It might be a cold, dreary Saturday in the middle of the football offseason, but there is always room to talk about the New York Giants. Let's open up the Big Blue View Mailbag and do just that.
Ed says: Most likely to happen would be for the Giants to cut Mathias Kiwanuka. It's just past time to move on. Next would be cutting J.D. Walton, with Weston Richburg taking over at center in 2015. Least likely to happen, in my opinion, would be cutting Jon Beason. He is, however, a good candidate for a pay cut. As far as extensions for Eli Manning or Prince Amukamara, let's go one at a time. I do believe the Giants will extend Manning's contract for a couple of years. He played well enough in 2014 that I think the Giants will commit to him for at least a little while longer. As for Amukamara, he is owed $6.89 million in the final year of his rookie deal, the fifth-highest cap hit on the current roster. I like the idea of extending him and thus lowering his 2015 cap number, but I have no information on whether or not the Giants will do that. I do believe they would be smart, however, to lock him up long-term.
Who was the last linebacker the Giants selected with a high draft pick? I simply cannot remember. Is it because the Giants do not put a high premium on linebackers? Or is it that they cannot tell the difference between a top linebacker and an also-ran? -- Stuart Gollinger (via e-mail)
Ed says: The last linebacker they selected with a high pick would be Clint Sintim, who was a second-round pick in 2009. If you are asking about first-round picks specifically, that would be good friend of Big Blue View Carl Banks waaaay back in 1984.
As for the second part of the question, it is obvious the Giants have not prioritized the linebacker position for a very long time. Part of that is understandable. As the game has changed, linebackers play fewer and fewer snaps, so they may not be as important play- and play-out as they once were. Still, I think it's fair to say the Giants have probably 'under-valued' the position. Can they judge linebacker talent? I have actually had that discussion with some draft analysts, and it's hard to say. Sintim was a bust. Was that because he wasn't a fit, or because knee injuries wrecked his chance to become a player?
Ed says: I don't know where the idea Eli hasn't gotten his due for those two victories comes from. He's got the two rings and the two Super Bowl MVP trophies. Anyone who saw the games knows how well he played both times. I have seen the @fivethirtyeight statistical analysis. It's nice, but don't try telling me it means Eli is better than Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, etc. Giants fans have been lucky to have him. I really don't know if Eli is 'due' anything at all.
Should the Giants target any high profile defensive players in free agency instead of the draft if so who? -- Jay Balmer (Facebook)
Ed says: I can't tell you for sure who the Giants will target in free agency. We have been looking at some of the possibilities before free agency starts on March 10, and will continue to do that. I would look for the Giants to try to upgrade the defensive line, the safety spot and probably linebacker as well via either free agency or the draft.
@bigblueview who do you see the Giants targeting as a speed, pass catching running back?— Jimbo (@NYsportsfan95) February 6, 2015
Ed says: The free agents who fit that description are really C.J. Spiller of the Buffalo Bills and Shane Vereen of the New England Patriots. If the price is not exorbitant, I can see either as a target for the Giants. Jacquizz Rodgers of the Atlanta Falcons is another. There are a lot of intriguing mid-round guys in the draft. A guy I really like is David Johnson of Northern Iowa. Not really a burner, but a terrific receiver.
@bigblueview sounds like the Gianta want to bring back rolle, what you think two years or three years contract— abraham roldan (@ajteak23) February 6, 2015
Ed says: The Giants have said they would like Rolle back if the price is right. They are not going to overpay, just like they refused to overpay to deep Justin Tuck a year ago. If he wants to stay Rolle is going to have to take a short-term deal, probably two years, for less money than he might be able to get elsewhere. Can't see the Giants offering him anything beyond a cap-friendly two-year deal.
@bigblueview what's the Giants cap space looking like??— Brian Murphy (@bpmurph11) February 6, 2015
Ed says: We don't know what the salary cap will be yet. Based on an estimate of $140 million for the cap, though, Over The Cap estimates the Giants to have $16.451 million before any cuts or re-structures.
Ed says: Well, since free agents can't begin negotiating deals with new teams until March 7 calling Adrian Peterson to the Dallas Cowboys a "done deal" is nothing more than ridiculous Twitter gibberish. But yes, the Giants do need to improve their defensive line. Regardless of who the running back is for the Cowboys, or anyone else.