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Questions turn toward 2019 in Big Blue View mailbag

Let’s get to full mailbox

Our final Big Blue View mailbag of 2018 is overflowing with questions about your New York Giants. So, let’s get right to it.

Ed says: In season? In that time frame I’m not really sure how much could have been done differently to impact how this season turned out. I might have considered signing safety Eric Reid, though because of the surrounding issues that’s really an ownership-level decision. I might have gone a little deeper into “fire sale” mode at the trade deadline. I would have taken whatever the best offer on the table was for Janoris Jenkins. Maybe Olivier Vernon, too.

That’s really about it.

Ed says: In all honesty, I’m not at this point really able to speak about individual players in the draft. I just haven’t studied enough. What I can say is the only way I would trade picks/players to move up in the draft would be to go get a quarterback. Do the Giants think Dwayne Haskins is good enough to do that? I don’t know. Otherwise, you just stay put and make the best pick you can when your turn arrives. The Giants have a lot of needs and could use their picks to upgrade their depth.

Bob Murphy asks: What’s your feeling about [Pat] Shurmur giving up the play-calling duties and devoting his energies on coaching the entire team on game days instead of worrying about what plays he’s going to call etc. There have been a lot of bad decisions on his part probably due to his distractions over the play calling responsibilities.

Ed says: I think there is no need for Shurmur to consider that at all. Ben McAdoo was a much younger, more inexperienced coach than Shurmur and was in over his head trying to do both. The problem there was that McAdoo didn’t know how to be more than an offensive coordinator, he didn’t know how to run a full team.

I believe Shurmur does. He has forged relationships with players across the roster. He spends time with everyone and is involved in all of it. Shurmur, in my view, is a pretty good play-caller. He has made some curious in-game decisions, yes, but that’s not because he’s been too absorbed in the play-calling. He just made choices that didn’t work out. People make mistakes sometimes.

This is Shurmur’s offense. It has shown lots of improvement the second half of the season. There is no reason for him to step back, turn the offense over to someone else and start over with yet another new system.

Bruce Frazer asks: It has been a long time since the Giants had a homegrown pro-bowl caliber linebacker, Jessie Armstead. Does Lorenzo Carter have the potential to become a Pro-Bowl ‘backer that teams will have to game plan for, or does the search continue?

Ed says: Both. I think that Carter has flashed the potential to be a play-making outside linebacker as both a pass rusher and run defender. I think, though, that the Giants would be silly to put all their eggs in that basket. If there is a premier EDGE defender available to them early in the draft they have to strongly consider making that move. Upgrading the pass rush simply has to be a priority.

Jim Merrill asks: What kind of general guidelines do the coaching staff give to players on their exit interviews after the last game of the season?

Ed says: Other than stay safe, be smart and remember that you represent the Giants in everything you do I’m not really sure. There may be some individualized discussion of areas to work on and things like that, but players have their own offseason training regimens. Teams can’t demand that they do anything specific. It’s their time.

Ed says: Sam Beal was a 2018 supplemental draft pick. He received the standard four-year rookie contract. So, yes, he is under contract for three more years after this one.

Ed says: John, I think you have correctly identified the two spots the center will most likely focus on in trying to upgrade — center and right tackle. As for how they do it, I don’t know.

At center, you’ve suggested Matt Paradis, a potential free agent from the Denver Broncos. I’m not sure how the Giants feel about Jon Halapio/Spencer Pulley, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants look for an upgrade. In a recent Valentine’s Views podcast, Pat Traina even suggested the idea of bringing back Brett Jones. To be honest, I’d be fine with that. He is, in my view, a better player than either Halapio or Pulley.

At right tackle, you are referring to Daryl Williams of the Carolina Panthers. With the Giants’ need and Dave Gettleman having drafted Williams in Carolina I will be surprised if the Giants don’t make a run at him.

I do like the idea of trying to add to the line this way, maybe drafting some depth on Day 2, and using the bulk of the draft to add defensive talent.

Ed says: Honestly, I doubt it. The Giants already have nine picks in the upcoming draft after the trades of Damon Harrison and Eli Apple. Projections are that they will likely get two compensatory picks. That would give them 11 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.

That doesn’t put them in a position of needing to accumulate more picks. They have plenty, maybe more picks than spaces on the 2019 roster for rookies. They need to use those picks well. They need to add to the talent base on defense, maybe even use a couple of those picks to target a mid-round player they really want and go after him.

I generally like the trade down and add more picks philosophy. I would even be OK with seeing the Giants do it here, especially if they can add a pick or two for the 2020 draft. Adding picks, though, doesn’t really need to be a priority.

Ed says: No, the answer to fixing the defense isn’t drafting a boatload of offensive line help and ignoring the defense. The answer to fixing the offensive line is drafting or signing some better linemen. Of course better offense helps the defense by taking pressure off of it, but the answer to playing better defense is getting better defensive players.

Ed says: Paul Perkins was initially waived by the Giants back in May with a non-football injury. He reverted to the Giants’ IR/non-football injury list when he went unclaimed on waivers. He spent the entire year there. What happens now? Well, the Giants will either waive him again and let him continue his career elsewhere or keep him on the 90-man roster and let him compete for a job.

Ed says: Mad? I never get mad about any of their picks. I agree with some, disagree with others and just do my job. As for Kyler Murray, if he’s sitting there late in the draft and the Giants think he’s worth a flier, why not? If he enters the draft, someone will take a chance on the kid.

Ed says: Check out this list of potential free agent quarterbacks. Aside from Teddy Bridgewater is there a single name on this list that is even worth discussing? This is why the better Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense plays the harder it is for the Giants to consider moving on from him in 2019.

We have discussed Bridgewater a number of times. He’s 26, but he hasn’t played a meaningful snap since 2015. How do NFL teams know what kind of player he really is at this point? Besides, the New Orleans Saints see him every day. Drew Brees will be 40 in January. If the Saints think Bridgewater can play do you really think they will let him get away, especially since they have a team that is a Super Bowl contender? I don’t.

The wild card might be Nick Foles. The Philadelphia Eagles can save a lot of money un der the cap by letting him go. After needing him the past two seasons, though, do you really think they will willingly do that?

Besides, if you look at Foles’ career Philadelphia is the only place he has ever had success. His stops with the Rams and Chiefs didn’t turn out very well. I’m not convinced he’s a better short-term option than Manning, either.

So, to be honest, I’m not sure there is a free agent out there I would rather have quarterbacking the Giants than Manning.