The New York Giants kicked off voluntary minicamp this week, a benefit for new head coaches which allows them to get on the field with players for light work while most teams are restricted to conditioning at this stage of the offseason process.
Most key players reported to the voluntary workouts to get a taste of coach Brian Daboll's scheme. After struggling last season, big-money receiver Kenny Golladay was in attendance.
"I mean, I guess you could say that's how much it means to me, especially coming off last season," Golladay said after Wednesday's practice via NJ.com. "I feel like the whole team is just trying to start off on a good note.
"Everyone should definitely be here."
Everyone, however, was not there.
The most glaring absence was 2021 first-round pick Kadarius Toney. The wideout got off to a slow start last offseason with talk of him not knowing the playbook. He battled persistent injuries last year, and while there were flashes of souped-up playmaking, he caught just 39 passes for 420 yards and no scores.
It's important to note that it's voluntary work, so making a mountain out of the molehill that is missing these spring sessions is futile. But given the new scheme, Toney is missing time in the playbook. Daboll noted that Toney hasn't yet received the playbook because the Giants haven't done any virtual work.
Other players also missed the start of the voluntary minicamp, including guard Mark Glowinski linebacker Blake Martinez (rehabbing), cornerback James Bradberry (on the trade block) and kicker Graham Gano.
More interesting than Toney not being at voluntary workouts is that Golladay said he hasn't spoken to the second-year wideout recently, which seems unusual given the hyper-connectivity players have today.
"I haven't talked to him in a while," Golladay said. "But I'm pretty sure he has something going on. Everything will work out. ... It's my job and the rest of the receivers coaches to get him on track."
Added Golladay: "Being one of the older guys in the room -- like I said, I haven't talked to him, I'm trying to get everything myself in order as far as learning the playbook. A lot has been on my plate. I'm pretty sure I'll talk to (Sterling Shepard) and we'll holler at him. I feel like he'll definitely listen to us."
While Golladay said he thought everyone should have attended the voluntary workouts, general manager Joe Schoen underscored that it's Toney and the rest of the players' right to conduct their business elsewhere at this stage of the offseason.
"It's voluntary," Schoen said. "Nobody's asked about the other guys that aren't here. It's life. Life happens. I've had good conversations with Kadarius and we've been in contact.
"At the end of the day, it's voluntary."