Giants' GM Jerry Reese was apparently on Sirius Radio the other night talking about the teams's off-season plans.
The following was taken from Ralph Vacchiano's Blue Screen blog. I have simply added some of my own thoughts to each of Reese's responses.
Reese on Michael Strahan: "We'd like for him to come back for another season, but it's really going to be a tough decision for him. He's got the ring. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He's got to think, 'Can I really get myself up to do this again?' ... We'd like to know sooner than later so we know what we have to do personnel-wise."
My thoughts: I would love to see Strahan come back. He is obviously still a terrific player when he's healthy and committed. Yet, with Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka a Strahan retirement would not be devastating.
Reese said moving Mathias Kiwanuka back to DE is a possibility, if Strahan retires. However, it's not a certainty: "We're committed to getting him on the field because we want our best players on the field. His progression (at linebacker) was going nicely. The coaches really like him at that position. They think he can do some damage. He gives us a lot of flexibility."
My thoughts: I spent much of last season defending the move of Kiwanuka to linebacker, and I will do it again if the Giants leave him there. I think he can develop into a terrific force at that position. That said, he already is a terrific defensive end. What happens with Kiwanuka depends mostly on Strahan's decision and whether or not the Giants re-sign Kawika Mitchell. He will go where he is needed most, and do an excellent job in either place.
Reese on free agent-to-be Gibril Wilson: "We like Gibril. He's been a really good football player since his rookie year. We're talking to his agent to pound out the numbers. Hopefully we'll be able to keep him, but there's going to be a lot of people in the market for Gibril Wilson."
My thoughts: This is the free agent the Giants absolutely must sign. They have talented players to replace Strahan. They have talented players to replace Mitchell or Reggie Torbor at linebacker should they leave. They have no replacement for Wilson. Reese has to go to the wall to keep Wilson, and I suspect he knows it.
Reese on free agent-to-be Kawika Mitchell: "If the numbers make sense for Kawika Mitchell, we'd love to have him back. We love to have those kinds of guys on our football team. You win championships with those kinds of guys."
My thoughts: Mitchell signed a one-year deal with the Giants as an under-the-radar free agent, and had an excellent year. He has earned a multi-year deal. That said, the Giants won't break the bank for the veteran linebacker, nor should they. I would like to see Mitchell stay, but the Giants do have players like Kiwanuka and Gerris Wilkinson who could step in.
Reese on the potential for DE Osi Umenyiora to demand more money in the offseason: "We feel Osi is paid very well. Hopefully Osi feels he's paid very well. There's always a possibility he could come in and say 'You know what? I think I should be paid more.' We'll handle that situation if it comes. It's part of the business."
My thoughts: I think you guys know how I feel about Osi. Terrific player, terrific talent, but he's the Giants' third-best defensive lineman behind Strahan and Justin Tuck. He has great stretches, but disappears in too many games. He might feel he deserves more money, but I don't.
Reese on whether the Giants will shop for a veteran backup QB in the offseason: "Knock on wood, Eli's been a strong and healthy player for us. Anthony Wright is a veteran quarterback who won games and got his teams to the playoffs in Baltimore. The coaches like him and have confidence in him. But if there's a veteran out there, we're always trying to improve so we'd be interested in that."
My thoughts: I shudder at the thought of the Giants having to win games with Wright calling the signals. I don't know for sure who will be available, but there has to be a better option than Wright out there somewhere.