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Salary cap, draft questions in this week’s mailbag

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Let’s get right to it

The football season never really ends, does it? With free agency and the draft looming, let’s open up the Big Blue View mailbag and see what questions fans of the New York Giants have.

Ed says: It’s hard enough to figure out cap space for the upcoming season. Trying to figure it out a season ahead is just, umm, well, let’s use the word “difficult.” That said, using the 2018 cap of $177.2 million Spotrac shows that the Giants would be $47.3 million under if nothing changed. Of course, a lot will change. Anyway, we can see that it looks like the Giants could have more cap room next offseason than they have this offseason.

As for contracts they can re-structure now I would think that starts with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and his $8.5 million cap hit. They may also try to re-structure the Alec Ogletree deal to lower his $10 million cap hit.

The Giants have yet to announce any cap cuts, and I still believe Brandon Marshall ($5.1 million cap savings), Dwayne Harris ($2.45 million savings) and John Jerry ($3.325 million cap savings as a post-June 1 cut) are going to be let go.

Seth Weissman asks: If you were in the GM chair on draft day and could pick anyone, whom would you select? Personally, I think they should take Nelson. I would then take a tackle in round 2 and a LB in rounds 3 and 4, provided there is enough value there. I think the Giants need to.

Attack the line problem like the weak link it’s been. Get Norwell, try and re-sign Pugh and Fluker and get a couple of studs in there to open holes and protect the QB (whether it’s Manning now or Webb in the future). In 40+ years of watching football, one thing that I’ve noticed is that even the most mediocre quarterbacks seem to play well when they have time to throw the ball and have a running game. I’m not saying the QBs in the draft aren’t better than Webb. Honestly, I have no idea. I have to assume Webb has talent and brains, though. So, if Nick Foles and Trent Dilfer and Jeff Hostetler can win Super Bowls, I say let’s get those hog mollies now.


Ed says: If I could pick anyone in the 2018 NFL Draft class? Well, you can certainly make an argument for Nelson. I had one scout tell me that in the end he will be the only Hall of Fame player in this class. You can make an argument for Saquon Barkley. You want a throwback comparison? I see some Gale Sayers when I watch Barkley, with the the speed and the ability to make seemingly impossible cuts. Neither of those picks is wrong.

That said, if I’m sitting at No. 2 I’m selecting a quarterback. I don’t know how much time Eli Manning has left, and I think he has some things to prove in 2018. I have no idea what Davis Webb is. If you can guarantee me that Webb is Ben Roethlisberger and not Blaine Gabbert I would pass on a QB, but you can’t. I don’t ever want to be picking at No. 2 again and if I’m going to accomplish that I need to know that the most important position on the football team — quarterback — is taken care of. Dave Gettleman calls it “quarterback hell” when you don’t have a franchise guy, and it’s a place I want to avoid.

So, which one? I get that Josh Rosen is considered the most pro-ready of the current group. He’s just not my cup of tea, and if I’m picking a quarterback I want a guy I feel really good about. Besides, the Giants don’t need a quarterback to play right away. They can take a guy who needs a little time.

So, for me it comes down to Sam Darnold and Josh Allen. I love Allen’s physical tools and from things the young man has said there seems to be a connection already between Allen and Pat Shurmur. I have been on the Darnold bandwagon for a while now, though, so I’m staying there.

David Kanter asks: Can [Brett] Jones play guard as well as he can play center? If so, then what about resigning Weston Richburg and letting Pugh walk? Other than this season, he has less injury risk and should be cheaper?

Ed says: Brett Jones can play guard. We have seen him do it. He just isn’t as good at it as he is at center. I think he is capable of spot duty at guard, but if Jones is a 16-game starter I want him to start those games at center.

I let Richburg walk. It would be nice to re-sign Pugh, but if the Giants are able to sign Carolina Panthers guard Andrew Norwell I’m not sure how they would do that with their current cap situation.

Kester asks: Would you approve of the G-men trading pre-draft #2 pick to the Browns, and then a draft day No. 4 pick to the Bills? That would net the Giants two 1st Rd picks from the Bills, and also a late 2nd Rd pick is year, plus the Browns top pick on day-two and their 2nd Rd pick next year. In total, the team would have two 1st Rd, three very high 2nd Rd picks this year, and then two 2nd rounder’s in 2019.

Ed says: In all honesty, this is a scenario I could see playing out. At least in some fashion. There is a lot of chatter about the Buffalo Bills wanting to move into the top five. Not sure how true it is, but we’ll go with it.

This, though, isn’t my favorite scenario. At first glance, I don’t like trading from No. 2, where you could be picking from the top quarterbacks, Saquon Barkley, Quenton Nelson, Bradley Chubb, and Tremaine Edmunds, down into the 20s. Maybe if the Bills are willing to cough up both second-round picks this year, at least one of their third-round picks, and a 2019 first-round pick I would go for it. Still, though, my preference would be to see the Giants stay in the top 10 if they did drop down.