The players drafted near Joseph, who was selected 25th, were starting to agree to contracts.
"We didn't even get a return proposal from them until the day we checked into camp," Fassel said. "They've had a lot of time to negotiate. It should have been worked out by now."
The quest for the third receiver job took quite a turn when Ron Dixon was unable to practice due to his off-season knee surgery. The Giants placed Dixon on the Physically Unable to Perform list and Fassel said he expected his enigmatic, but talented flanker to miss "a week or two."
In Dixon's place, last year's second-round pick, Tim Carter, stepped up in a big way. Carter, showing no signs of Achilles' surgery, displayed his blazing speed and caught everything thrown his way on opening day.
"He looks really good," Fassel said. "Tim is going to be an outstanding player. I'm really excited about him."
So is the Giants quarterback.
"Tim is a young man with a lot of ability and we're going to need him," Kerry Collins said. If the first workout were any indication, the Giants are in for quite a treat.
"The flashes you saw last year, it's going to be that and more," said Carter, who felt a little soreness after his first practice. "When I'm running I feel 100 percent. I feel explosive."
Collins continued to expand his role as a leader. In team meetings the night the club reported, he stood up and warned the entire offense not to get too confident. It was a message that Collins admitted he wouldn't have been comfortable enough to share a couple years back.
"We have potential," Collins said. "But I told the guys that the 2003 Giants offense hasn't done a thing. If we don't work, we're not going to win.
In addition to Dixon, OT Char-ron Dorsey (knee) and S Clarence LeBlanc (leg) were placed on the active/PUP list. Fassel said he would "keep Dorsey out for a little bit." As for LeBlanc, Fassel said, "We're just taking it day-by-day and week-by-week."
Second-year DT Matt Mitrione was waived/failed physical. Camp's first casualty, Mitrione underwent shoulder surgery in the off-season. Mitrione played in nine games last season, with no starts. He had six tackles, including three solos.