Up next: Giants trading for top TE?

By the time the Giants' Monday night game in Cleveland is over, there will be less than a day remaining on the NFL's trading-deadline calendar, and for the Giants that meant the possibility of having to make a quick decision. There were rumors -- too many to ignore -- that they had engaged in at least preliminary discussions with the Kansas City Chiefs involving Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez.

Gonzalez has requested a trade in the hopes of landing on a Super Bowl contender.

According to reports in the Kansas City Star, Gonzalez has requested that the team consider trading him to Philadelphia, Green Bay, Buffalo or the Giants, and that the team has been open to such discussions.

Reportedly, the Chiefs were asking for a third-round draft pick for 2009 while the Giants countered with an offer of a sixth-round choice. It is thought that the offer was rejected, but not absolutely.

So there is room for negotiation, and a further rumor held that if the Giants would say yes to a fourth-round pick, the deal could be done.

Gonzalez would be a huge addition for the Giants, especially since they decided to pull the trigger on a long-rumored trade of their own Pro Bowl tight end, Jeremy Shockey, who was trundled off to New Orleans before the season started.

His replacement has been second-year man Kevin Boss, who is a remarkable athlete at 6-feet-6 and 260 with good speed, and he has gradually become a more-than-efficient blocker. That is crucial in the Giants' offensive concept as engineered by coordinator Kevin Gilbride.

With Gonzalez on the team, Boss would probably lose his status as the starter but would become the blocking tight end, and as such -- especially in this system -- would be on the field almost all the time.

General manager Jerry Reese, who was new to the job last year and saw the team he helped to build emerge as the Super Bowl champion, has acquired a reputation for nosing around the rosters of the other teams looking for a veteran here and there who might provide help. This season, he plucked linebacker Danny Clark, defensive end Renaldo Wynn and safety Sammy Knight, among others, as veterans other teams were seeking to move.

Reese, who understudied with the recently retired Ernie Accorsi, has been superb with his draft picks. In 2007, all eight of his choices made the final roster, and this year he placed five of six on the roster, albeit one of two sixth-round picks, quarterback Andre Woodson, is on the practice squad. Only one selection was waived, the second pick in the sixth round, defensive end Robert Henderson.

But there is a need for a tight end on the roster of the defending Super Bowl champions, and if Reese can manage to convince the Chiefs to part with Gonzalez, he will undoubtedly have done the team yet another service.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The body does whatever the mind tells it to do. I think I am all right in the mind category." - MLB Antonio Pierce, on whether his mental toughness can overcome an injury to his body.

BY THE NUMBERS: 13 -- Big plays allowed through the first four games. The Giants gave up eight passes of 20 or more yards and just five runs of 10 or more yards. In the first four games of the 2007 season, the Giants had surrendered 12 passes of 20 or more yards and 10 runs of 10-plus yards.

--- MLB Antonio Pierce (strained quad) did not practice Friday but insisted he would play against Cleveland on Monday night, and head coach Tom Coughlin did not argue with that statement.
--- Tom Coughlin and Cleveland head coach Romeo Crennel coached together as assistants under Bill Parcells with the Giants. Coughlin was the wide receivers coach, Crennel in charge of the defensive line.
--- Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is almost paranoid about his players studying league-wide statistics. "I find them on my desk every week," he says, "and I throw them in the trash. They don't mean anything. You do what you do best and if you do it right, the statistics will speak for themselves."
--- MLB Chase Blackburn, the backup for Antonio Pierce, worked with the first team Thursday and Friday but went through a "limited practice" on Saturday; "he's a nice crutch to rely on," joked defensive boss Steve Spagnuolo.
--- QB Eli Manning is one of only four quarterbacks in the NFL to have started every game (not necessarily for the same team) since Week 1 in 2006. The others are Drew Brees (New Orleans), Peyton Manning (Indianapolis) and Brett Favre (Green Bay/New York Jets).

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