The 2015 NFL free agency period is closing in, and lots of things are happening around the NFL. With that in mind, let's look at 'Five Things I Think I Think' about the Giants this week.
I Think Tagging Jason Pierre-Paul Was Right Move
As you almost certainly know by now, the Giants placed the franchise tag on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on Monday. That cost the Giants $14.813 million, more than 10 percent of their $143.411 million 2015 salary cap, but it was undoubtedly the right move to make.
When he is right, Pierre-Paul is among the league's most dynamic defensive ends. The Giants have no one else like him, and no real way to replace him. Without JPP, there is no real way the Giants could hope to be a dominant defense in 2015.
Thing is, Pierre-Paul hasn't always been right. In five seasons he has had one great year, one good one and too much mediocrity. He has never put together back-to-back above average seasons. He has also had back surgery.
Perhaps the Giants and JPP will still work out a long-term deal. Making JPP play out 2015 under the tag, though, is not a bad thing. If he has a healthy, productive year then you can feel much more comfortable giving him a big-money, long-term deal.
I Think Releasing J.D. Walton Was Also Right Move
This one, really, was a no-brainer. To become the anchor of their offensive line that the Giants drafted him to be a year ago, Weston Richburg has to move to his natural center position. No way could the Giants pay Walton $3 million to be a backup, especially a backup with no positional flexibility.
The Giants were desperate for a veteran center when the signed Walton last offseason, but the two-year, $6 million deal the Giants gave him never seemed like a smart idea. Walton played only four games in 2012 before breaking his ankle, and did not appear in a game in 2013. It is still hard to believe there was much of a competitive market for Walton, whom the Giants -- in my view -- should have been able to get on a one-year deal.
Regardless, letting him go and moving Richburg to center is clearly the correct move.
I think Antrel Rolle Will Leave The Giants
During our podcast on Monday, Pat Traina and I talked a little about Rolle. I believe the Rolle situation is very similar to the one the Giants faced with Justin Tuck a year ago, and I think it could play out in very much the same way.
Rolle is coming off a five-year, $37.1 million contract, and there is no way that at 32 he will see another deal like that. Last season the Giants, by most accounts, made Tuck an offer of around two years and $5 million. When the Raiders swooped in with a two-year, $10 million offer the Giants refused to budge. I can see a similar offer for Rolle, and a similar scenario unfolding. We have already learned that the Miami Dolphins are interested in Rolle.
I Think The Giants Have To Make A Play For Devin McCourty
I have to admit I was very surprised Monday that the New England Patriots used the franchise tag on placekicker Stephen Gostkowski and not on the talented 27-year-old safety. McCourty, if he reaches free agency, would clearly be the best safety on the market. The Giants, as we have talked about many times, currently do not have a starting safety on their roster.
Youngsters Cooper Taylor and Nat Berhe will likely get opportunities, but both seem like better fits as "box" safeties. McCourty is a premier free safety, a difference-maker in the back of a defense. If McCourty actually reaches the open market, the Giants have to be among the suitors for his services.
I Think Ndamukong Suh Won't Be A Giant
There are some who believe the Giants will be among the bidders for the All-Pro defensive tackle, Let's be realistic, however. Suh is not going to be a New York Giant.
Suh is expected to seek the highest salary ever paid to a defensive lineman, and the truth is he will probably get it. Over The Cap says the Giants have $12.669 million in cap space, and with the other needs they have that is clearly not enough to be a serious player in the Suh sweepstakes.
Even if the Giants clear more cap space they can't compete with teams like the Jaguars ($68.477 million in cap space), the Raiders ($54.825 million), the Browns ($53.138 million) and the New York Jets ($50.014 million). There are, in fact, 11 teams with more than $30 million in cap space. The Giants have no chance here.