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Assessing Bill Barnwell’s five-point plan for fixing the New York Giants

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Everybody has an idea — let’s discuss this one

New York Giants v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Everybody thinks they have the plan that will turn the New York Giants into winners in 2019. Bill Barnwell of ESPN recently offered his take, putting together offseason five-point plans for every NFL team,

Let’s look at Barnwell’s five things he thinks the Giants should do. I will offer my thoughts on each point. You know what to do if you have thoughts of your own to share.

1. Franchise Landon Collins

Barnwell writes:

“Losing Collins, one of the few young building blocks the Giants have on defense, would be a step backward for a team that already has plenty of problems on offense.”

Valentine’s View: No argument here. I have said a number of times that the Giants need to bring Collins back in 2019, whether it’s on a long-term deal or by using the franchise or transition tag. No real choice here.

2. Move on from Eli Manning, and acquire a veteran to replace him

Barnwell writes:

As the Manning Farewell Tour stretches into its third year, it remains to be seen what it will take for the Giants to quit their longtime starting quarterback. ...

Manning is a Giants legend and deserves to be applauded for the role he played in two Super Bowl victories. He doesn’t deserve to be unceremoniously benched midseason, as he was during the 2017 campaign, for Geno Smith. But the Giants need to be realistic about their future, which doesn’t involve Manning. They can free up $17 million in much-needed cap space by moving on from him.

Valentine’s View: Whether or not the Giants move on from Manning, and it doesn’t seem like they are ready to, needs to have nothing to do with the salary cap. Especially if the plan is to go out and get another veteran placeholder/mentor while they develop or search for a young heir. The Giants are going to save legitimate money going this route. Patricia Traina explained this the other day.

If and when the Giants move on from Manning it has to be about the on-field product. Not about money. In my view, if the Giants’ plan is to try to draft and develop a successor, why not keep Manning as the mentor? He’s got two Super Bowl rings, he’s smart, he prepares well and he’s a class act. Plus, why put the rest of your team through two quarterback changes — Manning/another veteran temp/young draft choice — when you can just do it once?

3. Draft Dwayne Haskins with the No. 6 overall pick

Barnwell calls Haskins a “high-upside passer” and says he “has the physical traits” teams look for.

Valentine’s View: Listen, we’re going to talk about Haskins for the next 10 weeks. The belief is that the Giants, and most other teams, think Haskins has first-round talent. Is he the guy you want leading your franchise? I don’t know. You don’t know. We’ve never met him. Talked to his coaches. Seen him practice. Watched him interact with players. With the media. With fans. The Giants — and other interested teams — will be trying to figure that out between now and the draft.

If, once they have met him and studied him further, the Giants think he’s the guy they want to take over from Manning, fine. If he’s not, then he’s not.

I keep saying this — the Giants need to get the quarterback of the future right, that doesn’t mean they need to get it now.

4. Sign Mike Iupati

Barnwell writes:

The Giants have a hole at right guard with waiver-wire pickup Jamon Brown a free agent, and while Iupati’s tenure with the Cardinals was a mess, there’s still physicality and talent there in the running game. A one-year flier could give Iupati a shot to prove he’s still a starting-caliber NFL guard.

Valentine’s View: Yuck! Pass. Four or five years ago, yes. Now, after Iupati played only one game in 2017 (bone spur in his elbow) and only 10 in 2018 after suffering back and shoulder injuries and landing on IR. No, thanks.

Iupati was an All-Pro in 2012, and a Pro Bowler from 2012-2015. He will be 32 next season and isn’t that guy anymore. His Pro Football Focus grades have gone down in each of the past three seasons, with his 62.9 in 2018 being a career-worst.

Jamon Brown is likely never going to be what Iupati was in his prime, but I would be fine with the Giants bringing Brown back and concentrating on upgrading right tackle and perhaps center.

5. Add help at corner

Barnwell writes;

“Investing in a cornerback to play across from Jenkins is the quickest way the Giants can improve a pass defense that ranked 26th in DVOA last season.”

Valentine’s View: I would have no problem with that. Of course, I have written before that the Giants need help at every level of their defense. Cornerback. Safety. Linebacker. Edge. All of it. Whatever talent GM Dave Gettleman can add to the defense is a plus.