I can't help but feel like the Giants are set up for being a competitive team for years to come when I look at this roster. What follows after the jump is a look at some of the guys we have or have on IR, what their contract status is, and generally how our depth chart might look next year. I did NOT take into account several things you guys might have insight into: possible holdouts & renegotiations, salary cap, or even the draft, etc. But the point is, if the Giants draft well again next year, they might be cutting / losing 10 NFL-starter quality guys just to make 53.Defense:We came into this year saying we have a beast DL, weak LBs, and a solid secondary. Well, it looks to me like next year we'll have a badass DL, LBs, and DBs!
The D-Line: we have one scheduled free agent in 2012: Dave Tollefson. Osi is under contract and I hope his demands don't exceed our pockets & that he doesn't sit out. But in any case, I expect him here (or else get major compensation in trade). So we should have a BETTER D-line next year:
Tuck, JPP, Osi, Canty, Bernard, Austin, Joseph. The Giants keep about 9 DL, so we might see Tolly and a draftee rounding out the bunch. Wow. Best in the NFL, hands down. That's 8 starters. A+.
LBZEZ: Goff is a free agent. But we have Kiwanuka, Boley, Jack-Will, Greg Jones, Sintim, Paysinger, and Herzlich competing for time. To me, it's VERY good and versatile in terms of sub packages. I can't speculate on demand for Goff but it was a limited sample before the injury so I'd think we have a good shot at getting him back. A-.
CB: We have to re-sign some guys. Terrell Thomas and Aaron Ross. I would say we can afford to lose one of them and still be excellent. I'd love to have them both but that's an embarrassment of riches I guess. Might get an injury discount on Thomas to stay in NY. Somebody will want Ross, so who knows there. Give me TT and Tryon, whose contract status is unclear. Coe could go. We'd have Webster, Thomas, Amukamara, and Tryon. Wow. A-.
S:Rolle, KP, Sash, and Grant are ALL under contract. Oh yeah and Chad Jones is coming back! A.
Bottom line, without even considering our draft, we should have an absolutely top-tier D-Line and secondary, and a very good LB corps. The way I see it the only key free agency signing is TT. After that, there's Ross, Tolly, ... what does that tell you? That a 4th-string DE is even on this list? Yeah. That's 22 defensive players under contract who are either top notch or else provide the LB and ST versatility we need. Without ANY free agent signings or draft picks, we have an "A" talent defense lined up.
QB: Eli is signed through 2016. Carr's a free agent! oh noes! Somewhere out there, Bomar lurks.
RB: Despite being the Osi-mouth of the D, Big Jake IS signed for 2012 -- $4.4 million might scare off the Giants though, if he's not ready to win that job convincingly. Bradshaw's ours through 2014, and Ware and Scott are locked up.
It seems the Giants place their run value on the OL, but this crew should be fine, whether or not it's bolstered by a draft pick. Scott could emerge next year if Jacobs leaves.
B is for Bradshaw.
WR: Nicks, Cruz, Barden, and Jernigan are signed. Manningham and Hixon are free agents. I wouldn't mind having one or both back for depth, as neither is due a big payday but both are starter quality. But no worries here, as Barden could take on Ham's role even if both leave. That would leave the ST role players and the draft to fill out the rest.
TE: We'll have to resign the $400,000 man, Jake Ballard. Beckum and Pascoe can walk.
B is for Ballard. (Don't kill me, small sample.)
OL gets interesting.
McKenzie is the only FA and he's earning $4.3 million this year. He'd have to come back short-term for less, I'd think. We'll have to see what Brewer can do in camp. I don't want to pass judgement on this OL since they're a new group together, but there's actually a more locked-up future at this position than anywhere. The performance of Boothe has been nice, and Cordle and Petrus are under contract. This is one area I'd be surprised if the Giants don't bolster in the draft.
Basically, what I see is that the Giants are in a great position to drop some dead weight and have a really well-stocked team for the next several years.
My point in all this is that they are signed & sealed in every position, and a strong draft in which BPA matches some needs could push this team into the top talent tier for years to come.
I'm interested to see if the Giants 2012 BPA draft ends up bolstering our O-Line (1st rounders seem to have a good success rate!), and WR/RBs.