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Perspectives: A deeper look at the Giants roster construction

Yes, the Giants added some former Panthers and Cardinals to this year’s roster, but a deeper look at how the Giants roster is constructed offers a pleasant surprise and hope for the future.

Carolina Panthers v Pittsburgh Steelers

Over the weekend, when I saw some of the waiver wire moves made and realized that they were all players whom the New York Giants faced in the preseason or former Carolina Panthers (to go along with all the former Arizona Cardinals players signed on defense), my initial reaction wasn’t very positive.

Ah, but that’s why before jumping into a full-scale criticism of the job general Dave Gettleman has done in building this roster needs a little more than an instant reaction.

Having once worked at the corporate level, I understand there are times when after an executive is hired, he or she proceeds to recruit staff from a previous business relationship. After all, if someone contributed to your success, why wouldn’t you go back to that well?

But if you’re limiting yourself to just people you’ve worked with before, well that’s not necessarily a good thing either.

For example, a lot of times I get a fan inquiry about picking up a well-known name player who suddenly becomes available, and I find myself reminding fans that the player they’re lobbying for isn’t necessarily the same player they were several years ago in their prime.

That was my initial criticism of the job Gettleman has been doing with building this roster—until I looked a little deeper into the makeup and the reasons.

Based on the 53-man roster stands at the moment, Gettleman has recruited two players with ties to the Panthers, four with ties to the Cardinals (defensive coordinator James Bettcher), three with links to Denver (receivers coach Tyke Tolbert), four players from teams the Giants played in the preseason, and one from Minnesota (head coach Pat Shurmur).

That’s roughly 26 percent of the Giants roster having ties to the coaches or Gettleman with a previous team.

Why so high?

As we all know, the draft classes of the Jerry Reese era bled the cupboard dry to the point where, in terms of rebuilding the locker room and the talent base, Gettleman was left with little choice but to reach back into his past, and the past of some of the coaches to get players on board to help with saving what had been a sinking franchise.

Think of it like this: When the newest location of a national chain restaurant opens, corporate usually sends out trainers to help the new staff get up to speed on what is expected of them.

Once corporate is confident in the local staff’s being able to do the job the right way, they gradually phase themselves out of the picture.

It’s the same thinking here with the Giants, but with some even better news for the future.

Currently, 25 percent of the Giants roster consists of draft picks by Gettleman, picks that form the future nucleus of this franchise. By my count, there are 13 Gettleman draft picks on this roster, five from the Jerry Reese era and one from the Ernie Accorsi era.

After years of seeing Giants draft classes fizzle faster than exposed soda, this is a refreshing statistic that leaves me full of hope that this Giants team is heading in the right direction.

Now granted, it won’t mean anything if the team doesn’t win, but if you’re looking for a reason why you should feel bullish on the job Gettleman has done — and I haven’t even touched on the salary cap, which is a topic for another day — hopefully this perspective makes you feel a little bit better.

Russell Hustled Out the Door

I know Ed Valentine touched upon this in his “Views,” but I’d like to add my two cents on the decision to cut receiver Alonzo Russell in favor of Cody Core.

The thing that continually amazes me about the reactions I see is that sometimes people tend to overreact before they have all the facts. For example, I had one person say to me, “Who the hell is Cody Core?”

While I get it that people develop an affinity for players, sometimes it does your blood pressure good to take a closer look before flying off the handle. To criticize the decision to add Core without even bothering to do a quick Google search on his history is unfair.

I saved the following tweet from one of my followers who hit the nail on the head.

As for why the Giants cut Russell for Core, I’ll just leave you with this tweet from one of my followers that I think sums up the underlying reason, and reminds us of why we shouldn’t be so quick to put preseason stars in the Hall of Fame.