their-eight home games against 2012 playoff teams – Washington, Green Bay, Minnesota, Seattle and Denver.

And they'll finish the season with another tough second-half stretch. Here's the schedule and our rapid reaction:

(All times Eastern)

Sept. 8 at Dallas, (Sunday night) 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Sept. 15 Denver, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Sept. 22 at Carolina, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)
Sept. 29 at Kansas City, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 6 Philadelphia, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)
Oct. 10 at Chicago, (Thursday night), 8:25 p.m. (NFL NETWORK)
Oct. 21 Minnesota, (Monday night), 8:40 p.m. (ESPN)
Oct. 27 at Philadelphia, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 3 BYE
Nov. 10 vs Oakland, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Nov. 17 vs Green Bay, (Sunday night), 8:30PM (NBC)
Nov. 24 vs Dallas, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Dec. 1 @ Washington, (Sunday night), 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Dec. 8 @ San Diego, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 15 vs SEATTLE, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 22 at Detroit, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 29 vs WASHINGTON, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)



For openers: The Giants will open the season against the Cowboys for the second consecutive season but this time at Jerry Jones’ palace.

Last season’s opener was a huge disappointment as the Giants opened their title defense at home in lackluster fashion with a 24-17 loss in a rare Wednesday night game.

This time, the Giants will be highly motivated to spoil the Cowboys’ home opener. Tom Coughlin’s team is 4-0 at the Cowboys’ new stadium and has won eight-of-the-last-11 meetings against the Cowboys.

Also, the last time the Giants opened a season at Dallas was in 2007 when they lost, 45-35, but eventually went on to win the Super Bowl that season.


The Fab Five: The five biggest games of the season are showdowns that will certainly put Perry Fewell’s defense to test.

In the second week of the season, the Giants will find out how they stack up with Super Bowl contender Denver and Peyton Manning. Fewell will have to find a way to slow down Peyton, Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.

The Giants will face the Packers again in the second half of their season for the second straight year. Going up against Aaron Rodgers will give the Giants a good indication of where they rank in the NFC.

The Seahawks and Russell Wilson are a rising team in the NFC and the Giants may have to beat them in December at home to earn a playoff spot.

The Giants travel to Detroit in the second to last game of the season and they could be fighting for a playoff spot. The Giants will get a taste of the Lions’ explosive offense and plenty of Megatron.

Finally, the Giants finish the regular season against the Redskins and Robert Griffin III in a game that very well could decide the NFC East.


Toughest stretch: Getting off to a quick start like the Giants have so many times in recent memory may be a bit harder this season with the likes of the Cowboys, Broncos, Panthers to start off. The Giants also open the season with four-of-their-first-six games on the road.

But when it comes to the Giants, it is always about how they finish the second half of the season.

While it might not be as brutal as last year’s schedule that was the toughest in the NFL entering the season, the Giants will have to make a playoff run in their final seven games against the likes of the Packers, Cowboys, at Chargers, Seahawks, at Lions and Redskins twice.

The Chargers and Lions might be the two easiest opponents during that stretch based off last season but both of those games are on the road.

That will not be an easy task for a team that fell apart on the road last year and has unraveled down the stretch too many times in the Coughlin era.

If the Giants are going to win the division, they’ll have to play better down the stretch than last year and they’ll have to go through the reigning division champs twice in a month.


Under the lights: The Giants are scheduled to play in prime time a total of five times this season.

They’ll open under the lights and that gigantic video screen in Dallas on a Sunday night. Then in the middle of October, the Giants play back-to-back night games at Chicago and at home against Minnesota with 10 days off between games.

They open December in Washington on Sunday night football and there’s always a chance they could be flexed later in the season to another night game.

Can’t miss game: It’s got to be the Manning Bowl.

It’s only happened two times before and who knows how many more of these we will get. Big brother Peyton is undefeated against Eli and this time Peyton will have a stacked Broncos offense featuring his newest weapon –- super slot receiver Wes Welker.

“Obviously, anytime you play your brother it is special,†Manning said. “It is unique and I cherish those moments whether before the game or looking across during the National Anthem and seeing my big brother and seeing him at the coin flip. Those are great moments that we’ll cherish and hopefully the Giants will get a win for once.â€

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