The Giants signed free-agent defensive end Keith Washington, 30 years
old, who has previously been with Baltimore, Minnesota, Detroit and
Denver. Ironically, the 6-4, 275-pound Washington was on the Ravens the
day they beat the Giants to win Super Bowl XXXV. He attended the
University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
Free-agent offensive tackle Char-ron Dorsey was originally with the
Dallas Cowboys two summers ago, and became so distressed with the
coaches screaming at him to lose weight (he showed up at almost 390
pounds) that he left the camp, then located in Wichita Falls, Tex., and
headed for the airport. But two assistant coaches caught up with him and
convinced him to come back -- and he eventually made the team.
Former head coach Dave Campo came to expect that every false-start flag
was aimed at Dorsey, and one of the beat writers tried to comfort him:
"It's not him, coach," he said. "It's his belly. It moves way before he
does and it just goes over the line of scrimmage."
Campo smiled at that once and responded: "Then it's not false start,
Tight end Marcellus Rivers suddenly became the second-teamer when Dan
Campbell defected and signed on with Dallas, which doesn't make head
coach Jim Fassel or tight ends coach Mike Pope overly comfortable
because Rivers is a lousy blocker. He defended himself by saying, "Right
now I'm an average blocker, but I know what I have to do and all it
takes is hard work and technique." That could, in fact, be said about
any position and any player.
Rivers was a three-sport (baseball, basketball, football) All-State
selection out of Douglass Hgh School in Oklahoma City, Okla. "I wanted
to go to college so I told a few baseball teams not to draft me," he
said. "But then when I finished (at Oklahoma State) nobody called, so I
signed with the Giants."
The latest schedule rumor has the Giants opening in either New England
or New Orleans and then getting Bill Parcells and the Cowboys in Giants
Stadium on the second Monday night game of the season. It would,
interestingly, be Parcells' fourth appearance in Giants Stadium as a
head coach -- the Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and now
It is beginning to look like running back Ron Dayne is intent on
burning his bridges. He told coach Jim Fassel he planned to attend the
team's "optional-but-mandatory" offseason training and conditioning
program, which began last Monday (March 24), but then said through his
agent that he was going to work out on his own in Phoenix, Ariz. Fassel
was livid. "I don't talk to agents about this," he said. "I talk to the
players. And when I talked to Ron he promised me he'd be here." Dayne
has requested a trade and so far the Giants have declined, so perhaps he
is trying to force their hands.
If Dayne is going to be moved, one indication would be how the Giants
approach their draft and the remaining time left to veteran free agency.
They have had several backs in for interviews, including Dorsey Levens
(Philadelphia) and Olandis Gary (Denver), and have quietly begun to talk
about draft eligible Willis McGahee, the 6-0, 225-pound superstar from
the Miami Hurricanes who would surely have been a top-5 pick had he not
torn up his knee. He is rehabbing well ahead of schedule and has run
that monster 4.48 in the 40-yard dash. Second round? Well, the Giants
don't pick until 25th, and that might be a perfect place for them to
begin greasing the skids for Dayne.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Imagine, me getting an offer for $375,000. It's a damned
lucky thing, too. I live in Staten Island (N.Y.) and everybody there is
a Giant fan. If they didn't want me back, those guys would start
throwing rocks through my windows." -- DE Frank Ferrara, who was
tendered as an exclusive rights free agent by the Giants.
NEEDS/DRAFT PRIORITIES: DT -- The Giants neglected to solve their
absence of defensive tackles last season and it hurt them badly when
Keith Hamilton went down and out with a ruptured Achilles tendon on Oct.
13. So that should remain as their first-round priority, depending on
the quality of the players at that time. It is a year in which the DT is
OG/OT -- The loss of starting RG Jason Whittle (to Tampa Bay) will
create a vacancy that the Giants must fill almost immediately. Starting
RT Mike Rosenthal signed with Minnesota.
