Welcome to GM Mode for the New York Giants. In the coming days, I will play Jerry Reese and decide who to keep and who to let go for the 2014 season.
On Thursday, I wrote an article detailing the unrestricted free agents the New York Giants (7-9) should re-sign. The list included Justin Tuck, Jon Beason, Andre Brown, Stevie Brown, Josh Brown, Mike Patterson, Kevin Boothe, Keith Rivers, Louis Murphy, Ryan Mundy, Peyton Hillis and Trumaine McBride.
The “obvious” choices left out included Linval Joseph, Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Myers and David Diehl. The job of a general manager is a tough one because you need to separate personal preference from business preference. It isn’t easy to say to let go of a perennial defensive tackle, a cornerback and offensive linemen who were a part of two Super Bowl teams or a first round wide receiver, but when there is too much money or injuries are involved, that’s when you make the best decision for your team.
The man who caught Brett Farve’s last pass as a Green Bay Packer, Corey Webster has had a great career as a Giant. But with new additions to the secondary, teams have realized that Webster isn’t the same Webster of 2007. He is the weak link of the secondary and it results in teams targeting receivers who are covered by Webster. I thank Webster for all he’s done for the franchise, but this is where his career as a New York Giant ends.
Brandon Myers was like a volcano science project. The volcano would blow up marinara sauce in your face 95% of the time and then a steady plume of smoke 5% of the time. Myers was brought in for his receiving ability, but struggled as a run blocker and even struggled in the air. It is still puzzling why the Giants let tight ends like Jake Ballard and Martellus Bennett walk away, but this is an obvious decision to make.
Shaun Rogers isn’t a part of the future of the New York Giants. At 34 years old, he is at the twilight of his career and the Giants need young upstarts or players at their prime, not with experience. Johnathan Hankins is set up to take over Rogers so there is no need to re-sign Rogers with Hankins on the rise.
Let me preface this by saying that Linval Joseph has been a blessing for the New York Giants. When the Giants let go of Barry Cofield after the 2010 season, Joseph swooped in and stepped up in a big way and even got a Super Bowl title with the Giants. But unfortunately for the Giants, they have become known for giving big money to keeping the number one guy at a position. The problem for Joseph is that he is replaceable. The Giants could not replace Will Beatty or Victor Cruz last season because the Giants would have finished a lot worse this season without them.
The Giants won’t lose more games without Joseph and this isn’t anything new for them. They let go of Cofield and won a Super Bowl the next season. Letting Joseph walk doesn’t mean that the Giants will win the Super Bowl next season, but keeping him doesn’t mean the Giants will win the Super Bowl next season either.
Similar to Rogers, this is the swan song for David Diehl. Diehl was an integral part of the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl teams, but his health has taken a toll on his body and coupled with protecting Eli Manning from ruthless defensive tackles, it is best for the Giants to part ways with Diehl. The Giants will be remodeling their offensive line this season and it starts with letting go of Diehl.
He runs routes well, he is a great run blocker and is a main target of Manning when the Giants need a big play on offense, but here’s the problem with re-signing Bear Pascoe. Pascoe has been with the Giants since 2009 and aside from good blocking as a tight-end, he has never been able to take the place of tight-ends who left the Giants and it resulted in the Giants having to sign free agents who were good receiving tight-ends, but not good blocking tight-ends.
This offseason, the Giants need to either draft or sign a dual tight-end that can block and receive, not one or the other and let Pascoe walk. It does leave the Giants without a tight-end because they are already letting Myers walk, but the Giants have a good track record of stealing a diamond in the rough of undrafted free agents after the draft.
It was awesome to have Ross back with the Giants, until he got injured and opened the door wide open for McBride to come in and light a fire in the Giants secondary. Ross is on his way out the door as the young guns are running the show now in the Giants secondary.
Unless the Giants use Ryan Nassib as a trading chip with teams desperately looking for quarterback options, they will keep Nassib and I expect him to become the 2nd man behind Manning. I don’t see any reason to re-sign Painter so let him go to free up some cap space for a big free agent.
We saved the best for last.
Nicks was drafted by the Giants in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft and was expected to be the guy replacing Plaxico Burress as Manning’s number one guy. Nicks did not expect the emergence of Victor Cruz nor did he expect to go through his entire NFL career without finishing a full season. Injuries have plagued his career, but many expected him to have a banner 2013 with a contract on the line following 2013.
Nicks finished the season with 896 receiving yards and averaged 16 yards per reception. The most alarming number is zero, as in zero touchdowns. You can say how Manning and the offensive line struggling the entire season had something to do with Nicks not getting a single touchdown in the season. But, if every other receiver got a touchdown during the season, why couldn’t Nicks? This was his season to take and other wide receivers took advantage.
I want Nicks back, but given the contract Cruz received last season and with other Giants asking for big money that the Giants don’t need, Nicks will be playing for another team. We need to separate personal from business and Nicks understands. “I understand the business side of things if that doesn’t happen,” he said according to NJ.com. “We all know this is where I want to be. This is where I got drafted. I enjoy playing in New York and I like it here.”
I have enjoyed him playing in New York, but if the asking price is too much, the Giants have no choice. The Giants have great replacement options in Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan.
The 2014 New York Giants will be completely different from the 2013 New York Giants and it must be that way in order for the Giants to look toward the future and to set themselves up for a better season in 2014. And so Jerry Reese can keep his job.
Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments section.
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