New York Giants Roster And Free Agency Breakdown: Do The Damn Thang, Jerry

Posted: March 11, 2014 in Football, Giants, Sports, Uncategorized
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reese

With NFL Free Agency here, I wanted to do a quick breakdown on the G-Men roster situation.  Obviously the beginning of the 2013 season was an absolute nightmare, but the team was able to battle to 7 wins despite starting 0-6.  So now it is up to the front office and our fearless GM to put together the pieces and build a contending team for 2014.  Here is NFL.com’s list of the 2014 free agents (with different filters).  While Jerry Reese gets a lifetime of good will for winning two Super Bowls in his seven year tenure, he has also made some bad moves along the way.  And despite the Giants being thought of as a team that will not make splashy moves, they do have a history of signing players to big contracts during free agency.  Here is a breakdown of the Giants roster and what their offseason outlook is going to look like.

Quarterbacks: This is the easiest position to break down on the list.  Eli is a 2-Time Super Bowl MVP that is signed long-term.  The backup QB situation was addressed in the draft last year, with the Giants trading up to snag Ryan Nassib from Syarcuse.  Considering how comfortable the Giants have been in the past with only having two quarterbacks on the roster, I don’t expect this spot to get much attention between now and training camp.

Running Backs: Now this may be the scariest position on the list.  David Wilson’s best moments of 2013 are limited to his Madden highlights on my PS3.  When Wilson wasn’t fumbling the ball or having season-ending neck surgery, he was averaging 3.3 yards per carry.  I do believe that Wilson has a ton of raw talent, but between his production, injuries, and poor blocking ability, the Giants simply cannot afford to let him try to handle the lion’s share of the carries again.  Andre Brown is a very good player when healthy, but even for a position that is constantly nicked up, Brown remains one of the more injury prone running backs in the league.  He is worth signing to a bargain of a deal if possible, but I will not be heartbroken if he leaves.  The Giants have re-signed Peyton Hillis to a two year contract, but he is probably not going to give them much more than what he did last year.  There are rumors that the Giants may be looking to spend a bunch of money on running backs in free agency, but I do not buy that.  Jerry Reese has been able to find bargains like Brown and Ahmad Bradshaw in the later rounds of the draft.  I just can’t see him tying up a lot of valuable cap room in such a volatile position.  I can see Big Blue potentially signing one bargain veteran RB and taking a late round flier on another in the draft.  There have been rumors today that the Giants may go after Rashad Jennings formerly of the Raiders.  He would be a good fit for the team pending his asking price.

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends: I love Hakeem Nicks and will never forget how fun it was to root for him, but ship his ass out of town.  I don’t know what happened last year, but it was a disaster.  He has had injury issues since he entered the league and is only getting older.  By the looks of it, the Giants are going to roll the dice and hope that Rueben Randle finally “get it” in his third year.  I feel like that strategy will either work out tremendously or blow up in everyone’s faces.  Unfortunately, I don’t think the Giants have much of a choice given what else is out there.  Jerrel Jernigan likely played his way into getting a chance at nabbing the WR3 on the team, but he is another guy who needs to put it all together.  I am not worried about The Salsa King of New York, he will be fine.  As for Tight End, the “Pick up any tight end off the street and let Eli make him above average” strategy clearly didn’t work last year.  Brandon Myers was a huge bust for the team and they will have to find someone in free agency.  I will be saying my prayers for the rest of the day that it is NOT Brandon Pettigrew.  I think the Giants will invest a 1-3 year deal in a player here, while grooming/hoping Adrien Robinson shows them something in the near future.  It sounds like both Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless are interested in reuniting with their old coach Bob McAdoo in East Rutherford.  Options like Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham, and Scott Chandler are out there as well.  Honestly, as long as it is not Brandon Pettigrew, I will be happy.

