Offseason? What offseason? Let's check the headlines for this Tuesday that could have an impact on the 2016 New York Giants.
Leon Hall update
Veteran cornerback Leon Hall, who had a free-agent visit with the Giants on Tuesday, left without a contract. NJ Advance Media reported that the Giants have competition for Hall, who visited the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday night. Per NJ Advance Media, Hall "also has other offers on the table."
As much as the Giants need veteran cornerback depth, it is hard to imagine them getting into a serious financial bidding war for a 31-year-old slot corner who has had two torn Achilles tendons and underwent back surgery this offseason.
Where would the Giants turn if they don't reach an agreement with Hall? Jerraud Powers visited the Giants last month and remains on the market. The Washington Redskins released four-year veteran Chris Culliver this week. Walter Thurmond, who reports have indicated may be retiring, is also technically still on the market.
Now that the 2016 NFL Draft is complete, ESPN has listed offensive tackles Eugene Monroe of the Baltimore Ravens and Luke Joeckel of the Jacksonville Jaguars among players most likely to be traded before the beginning of the 2016 season. ESPN lists the Giants as potential destination saying "The Giants badly need offensive line help and somehow still have $21 million in cap space."
Monroe, 29, still has three years and $20 million left on a five-year, $37.5 million deal. He happens to be a Plainfield, N.J. native. In addition to what the Giants might have to give up in a deal for Monroe, the left tackle question remains a sticking point. The Giants flirted with veterans Russell Okung and Donald Penn earlier in the offseason, but the organization has been steadfast in saying that 2015 first-round pick Ereck Flowers is their left tackle. That may have been a factor is why Okung and Penn did not join the Giants. Would they be willing to trade draft and commit $8.7 million in 2016 cap space and then push Monroe, a seven-year NFL left tackle, to the right side?
Joeckel, second overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, has been a disappointment and probably won't be a starter for the Jaguars this year. He's in the final year of his rookie contract. Joeckel turns 25 in November. Might it be worth taking him on in 2016 for a one-year audition?
Then there is always retired San Francisco 49ers right tackle Anthony Davis. The 26-year-old has made it clear he will likely return to the NFL at some point, but it's obvious he does not want to do that in San Francisco. As we said before, the Giants seem like a perfect landing spot for the Piscataway, N.J. native if he wants to play in 2016.
Still judging the draft
Pro Football Focus saw some good and some bad in the Giants' draft. PFF ranked the selection of Eli Apple the 15th-worst on its list of the 16 worst selections of the draft. On the flip side, PFF ranked the fifth-round selection of running back Paul Perkins and the six-round selection of tight end Jerell Adams, as the 13th and14th-best picks in the draft.
Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports played the Dave Gettleman card in making his case that the Giants should have selected Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins at No. 10:
Giants with Dave Gettleman vs. Giants without him: The Giants' selection of corner Eli Apple with the 10th overall pick was the first non-Tunsil true surprise of this draft for me. I had them penciled in for defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins or edge linebacker Leonard Floyd all along and the fact that the Bears traded up to get Floyd shouldn't have prevented the Giants from going with a defensive lineman.
Apple's size is a concern for some and scouts wonder if he can thrive on the outside. Rankins was one of the cleanest, pure players in the draft and many evaluators believe he would have immediately been the best defensive lineman on that roster. Keep adding big bodies to finally rebuild that defense, especially with so many other corners on the board later, and not that much seemingly separating them.
I asked about this and was told basically the Giants just preferred Apple over Rankins. That's one to watch down the line.
Meanwhile Gettleman, Carolina's GM and a former Giants exec, just kept drafting big bodies. While I don't agree with letting Josh Norman walk on a franchise tag at all, I applaud him for not letting that corner him into definitely taking a corner in the first round. He followed his board and despite having some quality beef up front on his defense and he grabbed a potential difference maker in Vernon Butler, a player who frankly merited selection higher. Gettleman used the second and third day to attack the corner position, but did the smart thing in the first round. Love that selection.