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May 11, 2004 --

Kurt Warner arrived last week for a fact-finding meeting with the Giants and if the quarterback and team hit it off, he could eventually become the veteran needed to accompany Eli Manning through his rookie season.

This was to be an "exploratory situational meeting," according to GM Ernie Accorsi. Warner remains under contract with the Rams and thus no financial discussions can take place. The Rams will release Warner after June 1 and have given permission for the former league MVP to find a new home.

Warner last night went to dinner with head coach Tom Coughlin, accompanied most likely by offensive coordinator John Hufnagel and quarterbacks coach Kevin Gilbride. In between bites, they were expected to discuss Warner's role with the team as a mentor and backup to Manning, or else a role as a starter until Manning is deemed ready to play.

The Giants are not permitted to work Warner out but they can and will give him a thorough physical today, which could be critical, considering there are concerns about past concussions and a lingering injury to Warner's right thumb.

"Kurt's got a lot of people pursuing him and he wants to find the right situation," said Mark Bartelstein, Warner's agent.

As far as the quarterback rumor mill, word is the Raiders have made Kerry Collins a modest contract offer that he likely will not sign. It appears more likely now that Rich Gannon will remain in Oakland. There are also murmurs that Brad Johnson might stay with Tampa Bay. If Gannon and Johnson are not available, the Giants' options are more limited, increasing Warner's chances to land here.

As far as the complaints made by 7 to 10 Giants players to the NFL Players Association concerning possible violations in Coughlin's off-season workout program, the investigation is ongoing. Gene Upshaw, the union's executive director, and Harold Henderson, the league's vice president of labor relations, will review the evidence submitted by the Giants. No decision is expected before Friday.

If the Giants are found to be in violation and cannot come to an agreement with Upshaw and Henderson, the findings will be turned over to a non-injury grievance arbitrator, who will decide the case within 48 hours.

* One overlooked positive to come out of last weekend's mini-camp was the surprising physical shape of receiver Jamaar Taylor. Taylor, a sixth-round draft pick from Texas A & M, last October had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, a knee injury the Giants anticipated would take a full year to heal. Taylor, though, was engaging in change-of-direction running during the mini-camp and trainer Ronnie Barnes believes he will be ready for the July 29 start of training camp.

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I am surprised the Giants would consider Warner. I dont think he fits well with their offense. He is very susceptible to pressure and brittle. Coughlin does not run a fast quick hitting passing does he?

Warner will get killed. I would think they would rather have Gannon get killed?

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