Moves The Giants Need To Make in The Offseason
The Giants team is better than it has been given credit for this year especially on Defense. Players have stepped up like Jon Beason, who combined for 70 more tackles than he had in his previous two seasons, combined. Will Hill had 77 tackles two forced fumbles, and two interceptions, and fellow NYG Safety Antrel Rolle was second in team tackles with 98, while also sacking the QB twice, picking him off 6 times, and also causing a forced fumble. Justin Tuck deserves to be mentioned, however he only had 1.5 sacks through the first 11 weeks of the season. The Giants Defense really stepped up after the arrival of Jon Beason, and the leadership of both him and Antrel Rolle. With a healthy Jason Pierre-Paul next year who knows how well the Giants could do.
Beason played great since his arrival from Carolina, leading the team in tackles, and acting as a leader on a once terrible team that started out 0-6. Since Beason was starting, The Giants turned it around and had 7 wins in 10 games. Beason deserves credit where credit is due, and by next season, Beason could be back to one of the best Middle Linebackers in the NFL.
Conclusion: Resign Beason to no more than a 4 year deal
Since coming off a knee injury, Andre Brown played great, sparking a running game the Giants hadn't had since Ahmad Bradshaw. However, in the last 3 games of the season, Brown didn't have an average of over 3.0 yards per carry and fumbled twice. If another team is seriously interested in Andre Brown, the Giants might have to go ahead and let Andre Brown go. He is not worth a big contract and the Giants shouldn't fall head over heels for a player that only had two games with over 4.0 yards per carry, and those were against Dallas and San Diego.
Conclusion: Sign Brown to a 1 year deal or let him go
Chris Snee has been injured nearly all season, and with this being his second hip injury in just a couple of years, and with him being almost 32 years of age, Snee's only purpose is to take up Giants cap room with an extremely hefty contract. As much as I like Snee and everything he used to be for the Giants, He needs to either retire or get cut.
Conclusion: Do not Resign Chris Snee
Another player that has been injured nearly all season, another player who is almost 32, another player that takes up a ton of cap space and prevents the Giants from being a young and explosive team. Webster has been consistent over the past 3 years totaling for 14 interceptions. But after this year and taking up all the cap space that he does, unless Corey Webster gets any younger, he shouldn't be kept.
Conclusion: Cut Corey Webster
Justin Tuck has played great the past 6 games totaling for 9.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 29 tackles. However having just 1.5 sacks the previous 10 games scares me. Tuck will be turning 31 in February, and considering his inconsistent play, getting only 9 sacks in 2012 and 2011 combined, is not doing the Giants a great service. With a healthy Jason Pierre Paul, and a young and developing Damontre Moore, Justin Tuck should be playing for another team next year or watching the games on his couch.
Conclusion: Cut Justin Tuck or make him take a severe pay cut
There are almost too many key young and good Free Agents in the NFL this year. Unfortunately many of these will sign big contracts with another team or just be resigned. If the Giants can cut players with large contracts, they should be able to land one or two big free agents.
Ward has been consistently one the top Safeties in the league since coming out of Oregon 4 years ago. He has definitely been in the running for best defensive player on the Browns combatting Joe Haden, and shown that he can be with 112 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2 picks this season.
Another consistent player at a fairly young age. Whitner is a hard hitting, smash mouth player that makes you love the 49'ers defense. Whitner had 73 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions this year showing that he is one of the better safeties in the league. If he doesn't get retained the the 49'ers, we could be looking at a huge bidding war.
Major Wright has been quietly great. Wright has 100 tackles this year and 9 interceptions in the past 3 years. Wright is just 25 years old and definitely could develop if he found the Wright team. (Sorry for that terrible pun).
Brown hasn't exactly gotten many takeaways this season with a whopping 0. However with 11 pass deflections he shows he can be shutdown. In the two previous seasons he combined for 97 tackles, 6 interceptions and 29 pass deflections. Because of his offseason this year the Giants could bring in a veteran player that could start right off the bat for cheap.
Vontae Davis has proven to be a good corner after just 5 seasons in the NFL. All time he has recorded 13 interceptions in those 5 years, including 8 picks in two years. Although Davis is likely to be resigned, if not the Giants could be looking at a franchise cornerback.
One of the players I am most excited about in the entire market. Harris is only 24 and has a combined 198 tackles, 7 interceptions, 2.5 sacks, and 2 touchdowns in just 3 seasons. It is amazing that Harris is not talked about in the top cornerbacks in the NFL discussion because not only he is shutdown, with 13 pass deflections this year, but he is young, fast and athletic. If the Giants could bring in Harris, I would bet on that defense being in the top 15 in turnovers in 2014.
The other player that I am most excited about. I am a huge fan of Brian Orakpo mostly because he was a star at my favorite college, although I don't necessarily get to root for him whenever he is televised because I hate The Redskins with a passion. Orakpo has 10 sacks this season, and at least 8.5 sacks every season he has played at least 15 games. Orakpo is a force to be reckoned with coming off the edge at Outside Linebacker, something the Giants haven't had since LT.
