Pro Football Talk was recently discussing how the frenzied free-agent period that will occur will separate the best of the NFL's front offices from the rest.
"What’s going to happen is you’re going to have some inexperienced general managers and owners go crazy early on," one longtime G.M. told SI.com’s Don Banks. "They’re going to think, ‘I’ve got to go out and do something crazy. This is my window of opportunity.’ But I think that’s absolutely the wrong move.
"There are so many free agents and so many guys out there that if you’re just patient, you can wind up with some good players at really good value and not put yourself out there [at risk] with a couple mega-deals."
This is one reason why I feel good that the Giants are in the hands of general manager Jerry Reese, coach Tom Coughlin and owner John Mara. Aside from some Coughlin histrionics and bright-red cheeks when things are not going well, when do the Giants ever "go crazy?"
The answer is, they don't. They always keep their feet on the ground.
The Giants never approach free agency in panic mode, a la the Washington Redskins, blindly throwing big dollars at big names in the vain hope that -- while they have gotten it wrong almost every other time they have tried it -- this time they will get it right.
That's not to say the Giants have not overpaid for players at times -- you can still argue that Rocky Bernard, Chris Canty and Antrel Rolle were given too much money, if you like. It is to say that the Giants always have a plan. They know what they need, they know which of their own free agents they would like to retain and at what cost, and they have a pretty good idea what players they would like to pursue on the open market.
We keep reading about how active and aggressive the Philadelphia Eagles will be in free agency. Not a peep has really been uttered about the Giants. I am, however, supremely confident that the Giants know what they want to accomplish and that, when the curtain finally rises on the 2011 season, no one in the Giants offices will be sweating bullets and thinking 'Oh my God, how do I handle this?'
Does that mean we know exactly how the Ahmad Bradshaw, Steve Smith, Osi Umenyiora, Mathias Kiwanuka and Barry Cofield situations will turn out? No. It also doesn't mean we know which free agents from other teams the Giants will target, or ultimately sign.
It means that, whatever the rules are and whatever the time frame teams are working with, Giants fans should feel comfortable that their team's decision-makers will be up to the task.