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"Exciting" time for the Giants? Yes, but also a dangerous one

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It's time for a little straight talk about the state of the Giants.

Storm clouds have gathered over the Giants. Will they lift in 2016?
Storm clouds have gathered over the Giants. Will they lift in 2016?
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch calls this "one of the most exciting times in the last 25 years" for the franchise.

Tisch is right. Today. He could also end up being wrong. If things don't work out the way Tisch, John Mara, and the rest of the Giants organization hope he could be very, very wrong. This is, without a doubt, an exciting, or at least interesting, time for the Giants. They have a first-time head coach. They just went on an unprecedented $200 million-plus spending spree, giving that new head coach lots of shiny new toys to play with. The 2016 NFL Draft, which means more new toys, is drawing closer.

Twenty-five years equate roughly to when Bill Parcells left the Giants and they foolishly gave the job -- with Parcells' blessing -- to Ray Handley. That ushered in a mostly dark period for the franchise that didn't end until Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning arrived on the scene in 2004, 14 years after Handley became the coach.

Dropping the Handley Bomb is a sure-fire way to get under the skin of Giants fans old enough to remember those two awful years. Every time I think of Handley I think of the visceral reaction from the first staff contributor we ever had here at Big Blue View, Jim Schmiedeberg, when Handley's name would come up.

Why, then, did I bring up Handley's name? Because while Tisch uses the word "exciting" to describe the current time period for the Giants, I think of a darker word. Dangerous.

This is a dangerous time for the Giants. Four straight playoff-less seasons. Three straight losing ones. A 35-year-old quarterback whose window as a championship-caliber player grows shorter with each passing, wasted season.

The Giants are perched dangerously on the edge of a cliff, and no matter what they say they appear to know it. What they have done this offseason represents nothing short of a desperate attempt to pull back from that cliff before they tumble into the abyss below.

  • They had better be right that replacing Tom Coughlin with rookie head coach Ben McAdoo will be the right call.
  • They had better be right that GM Jerry Reese, after presiding over the regression of the roster, has the ability to re-construct it.
  • They had better be right that Jason Pierre-Paul can still be a top-tier player despite his mangled hand.
  • They had better be right that the free agents they made massive commitments to -- Olivier Vernon, Janoris Jenkins, Damon Harrison -- are the right guys to help get their defense back to at least playing respectable football. They had no choice, and I do endorse what the Giants did in free agency. It had, however, better work.
  • They had better be right that keeping Steve Spagnuolo, despite the fact that his last two seasons as a defensive coordinator have been historically disastrous, is a good idea. This, honestly, is another idea I endorse. Again, though, it needs to be the right call.
  • They had better be right that at least one of their young safeties will come through, and that they can still find an upgrade at right tackle for Marshall Newhouse.

Remember how long it took the Giants to find a franchise quarterback after Phil Simms retired. If the Giants are wrong, if they tumble into that abyss and waste whatever truly good years Eli Manning has left, it could be a decade before they climb back out of the hole.

So, yes, I don't blame anyone for being excited as the Giants come as close as this loyal, conservative franchise really comes to starting over. If the Giants are wrong, though, if that excitement turns to despair and we watch another year of bad Giants football in 2016 we could be in for a lengthy downtime.

That's why this is also a dangerous time for the Giants franchise.