Giants' off-season one of the worst?

Out of 32 NFL teams, Peter Schrager of Fox Sports has decided that the Giants have had the 30th-worst offseason in the league.

Here's his logic.

Giants GM Jerry Reese started off his career as GM with a bang -- releasing starters LaVar Arrington, Carlos Emmons, Chad Morton, and Luke Petitgout within the first month of being hired. He just never followed up on replacing those players. On top of the questionable extensions for Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning, the Giants failed to address glaring needs on the offensive line over the course of the past three months. Starting center Shaun O'Hara was re-signed, but Big Blue waited until the second day of the draft to pick up some insurance for one of the league's most heavily penalized and porous units in '06. Tiki Barber's retirement obviously hurts the already sputtering offense as well. Are Reuben Droughns and rookie wideout Steve Smith enough to lift the unit to the next level? Is that patchwork linebacker corps good enough for the NFC East? I'm not sure.

Biggest gain: Aaron Ross, DB
Biggest loss: Tiki Barber, RB

Are they in better shape than they were in January? Tough to say yes on this one. There are still question marks at defensive back, linebacker, and the offensive line. Is Brandon Jacobs ready to carry the load at running back? He's shown flashes, but may not be an every down kind of back. And Anthony Wright? When are the Giants going to sign a legitimate backup quarterback to put some heat on Eli Manning? Giants fans may hate hearing this -- but there's a solid chance they'll have a top 10 pick in the draft come next April.

Schrager makes some legitimate points, but to say the Giants are headed toward a top 10 pick in the 2008 draft is going way overboard.

I have no problem with any of the players Reese let go, including Petitgout, who was decent but whose ability didn't match his salary.

Everybody seems to want to kill Reese because he hasn't made a big splashy move yet, especially when it comes to replacing Petitgout. Reese still might sign a veteran left tackle this summer, but personally I have faith that David Diehl will be fine if the Giants ask him to play there.

There are still plenty of questions marks other than left tackle, of course. Who will kick field goals? Can they run without Tiki Barber? Will Amani Toomer be healthy? Will their defense improve with new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo? Will Aaron Ross justify the top pick?

We won't know the answers to these questions for several months.

As we sit here today, though, I believe this football team will be just fine. They are younger, more athletic and have more depth on defense. They potentially have quality depth at wide receiver. They seem to have several options to improve last season's woeful kick return game.

They will miss Tiki Barber's production, but I believe Brandon Jacobs and Reuben Droughns will give the Giants an effective running game. Also, they won't miss the constant distraction of Barber running his mouth and criticizing Coach Tom Coughlin.

Overall, I know there are still holes but I believe this is a better football team right now than the one the Giants ended last season with.

Your thoughts?

Schragers's complete rankings

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