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Special Report

Sent: 06-03-2024

E-GIANTS
Dave Klein was the Giants' beat writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books and he was one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls until the past few. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.

EAGLES FACE PENALTY FOR SIGNING BARKLEY;
WALLER READY TO RETIRE

By Dave Klein
It's not exactly a case of getting even being the best revenge, but the Philadelphia Eagles are abut to pay some sort of penalty for violating the free agent communications rules imposed by the NFL when they signed Giants' running back Saquon Barkley to a three-year contract as the signing period started.

It won't bring Barkley back to the Giants - nor should they want him after his abrupt decision to leave the team - but it might inflict a bit of discomfort on the Eagles in the form of the forfeiture of a draft choice or two.

And really, anything that happens to the Eagles is closely followed and either cheered or slammed by Giants' management and fans.

So now the former second overall pick in the 2018 draft, who gained 962 yards in 242 carries last season - but couldn't help the offense to any better than a 6-11 record - will see his former team twice a season.

Who knows? He might have at least one good game if he doesn't get hurt first.

Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman have insisted all along that they did nothing wrong, that they just took advantage of a division rival and scored a major victory.

Well, fellas, the NFL doesn't see it that way, and any day now we'll find out just how much the league disagrees. It still won't bring him back, nor will it make a serious threat out of veteran free agent Devin Singletary, the 5-7, 205-pounder signed from the Houston Texans after an 898-yard season (in 216 carries).

The six-year veteran from Florida Atlantic would be perfect as a second-team running back, but not as the starter with Eric Gray or rookie Tyrone Tracy or somebody else serving as his backup.

Well, listen, if Barkley is happy and if the Eagles don't mind being penalized for doing business the way they did, it's probably a case of no harm/no foul.

Speaking of players who carried big reputations and not much accomplishment into the 2023 season, the Giants appear to be on the edge of hearing tight end Darren Waller tell them he's retiring.

In this case, it's a story of "we hardly knew ye" before he decides to skip town.

Waller, a nine-year veteran who was acquired via trade from the Las Vegas Raiders prior to last season's start, was injured frequently - or said he was - and managed to catch a total of 52 passes for 552 yards and one touchdown.

The 31-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in Week Eight last season, was placed on Injured Reserve on Nov. 1 and activated on Dec. 17.

So assuming he does retire, who looms as the Giants' starting tight end? Could be last year's backup, Daniel Bellinger (6-6, 255, San Diego State) or the Giants' fourth-round draft pick this year, Penn State's Theo Johnson (6-5, 265).

Wow, remember when the Giants' tight ends had names like Mark Bavaro and Bob Tucker and Gary Shirk and Joe Walton and even Jeremy Shockey, Zeke Mowatt, Kevin Boss and Howard Cross? Somehow, it's not just the same.

***** ***** *****

Pro Football Focus has named the Giants trade for edge rusher Brian Burns one of the best deals of the 2024 off-season. The 6-5, 250-pound product of Florida State, and Carolina's first round pick in the 2019 draft, has 46 quarterback sacks in his five-year career.

And as that publication points out, the current Giants' pass rushers, Burns, Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux, had 148 quarterback pressures last season alone.

***** ***** *****

Finally, the laugh of the day:

"For the last year, I thought my washer was shrinking my clothes. Then I recently realized it was my refrigerator."

Questions? Comments?
Send it over to davesklein@aol.com

You can subscribe Dave's newsletters which run much more frequently than what is available here. - Team Giants

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