Don't worry Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch. I've done this plenty of times in Madden so you have nothing to worry about
Ryan Fox ---- @Spider_Fox87
The 2013 NFL season was a season most Giants fans would like to forget. Their team stumbled out of the gates to a 0-7 start. This was due to turnovers, sloppy blocking, and just an overall bad performance by the Giants’ offense. They were able to turn things around and finished the season on a 7-2 but ended up at 7-9 and missing the playoffs for a 2nd year in a row and the 4th time in 5 years.
Now going into the 2014 NFL Offseason, the talk is that the Giants need to address their needs at Offensive Line, Linebacker, and even Tight End. However there’s also the case of who do the Giants keep and who do they allow to walk. After following the team for over 15 years, yours truly decides to put on his General Manager cap and gives his opinion on what needs to get done. Stand aside Jerry, Scoop Fox is on the case.
Who to Let Walk/Cut:
DE Justin Tuck – This decision is a tough one. Tuck has been with the team since 2005 and was a leader on defense. From 2007-2010, Tuck registered double-digit sacks in 3 out of 4 seasons during that stretch. However injuries plagued him afterwards and his production dipped. Most people will say he finished with 11.0 sacks in 2013 but during the first 10 weeks, he only registered 1.5 sacks. As much as I want to commit to him, the asking price might be too high for my liking. Plus after the 2014 season, I have to worry about resigning Jason Pierre-Paul. So I thank you for your services Mr. Tuck but unfortunately your asking price might be higher than what we are offering.
C David Baas – In 2011, the Giants inked Baas to a 5-year, $27.5 million contract. But since then, Baas has been plagued with a variety of injuries that has kept him off the field. Between ankle issues and migraines, it seems Baas was a dud. If he’s cut him now, we’d be slapped with an $8.225-million cap hit and have $6.45-million in dead money for the 2014 season. So if the possibility arises, hopefully we could swing him on a draft day trade for a 4th-6th pick. If not, we would have to wait until June 1 to release Baas so his contract would not count against the book.
WR Hakeem Nicks – If it was up to me, I would have made a deal before the NFL trade deadline to send Hakeem Nicks to any team for a 2nd-round pick or even a 3rd and 4th round pick. I understand that when he’s healthy, Hakeem Nicks is a great receiver. He had back to back 1,000+ yards seasons in 2010 and 2011. But then his performance dipped (692 yards and 3 TDs in 2012 and then 896 and 0 TDs in 2013). Also this past season, you could see that Hakeem was acting lax daze or taking plays off. Yet Nicks wants to get a contract like Victor Cruz but a little bit extra (probably a 5-year, $56-million with added incentives to bring it to around $58-million and get perhaps half of the deal guaranteed).
DT Mike Patterson –With the likes of younger DTs such as Marcus Kuhn and Johnathan Hankins on the rise, Patterson has become one of those rotational players who is now expendable.
S Ryan Mundy – Like wise with Ryan Mundy. With SS Stevie Brown coming back from a torn ACL as well as the development of Taylor Cooper and Will Hill, Mundy has also become expendable.
Trumaine stepped in and filled the starting job opposite of Prince Amukamura admirably. In fact, Trumaine led the team in passes deflected (15) and was tied for 2nd in interceptions (2). Now going forward, do I see a need for Trumaine’s services with the team. I would bring him back on a deal like a 2-year, $4-million contract with some incentives.
G/C Kevin Boothe – Boothe might try to see how much he’s worth on the free agent market but his value is greater with the Giants. In the past few years, Boothe has played in both guard spots, the center, and even at tackle for a couple of games. That kind of versatility in a veteran is key in rebuilding an offensive line. If Boothe accepts a mid-level contract (2-year, $3-million per year), then he’ll be worth bringing back.
On the Fence
DT Linval Joseph – He’s a big body in the middle, he’s 25, and he’s coming into his prime. He had another strong 2013 season (59 tackles, 3 sacks) and became a force in stopping the run. The 4-year man out of East Carolina said he would like to resign with the Giants but his agent would command a hefty price in the ballpark of 4-years, $33.5 million with at least half guaranteed. Now the Giants faced this scenario again back in 2009 when they let Barry Cofield, another DT they drafted in the 2nd round, to walk and struggled to get a replacement. I would love to bring back Joseph but if he commands too much money (more than not somebody will overspend for his talents), then we would have to go a different route.
Who to Bring In
G/T Roger Saffold – Saffold and Boothe have what I want in a lineman: versatility. But what separates the two is that Boothe is more of an inside person while Saffold is more of the outside. Given the fact that my current tackle situation is a little foggy at the moment (the oft-injured Will Beatty playing the LT and whomever playing the RT). However if I pry away Roger Saffold away, I can move my ‘current’ RT in Justin Pugh over to his more natural position of OG. By doing that, I fill up the need for an OG on the right side to replace the aging Chris Snee. Also since more than not the Giants will probably be looking to pass more this season, Saffold would make a lot of sense since he’s a better pass-blocker than run-blocker.
G Jon Asamoah – I would be the first on the phone with Asamoah and try to convince him to come to New York. Like Saffold, he excels at pass-blocking and has long, strong arms for that occasion. There will be some people who question this move since Asamoah was benched towards the end of the season. The reason why that is his run-blocking abilities were questionable at best that year. But considered that Justin Pugh was the only one on my offensive line who could do both run and pass block effectively, sometimes even questionable is a better upgrade over nothing.
