Giants Might Be Missing the Lockout - NBC New York

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Giants Might Be Missing the Lockout

Prince Amukamara will miss two months with a broken foot



    Giants Might Be Missing the Lockout
    This may be the highlight of Amukamara's rookie season.

    There wasn't a football fan in America that wasn't thrilled to tears when the lockout finally came to an end.

    Two weeks later, you might find a few Giants fans who want to go back to the days when the only news related to the team was whether or not John Mara was taking part in negotiations for a new labor deal. Things have not gone particularly well for the Giants since football life began again and we're not just talking about the Eagles loading up for a big run at the Super Bowl.

    We've covered the Osi Umenyiora soap opera ad nauseum. There were no new developments on that front over the weekend, which is the exception to the rule that no news is good news.

    The longer Umenyiora lingers on the sideline with a knee injury -- real or imagined -- the longer the Giants are stuck without having a core member of their defense or the rewards realized by pawning the sad sack off on someone else. Mara and G.M. Jerry Reese might be pleased with the way they've refused to give ground in this standoff, but they aren't making their team better.

    Thanks to two other developments, Osi's personal lockout wasn't even a big story in the last couple of days. It was far overshadowed by the follies at tight end and an injury to first-round pick Prince Amukamara.

    The Giants signed Ben Patrick to play tight end last week and didn't make much of an effort to keep Kevin Boss from signing with the Raiders. That backfired on them over the weekend when Patrick decided professional football wasn't the life for him and retired with little warning.

    Boss had become a big part of the offense in recent years because he could both block and catch, and there's no obvious way for the Giants to replace him. Travis Beckum is an intriguing receiver who can't block while Bear Pascoe is only a blocker, so the Giants will have to come up with some way to utilize them without becoming a totally predictable offense.

    Boss's departure forces more questions about just what the Giants' master plan is for the preseason. In the last two weeks they let Barry Cofield and Boss walk without a fight, refused to make a serious bid for Plaxico Burress and cut two starting offensive linemen without adding a real impact player anywhere on the field.  

    Cap issues are making life difficult, which is yet another reason to end this Umenyiora nonsense, but the Giants don't look like a better team than the one that missed the playoffs last season.

    The team took their sweet time signing first-round pick Amukamara and then got all of two practices out of him before the cornerback went down with a broken bone in his left foot. He'll miss about two months, a period of time that will make it very hard for the team to realize any return on their investment after Amukamara missed the entire offseason thanks to the lockout. 

    Not exactly the way you want to ease yourself back into work, is it? If there's any bright side, it is that the Giants have become pretty adept at dealing with bad news in the last couple of years so this shouldn't stop them from showing up and giving it their all.

    The downside of that is that they haven't dealt with negative developments by making the playoffs or rising above them, but perhaps practice will pay off for them in the weeks to come.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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