Baas To Sign At Center, Coughlin Extended

Baas To Sign At Center, Coughlin Extended

One day after the Giants told C Shaun O'Hara they were cutting him, they came to an agreement with 49ers center David Baas. A bit later, they handed Tom Coughlin a much-anticipated one-year extension.

It didn't take the Giants long to find Shaun O'Hara's replacement.

Just one day after they told the 34-year-old O'Hara they would release him Thursday, they agreed to terms with 49ers C David Baas. The 29-year-old is basically a bigger, younger version of the lunch-pail former starter at 6-foot-4, 330-pounds.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Baas had expected to return at starting center for the 49ers, but failed to come to a free agent agreement.

Baas can't sign with the Giants until Friday, but a league source indicated it's a done deal.

At almost the same time, the Giants made official what was speculated months ago, that they would extend coach Tom Coughlin. He received a one-year extension that will take him through 2012. Coughlin will turn 65 Aug. 31.

"As I was when I was hired in 2004, I am grateful for the opportunity," said Coughlin. "To be the head coach of the New York Giants is the fulfillment of a dream for somebody who grew up where I grew up and when I grew up. As I have said roughly a thousand times, we're all on one-year contracts in this business, but the reality is that I am thankful to work for people like the Maras and the Tisches and with people like (General Manager) Jerry Reese and his staff, as well as my coaching staff and our players."

President and CEO John Mara said there was almost no debate about extending the coach, despite the late-season collapse of his 10-6, non-playoff team.

"As we said after the season, we strongly believe in Tom," Mara said. "We believe in the job he has done, and we believe in his ability to lead our team in the future. Everybody was on the same page in arriving at the extension."

Baas actually has spent most of his time at guard since the Niners drafted the Michigan product in the second round in 2005. But a neck injury to starting C Eric Heitman forced a move to center last year.

The Giants asked G/T Shawn Andrews to restructure his contract, but the sides couldn't agree, so he and his $7 million salary cap figure will depart along with O'Hara and Rich Seubert. So the new line could read, from left to right: David Diehl, Kevin Boothe, Baas, Chris Snee, and Kareem McKenzie. They have, of course, Adam Koets and Mitch Petrus behind them with experience.

In other news, the Giants never really intended to re-sign Barry Cofield, anyway. But that's impossible now since Cofield is set to sign a six-year, $36 million deal with the Redskins.

The Giants also plan to meet with WR Plaxico Burress on Friday, which is kind of a surprise considering the negative feelings Tom Coughlin holds for him, especially after his 2009 firearms escapade that landed him in prison. Burress' objective must be to convince Coughlin and Jerry Reese that he's a changed man, and that he's put his days as the team's most fined player behind him forever.

The bet here is that the Giants won't make a serious play for him. People don't change that much, and Coughlin doesn't need the headaches in this already-weird season.

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