Hot Topic & Player Notes: Giants

From the field in Indianapolis' RCA Dome, and on a Saturday, the Giants saw fit to make an announcement concerning the release of two veterans -- weak-side linebacker Barrett Green and guard/center Jason Whittle.

That act set in motion several possibilities as to the Giants' intentions during not only the free agency period but the college player draft next April.

Green, was an expensive UFA signing two years ago who never really made an impact. He spent much of his time being injured and/or in the dog house run by head coach Tom Coughlin.

In his first year, (2004) he saw action in the first 10 games (nine as a starter) but then came up with a knee injury and missed the rest of the season. Last year he barely made it onto the field for one game in early October, after which he was injured again and spent the rest of the season on Injured Reserve.

The son of one-time Giants' strong safety Joe Green, Barrett was signed from the Detroit Lions and the expectation was for him to be a fixture at weakside.

Instead, he became a liability, and in turn gave a chance to young Nick Greisen, who started most of the season on the weakside until he had to move into the middle to replace Antonio Pierce.

Through the good fortune of finding a free agent rookie, Chase Blackburn, who could handle the middle, Greisen moved back to weakside and emerged as a team leader.

Now he's a free agent and indication are that he wants two conditions to be met before re-signing with the Giants -- he wants to be paid as a starter (not thought to be a problem) and he wants to play inside (a major problem unless the Giants go to a 3-4, which is not in their plans).

So Greisen may take a free agent walk (to Green Bay?) and without Green the Giants are stuck without a viable weakside backer.

Hence the free agency period and the draft. High on their list is Julian Peterson of San Francisco, although they'd probably be happy to "settle" for David Thornton of Indianapolis.


--It was in 2002 that the Giants took a gamble and selected offensive tackle Jeff Hatch from the University of Pennsylvania in the third round. Why? "He was the last true left tackle available," said general manager Ernie Accorsi. Perhaps, but he wasn't able to make the NFL level, and when they took him, the Giants passed on such as defensive end Alex Brown (Chicago), cornerback Brian Williams (Minnesota) and linebacker David Thornton (Indianapolis). Brown and Williams went to the Pro Bowl; Thornton is a useful player for the Colts.

--In the event that the Giants release LT Luke Petitgout, the immediate solution might be to move LG David Diehl into the position. That would give him the unlikely quinella of starting at four O-line positions in four years. He has previously played RG, RT and LG. Think he can play center, too?

--The Giants are quietly considering stocking up on WRs with speed, since the two they thought they could count on, Tim Carter and Jamaar Taylor, have not managed to stay healthy the last two years. A third, Pro Bowl special teams player David Tyree, appears to have fallen out of the WR derby.

--TE Visanthe Shiancoe is a RFA and might attract a few teams based on the same qualities that prompted the Giants to draft him in the third round out of Morgan State in 2003, overwhelming athleticism but not much practical playing performance. If he does go, add another position to the team's "Must Have" list, that of a blocking backup TE for Jeremy Shockey.





--DT Kenderick Allen is a useful reserve and might even be a stop-gap starter. He shouldn't cost too much and will probably be retained.

--RCB Will Allen seems to have outlived his usefulness with the Giants. He covers "soft," didn't have an interception in 2005 and flat-out missed or dropped six sure interceptions. He won't take less money to be a backup, so he has to move on.

--WR Tim Carter has the speed and size but just can't seem to stay healthy. The Giants would like to retain his services but considering his track record, they won't go too high to keep him, dollar-wise.

--DT Kendrick Clancy was signed last year as a free agent from Pittsburgh and played well as the starter on the left side. He will be pursued by other teams but has proven his value to the Giants and they'll do everything they can to keep him.

--WLB/MLB Nick Greisen became a starter and a near-star last season at two positions following injuries, and now wants to be paid starter money. The Giants cannot afford to lose him, but they may not be able to pay him what another team might decide to offer.

--QB Tim Hasselbeck didn't get to throw a single pass and may not be retained since he wasn't the Giants' first choice as Eli Manning's backup anyway. That was Jim Miller, the veteran who injured himself in minicamp.

--KR Chad Morton proved to be valuable as a return specialist and should be kept. He saves the Giants a roster spot and that is no small blessing. But he might want too much in terms of his position, and could take a better offer.

--LT Bob Whitfield was a spot of sunshine, a 34-year-old veteran who didn't complain about sitting on the bench, who played well when called upon and who served as an on-the-field coach for some of the younger tackles. He'll be far more important if Luke Petitgout is released.


--WR/KR Willie Ponder seems to have fallen deep into coach Tom Coughlin's dog house and isn't expected to recover. Why? He fumbled two kickoff returns. That's tantamount to sharing the playbook with the opposition.

--TE Visanthe Shiancoe was a third-round pick out of Morgan State three years ago and while his athletic abilities never let him down, he just hasn't picked up the position. He might be too expensive to keep, an experiment gone bad.

--WR David Tyree made the NFC Pro Bowl roster as the special teams designate, but his usefulness as a WR took a nosedive. He is exceptional on specials and the team would like to keep him. But at what price?

--CB Frank Walker has virtually no chance of sticking. He makes too many unnecessary mistakes for coach Tom Coughlin and doesn't have starting credentials even on a team desperate for CBs. PLAYERS LOST

--S Brent Alexander (released).

--LB Barrett Green (released).

--OG Jason Whittle (released).

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

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