Tuck in on time, Webster still unsigned

Third-round pick Justin Tuck wasn't going to let a little bit of cash keep him from beginning his professional career on time. Tuck and the Giants came to terms around 8 p.m. Thursday night, only hours before the defensive end had to arrive in Albany to begin training camp.

"It was vital to get in here on time," Tuck said. "That was my biggest worry. The Giants knew that, everybody knew that. I wanted to get here early and get a head start on things. That was the biggest thing."

Tuck said he didn't want to miss the start of camp merely due to what he termed "a squabble over a couple thousand dollars."

As for second-round pick Corey Webster. The cornerback remained unsigned as of dinnertime and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, had yet to return any of TGI's calls.

First move: To create roster space for signing Tuck, the Giants waived cornerback Michael Bragg, a rookie free agent from Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Kid Carter: Tim Carter arrived prepared to finally have the breakout season he's been looking for since being drafted in the second round three years ago. He showed up with younger brother Pat, a high school receiver that just committed to the University of Florida.

"I just signed with UF," Pat Carter said. "I have to go down there on Aug. 3. Go down and play for coach (Urban) Meyer."

Carter said the recruiting process was pretty easy: "A couple coaches went out on a limb for me on the UF staff so that helped. They took a chance on me so I want to make it pay off."

Pat Carter said he didn't even consider shying away from following in his brother's SEC footsteps. Tim starred at Auburn.

"In high school, I was looking to get away, but there's nothing like playing in the SEC," Pat laughed.

The Carter brothers have worked out together in New York together for the last six-plus months.

The younger Carter's excited about his older brother's prospects in ‘05.

"This is going to be a great year for him," he said. "He's going to be healthy the whole season, more productive and faster than people think he'll be. I think you can really expect big things out of him this year."

Mara MIA: Giants co-owner Robert Tisch attended the opening-day festivities at U-Albany, but team president Wellington Mara did not. For the first time in decades, Mara is expected to miss virtually all of camp. Mara, 88, is a third of the way through the radiation treatment that followed the removal of cancerous lymph nodes from under his left arm and neck in mid-May. His son, executive vice president and chief operating officer John Mara, said the treatments have weakened his father, who closely watches most training camp workouts.

The treatments are expected to end in late August.

The final words: Two of the most prominent Giants – Jeremy Shockey and Michael Strahan – were the final two to meet the media on Friday morning.

Both were just thrilled to be 100 percent healthy.

"I just know that I need to be better than what I was the past couple of years," Shockey said. "Injuries, yeah I know, they happen, and they happen in every sport. I just want to get back to the player I was, when I first got drafted.

"I'm not hurt. I'm not sitting on the sidelines watching. My team goes to two-a-days while I'm just sitting, trying to do mental reps. I came into this situation this year, and hopefully I can just go out there and start, like everybody else."

Strahan said: "I think I always come here in the same mood, ready to play, ready to prove myself. Every year is different, every year you have to prove yourself. This isn't just another year to prove myself because I was injured. I look at it just as last year and the year before and the fact that every year is different. I think as a team I'm excited. There's a lot of young players, there's a lot of good players that we brought in and I'm going to see what we can do."

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