- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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While other teams in the NFL did not allow players to do much in their practice facilities, the Giants opened their doors and let the defensive tackle into the weight room to get a workout in.
As one of three Giants who visited the team's Timex Performance Center, Canty worked out and met with coaches.
However, after letting Canty use the weight room on Tuesday, the Giants announced later in the evening that it will not allow players to work out at the facility on Wednesday should they show up. Players will still be allowed in the facility and can talk to staff members but they will not be allowed to discuss football or football-related business talk.
"We have decided that our workout and training rooms will be closed until we get clarification from the pending challenges to the court's decision," said Pat Hanlon, Giants vice president of communications.
Running back Brandon Jacobs and wide receiver Mario Manningham were the other two Giants who stopped by the facility. Those two did not work out but they did talk to coaches and staff members. Jacobs said he even interrupted an offensive coaches staff meeting to say hello and spent time chatting with head coach Tom Coughlin about family, the lockout and last year's poor finish for the Giants, who missed the playoffs for a second straight year.
It felt great to be back.
"I got a good workout, and felt pretty good," Canty said after spending about two and a half hours at the facility. "Got a chance to meet with the coaches, it was great. We are excited to get back to business as usual."
"I am going to come back as long as the door is open," Canty added about Wednesday. "There was no tension here. Now I know that hasn't exactly been the thing around the rest of the league but coming in here was like we never left. Coach is always excited to have guys back in the building and we are just excited to move forward and get back to work."
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson on Monday granted the players' request for an injunction to lift the lockout, halting the NFL's work stoppage. The league filed an appeal and the NFL issued a statement indicating players would not be allowed to work out.
"In light of last night's ruling by Judge Nelson, we were directed by the league that if our players showed up at the Timex Performance Center today to treat them with courtesy and respect," said Hanlon. "That message, which sounds a lot like how we always treat our players, was reinforced to our staff by our ownership.
"As of now, three Giants players [Manningham, Canty and Jacobs] have shown up at Timex today, a number that is understandable given that we are all awaiting further rulings from the court and both the league and the NFLPA have indicated we need time to sort out the meaning of the current status of the litigation."
Manningham was the first to arrive at the facility, close to 11:30 in the morning. The wide receiver left at noon, declining to comment.
Canty arrived around that time for his workout and was immediately greeted by Charles Way, the team's director of player development. Jacobs visited just before Canty left and remained over an hour after talking to coaches and even grabbing some gumbo in the cafeteria.
Canty was curious why reporters kept asking repeatedly about him working out in the weight room. He was then told that that the New York Jets did not allow their players access to the weight room or training facilities.
"OK, but this is the New York Football Giants, though," Canty said. "It is not the Jets."
Jacobs said he came to the facility out of curiosity after his agent told him to see if he could go inside.
The running back said he will return to work out Wednesday and he praised the organization for being so accommodating to the players.
"That is the difference between this organization and all the other ones out there," Jacobs said. "They want us to get in and get some work in because after all is said and done, we are still their players and we are going to be the ones playing so why keep all of our resources from us?"
Canty flew in on Tuesday morning from Charlotte, where he was spending time with his family for Easter. The defensive tackle reportedly has a $250,000 workout bonus in his contract. It is not clear whether Tuesday's workout session counts toward that bonus with the labor uncertainty but Canty couldn't have hurt his cause by getting a workout in the team facility on the first day he could do so after the lockout was lifted.
"Whether it counts or not, I am here," Canty said. "That is the important thing. This is going to go a long ways toward our team being successful ... us working out together at the Timex Performance Center."
Canty knows that things can change in the next few days with the NFL appealing.
"But it still presents an opportunity for us to get in here and meet with the coaches and get in here and work out and lift in our facility which is better than the alternative," Canty said.
Canty and Jacobs both hope more players come in on Wednesday. Jacobs thinks as many as 13 to 14 players could be at the facility.
The running back wants to keep working out at the team facility and hopes that eventually his good buddy Ahmad Bradshaw will be working out with him later this offseason. Bradshaw will either become a restricted or unrestricted free agent based on whatever the new collective bargaining agreement rules. The Giants hope to re-sign Bradshaw but both running backs wonder if the team will be able to keep them on the roster. Jacobs will make $4.65 million in 2011 and $4.9 million in 2012.
The Giants could draft a running back in this week's draft as insurance in case they cannot re-sign Bradshaw, who wants to remain with the Giants.
"I hope he is back, I'd hate to see someone get a back like that," Jacobs said of Bradshaw. "I have no idea about what's going to happen. Whatever they do, they do. All I can do is make best of whatever they do. As much as I want Ahmad to be here with me, him and Danny [Ware], I also have my family as well which has to continue to eat."
The future of the sport of football remains unpredictable as well. But at least for one day, Jacobs, Canty and Manningham got to return back to the facility and talk to the coaches and chat about football like nothing had changed.
"Coach Coughlin said, 'Hey, the grass out there is ready to go,'" Canty said. "He said, 'Let's get this thing going.'"
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.
2hJohn Keim and Adam Caplan