ILB -- Mike Barrow is fine, but he's 33 years old and starting to feel
the aches and pains. Backup at the moment is Nick Greisen, a rookie last
year. He is a hard worker and intense, but may not have all the
necessary skills. If the Giants don't like the O-linemen available in
the first few rounds of the draft, including the first, they could go in
this direction -- and they will if Georgia's Boss Bailey is still
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LS Trey Junkin (somebody has to be kidding.
He's 41 years old and after coming out of retirement to make two bad
snaps in the Giants' playoff game, he'll slink back without getting a
nod); WR Tony Simmons (was a late-season pickup with almost no value. If
another team signs him, no problem. Giants may not even try to re-sign
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers): DE Byron Frisch (not
tendered as RFA); DT Ross Kolodziej (ERFA tender of $375,000 withdrawn);
CB Reggie Stephens (ERFA tender of $375,000 withdrawn); RB Damon
Washington (not tendered as ERFA).
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: C Chris Bober (tendered at $605,000 with no
compensation; should be re-signed, is one of better young centers in
conference); CB Ralph Brown (tendered at $605,000 with 5th-round pick as
compensation; Brown was valuable as a backup corner as well as a nickel.
The Giants will try to retain his services); LB Dhani Jones (tendered at
$605,000 with 6th-round pick as compensation; started all season at
weakside, and while found wanting he also improved. Until somebody
better comes along (as in this upcoming draft) he is going to be
critical to keep); LB Brandon Short (tendered at $605,000 with 4th-round
pick as compensation; started at strongside and was more than just
acceptable. He is being counted on to start -- and get better -- this
year. Giants will probably match any reasonable offer he receives).
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: DE Frank Ferrara (tendered at $375,000);
TE/LS Dan O'Leary (tendered at $375,000); OG Omar Smith (tendered at
PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: OT Barrett Brooks (UFA; $655,000/1 yr, no SB; 2003
cap: $450,000); WR Ron Dixon (RFA; $605,000/1 yr); QB Jason Garrett
(UFA; $780,000/1 yr, $25,000 SB; 2003 cap: $475,000); WR Ike Hilliard
(UFA; $12.78M/5 yrs, $2.5M SB/$1M SB option '04; 2003 cap: $1.03M); LB
Kevin Lewis (RFA; $1.975M/3 yrs, $450,000 SB; 2003 cap: $600,000); OT
Luke Petitgout ($30M/6 yr, $9.75M SB; 2003 cap: $2.155M); PK Owen
Pochman (ERFA; $300,000/1 yr); CB Kato Serwanga (UFA; $530,000/1 yr, no
SB/$25,000 base guarantee; 2003 cap: $450,000); S Omar Stoutmire (UFA;
$3.2M/3 yrs, SB unknown).
PLAYERS ACQUIRED: P Jeff Feagles (UFA Seahawks; $4.32M/5 yrs, $500,000
SB; 2003 cap: $855,000); FB Jim Finn (not tendered as RFA by Colts;
$985,000/2 yrs, no SB; 2003 cap: $450,000); CB Ray Green (not tendered
as RFA by Dolphins; $985,000/2 yrs, no SB; 2003 cap: $450,000); LS Ryan
Kuehl (UFA Browns; $3.62M/5 yrs, $325,000 SB; 2003 cap: $595,000); S
Clarence LeBlanc (ERFA; $300,000/1 yr); KR Brian Mitchell (UFA Eagles;
$3.55M/4 yrs, $500,000 SB; 2003 cap: $880,000); DE Keith Washington (FA
Broncos; terms unknown).
PLAYERS LOST: P Matt Allen (cut); TE Dan Campbell (UFA Cowboys; $4M/3
yrs, $1.47M SB); WR Herman Moore (cut); OT Mike Rosenthal (UFA Vikings;
$1.8M/2 yrs, $500,000 SB); CB Jason Sehorn (cut); LB Clayton White
(cut); OG Jason Whittle (UFA Buccaneers; $8.2M/5 yrs, $1.8M SB); FB Adam
MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.