Hot Topic & Player Notes: Giants

The Giants released cornerback Will Peterson on failed physical grounds, and thus brought to an end a career that started so brilliantly. The third-round pick in 2001, Peterson quickly assumed a starting role and, in fact, moved ahead of that year's first round pick, Will Allen.

The two corners -- "The Wills" -- were supposed to stay in place for a decade. But Allen began to have problems holding the ball, not a good thing for a guy paid to make interceptions, among other things, and "Will P" couldn't stay healthy.

He suffered a stress fracture of the transverse process (lower back) two years ago and missed 11 games. It recurred (another stress fracture) last season, costing him all but two games.

"It is a dangerous situation," said one of the doctors. "It could have long-ranging repercussions if it happens again." Yeah, like not being able to walk.

So the second Will is gone (Allen was allowed to walk out on his own as an UFA and signed in Miami).

Last year's second round draft pick, Corey Webster, figures to team with UFA signee Sam Madison to give the Giants their next set of corners.

PLAYER NOTES

--A little mystery has been solved. Two weeks ago, the Giants announced the signing of defensive tackle Junior Ioane, 6-3 and 335, a six-year veteran who last played for Houston.

A day later they announced he had been released.

The assumption was that he failed a physical, but the Giants won't sign a player until he passes that exam. Now it can be explained.

The NFL determined that there was a glitch in the contract, and refused to accept it. When that happens, the pencil-pushers take over and, technically speaking, Ioane didn't have a contract. That meant he was a free agent -- and it was generally reported that he had been released.

That's the technical side.

The reality is just a little different. The Giants cleared up the contractual error and re-signed him. So the NFL machine geared up again, announcing that the Giants had signed defensive tackle Junior Ioane, who had so recently been released.

Ioane might be more important than the casual observer might think. It is more than casually obvious that the Giants are considering a conversion to the 3-4 defense. With the loss of Kendrick Clancy, a departure via the UFA route to Arizona, there was no suitable nose tackle on the roster.

The most likely candidate was William Joseph, the first round pick in 2003, but he isn't constructed in the true mold of a nose tackle. Clancy was. So is Ioane, an Arizona State product familiar with that demanding and thankless position.

So now he's on the roster -- in good graces, contractually speaking -- and may well wind up as the starter in the three-man front with Pro Bowl ends Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora.

--QB Rob Johnson, drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars when current Giants' head coach Tom Coughlin filled that role there, is also familiar with two current members of the coaching staff -- quarterbacks coach Kevin Gilbride and running backs coach Jerald Ingram. Also, assistant athletic trainer Byron Hansen was the head trainer at USC when Johnson was an undergrad.

--Several rumors of position changes involving players have circulated, including DE Justin Tuck to defensive tackle or strong-side linebacker; DT William Joseph to defensive end; No. 1 draft pick Mathias Kiwanuka from defensive end to strong-side linebacker; and right guard Chris Snee to center. As usual, there was no comment from the coaching staff.

--PK Jay Feely missed only seven field goals all season (three in that OT loss to Seattle) and set a team record with 148 kick-scoring points. Seen in the team locker room last week, he smiled when reminded about the Seahawks' game. "I guess that's never going to go away, is it?"

--DE Michael Strahan, a six-time Pro Bowl veteran, was asked how he will treat the No. 1 pick, DE Mathias Kiwanuka. "I'll tell him what he has to do, and how he should go about things," he said. "But this is the NFL. They don't want me to be his babysitter."

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--CB/KR Lamont Brightful (not tendered as RFA).

--CB Terrell Buckley (not tendered June 1).

--RB Michael Cloud (not tendered June 1).

--LB Roman Phifer (not tendered June 1).

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--TE Visanthe Shiancoe (tendered at $721,600) 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.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--WR Tim Carter: UFA; $2M/2 yrs, $500,000 SB.

--QB Tim Hasselbeck: UFA; terms unknown.

--OG Lewis Kelly: UFA; terms unknown.

--RB/KR Chad Morton: UFA; terms unknown.

--WR/KR Willie Ponder: RFA; $721,600/1 yr.

--WR David Tyree: RFA; $7.5M/5 yrs, $1.5M SB.

--CB Frank Walker: RFA; $721,600/1 yr.

--OT Bob Whitfield: UFA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--LB LaVar Arrington FA Redskins; $49M/7 yrs, $5.25M SB.

--CB Jason Bell: UFA Texans; terms unknown.

--S Will Demps: UFA Ravens; 5 yrs, terms unknown.

--S Quentin Harris: UFA Cardinals; terms unknown.

--DT Junior Ioane: FA Texans; terms unknown.

--QB Rob Johnson: FA; terms unknown.

--CB Sam Madison: FA Dolphins; $7.4M/4 yrs, $2M SB; 2006 cap: $1.4M.

--CB R.W. McQuarters: UFA Lions; $6M/3 yrs, $2M SB.

--G/C Grey Ruegamer: UFA Packers; $750,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2006 cap: $465,000.

--LB Brandon Short: FA Panthers; terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

--S Brent Alexander (released).

--DT Kenderick Allen: RFA rights terminated/Packers; terms unknown.

--CB Will Allen: UFA Dolphins; $12M/4 yrs, SB unknown.

--DT Kendrick Clancy: UFA Cardinals; $8.1M/4 yrs, SB unknown.

--LB Jay Foreman: UFA Saints; terms unknown.

--LB Barrett Green (released).

--LB Nick Greisen: UFA Jaguars; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

--CB Will Peterson (released/failed physical).

--OG Jason Whittle (released).

--S Shaun Williams: UFA Panthers; 1 yr, terms unknown.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

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