Woodyard seems to be more natural at LOLB, but has since moved to MLB after the arrival of Von Miller because of his great run stopping ability. Recording 298 tackles, 7 sacks, 4 interceptions, and 5 forced fumbles, Woodyard is a playmaker. At just 27 years old this Linebacker could help out Big Blue in a Big way.
Hardy is both young and consistent recoding 26 sacks and 3 forced fumbles the past two seasons. Hardy is the most likely to be resigned on this list, but I figured if he didn't he could be great coming of the left side and taking the edge off of Pierre Paul.
Houston has been just OK since his arrival to the NFL in 2010 recording only 16 sacks in 4 seasons. However at just 26 years of age, he is someone the Giants could look to bring in to fill the hole if Tuck leaves.
Melton's path to one of the best Defensive Tackles in the NFL was cut short this year as he suffered an ACL tear in week 3. With 15.5 sacks, and 84 tackles in 3 years, he both gets after the QB as a dominant inside pass rusher, but clogs up running lanes in the Chicago Defense. Henry Melton's injury this year showed just how valuable he is as the once dominant Bears rush defense has turned to one of the worst in the NFL.
Branden Albert and Eugene Monroe:
Will Beatty has played terribly this year for someone who looked so promising as the Giants cornerstone at Offensive Tackle. But this year being plagued with injuries and just playing terribly when he was healthy, the Giants should be in the market for a tackle.
Jon Asamoah and Roger Saffold:
Kevin Boothe is old, Chris Snee is old and injury prone. The Giants need a guard and they need one badly. If the Giants acquire or draft a tackle they can end up moving Justin Pugh to Guard where his shorter arms and more powerful body may be a better fit.
Brian De La Puenta and Alex Mack:
With Davis Baas being injured, Kevin Boothe doing a poor job taking over for him, and Jim Cordle not playing effectively, the Giants need to get a Center to build around. Whether its signing one of these guys, or drafting one in the draft like Arkansas' Travis Swanson, the Giants need one badly as well.
With Hakeem Nicks most likely exiting through Free Agency, and Reuben Randle being somewhat inconsistent, the Giants future at Wide Receiver is all but certain. Before his ACL tear this past year, Maclin hauled in 15 touchdowns for 1823 yards the two previous seasons. Since the Eagles have DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper, the 25 year old Maclin is unlikely to be retained.
Possible 1st Round Draft Picks
Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo:
Khalil Mack in my mind is the best fit for the Giants in the entire draft. I think he is, and definitely should be considered as a top 5 player in the draft. I personally think he is a top 3 player in the draft behind only Jadeveon Clowney and Teddy Bridgewater. Khalil Mack is a combination of lethal size, speed, and strength. Mack is 6'3, 250 and has recorded a team leading 10.5 sacks. I think he is the surest player in the draft and has debatably the highest ceiling as he produces week in and week out. Mack is expected to run under a 4.6 forty and at 250 pounds he is lethal coming off the edge. Depending on whether the Giants decide to make a splash in free agency and sign a big name pass rusher like Brian Orakpo or Wesley Woodyard, they could have a easily a top 5 LB core in the NFL. Jon Beason has been exceptional since his arrival from Carolina and adding a premiere pass rusher like Orakpo and drafting Mack, the Giants would go from being 7th worst in the NFL in sacks, to an elite pass rushing force in the NFL.
CJ Mosley ILB Alabama:
Mosley is the top Middle Linebacker prospect this year, out of Alabama, and easily one of the top players in the country. This year he led The Crimson Tide in tackles as he recorded 100. For some reason in a lot of mock drafts they have Mosley not even going till after 20, Mosley is one of the most solid player in this draft and should be treated as such.
Sammy Watkins WR Clemson:
Watkins is a physical specimen, running at least a 4.4 forty. His hands are phenomenal and he wins a good 70% of jump balls. If the Steelers take Watkins they will add the most dynamic offensive weapon in this years class besides maybe Johnny Manziel.
If the Giants trade down these two could be an option.
Vic Beasley OLB Clemson:
Beasley has great speed coming off the edge for someone who has been playing Defensive End most of this NCAA season. With Beasley being underweight for a Defensive End, Beasley could be turned into a stellar OLB in the NFL. He leads the Clemson Tigers this year in sacks with 13 and could be a great asset to the Giants if he is available when they are selecting.
Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama:
Kouandjio is debatably the best Tackle in the draft with excellent footwork and agility for a 6'6, 310 frame. Manning has played OK (granted he has over 25 picks) this year despite having absolutely no protection and every defense in the NFL expecting the pass because Andre Brown and David Wilson haven't had any productive run game at all. Manning has turned Victor Cruz and Reuben Randle into studs and imagine what else he can do as progresses into a better Quarterback with better production from the offensive line.
Let me know in the comments section below who you think the Giants should either release or sign during the 2014 offseason!