Oct 9, 2022; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants punter Jamie Gillan (6) watches from the sidelines in the second half against the Green Bay Packers during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Giants giving P Jamie Gillan 2-year, $4M extension

The New York Giants have agreed with punter Jamie Gillan on a two-year, $4 million extension, NFL Network reported Monday.

The deal with the 25-year-old free agent from Scotland is worth up to $5 million with incentives, per the report.

Gillan averaged 40.2 net yards on 74 punts in his first season with the Giants in 2022, with 26 punts downed inside the 20-yard line and nine touchbacks. He had one punt blocked.

Gillan played his first three NFL seasons (2019-21) with the Cleveland Browns, and his highlights there included an appearance on the All-Rookie Team.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (3) runs in a touchdown during the third quarter at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Giants to re-sign WR Sterling Shepard to 1-year deal

The New York Giants are re-signing wide receiver Sterling Shepard to a one-year deal, multiple outlets reported Sunday.

Shepard, 30, has played in just 10 games over the past two seasons because of Achilles and knee injuries.

A second-round pick by the Giants out of Oklahoma in 2016, Shepard has recorded at least 65 receptions in a season three times, the most recent in 2020 when his 66 receptions for 656 yards, included three touchdowns. He had a career-best eight TD receptions in his rookie season of 2016.

In 75 games (72 starts) for the Giants over the past seven seasons, Shepard has 362 receptions for 4,038 yards and 22 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins (18) runs with the ball against Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) during the third quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Giants re-sign WR Isaiah Hodgins

The New York Giants re-signed wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins, who was set to become an exclusive rights free agent.

Terms of Thursday’s deal were not disclosed.

Hodgins caught 33 passes for 351 yards and four touchdowns in eight regular season games with the Giants after being claimed off waivers on Nov. 2.

He caught eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown in the 31-24 wild-card win at Minnesota on Jan. 15, the first playoff victory for New York since Super Bowl XLVI.

Hodgins, 24, was released by Buffalo after catching four passes for 41 yards in two games this season. The Bills drafted him in the sixth round in 2020.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings have new round to prove themselves in playoff game vs. Giants

The Minnesota Vikings’ season has been defined by dramatic wins and skeptics saying they weren’t as good as a 13-4 record and NFC North championship suggests.

Now comes their chance to prove the doubters wrong, starting with Sunday’s NFC wild-card round matchup at home against the New York Giants. They know all too well what Minnesota magic was about this season.

When the teams met on Christmas Eve in Minneapolis, the Vikings pulled out a 27-24 win when kicker Greg Joseph boomed a 61-yard field goal as time expired. It was one of a whopping 11 one-score wins for them. Only the season opener against Green Bay (23-7) and last week’s 29-13 victory over Chicago could be classified as comfortable wins.

Can Minnesota get it done under the postseason glare? Part of the answer lies in how its offensive line plays. It might be without center Garrett Bradbury (back) and right tackle Brian O’Neill, who was hurt in a Week 17 loss at Green Bay.

“It’s not defined in terms of who’s going to be there Sunday,” said quarterback Kirk Cousins. “You’re not sure yet because it’s only Wednesday. It’ll be important to get out there the next couple of days and be able to practice hard and get some good, quality reps with the group together.”

Regardless of who lines up in front of him, one advantage Cousins has over any quarterback is the ability to throw to Justin Jefferson. Aside from a one-catch output at Green Bay, Jefferson has been virtually unstoppable this year.

In the Week 16 victory over the Giants, Jefferson torched their secondary for 12 catches on 16 targets, good for 133 yards and a touchdown. He finished the year with 128 grabs for 1,809 yards and eight scores.

Jefferson’s first three years in the league are as good as any receiver ever. He has a whopping 324 catches for 4,825 yards and 25 scores. His average game is good for nearly 100 yards.

Yet New York vows to be ready for the considerable challenge he presents.

“I think for us, we just try to control what we can control,” said Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. “That’s our line assignment, technique and just doing our job. You do your job. You know the other guys are doing a good job next to him. Fly as a collective.”

Another good way for New York (9-7-1) to minimize Jefferson’s overall impact on the game is to control the ball offensively and keep him on the sideline. The Giants are equipped to do that with Saquon Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones.

Barkley bounced back from a pair of subpar, injury-plagued seasons to rush for a career-high 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns this year while catching 57 passes. A good game Sunday should allow New York to chew up clock, not to mention yardage.

And Jones enjoyed the best of his four NFL seasons under first-year coach Brian Daboll, throwing for 3,205 yards with a 15-5 touchdown-interception ratio while rushing for 708 yards and seven scores.

–Field Level Media

Jan 16, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington (13) returns to the sidelines after scoring against the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Giants sign WR James Washington to practice squad

The New York Giants signed wide receiver James Washington to the practice squad ahead of Sunday’s wild-card game against the Minnesota Vikings, the team announced Wednesday.

Washington, 26, worked out for the team Tuesday, a week after being released by the Dallas Cowboys.

He signed a one-year, $1.035 million deal with the Cowboys in March but spent most of the 2022 regular season recovering from a preseason foot injury. He played in only two games and did not catch a pass.

Washington was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers out of Oklahoma State in the second round (60th overall) in 2018. In four seasons with the Steelers, he caught 114 passes for 1,629 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The Giants also signed guard Solomon Kindley to a reserve/future contract. The 6-foot-4, 335-pound offensive lineman was a fourth-round pick by Miami in 2020. He started 15 games across two seasons with the Dolphins, making appearances in 29 total games.

–Field Level Media

Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (97) tackles Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Joseph’s last-second 61-yard FG lifts Vikings over Giants

Greg Joseph hit a 61-yard field goal as time expired to lead the Minnesota Vikings to a 27-24 home win over the New York Giants on Saturday.

Kirk Cousins went 34-of-48 passing for 299 yards and three touchdowns, Justin Jefferson caught 12 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown, and T.J. Hockenson caught 13 passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns for Minnesota (12-3).

Daniel Jones went 30-of-42 passing for 334 yards in defeat for the Giants (8-6-1).

Taking over from its 25-yard line with 3:00 remaining and trailing 24-16, the Giants marched down the field and cut Minnesota’s lead to 24-22 on a 27-yard touchdown run by Saquon Barkley with 2:01 remaining, a play that happened on a fourth-and-2.

Jones then hit Daniel Bellinger in the back of the end zone for the 2-point conversion that tied the game at 24-24.

Minnesota then drove to the New York 42-yard line and spiked the ball with four seconds remaining to set up Joseph’s attempt.

Trailing 13-10, the Vikings mounted a 12-play, 75-yard drive and took a 17-13 lead with 14:12 remaining on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Hockenson.

The Giants cut Minnesota’s lead to 17-16 with 6:24 left after a 55-yard field goal by Graham Gano.

Facing a fourth-and-4 from its own 31-yard line with 4:10 remaining, the Giants elected to punt, but it was blocked by Minnesota’s Josh Metullus, which gave the Vikings the ball at the New York 29-yard line.

Five plays later, Cousins hit Jefferson on a 17-yard touchdown pass that gave Minnesota a 24-16 lead with 3:00 remaining.

Minnesota led 10-7 at halftime, but Gano hit back-to-back 48-yard field goals to give New York a 13-10 lead with 4:31 left in the third quarter.

–Field Level Media