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Giants Now: Charley Casserly's top EDGE prospects

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NFL Network's Charley Casserly's top EDGE prospects

The Giants defense played well last season, finishing the year ranked ninth in the NFL in points allowed (22.3) and 12th in yards allowed (349.3) per game.

While most of the defense will be returning in 2021, the Giants may still look to add to its depth at a few positions, including at edge rusher.

NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly spoke about a few of his favorite EDGE prospects in this year's NFL Draft, starting with Michigan's Kwity Paye.

Paye played in just four games in 2020, finishing with 16 tackles (12 solo), two sacks and four tackles for loss on his way to being named Second-Team All-Big Ten. It was the second consecutive season he earned Second-Team All-Big Ten honors after racking up 6.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss in 12 games as a junior.

"He's my number one rusher," Casserly said about Paye. "The most explosive rusher in this draft. I've seen him win outside with speed, inside with quickness. I've seen him line up right across at every position on the defensive line, defensive tackle and defensive end. I see him using his hands playing the run, can slip some blocks."

Casserly's other top edge defenders include a pair of Miami pass rushers- Jaelan Phillips and Gregory Rousseau.

Phillips transferred to Miami after two seasons at UCLA. In his first campaign with the Hurricanes in 2020, Phillips recorded eight sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss, one interception and three passes defensed to go with 45 tackles (21 solo). He was named Second-Team All-ACC, AP Second-Team All-American and AFCA First-Team All-American.

"He's my second-rater pass rusher here..." Casserly said. "I see him with speed on the outside, I've seen quick inside moves, I see potential there. He sets the edge very well."

Rousseau shined in his only full season at Miami back in 2019. In 13 games, Rousseau registered 15.5 sacks, 19.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass defended, along with his 54 tackles (34 solo). His 15.5 sacks were the second-most in the nation behind only Ohio State's Chase Young. His accolades for the 2019 season include First-Team All-ACC, Second-Team All-American, Freshman All-American and ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Casserly likes what he's seen on tape from Rousseau, describing him as "athletic, quick, shows potential."

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently updated his ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Giants release WR Golden Tate, LB David Mayo

The Giants today announced the release of veteran wide receiver Golden Tate and linebacker David Mayo.

Tate, 32, played the past two of his 11 NFL seasons with the Giants. He joined the team as a free agent on March 14, 2019, played in 23 games with 14 starts and caught 84 passes for 1,064 yards (12.7-yard avg.) and eight touchdowns.

In 2020, Tate played in 12 games with four starts. He was inactive for the season opener vs. Pittsburgh (hamstring), at Washington on Nov. 8 (coach's decision) and the season's final two games (calf injury). Tate caught 35 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns and completed one of two passes for 18 yards.

Tate started 10 of the 11 games in which he played in his first season with the Giants in 2019, when he had 49 receptions for 676 yards and six touchdowns. The latter two totals were each the second highest on the team.

Tate had a long reception of 64 yards at New England on Oct. 10, 2019, when he had his Giants-best 102 yards. His other high totals were eight catches at Detroit on Oct. 27, 2019 and two touchdowns at the Jets two weeks later. Tate also averaged 9.4 yards on 14 punt returns.

Mayo, 27, joined the Giants six days before the start of the 2019 season and in two seasons played in 27 games with 15 starts. His totals included 100 tackles (62 solo), including 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

In 2020, Mayo tore the meniscus in his left knee, underwent surgery and spent the season's first five weeks on injured reserve. He played in each of the final 11 games, starting two, and led the Giants with nine special teams tackles (six solo). On defense, he had 20 tackles (12 solo), including two for loss and forced one fumble.

Mayo debuted with the Giants the previous season, when he played in all 16 games, including starts in each of the last 13. He tied for second on the team with a career-best 80 tackles (50 solo), including his first two career sacks.

Prior to joining the Giants, Mayo played four seasons for the Carolina Panthers and was in training camp in 2019 with the San Francisco 49ers.

View NFL.com's updated rankings of the top 101 free agents of 2021 ahead of the new league year, which begins March 17.

Joint Statement from MLB, MLS, NBA, NHL, NFL and WNBA

The study published today by JAMA Cardiology is an illustration of the collaboration amongst medical experts at MLB, MLS, NBA, NHL, NFL and WNBA and our respective players associations over the past year. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have worked more closely together than ever to share lessons learned to ensure the best possible care for players. 

As part of that ongoing collaboration, each league implemented a similar cardiac screening program for athletes with prior COVID-19 infection. The screening programs, which are based on American College of Cardiology recommendations, are used to detect serious conditions resulting from the virus and help promote an athlete's safe return to play after COVID-19 infection. 

Using de-identified data from the six leagues, the peer-reviewed study published today found very few cases of inflammatory heart disease and that a return to professional sports following COVID-19 infection can be safely achieved using this return to play screening program. In this study of 789 COVID-19 positive athletes from across our leagues, evidence of inflammatory heart disease was identified in 0.6% of athletes. The study also found no adverse cardiac events occurring in the athletes who underwent cardiac screening and subsequently resumed professional sport participation. The study additionally reflects the care provided by club medical and athletic training staffs who contributed to the study.

As with other lessons professional sports have learned about COVID-19, the results of this study are being shared broadly to continue to contribute to the growing body of knowledge about the virus – a commitment we collectively share with each other and our players for the benefit of society beyond sports.

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