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Big Blue View mailbag, 5/16: Wide receivers, Giants’ structure, salary cap, more

The mail’s here!

It’s Big Blue View Mailbag day, so let’s get right to it with your New York Giants questions.

Anthony Del Genio asks: My understanding is that Jason Garrett’s offensive scheme features more of a downfield passing attack than the Giants have used the past few years since the Kevin Gilbride days. Do you feel that the Giants’ wide receivers are well-matched to such an offense (other than Darius Slayton)?

Ed says: Anthony, let me start by pointing out that our Nick Falato did a piece back in February detailing what the Giants offense might look like under Garrett’s direction. Yes, it is likely more vertical than we have become used to under Ben McAdoo or Pat Shurmur.

I was admittedly surprised that the Giants did not take a wide receiver at any point in the draft. I certainly expected them to, especially if they could find a bigger guy who could complement what the Giants already have. Maybe, though, they feel better about Alex Bachman, David Sills, Corey Coleman, Da’Mari Scott and others than we realize.

Are the receivers well-matched to the scheme? I don’t know if that’s right question. Can Garrett and the Giants match the scheme to the talents of the players theve? That’s probably the better question.

Head coach Joe Judge said recently that the scheme “has to cater to our players we have on our roster currently.”

Now, to be honest, coaches always say some version of that. The trick is whether or not they can put that into practice. We will find out when it comes to Garrett.

Andy Schuchman asks: First, who makes the decision on head coach hiring and management for NYG? Are the Giants different than other/most other NFL teams in how they work in this area?

Second, there seems to be a lot more confidence in the Giants coaching staff this year than in years past. I understand the enthusiasm about Judge, and I share that his personality is exciting and he seems to show real leadership capability. Other than Jason Garrett though, I don’t know much about the rest, and would love some insight about whether the positive feelings are justified or are the result of spring Kool-Aid slurping.

Ed says: Andy, I doubt there is any GM in the league who “tells” ownership who the head coach is going to be. Some general managers have more authority than others but the final say on a decision like who will be a team’s head coach is an ownership one.

The Giants are different from other NFL teams in the sense that they are the only team in the league with dual ownership, with the Mara and Tisch families each owning 50 percent of the franchise. That, of course, means there always has be a meeting of the minds on major decisions.

As for assistant coaches, I like the resumes and what we’ve heard about many of them. There is, though, no way right now to judge any of that. We’ll know more when we see the Giants get on the field. We will be able to see how well-coached they appear to be, which position groups appear to understand their jobs and are able to execute them, whether or not young players appear to be getting better.

There just isn’t a real way to answer this question right now.

Bob Donnelly asks: I like the direction DG has taken in rebuilding the O line. However, I’ve heard it said many times that for an “O” line chemistry, working together as a single unit, having that intuitive understanding of how your line mates are going to react to any given situation is what really makes things work. We could see three new faces on the line some playing a new position and a brand new coaching staff with no experience with the players. Then there’s the COVID-19 restriction preventing the coaching staff from that up front and personal look at the players. My question: How far into the season will we be before (hopefully) this fix to the “O” line really starts to work?

Ed says: Bob, this is another understandable question without a definable answer. Who is the center going to be, and how experienced a player is he? Which sides will Andrew Thomas and Nate Solder play on? It’s a legitimate concern without spring reps to begin building timing and communication, but there is no way to know the answer. We will just have to wait and see.

johnny48 asks: Can you explain how rookie contracts work, especially on late round draft picks? It seems the Giants signed “Mr. Irrelevant “ Tae Crowder to a four (4) year contract. With his draft position making it a somewhat high probability of not being on the final roster, how does this make sense?

Ed says: Johnny, rookie contracts are slotted according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. All deals for drafted rookies are for four years, with teams also having the right to exercise a fifth-year option on first-round picks.

Crowder’s deal is four years and $3.37 million, which is the salary slot he is in per the CBA. The only “guaranteed” money in that deal is his $75,490 signing bonus, which will be split across the four years of his contract.

ctscan123 asks: I’ve read that after signing the rookies, we have something in the neighborhood of $3 million left under the salary cap. I was thinking about pass rushers and was suddenly perplexed by this number. We have a quarterback on a rookie deal and literally no stars on our team. We know about our left tackle’s contract, but beyond that, where the heck is all the money? how are teams like Dallas and the Saints paying out huge contracts to everyone in town while we are once again broke with few big names to show for it?

Ed says: CT, I’m not sure where you are getting your numbers. Per Over The Cap, the Giants have $16.661 million in cap space for 2020 as I type this.

The Giants need $12.914 million to sign their rookies, but the actual salary cap cost of signing those players will only be $6.814 million. Read Over The Cap for the explanation. That is still going to leave the Giants around $10 million.

All I will say about money spent is that when you are in a position of having to be aggressive in free agency that will eat into your cap space. The Giants did a good job in this cycle getting short-term deals and not carrying gobs of guaranteed — and potentially dead — money into future years.

Ryan Perry asks: Hypothetically speaking, if the entire 2020 NFL season is cancelled the Giants would be #4 in the draft order again (unless the NFL did a lottery draft order after a cancelled season). Obviously no one wants a completely cancelled 2020 season, but any thoughts on how the Giants would approach the 2021 draft in that event?

Ed says: Ryan, it’s entirely possible the Giants end up with the No. 4 overall pick again even if the season is played. Who knows? I think they would do precisely what they did this year, whether Dave Gettleman is the GM or someone else is in charge. They will assess the talent available at that slot, assess trade offers and make the best decision they can on whether to trade up, trade down or stay right there and pick.

I don’t even want to try and assess what position or positions they might prioritize at this point.