Giants head coach Brian Daboll remains mum on Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley is not attending OTAs, having not signed his franchise tag tender or received a new contract yet. Giants head coach Brian Daboll preemptively announced in an opening statement that he would not comment on Barkley.
“That situation is going to be between Saquon and the organization,” he said Thursday. “I’m not going to get into detail of any of the discussions we’ve had.”
Daboll would not even say if he expects Barkley at mandatory minicamp in mid-June.
“I’m not going to get into any discussions about that,” he said.
Daniel Jones said he speaks to Barkley “pretty regularly” and called him a “close friend,” but he also said “that’s Saquon’s business between him and the team.”
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“I hope they get something done,” Big Blue’s quarterback said, who called Barkley a “great teammate” and a “very important part” of what the Giants do.
Neither first-round corner Deonte Banks or third-round receiver Jalin Hyatt worked with the first-team offense or defense on Thursday. Second-round center John Michael Schmitz was the only one of the top draft picks who saw first-team work. Free agent signing Amani Oruwariye slotted at corner opposite Adoree Jackson, while veterans Parris Campbell, Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins led the way at receiver. It will be interesting to see how much of the draft picks’ acclimation is due to body management and how much is about playbook knowledge. Daboll did say the young players were “behind considerably” at this stage, just like he said rookies always are. But he also called this a “learning and teaching camp” and said “no one is going to make the team off of performance at this camp” … Veteran Jamison Crowder made a couple catches out of the slot, including one from Jones on the second play of 7-on-7. … Lawrence Cager saw a lot of meaningful work at tight end behind Darren Waller. … It seems like the green dot on defense could be between middle linebacker Jarrad Davis and free safety Xavier McKinney. Multiple players are wearing it on defense at the moment. Undersized veteran safety Bobby McCain lined up next to McKinney. … Running back Matt Breida was the personal protector on punts, where he served as Julian Love’s backup there last season. … Thursday’s punt return group: Jaydon Mickens, Kalil Pimpleton, Darnay Holmes, rookie Eric Gray, Crowder, Jackson, Hyatt and Slayton. Mickens caught the first punt off the foot of Jamie Gillan. … This was the first Giants OTA practice open to the media. They will practice next on Tuesday.
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Outside Barkley, Thursday’s most noteworthy absences were on the defensive line. The Giants have eight interior D-linemen, and only three of them were on the field: Ryder Anderson, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and rookie Jordon Riley. Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Vernon Butler and free agent signing A’Shawn Robinson were not there. D.J. Davidson was inside rehabbing. In fairness, there is a good chance those players are putting in harder physical work at home than they would here. It’s simply worth noting that Williams ($32 million) carries the team’s highest salary cap hit, Lawrence just got paid and neither are here at the moment. Corner Nick McCloud also wasn’t on the field.
Wide receiver David Sills appeared to injure a left rib or his back on a hard landing late in practice. Sills came down hard on the grass after making a difficult leaping catch just outside the right sideline on a Tyrod Taylor deep bomb. Sills was in significant pain and eventually limped off under his own power. There was no update available from the team.
Several players were rehabbing on a side field with trainers. Daboll wouldn’t say anything about their injuries or their progress. The players were wide receivers Sterling Shepard, Wan’Dale Robinson and Makai Polk; safeties Jason Pinnock, Dane Belton and Trenton Thompson; corner Aaron Robinson; offensive tackles Tyre Phillips and Marcus McKethan; edge rusher Elerson Smith and inside linebacker Darrian Beavers. Davidson also was rehabbing inside. Phillips and Beavers worked into limited walk-through drills later.
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The Giants’ preseason dates and times are now set. They’ll visit the Detroit Lions for joint practices before a road exhibition opener on Friday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. Then they’ll host the Carolina Panthers on Friday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. and the Jets on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m.