Offensive Line: The source of many of the Giants’ problems last year started on the offensive line.  While Eli can be a championship quarterback when he has time to throw, it can get pretty ugly if the rush is in his face all game.  David Baas has been a mix of injures and a flat out disappointment since the Giants signed him in 2011.  Thankfully they have moved on after cutting him this week.  Chris Snee restructured his deal to give the G-Men some wiggle room in the cap department.  Considering he has a chronic bad hip injury and is the son-in-law of the coach, I wouldn’t expect anything less.  I am happy they didn’t have to cut Snee however, since I believe he can still be an asset to the team if by some miracle he stays healthy next year.  Losing David Diehl to retirement hurts because he was a good player who could play multiple positions.  Diehl gave the Giants a lot of flexibility when injuries would hit, so replacing him will not be an easy task.  However, Diehl’s best days were behind him and the Giants are now forced to move on.  Will Beatty was a huge letdown last season after he signed his contract extension.   I hope this is a one year blip on the radar and not the first signs of a player who got paid and stopped trying.  Justin Pugh is actually the only player on the line that I feel confident about going into 2014.  New York has been linked to the Packers’ Evan Dietrich-Smith to fill the center position, which would be a good signing.  If there is one position I would like to see the Giants spend money, it is the O-Line.  People say it is cliche to say that championships are won in the trenches, but it is usually true.  I am not sure who exactly the Giants will be going after, but I hope they are looking to fill 3/5 of their lineup with free agents or high draft picks.

Defensive Line: This position has obviously been the strength of the Giants for years.  But the pass rush of seasons past simply was not there in 2013, finishing tied for 25th in sacks.  There were a myriad of reasons for this: Jason Pierre-Paul was battling back and shoulder issues, Justin Tuck has been getting older while his play declines, and players such as Mathias Kiwanuka were not able to step up to the next level.  Tuck is a free agent and as long as no one gives him a crazy offer, I expect him to come back to the Giants.  He did finish the year with a flourish and has become one of the true leaders on the team.  The Defensive Tackle position actually delivered in 2013, holding many of the best running backs in the league below their game averages.  Linval Joseph is a free agent and the Giants really should do what it takes to bring him back.  He is young, knows their system, and should keep improving.  Damontre Moore is a guy a lot of Giants fans have their eye on, as he is expected to take a step forward next year.  I am sure Reese will look to add a few pieces to the D-Line, as that has been the bread and butter of the team since he took over.  I would look for them to acquire about four defensive linemen between free agency and the draft.

Linebackers: Ahhh, the linebacker position.  A strength of the team in the 80s has become an annual weakness in the 2000s.  Every year Giants fans like myself get our hopes up about a linebacker in the draft or free agency, but after all is said and done we are left with average players at the position.  The trade for Jon Beason worked out very well last year, but he is a free agent.  Despite his injury issues and age, I hope the Giants can find a way to bring Beason back.  Spencer Paysinger had a decent season for Big Blue and while there is some young talent on the team, I just don’t see many big playmakers here.  And based on Reese’s track record, I don’t expect many coming anytime soon.  But I will still hold out hope that there is a good, solid linebacker and the board for one of our top picks and we finally pull the trigger.

Cornerbacks and Safeties: After years of up and down play, the Giants finally crapped out with Corey Webste, as he finally played his way off of the team after having a terrible season.  The Giants secondary was hit extremely hard by injury, but they actually had some decent play from players like Prince Amukamara, Turk McBride, and Antrel Rolle.  I think getting another DB to play opposite of Prince would help this team out a lot, as you can never have too may cornerbacks in the NFL with the passing rules the way they are.  The safety position took a real hit when Stevie Brown went out for the year in the preseason with a torn ACL.  He re-signed today, so hopefully a few pieces in the draft/free agency and good health makes this unit whole again.

Special Teams: Josh Brown got off to a rough start in New York, but ended up being OK.  It looks like he will be back with the Giants.  Steve Weatherford has been a fan favorite since joining the team and he just restructured his deal as well.  The one thing I would love to see the Giants do is find an able returner.  When David Wilson was back there in 2012 it gave the Giants a unique weapon that they seldom have had and one that can change the game immediately.

Overall, the Giants have some money to spend in free agency and are still an attractive destination for free agents in the league.  I can’t wait to see how this all shakes out.  GGGGGGG-MENNNNNNNNN!!!!!

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