The biggest key to the New York Giants' success over the next three years is a player who's only signed for two of them, and it's not a young player. Quarterback Eli Manning is as vital to his team's success as any player in the league, and the extent to which the Giants can handle the tremendous offseason roster turnover they underwent this season and return to contender status in the NFC rests on Manning's ability to reinvent himself in a new offense this year and in the years immediately following.
Manning's 2013 season was the worst of his career so far, as he threw a career-high and league-leading 27 interceptions. The offense crumbled around him. The offensive line collapsed due to injuries. Top wide receiver Hakeem Nicks mysteriously shut it down in a contract year. The running game never showed up. But Manning would admit that he was also part of the problem. He appeared to let the mess that was mushrooming around him affect his performance and his decision-making, and the result was an unacceptable level of performance.
For the first time in what seems like forever, the Giants will put on the field a multitude of options in their return game when they report for training camp this month. A team that has often treated kickoff and punt returns as a defensive maneuver can now legitimately trot out several players possessing big-play potential.
There’s a new wave of returners on the scene as the Giants uncharacteristically added talent to specifically address this glaring need. Heck, they took to free agency to sign Trindon Holliday, a 5-foot-5 sparkplug whose only discernible skill is taking back kickoffs and punts. The signing of safety Quintin Demps comes with the added benefit of his wonderful ability on kickoff returns and the front-office types went gaga, waxing poetic about the way rookie first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr., a receiver, can change a game as a returner. There’s another addition of sorts, as David Wilson, after playing in only five games last season, appears primed to make a comeback following neck surgery; as a rookie in 2012 he was a dynamic kick returner.
The New York Giants on Friday accused a memorabilia dealer of continuing to masquerade patent infringement claims as state law claims as it defended findings that his suit accusing the team of scapegoating him to hide the distribution of bogus collectibles belongs in New Jersey federal court.
The brief marks the latest salvo in a battle over the proper home for the case, in which Eric Inselberg contends that the storied NFL franchise exposed him to baseless mail fraud charges as part of the alleged cover up and poached patent and marketing concepts without giving him proper compensation. U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk on June 18 found that claims for unjust enrichment and misappropriation in the 16-count complaint are essentially claims for patent infringement and that the suit was subject to the federal court's jurisdiction.
Inselberg is hoping U.S. Judge William Martini will reject that recommendation and return the suit to New Jersey state court, but the Giants on Friday argued that the crux of the jurisdictional issue rests with the fact that Inselberg is claiming damages for the use of patented concepts, even if he contends that the claims include more than the patents.
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