Valentine's Views: Giants' offseason hasn't been uneventful

Jason Pierre-Paul - Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Ed shares some thoughts on the New York Giants and a few other things around the sports world in this week's 'Valentine's Views.'

The New York Giants are almost never flashy during the offseason, and this one has been no exception. What they have done in constructing a roster has been solid, unspectacular and done with a purpose. Like it usually is.

All of that, however, does not mean this has been a quiet offseason for the Giants. By Giants' standards you might even consider this to be a bit of a turbulent offseason. We aren't talking New York Jets Tim Tebow-Geno-Smith-Mark Sanchez turbulent, but it hasn't exactly been ideal.

The Giants have had very public contract issues with star wide receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. Recently, they have also had to deal with injuries on each side of the ball -- first to starting fullback Henry Hynoski and most recently to their best defensive player, Jason Pierre-Paul.

Fans have been obsessing for months over the Cruz negotiations and the fact that Nicks can be a free agent after the 2013 season. Those situations will resolve themselves soon enough, however.

Cruz will get a rich new deal with the Giants. He isn't stupid enough to leave New York, where his off-the-field marketability is greater than anywhere else. And the Giants aren't stupid enough to let him get away. My guess is that by training camp Cruz will have put his John Hancock on a rich new contract and everyone will be happy.

As for Nicks. I think his skipping OTAs -- and his silence about doing so -- was a message to the Giants that he doesn't want to be forgotten in the Cruz hysteria. I think he shows up Tuesday when mandatory mini-camp begins, that he attends training camp, and that -- as long as he stays healthy -- he has a typical 70+ catch Nicks season. Whether the Giants are able to keep him after next season there is no way of knowing. That, though, is a topic for another day.

The biggest concern, for me, is the health of Pierre-Paul and, by extension, the readiness of the Giants to open the 2013 season.

Even if JPP is on the field Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys is he going to be the real JPP? Or, is he going to be a JPP who plays limited snaps and is still working his way back into shape?

The same goes for Hynoski, who is also targeting a Week 1 return following his knee surgery. Is that realistic? Can he be 100 percent? Who knows?

Really, from here the concern about the Giants isn't about Nicks and Cruz. The concern is how close to being whole the Giants will be when the season opens.

Picking on Justin Tuck

It seems like we've been doing that a lot the last couple of days. First, there was our poll showing that many of you don't have have high expectations for Tuck in 2013. Then, there was Jesse's post analyzing Pete Prisco of CBS Sports naming the Giants' defensive end the most overrated player in the league.

Truth is, whatever the numbers are year to year I have never thought of Tuck as a great pure pass rusher. I have always thought of him as a very good football player, an all-around defensive end who made a lot of his plays not by dominating the lineman in front of him, but simply by working harder and never quitting on plays. For both health reasons and because, admittedly, his mind hasn't always been right the past couple of years we haven't seen that player. I think he still exists, but time is running out for him to prove it.

One other thing about Tuck. I've always thought he did most of his pass-rushing damage out of the NASCAR-type front while lined up as a defensive tackle. At his best he is too quick for guards to handle. I would love to see a breakdown of his pass-rushing effectiveness inside vs. outside. Perhaps I will reach out to the folks at Pro Football Focus and see if they have any way of figuring that out.

Shop BBV for Father's Day

Father's Day is just a week away, but you still have time to get your dad some Giants' gear for his day. You can do that at the Big Blue View New York Giants store. If you access the store via that link, which is available from the 'Library' tab in the navigation bar, yours truly gets a small percentage of the money you spend.

If you want to get a Big Blue View t-shirt (yes, they exist) for dad -- or yourself -- you can do that at the SB Nation Big Blue View Store. Again, yours truly gets a small percentage of what you spend.

Non-football thoughts
  • I was glad to see both Jason Kidd and Grant Hill announce their retirements from the NBA. Both had terrific careers, and it was time for both to go. I hate to see players hang around too long.
  • Who are you rooting for in the NBA Finals? I'm pulling for the San Antonio Spurs to upend the Miami Heat. I have always had immense respect for the quiet, dignified way Tim Duncan goes about his business with no showboating. This will likely be his last chance to get one more ring.
  • With Stephen Strasburg on the DL -- again -- and the Washington Nationals limping along below the .500 mark and third in the NL East you wonder if the organization regrets shutting Strasburg down a year ago when they had a legitimate shot at winning the World Series. The Nationals took a lot for granted when they did that, and the decision might haunt them.
  • Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees won his 250th regular-season game Saturday. Are those 250 wins, a .633 regular-season winning percentage and 19 career postseason victories enough to get him to the Baseball Hall of Fame? I'm not sure, but it will be interesting to watch.
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