I apologize to everyone on this board along with each and every one of their relatives, friends, associates, casual acquaintances, life-long enemies and total strangers if this is a repost. POSTED 6:57 a.m. EDT; LAST UPDATED 9:34 a.m. EDT, April 29, 2004 LEAGUE LAUGHS AT G-MEN It's been a rough week for the Giants, and a league insiders are getting a kick out of the stream of bad decisions that the front office in New York has made. Sure, the Giants probably disagree. They got the quarterback they wanted in the draft, and G.M. Ernie Accorsi thinks he's a Marino or Elway talent -- regardless of whether other seasoned talent evaluators don't see the comparison between those first-ballot Hall-of-Famers and Archie Manning's youngest son. But the consensus is that the Giants gave up too much to get Manning, more (in fact) than it would have cost to get the No. 1 pick before Manning's agent, Tom Condon, hatched a power play aimed at keeping Eli out of San Diego. Along the way toward overpaying for the rights to Manning, the Giants passed on an opportunity to pick up an extra second-round selection by sliding back to No. 7 via a trade with the Browns, who wanted to draft Miami safety Sean Taylor before the Redskins could snag him. Sure, there would have been a risk that either the 'Skins or the Lions would have dealt the No. 5 or No. 6 selection, respectively, to someone who would have drafted Philip Rivers, but the risk likely was minimal. And although the release of 2003 starter Kerry Collins was a foregone conclusion, the Giants managed to bungle it, cutting Collins while claiming that there was a misunderstanding regarding the question of whether the team wanted him to take less money in 2004. If the Giants truly believed that Collins didn't understand the message that flowed from his Monday meeting with G.M. Ernie Accorsi, Accorsi could have utilized one of the various communications technologies that are now available for the purposes of transmitting, um, words from one person to another. Instead, the Giants' equivocation regarding Collins' pay looks like cover, in the event this whole experiment blows up in their faces, as we predict it will. And the notion that they would have paid him $7 million this year presumes that the team would have hammered out a multi-year deal with salaries in 2004, 2005, and perhaps 2006 that reflected his status not as a starter, but as a backup. So, yeah, the idea that Collins could have made his $7 million this year by staying was disingenuous, at best. Now that Collins is gone, the team continues to consider a list of washed-up veterans whose better days are buried somewhere in an old pair of sweat socks. From Jeff Blake to Neil O'Donnel to Vinny Testaverde, league insiders are rolling in the aisles regarding the notion that one of these guys will be the 2004 week one starter as Eli Manning gets up to speed. The icing on the cake (mmm, cake) is the acquisition of 280-pound quarterback Jared Lorenzen, a freak show-type oddity at quarterback whom the Giants quietly hope will supplant Jesse Palmer. Word is that new coach Tom Coughlin thinks Palmer's role on "The Bachelor" shows that he's soft. Apparently, Coughlin hasn't taken a good look at Lorenzen's midsection. The whole affair causes many league insiders to conclude that the Giants essentially have conceded the 2004 season -- and that the team might not emerge from its coming funk until 2006, at the earliest. As the losses mount over the next 20 months, good luck getting the fans and the media to fuhgetabout the string of bad decisions made during a one-week window in April 2004.