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 »This Week in History
New York Giants

  Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire

  The Giants signed punter Brad Wing to a three-year contract extension worth $6.45 million.

The deal includes a $2 million signing bonus as part of $3.725 million in guaranteed money, per sources.

Wing, acquired in a trade Sept. 4 with the Steelers in exchange for a seventh round draft pick, had signed an exclusive rights free agent contract earlier this offseason to remain with the Giants. His new three-year deal locks him up through 2019.

In his first season as a Giant, the Australian-born Wing had a 44.5-yard gross average and a 38.9-yard net average on 76 punts. He placed 33 punts inside the 20, had 10 touchbacks, and his longest kick traveled 64 yards. Wing's 33 punts inside the 20-yard line tied the Giants' single-season record, set by Brad Maynard in both 1997 and 98.

Wing played his college ball at LSU, where he was a teammate of Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Wing originally began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent with the Eagles before moving over to the Steelers in 2014.

It's been quite a while since New York Giants players were willing to even entertain discussing the "P" word when it came to their team.

Well, it's amazing what a new head coach and a massive free agency spending spree and a new coaching staff has done over the course of seven months and counting.

The players are energized and champing at the bit to prove to the rest of the NFL that they can and will be relevant again. While every player on every team will usually answer affirmatively when asked about the playoffs, this year in particular, the Giants aren't simply paying lip service; they're speaking with conviction.

"Yeah, definitely," quarterback Eli Manning said at a promotional appearance earlier this month when asked if he thought the Giants were a playoff caliber team.

"We added some great players in the offseason. We were aggressive in free agency, but still have a lot of our core guys, especially on offense, back and I think we made some good moves on defense. We're getting some guys back healthy. It's just a matter of, hey, the talent is there, can we put it together, can we find a way to win the games and play our best football when we need to?"

Added running back Rashad Jennings: "We're a good team and we just need to build. "This is going to be a big year for us, and we have high expectations here."

A big reason for those high expectations is the massive roster overhaul the front office team led by general manager Jerry Reese conducted. New York parted with underwhelming draft picks such as cornerbacks Jayron Hosley and Prince Amukamara, and replaced them with veteran Janoris Jenkins and rookie draft pick Eli Apple, respectively

They also said goodbye to players with injury histories such as offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, linebacker Jon Beason and offensive tackle Will Beatty.

Their 2016 draft class appeared devoid of risks and gambles to where they could end up with at least half of their six-member class Apple, receiver Sterling Shepard, and Darian Thompson receiving a massive amount of snaps as rookies.

They also filled in some of their glaring weaknesses with players such as defensive end Olivier Vernon and defensive tackle Damon Harrison-guys who are only on their second NFL contracts.

All of those factors are a big reason why the buzz at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center has been off the charts this spring.

"We're bringing in more pros guys who want and understand what it means to work and lead the younger guys along," Jennings said.

"We've got some guys who can cover and some guys who can put some pressure on the quarterback. That's going to help the defense get off the field and put the offense back on the field and give us an opportunity to get more points on the board. We're going to be playing sound and collective team football this year."


Stabilize the right tackle position. The Giants tried several times to sign a veteran offensive lineman to move into the right tackle spot, but were unsuccessful. Most recently, New York was involved with trade talks for now former Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe. When those talks fell apart, Monroe was released, but the Giants still pursued his services. While the Giants will continue to scan the waiver wire for veteran depth at a position that's paper thin, they are also prepared to keep the status quo at right tackle with Marshall Newhouse, who stepped into the starting lineup at that spot last year.

Improve on defense. The Giants invested a lot of money to upgrade the NFL's 32nd ranked defense last season. Not surprisingly, the biggest splashes made were in the front and back ends, areas where the team really struggled most. They added defensive end Olivier Vernon and defensive tackle Damon Harrison to stifle opponents on first down yardage and to rush the passer. They also added cornerback Janoris Jenkins to help plug the league's 32nd ranked pass defense last year. The unit looked much improved running around in shorts and T-shirts in the spring, but they'll need to stay healthy-a big problem for the defense last year-and continue to meld together.

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