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Fixing the Giants, Part III: 22 questions about the roster

We aren’t solving questions today — we’re identifying the biggest ones the Giants need to be asking themselves

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles

When the season ends — mercifully — for the New York Giants in a couple of weeks we will embark on a position-by-position review of the roster. That will include where it stands, where it needs to go and perhaps ideas on how to get there.

So, rather than do all of that here I thought we would simply list questions that the Giants — whoever is in charge — need to ask and answer as they shape the roster for next season. since is it New Year’s Eve and the calendar is about to turn to 2022, let’s list 22 questions.

  1. Who’s the quarterback? Do you pay the price for Russell Wilson? Stick with Daniel Jones? Draft a quarterback to complete with or replace Jones?
  2. If you keep Jones, do you pick up the fifth-year option?
  3. If you keep Jones, where do you find a better backup than Mike Glennon?
  4. Do you consider trade offers for Saquon Barkley or keep hoping he will return to his pre-injury form?
  5. Do you stick with Devontae Booker in the second year of his contract, or save the $2 million in cap space and let Gary Brightwell or someone else take over that role?
  6. Do you bring back Evan Engram or let him walk and hope he isn’t more reliable wherever he goes than he was for the Giants?
  7. Do you keep veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph or cut him and take the $5 million in cap savings ($2.425 million in dead money)?
  8. Do you cut oft-injured wide receiver Sterling Shepard? As a post-June 1 cut, letting Shepard go would save $8.5 million against the cap.
  9. After an awful season, can you go forward with Darius Slayton as part of your receiving corps?
  10. Is there an offensive lineman on the roster other than Andrew Thomas, including the injured Nick Gates and Shane Lemieux, you can plan to go forward with in 2022?
  11. Gates is one of the few offensive linemen you might want to keep. What are the realistic expectations for when, or if, he will be ready to play next season?
  12. Why are there two fullbacks (Elijhaa Penny and Cullen Gillaspia) on the roster and is that sustainable?
  13. Is safety Jabrill Peppers a player who should be brought back?
  14. Is Lorenzo Carter’s late-season surge an indication of things to come, or should the Giants put more weight on his first 3½ seasons and move on?
  15. There still isn’t a dominant edge rusher on the roster. Is there a way to get one?
  16. Is Blake Martinez a player to keep, or should the Giants take the $8.525 million in cap savings they would get from cutting him and move on? His knee injury complicates that decision.
  17. Same decision with James Bradberry. The Giants are cap-strapped and could save $13.5 million (with $8.363 million in dead money) by moving on. Could they really afford to cut their best cornerback?
  18. Has linebacker Jaylon Smith shown enough in his brief audition to be given an opportunity to compete for a roster spot next season?
  19. Can you afford not to bring back defensive tackle Austin Johnson, a free agent who is completing the best season of his career?
  20. Are you moving on from the seemingly-buried Oshane Ximines, or giving him a final chance in the last year of his rookie deal?
  21. Aside from finding a real backup quarterback, are you mostly sitting out free agency? The cap crunch might answer that for you.
  22. Are you willing to live with Riley Dixon’s inconsistency as a punter, or should you take the $3.25 million in cap savings and move on?