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JPP, Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz not at minicamp

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham catches

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham catches the ball during minicamp at the Quest Diagnostic Training fFcility on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Photo Credit: Andrew Theodorakis

The Giants had a holdout at the start of their minicamp Tuesday.

It was their star power.

Three of the marquee names on their roster are not participating in this final three-day phase of the offseason program. Jason Pierre-Paul is training on his own in Florida, having still not signed his franchise tag tender or having reached a long-term deal. Victor Cruz is still rehabbing the torn patellar tendon that cost him the second half of last season. Odell Beckham Jr., last season's offensive rookie of the year, has been out with a hamstring injury for several weeks.

The Giants have only four position players on their team who have been to a Pro Bowl. Eli Manning is the only one on the field this week. That's a lot of wattage in the wings.

And though it might not matter a whole lot -- there are no disappointed fans attending minicamp and all three players are expected back for the start of training camp late next month -- it does make it difficult for the Giants to get a firm grasp on where they stand as a team before they go on a six-week hiatus.

"At least I got to see Odell for a while,'' Tom Coughlin said of Beckham's brief activity in workouts prior to the injury, "but there is no doubt [it's difficult].''

"You always like to have all your guys out there,'' Manning said.

At least Beckham and Cruz were physically around. The two receivers have been in attendance, if not participants, for almost all of the voluntary offseason program. On Tuesday, they ran outside while the rest of the team practiced in the fieldhouse, then they came inside to throw the football back and forth for a while.

Pierre-Paul, though, has been largely absent. The Giants have no recourse as far as fining him for missing the mandatory minicamp since technically he is not under contract until he signs the $14.8-million one-year tender or a long-term deal (there is a July 15 deadline for the latter).

Giants coaches, though, went out of their way to describe Pierre-Paul as simply following a business protocol of the NFL circa 2015 and not a disgruntled player. They even pointed to his showing up earlier this spring to spend a few days in classrooms and meetings to get to know the basics of the new defense.

"From all of my contact with JPP, it's all been positive,'' defensive line coach and Pierre-Paul conduit Robert Nunn said. "It is what it is. I don't get involved with the business side of it, but he seems to be in a very good place mentally and working out and looked like he was in very good shape when he was here. We'll see when we begin.''

"He's going to be behind because of what we're doing right now,'' new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. "He had been around for a period of time, did a little bit of the mental work, which I greatly appreciated. I thought that spoke volumes to who he is, what he's about, and how important it is to him . . . Hopefully, he's up to that challenge and he can get up to speed really quick.''

He can say that again. The the Giants probably wouldn't mind if he said it three times, once for each of their idle impact players.


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