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BBV mailbag: Saquon Barkley, free agent mistakes, more

Let’s see what’s in the mail

NFL: New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to open up the Big Blue View mailbag and see what questions New York Giants fans have. So, let’s get to it.

Ed says: Ralph, that’s a good question. Honestly, I have wondered myself why the Giants haven’t designed more plays for Saquon Barkley in the passing game. The great majority of his receptions are of the check down variety.

My best guess? I really believe there are things the Giants would like to do on offense — splitting Barkley more often being one of them — but feel like they can’t simply they are trying to protect an offensive line that might get Eli Manning killed before he gets benched.

Ed says: Oh, geez, David — thanks for putting me on the spot here! There is blame to go around from John Mara down to everyone who has played for the Giants this year, and a lot of guys in between.

Listen, I put a lot of this on Mara and Steve Tisch. They made an awful decision in 2015. They let Tom Coughlin go, and I understood that. I respected TC, but I think it was his time. Still, while they were letting Coughlin go they were saying the problem was the talent Coughlin was being given, not his coaching. Yet, they kept Jerry Reese as GM and allowed him run (ruin?) three more offseasons. The absolute biggest reason the Giants are in this mess is they kept Jerry Reese for three offseasons too many.

They hired the wrong coach to replace Coughlin. Ben McAdoo spent two years proving that he really had no idea how to be a head coach. He couldn‘t relate to players and didn’t even really seem to want to, he just wanted them to do what he told them. He didn’t seem to trust anyone else’s opinion. He was, to be honest, in over his head.

New GM Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur have made some mistakes. They have, however, also done some good things. The record stinks, of course, but this team is in a better place than it was a year ago. Gettleman and Shurmur won’t get forever to turn this around, but they need a leash that is longer than one year.

As for current players, the offensive line is terrible, Eli Manning has taken a beating for seven years now and the cumulative effect is that he’s sometimes looking at the rush rather than reading the field. The defense isn’t good.

So, plenty of blame to go around.

Anthony Mercadante asks: The Giants need help on the offensive line, what free agents will be available for them to sign at right guard or right tackle?

Ed says: Anthony, here is your current list of offensive linemen who could be free agents at the end of the season. To be honest, it’s not an impressive list. Some of these guys won’t reach the market. Some — make that many — are probably not worth signing. Drafting and developing linemen is still the best way to go, and that isn’t easy. Fixing the offensive line isn’t easy. Look at the two free agents the Giants signed this past offseason — neither Patrick Omameh nor Nate Solder have played up the level their pasts would indicate they are capable of.

David P. asks: Now that we are officially in rebuild mode, which of the moves that we made in the off season are counterproductive to that and do you think overall those moves have set us back in a rebuild effort. I’m thinking of signing OBJ, Ogletree, etc. Fairly obviously not drafting a QB was one of them.

Ed says: David, this is an interesting question. But, before I get into it let’s all be honest with each other. I think the great majority of Giants fans were happy with the moves the Giants made — with the overwhelming exception of the foolish contract thrown at running back Jonathan Stewart.

The Giants ignored the linebacker position for years. The trade for Alec Ogletree and the signing of Kareem Martin were welcomed as signs those days were gone — and they are. Problem is, Ogletree ($11.75 million cap hit next year) has pretty much why the Los Angeles Rams were willing to dump him. Martin (three years, $15 million) hasn’t played well.

Solder (four years, $62 million) was an overpay but a move the Giants had to make. Like it or not, he was the best tackle on the market. Patrick Omameh was a mistake.

I truly believe that one of the reasons the Giants went down this road is that John Mara has respect for Eli Manning. I believe he wanted the Giants to try one last time to build a winner with Manning at the helm, so they spent money. It’s not working. Now the Giants will tear it down.

Andre Banks asks: If the team is committed to the rebuild, is trading Collins (for the right price) an option?

Ed says: Andre, of course it’s an option. Could it happen? Sure. Do I think it will happen? No. Collins is 24, one of the team’s best players and the Giants defensive captain. He is a building block player. I’m sure teams will inquire, but I think someone would have to pay a steep price to get the Giants to make a deal.