It’s an offseason Saturday for the New York Giants, which means it’s time to open the Big Blue View mailbag and answer some questions. Let’s get started.
Edwin Rosenberg asks (via e-mail): Most mock drafts I have seen predict that both highly-rated offensive tackles will be drafted before the Giants draft at 23. The Giants traded up to get their soon-to-be All-pro safety Landon Collins, so do you think Reese might move up to get a left tackle in the draft?
Ed says: Thanks for the question, Edwin. Let’s remember that the Giants moved up to get Collins in Round 2. If you’re asking about moving up in Round 1, the cost to the Giants would be considerably higher than what teams have to pay to move up in the first round. The Trade Value Chart gives you a guideline. With that in mind, I don’t see the Giants moving up in Round 1. It’s possible, say 23 to 21, which might only cost them an additional fifth-round pick, but unlikely.
Nicolas Rival asks (via e-mail): Do you think the Giants signed Geno Smith to prepare against mobile quarterbacks such as Dak Prescott or is he a viable option? Does this mean QBs are not in our line of view for the draft?
Ed says: No. You don’t sign a quarterback in the offseason to prepare against other teams. Perhaps if he’s on the roster that would be an added benefit, but Josh Johnson can also do that. The Giants signed Smith because they think he can compete for the job. As for the draft, as I explained recently, the Giants have very little guaranteed money tied up in Smith or Johnson. Cutting one, or both, costs them very little against the cap. So, yes, it would appear that a mid- to late-round quarterback would still be a draft possibility.
Barratt Kennett asks (via e-mail): With JPP signed, and assuming big blue goes an LB, OL or TE with the first round, and good day two Defensive ends like Taco Charlton, Jordan Willis and maybe even TJ Watt are gone; What are the chances New York picks up Dwight Freeney with the extra cap space they freed up after the great re-resign of Pierre-Paul? Do you think he would be a step toward Spag's NASCAR package of old rather than using Devon Kennard at DT in 3rd and long?
Ed says: I’d say that would be a remote possibility, but never say never, as coach Ben McAdoo likes to say. I think the Giants would go through the draft and the spring practices and see what they have before making a Freeney move. Recent indications were that Freeney probably wouldn’t sign until training camp, anyway.
Matthew Fetherman asks (via e-mail): Like many fans I was upset when the Giants didn’t make a move for a Flowers replacement in FA. What do you think about the Giants potentially trading for a guy like Joe Thomas or Joe Staley? And possibly also moving Flowers to the right side at either tackle or guard. I’m not sure he can get much worse at those positions than he was last year at LT, but I could be wrong. I think better tackle play is key if they Giants want to make run so why not be aggressive like the Patriots and make a move or two?
Ed says: Those trades are simply not happening, at least not in my view. The Cleveland Browns just spent a ton of money to add several free agents to their offensive line. So, why would they turn around and trade Thomas, their best lineman? Plus, if you’re the Giants would you really trade a boatload of draft picks for a 32-year-old who probably only has a couple of good years left? Same with Staley, who will be 33. As much as we talk about the short window with Eli Manning, you can’t simply throw away your future.
Kyle Presogna asks (via e-mail): Question about the franchise tag - since JPP and the Giants worked out a deal after receiving the tag, does the team still have the ability to tag another player? And also, how many consecutive years can a single player receive the tag?
Ed says: There is some confusion about the tag, and this isn’t the first time I have seen this question. No, the Giants do not have the ability to use the tag on another player — and I know the “I wish they could use the tag on him” guy is Johnathan Hankins. You can only use the tag on one player, and the deadline for applying it this year was March 1.
As for how often the tag can be applied, as far as I understand it the CBA does not set a limit. I’m also told that a player can’t be tagged more than twice by the same team unless they have a clause in their contract indicating others. However, because of the formula under which the tag amounts are figured, it becomes cost prohibitive (as much as 144 percent of the player’s salary for the previous year) in the vast majority of cases for teams to use the tag more than two years in a row.