So, what’s the plan, Dave?
That’s the question everyone has continued to ask ever since the bombshell news on Tuesday evening that the New York Giants are trading superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.
Does Giants GM Dave Gettleman have a plan?
During last night’s podcast with Patricia Traina I couldn’t help myself. I referred to Gettleman as “Crazy Dave” and said we all just have to hop on the train and go for the ride. To be clear, I’m not criticizing Gettleman by saying that. All I’m saying is whether he ends up being right or wrong, he’s shown the conviction to do this his way — which means doing some things other people wouldn’t do.
This is a rebuild
Gettleman hates that word. He likes to say the Giants are just “moving forward.” But, yes, they are rebuilding. Out with the old — lots of it talented and popular. In with the new. Much of which is unknown, perhaps even to Gettleman.
Face it, this was overdue.
The Giants have been awful for most of the last seven seasons. Missed the playoffs six times. Lost — badly — in their only playoff game. You can have allegiance to any of the players the Giants have let go since Gettleman arrived, but the truth is the Giants weren’t good with any of them.
So, they are starting over. Gettleman has 12 picks in this draft, including Nos. 6 and 17 in Round 1. He has likely collected a couple of compensatory picks for the 2020 draft already, unless he signs players who will cancel them out. On a projected $200 million 2020 salary cap, Over The Cap currently estimates the Giants with more than $103 million to spend next offseason.
So, whatever you want to call it the Giants are playing the long game.
What does this mean for Eli Manning?
It isn’t exactly breaking new ground to discuss the idea of how the Giants can rebuild with a 38-year-old quarterback. Everyone is doing it. So, let’s address it.
Honestly, with no inside information to corroborate what I’m thinking here, I’m not sure the Giants are moving into 2019 with Manning behind center.
That is really the next key date in determining what, exactly, Gettleman and the Giants are doing. That is the day the Giants are due to pay Manning a $5 million 2019 roster bonus. Until Tuesday night, I was certain they were going to do that.
I was certain they would move forward with Manning for one more year, whether they were able to land an heir apparent this year and implement their “Kansas City model” for a quarterback transition or not.
Now? I’m not so sure.
Maybe the Giants just save the $5 million, cut the cord and accelerate the inevitable. That might do doing Manning, and themselves, a favor.
What is the quarterback replacement plan?
That is still murky. With the sixth and 17th picks in the first round, though, the likelihood quarterback could be in play in Round 1 has to have increased. The Giants could use those picks to maneuver, or could sit tight and see if a quarterback they like (Dwayne Haskins? Drew Lock? Daniel Jones?) is on the board in one of those spots.
I had this thought Tuesday night. What if the play for the Giants is Josh Rosen? If the Cardinals want Kyler Murray they have to trade Rosen. I keep hearing that the expected price tag for Rosen is the value of a second-round pick. What if the Giants use their 6th and 17th picks to bulk up the roster, and deal the 37th pick to the Arizona Cardinals for Rosen?
You get two first-round picks AND a quarterback of the future. Maybe you can even live with sending Arizona the 17th overall pick and keeping Nos. 6 and 37.
Makes sense to me. There are, though, two catches. We don’t know if Arizona will make Rosen available, and we really have no idea if Rosen is the guy the Giants want to turn their franchise over to.
Wait until 2020.
I have said multiple times that it really doesn’t matter whether the Giants get their quarterback of the future this year or next. What matters is that they get the right guy. If they don’t think Haskins, Lock, Jones or Rosen is the right guy then just continue to build the roster, continue stockpiling picks and make your big move next year.
Nothing wrong with that.
You don’t replace Odell Beckham’s talent. Not easily. Few have ever possessed the kind of ability Beckham has displayed. Someone, though, has to play wide receiver for the Giants in 2019.
The Giants have Sterling Shepard (66 catches in 2018) and Corey Coleman (5 catches). After that? Your guess is as good as mine.
My guess is the Giants will use some combination of lower-tier free agents and middle- to late-round draft picks to stock this position. Maybe Cody Latimer returns. Maybe a youngster like Jawill Davis gets an opportunity. We could see Evan Engram split wide more often.
Dan Pizzuta should be along later today with some specific names to consider. No matter who it is, though, the Giants aren’t easily replacing what Beckham can do.
Free agency begins today
Oh, you thought that was already over? The 2019 NFL league season, and thus the free agency signing period, actually begins at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
That means the Beckham-Browns deal will become official. Landon Collins will officially be a member of the Washington Redskins. Antoine Bethea will officially be a Giant. So, too, will Jabrill Peppers — the “other guy” in the Beckham trade.
Will Gettleman and the Giants do anything else of significance in free agency? Spotrac estimates that the Giants are roughly $27.47 million under the cap. The two players I have been told are the Giants’ biggest targets — right tackle Daryl Williams and edge defender Markus Golden — remain on the market.
Will the Giants continue to pursue them, likely at high costs? Or, in the wake of the Beckham trade, will they decide to try and horde some cash reserves for a future free agency splurge?