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New York Giants’ Offseason Priorities: Big Blue Needs a Black Unicorn

January 5th, 2013 at 6:30 AM
By Jen Polashock

'Martellus Bennett 2012 Shankbone' photo (c) 2012, David Shankbone - license: Stat lovers will utilize tight end Martellus Bennett’s 2012: 55 receptions for 626 yards and five touchdowns as their base to claim that the 6’6” pass-blocker isn’t a premier tight end. Well, to that the statement can be made another: Not yet.

What is getting lost while perusing #85’s numbers is two-fold. First, Bennett was used in his prior system (in Dallas) as a blocker and infrequent pass-catcher (four years, 31 games started, 85 receptions and 846 yards with four touchdowns). Second, the New York Football Giants don’t use tight ends as most teams do. They continue to use them as blockers first as well as receivers – a dual role. For his first year in the Giants’ system with quarterback Eli Manning, Bennett came close to matching his career stats with the Cowboys – all while not missing a game and playing while injured and in moderate to severe pain at times. There’s a heart of a Giant in there. This is only part of why he needs to stay in blue. The 25 year-old has a brilliant sense of humor, conducts himself the Big Blue way off the field and just wants to get better on the field.

Even better, he wants to stay here and appears to believe in the system.

"I could sit here and tell you I would, but it depends on what it is," Bennett said. "You never know until the moment comes. But yeah, that is something I would do. A hometown discount? Yeah….I would think that they would want me to stay. My first year in the offense, my first year as a starter, I thought I did pretty well. I could have did a lot of things better but it’s so much room for growth, and I finally got a taste of a little success. Hopefully, they want to keep me around, but if not, you never know in this league. I'm about to start having kids and stuff. My kids need to make friends, and I don’t want to be moving all the time. I would love to have a 4 or 5-year deal…every game you play, 32 teams are scouting you, so you never know who is watching, who loves you and who doesn’t. It only takes one team. But I love being a New York Giant, I love the city, I love the people here, and I think it would be the best place for me."

Another year in the system would help, but a full offseason with his quarterback would also help. The two can work on their timing and Martellus can get used to how Easy E throws. The sky can be the limit for these two very smart football players that stand as New York Giants long after the games are played. 

General Manager Jerry Reese surprised many by signing Bennett (to a one-year contract) in March of 2012. Will we soon hear that #85 is staying in the shade of Big Blue, showing that his one-year chance was worth it? There are more than a few of us with this offseason wish.


Tags: Eli Manning, Football, Jerry Reese, Martellus Bennett, New York, New York Giants, NFL

6 Responses to “New York Giants’ Offseason Priorities: Big Blue Needs a Black Unicorn”

  1.  G-MenFan says:

    If there is such as thing as a layup for a GM, this would be it.

  2.  Krow says:

    As for TT … whether he plays safety or CB … it’s not going to happen under his present contract. The exact figures are a little uncertain, but it’s several million. It was based on the assumption … the hope … that he would regain his near-Pro Bowl form. That didn’t happen … so that contract is toast. He’s going to have to deal with that reality … and if he can’t then we won’t see him in camp this summer.

  3.  Krow says:

    Bennett is the right type of TE for our system. He fits perfectly. And he has some personality, which this bunch sorely needs.

    The downside is that he drops a few. He’s not a super skilled ‘catcher of the football’. You’re not going to see that diving grab … that one-hand miracle reception. He’s solid … an A+ blocker … but only a B offensive threat.

    3 years … $10 million.

    •  UANYG says:

      Totally agree with your assessment. It’s easy to forget he’s only 25. While I’m from NYS, most of my family are Cowboy fans (how that is possible shocks me). So last year before he was signed, they had nothing but terrible things to say. I’m just happy he may be in blue for a few more years.

      The exciting thing about our offense are the specialist positions. When healthy, we have a litany of first- and second round picks, including Wilson, NIcks, Randle, Bennett, Eli, and Jernigan. Those who arent, luke Cruz, Brown, and Bradshaw, have shown they have the chops to contribute in pretty spectacular ways (Brown to a lesser extent).

      The downside is that most of these players want more money, and were up against a cap wall barring some significant restructuring.

      Unless either Eli has a MVP caliber year (like the last), or the Oline is more stout, how can we fully utilize these weapons? It begs for more money to be spent in the trenches, but that will likely mean the eventual departure of a few of these players. Oy.

    •  bigbluedman says:

      I agree, the drops can be fixed with one of the best TE coaches in Mike Pope working another season…his natural talents will be honed and the chemistry with Eli is a lot more developed than I thought it would be….

  4.  rlhjr says:

    Keep him. And find a way to get a sniff of one of these guys:

    Gabe Jackson, Travis Fredrick, Cyril Richardson, Alvin Bailey each could play ROT if necessary.

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