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New York Giants Mailbag: Post Minicamp Musings

We have a supersized mailbag this week--thanks to everyone for the fantastic questions!

If you'd like to submit a question for the mailbag, please send it to Note: We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and conciseness.

Curious to get your thoughts on who you think the Giants' biggest rival is now. In the Jason Pierre-Paul - Brandon Jacobs days, I'd say it was the Cowboys, but I think it's the Eagles given recent events. Also, same question but outside the NFC East. Thanks! -- @mhliao2

Hey, what's going on? I would say the Eagles are the Giants' biggest division rivals mainly because of how the Eagles for years nominated the Giants.

As for outside the NFC East, that's a tough one because, to me, a rivalry develops when the two teams see each other regularly. So I don't know--do you make a case for the Jets? The Patriots? I'm not sure, to be honest, but I think that's a great question. What do the rest of you think?

Last summer, rookies didn't have OTAs or Minicamp to ease the transition to the NFL. This could have impacted Andrew Thomas in the first half of the season. But it seemed like he was cross-training to be a RIGHT tackle, with Solder still penciled in as the left tackle. Do you remember at what point Solder officially opted out? Based on so many players and coaches saying that switching sides is tough, do you think this might have led to some sloppiness in his technique to start the year?

Is there any word yet about the IR and the designation to return? Will it still be three weeks? If so, wouldn't it be wise to consider putting Barkley on the IR for the first few weeks, so he doesn't rush back? -- Scott M.

How goes it, Scott? Regarding your second question, I believe it was announced that the IR and designation-to-return rules are the same as last year. That said, you can't put Barkley on IR for the first few weeks--you're thinking of the PUP list, and that's a whole different ballgame.

The way PUP works is a player must pass his training camp physical. Once he does, he's no longer eligible for PUP. If he doesn't pass his physical, then he's eligible for active/PUP, meaning he counts against the roster but can come off PUP any time once he passes a physical.

Nate Solder, as I recall, opted out just before the start of training camp, so yes, I think your theory has some merit. I also believe Thomas trained on both sides.

Will fans be allowed at training camp? -- Pat P.

Hi Pat. I don't know if that's been decided, and if it has, how exactly that will work. I would say wait until we get a little closer to the start of training camp on July 27, and by then, more details should be available.

While in the pocket, Daniel Jones seems to hold the ball a little too long. Is this because he doesn’t see the field and can not locate secondary receivers, or because his receivers can not get open? -- Ron L.

What's up, Ron? I think it's a combination of things starting with whether Jones is trusting his eyes. And that could likely be a result of either not having a complete comfort level with the offense or perhaps not thinking his receivers are getting open enough. Either way, it's a problem, as I and others have noted, and one that hopefully he addresses this summer.

What group excites you the most after observing the OTAs and mini-camp? Secondary, receivers, edge, etc. -- @tomlapp66

Thanks for the question, Tom. It's still kind of early, but I'm very intrigued by the defensive backs and how defensive coordinator Patrick Graham plans to deploy them.

They not only have quantity at that position but what looks like a great deal of quality that's versatile, and I wouldn't be shocked if Graham isn't drooling over the numerous ways he can incorporate different personnel packages. I think, as of right now, the d-backs are the strength of the team.

Sam Beal--will he ever play a meaningful snap in the NFL? -- @MCarbonare

If he does, I highly doubt it will be with the Giants. I wouldn't be surprised if they plan on cutting ties with him.

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What free agents do you see on the Giant’s radar?--@TXWineLover

What's up, Jeff? I think we need to get through training camp and see what happens with injuries and who shakes loose from other teams.

What are your thoughts on the offensive line? Will Peart start at RT, in your opinion? Will Solder be the swing? Will Lemieux be RG or LG? --@MattMikeRaynor

What's up, MMR? I touched upon this in an article, but I like how the Giants have set up the offensive line to where they're going youth with the projected starters and have an experienced veteran as a safety net behind each of the young pups. I do think they want Peart to be the starting right tackle and Solder to be the swing tackle. And I think they see Lemieux as the left guard and Hernandez as the right guard.

How many WRs do you see the Giants having on the roster? I see 8-9 guys who ultimately can make this roster.--@TheSportsInflu1

What a great problem for the coaching staff to have, right? Anyway, I think it's early to make this call.

Again, it comes down to injuries--what if whatever is bothering John Ross is still lingering? Now you open up another spot for a receiver, right? Also, it would help to see how the guys projected for the bottom of the depth chart do on special teams.

That all said, I'll give you my very early guess (assuming there are no injuries): Sterling Shepard, Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton, John Ross, and C.J. Board.

It’s early, I know, but can we expect Toney to be an impact guy in year one or maybe lower expectations? -- @Dave NJ1010

What's up, Dave? If by impact, you mean on the same level as Kenny Golladay, no, I wouldn't go that far. I think Toney will contribute regularly, but my early take is he's destined to become the full-time slot receiver at some point, and I suspect his snap counts could reflect that he'll be likely sharing slot snaps with Shepard for the first year.

Do you feel there is a spot on the roster that still needs to be filled by a vet not signed yet for Week 1 that had a big question mark?--@giants261310

Thanks for the question. I don't want to keep sounding like a broken record, but it's too soon to say right now. Let's see where the injured players are at the start of camp, and let's get through the first couple of preseason games to see if the depth at any position gets affected.

What’s going on with both guard positions? Any update if Trai Turner is a possibility?--@AbreauErvin

What's up, Ervin? The plan appears to be Lemieux at left guard and Hernandez at right guard. Trai Turner doesn't seem to be an option right now for a team that, per the NFLPA public cap report, has $4,801,375 of cap space.

In memory of the late Jim Fassel, what was your best/favorite Fassel Era Giants moment? -With the additions of Golladay, Ross, and Toney, is Darius Slayton's playing time (and perhaps roster spot) in jeopardy?--@Spider_Fox87

What's up, SpiderFox? Regarding my favorite Jim Fassel memory, check out the first segment of this episode of the LockedOn Giants podcast--I think I captured the emotion of the memory better by speaking about it than I could in writing about it.

And no, I don't see Slayton's roster spot being in jeopardy. Slayton is mainly a perimeter receiver, and Toney is primarily a slot receiver. If anything, I could see Shepard's spot being in jeopardy down the line to where it wouldn't surprise me if this was his last year with the team.

Be sure to keep it locked on Giants Country all the time!