C Evan Dietrich-Smith– If the Cleveland Browns did not slap the Transition Tag on C Alex Mack, then I would be the first in line to try and grab the Two-Time Pro Bowler. But they did so I’m left with trying to find a replacement at the Center spot. That’s where Dietrich-Smith comes in. He would already have some chemistry with Bob MacAdoo from their time with Green Bay and that both worked with QB Aaron Rodgers. He is also a solid starter, giving up just 5 sacks in 16 games (3 in first 3 and then 2 in last 13). Not to mention that his health history (unlike Baas), is clean.
CB Walter Thurmond – We got our ace cornerback in Prince Amukamura so there’s no need to go out and overspend on an Aquib Talib or trade away our assests and break the bank for a whiny premadonna in Darelle Revis. Instead we need to find a cornerback that can complement Prince’s abilities and the former Seattle Seahawk fits the bill. Lost in the ‘Legion of Boom’, Thurmond was the nickel back for Seattle’s secondary. He posted some adequate numbers (24 solo tackles, 9 assist, 6 passes deflected, 1 Interception in 12 games played) so he won’t be commanding the big bucks. You already have would have Prince Amukamura shutting down one side of the field and you can use Trumaine McBride to cover the slot. All you need is the physical play of Walter Thurmond delivering hard hits to the receivers on his side of the field and you got a secondary that no QB-WR tandem would want to mess with.
TE Scott Chandler – Tight End is the 3rd most important need for the Giants. The only reason why it’s so down low is because the Giants have been grooming Adrien Robinson (4th-round pick during 2012 draft). But there jury is still out on Robinson due to health issues. So instead of relying on the draft for the position, I’ll look to free agency. There are rumors I might look at Jermichael Finley or Andrew Quarless, both having Green Bay Packer ties to my new offensive coordinator, Bob MacAdoo. But I’m not sold on either due to their past health issues (torn ACL and MCL for Quarless in his right knee in 2012 and Finley coming off spinal fusion surgery in 2013). Instead, I rather go with the likes of Scott Chandler, the former Buffalo Bills TE. Chandler is the same kind of mold as a Jake Ballard-type. He can block both for the run and the pass effectively as well as catch a few balls. Given that he really had no QB to throw to him last year, Chandler put up career highs in catches (53) and receiving yards (655). Sometimes you don’t need a dynamic player, rather somebody who just does his job and does it right.
RB Toby Gerhardt – The sexy free agent RB is Ben Tate from the Houston Texans. However he will be commanding a multi-year deal with perhaps in the $15-20 million. But he’s got an injury history and I got better things to do than to get into a bidding war for his services. I still got David Wilson on my team but his health is up in the air. So I’m going to go the practical route in nabbing Toby Gerhardt, the former Minnesota Vikings. Though his numbers are not impressive to say the least (276 times for 1,305 yards, average 4.7 yards per carry and 5 TDs in 4 years with the Vikings), he gets a pass because there was no way he was going to usurp the starting role from Adrian Peterson. When he did get his chances, Toby showed impressive speed in hitting the holes as well as being able to catch out of the backfield. But the most important aspect of Toby is that he knows how to pass block, something that my head coach looks for in a running back. My running back coach, Craig Johnson, is familiar with Toby’s play style and knows how to utilize and would easily be able to tailor it to my current offensive scheme. Again, why try to break the bank on a specific player when you can get something just as good and effective at a much reasonable price.
DB Devin Hester – The Bears announced last Thursday that they do not intend to bring back the star special teams return man. He might look for $5-million+ per year on multi-year deal (3 or 4 years). But compared to what the Giants have on special teams returner, this would be a significant upgrade. Not to mention that this will keep more valuable players (RB David Wilson, WRs Rueben Randle & Jerrnal Jerrigan) from going back to receive punts and kicks. It could be a long shot but it won’t hurt to kick
Possible Draft Picks
Barring any trade during draft day, the Giants hold the 12th pick overall in the draft. Many of the draft experts have pointed out that the Giants should draft a TE. The name that pops out is Eric Ebron out of North Carolina. He’s basically a Jimmy Graham kind of TE, can line up in the slot as a receiver, good hands, good speed (4.6 in the 40-yard). Another name that pops out is OT Lewan Taylor out of Michigan, a big guy who has quick speed coming out of his stance, can get to the second-level of blocking, and brings a ‘nasty’ attitude the Giants could use on the offensive line. Or they can go out and grab another young defensive back like a CB Darqueze Denard out of Michigan State or CB Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State.
But after looking carefully at each position, each prospect that would be available come the 12th pick, yours truly has come up with the most sensible draft pick.
Fox’s Draft Pick:
OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA – The draft is stock full of offensive lineman that can be taken in the later rounds. However the pressing need is still at the linebacker corp. That’s where Anthony Barr comes into play. He’s listed as 6’4” and 248lbs but can run the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds and be able to turn and move his body fluidly without having to stop and cut. Translation: Barr can cover a Tight End more effectively than the current linebackers on the Giants. This is key since they face TE Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys, who always seems to put up monstrous numbers against the G-Men. Not to mention that Barr’s speed will allow him to put pressure on the quarterback or running back to stop them in their tracks or disrupt the play long enough to let a teammate(s) help out.
Now that’s all said and good on what the team needs to get down. But that’s just one scenario that they could go down. Maybe the Giants will feel that they would need to address other positions more so than others, go after different free agents, or hell even trade up or down from their spot. Nothing is set in stone, it’s all just guesses and speculation of what the team should do. Right now the only person who knows what needs to get done and has a plan all set is the man himself, Jerry Reese. Only by the end of the 2014 season will we see if what decisions Reese makes in the offseason now were the right ones. Hopefully they will be.
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