No, it isn’t this easy. If it were, every team would be a playoff candidate right out of their training camp gates. There are however, folks that are debating the overhaul or enhance query for blue. While many studs demanded complete cleaning of house right up to general manager Jerry Reese, is it absolutely detrimental to the progression of the New York Football Giants?
With running back Brandon Jacobs retiring, the Giants currently have 22 UFA (Unrestricted Free Agents) and only five of them are RFA (Restricted Free Agents). Again, there clearly is a lot of contractual work to be done this offseason, but that was known before the season tanked. 12 free agents are on the troubled offense, with fullback Henry Hynoski being one of three offensive RFA. Since we have begun with offense, we’ll continue there.
The most obligatory area of “rebuilding” is on that offensive line. Yes, the one that was in its 16th game and 8th transition when quarterback Eli Manning fell to injury. That, in and of itself, was a miracle. You realize that, right? However, before moving on, some questions need to be answered about players: is veteran lineman David Diehl indeed going to leave the team he loves for retirement? How healthy are some of the other trench men who have higher cap hits for 2014 (like guard Chris Snee, center David Baas)? What should be done with free agents Jim Cordle and Kevin Boothe? Do you keep guys like Dallas Reynolds (Exclusive Rights Free Agent) around? Trust the future to Brandon Mosley and Eric Herman? Keep Beatty (full price), move him and now second year Justin Pugh? Do the New York Giants draft high again for that side of the trench or hit the free agency market hard?
Yeah. It isn’t so cut and dry, but it isn’t a blast project either. Whatever the plan is for this area, it’s either already in place or shifts for it to be in place are on their way.
That offensive line and its woes had several components. Injuries are never a team’s ally, but two positions help it: tight ends and running backs. The Giants had consistency at neither position.
First, tight ends: Bear Pascoe (an UFA), Brandon Myers (insert your personal feelings here), Larry Donnell, and the oft-injured/never stays on the field Adrien Robinson. Not exactly a fearsome bunch that is seen as that any-given-down threat in the center of the field. They definitely need a big-time playmaker as well as security blanket here. As for running backs, first-string tailback David Wilson is a roster asterisk. His name may as well (unfortunately) be written in pencil as his spinal situation has yet to produce a definite answer for the team’s forward progress. The last two running backs to finish out a game were Andre Brown and Peyton Hillis and they are both — you guessed it — UFA. Nothing solid here yet!
The last skill position on offense is on that was in the news just about every day last off-season: wide receiver. With slot receiver Victor Cruz locked up (with a contract), that leaves Rueben Randle, entering his 3rd season, end-of-season spark Jerrel Jernigan, and a wishy-washy Hakeem Nicks who may as well worked himself out and be counting himself out of blue at this point in free agency time. Remaining are receivers UFA Louis Murphy, Jr. and Julian Talley … really.
Okay, so the offensive side of the ball may be more “rebuild”. Defense (to come later) should be (as of now) more “refine.” Either way, head coach Tom Coughlin is ready.
"How do you get complacent when you've been up on a mountain,” he said on WFAN Friday. “You want to get back up there."
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