Friday was a whirlwind day for the New York Giants, and there are lots of questions on the minds of the fans. Let’s open the Big Blue View mailbag and see what pops out.
Dennis Fekert asks (via e-mail): Do we know or can we find out what Flowers is doing in the offseason? Is he working on his craft like John Jerry did last offseason? In other words does he get it? Does he himself see that he needs to improve?
Ed says: Players can do whatever they want in the offseason, teams have no control. They can, and do, set weight goals and things of that nature. This time, though, belongs to the players. We don’t know what Ereck Flowers is doing or where he is training. Unlike some players who seem to document every offseason move they make on social media, Flowers stays out of the spotlight. I’m sure Flowers understands that he hasn’t played well enough and he is doing what he believes is right to try and get better. Maybe we will get to talk to him next month when the players begin their official offseason program.
Tom Cintorino asks (via e-mail): Why is no one mentioning that we need a kicker. What's with that? We need a strong leg for those close games.
Ed says: No one is mentioning that the Giants need a kicker? Where have you been, Tom? I see reference to that again and again, usually whenever fans get themselves all worked up about the Giants’ lack of salary cap space.
I don’t mean to be snotty or dismiss the question, but it is still the middle of March. There isn’t a game for nearly another six months. There are always a number of low-cost veteran kickers looking for jobs before and during the season. The draft is coming up. The Giants signed a young kicker, Aldrick Rosas, to a futures contract. Maybe he will be great and win the job. Point is, obsessing right now over who the kicker is going to be is pointless, it’s worrying just to worry.
Dave Propper asks (via Facebook): We are seeing very high contracts for OLmen this year. At least higher than I would have expected. Is this because the draft is relatively weak at OL this year? If so, what does next year's projected draft look like. If it is strong, does it make sense to wait on negotiating Pugh and Richburg's contract?
Ed says: I really don’t know what next year’s crop of offensive linemen in the draft looks like. I’m still pinning down this year’s group. As for Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg, my guess right now is neither one of them is banging down the door demanding to get a long-term deal done right away.
You saw the prices being paid to offensive linemen in free agency. So did Pugh, who was on Twitter making sure people knew he noticed. It might be nice to get him to sign a long-term deal, but my guess is he will wait, watch the salary cap — and his probable value — keep going up and squeeze out every penny he can. Same with Richburg.
Zach Mahoney asks (via Facebook): Hey Ed, I was curious if you could potentially address using Brett Jones as the right guard of the future. I know a lot of people were concerned with Jerry's performance last year, but I think we have a strong up and comer in Jones. Any thoughts?
Ed says: I think the Giants like Jones. He did OK filling in when Richburg was ejected from a game last year. When Pugh was injured a year ago, Jones was their first choice to fill in. Unfortunately, he quickly got hurt and lost his opportunity.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Jones is part of the guard competition this spring. At this point I think it would be a major upset if he winds up with a starting job after the Giants spent money on D.J. Fluker and John Jerry, but he should get a look.
Benedikt Groß asks (via e-mail & from Germany): Can we expect a compensatory pick (which round?) in next year's draft if Hankins signs elsewhere? While Dallas picked their franchise QB with a compensatory pick, did the Giants get a steal with these picks in the past?
Ed says: I really don’t know for sure what will happen with whether or not the Giants get a compensatory pick for Johnathan Hankins, if they lose him. The NFL has never revealed its formula, though Over The Cap gives us an idea of how the system works. “As the NFL explains, compensatory picks are awarded to teams that lose more or better compensatory free agents than they acquire.” I would think that they would, but that is speculation.
As for the Giants’ history with comp picks, there are two Giants on this list of the best comp picks of all time.
Erik Vasquez asks (via Facebook): What do you think about Patrick Maholmes? Any chance he might be a possibility to be groomed by Eli and possibly take over at some point?
Ed says: I think Mahomes is a gunslinger with a big arm and very little in the way of discipline or fundamentals right now. He could be great, he could flame out. Huge risk for whoever takes him in the draft.
No, I don’t think that will be the Giants. They just re-signed Josh Johnson and are expected to add Geno Smith. They are all in for a big run over the next year or two. You can’t help make that run by drafting a risky quarterback in the first two rounds who won’t help you during the next couple of years. The Giants are built to try and win now. They need to use their first couple of draft picks on guys who they believe can help them do that.
Tim Marks asks (via Facebook): If we lose Hankins would it be smart to move to a possible 3/4 defense. I see this draft a dream for that type of defense. This would definitely work well in Spags style of play.
Ed says: No, no, no and no again. The Giants have more than $90 million committed to Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon, who are among the best 4-3 defensive ends in the league. You don’t suddenly make them play in a 3-4. The Giants had one of the best defenses in the league a year ago. Just because you lose one player you don’t scrap the entire system from a highly successful defense. The Giants will be just fine if Hankins doesn’t return. He is good, but he is also their fourth-best lineman.
Jeff Marx asks (via e-mail): Many of us feel the roster is only a few pieces shy of being a legitimate contender for an NFL title. I'm not asking for any specific name and I realize it'll take more than 1 piece to finish the puzzle. But in your professional opinion which one position do you feel, regardless of draft position puts us closer than the rest?
Ed says: I don’t know that there is one position in the draft. I tend to look at it more from the perspective of which players can be difference makers. I will say this — it is critical for the Giants to get better play from their offensive tackles than they did a year ago. Too often the Giants were doing things on offense to cover that weakness, which impacts what you can do. So, if there is one position it has to be offensive tackle. Of course, that’s going to be really difficult to fill in the draft.