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Big Blue View mailbag: Quarterback, GM questions dominate the discussion

The mail’s here!

As we wait for your Mike Glennon-led New York Giants to face the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, let’s open up the Big Blue View Mailbag and see what questions we can answer. Word of warning — I think I was a touch fiesty in response to a couple of these.

Brian Misdom asks: Hi Ed, as speculation continues to mount of Dave Gettleman no longer being GM after this season, we’ve begun exploring options for his potential successor.

While I think it would be best to look outside the organization to fill the role, I am surprised at one internal name who hasn’t been mentioned - Chris Pettit, Director of College Scouting.

I’m unsure what the progression or feeder pool roles are in the NFL but as many GMs cut their teeth as scouts, what, if any chance would someone like Chris have to be considered?

Ed says: Brian, I would think that Pettit would be worthy of consideration among internal candidates even though I did not include him in my recent list of potential candidates. Pettit has been with the Giants for 17 years. The holes in his resume would be that he has never worked for a different NFL team, and he has never worked on the pro personnel side.

Douglas Furth asks: In your opinion, would Jimmy Garappolo be a material improvement over Daniel Jones? I think it likely that he will be on the market after this season. He will be 31 next year, has 64 TD’s and 32 int’s in 58 games. He has been injury prone. My understanding is that he has one year left on his contract with a $27 million cap number. Would you give a 2022 number 3 pick for him assuming that the Giants could find the cap space?

Ed says: Douglas, I will make this quick and easy. No. Not ... a ... chance. I’m not paying that kind of money and giving up draft capital for a quarterback I don’t believe would make the Giants appreciably better.

Jim Moriarty asks: Building on your Barkley comments from last week, I believe that the fans actually watching games (see fan comments) believe that Saquon is a lost cause. Even when healthy, he was a “trick or treat” back, with a few great plays sprinkled in with many more poor ones. Now it appears he is even avoiding contact when possible.

Given the track record of highly paid backs, his current performance and his injury history, I see no scenario that Barkley is back for a second contract.

My question is - given our cap situation, would a new GM be allowed to trade him, even for a late pick? I realize his contract is guaranteed, so cutting him is not really an option.

Ed says: Jim, first I think that calling Saquon Barkley a “lost cause” is harsh and untrue. He hasn’t been healthy. I’m still not convinced he is fully healthy. Besides, when you miss significant time you don’t just show up and suddenly play your best football. It takes time.

I don’t know what will happen with Barkley. My gut instinct tells me he plays on his fifth-year option in 2022 and perhaps on the franchise tag in 2023. But, we’ll see.

As for a new GM, I think that the long-range vision for how to handle Barkley will be part of the discussion with any candidate. Just like Eli Manning was part of the discussion when Dave Gettleman was hired. I would think that ownership, Joe Judge and whoever follows Gettleman as GM will be on the same page in terms of handling Barkley.

Would they trade him? Maybe, but he’s got to establish some value first. He hasn’t done that. Are there scenarios where they sign him long term? Sure. That is not something I would do, but it’s possible. What if he is healthy next season and posts 1,500+ yards rushing and more than 2,000 yards of total offense? What do you do then?

Douglas Mollin asks: Looking around to see what the Giants organization structure looks like and found this site:

The most interesting thing that popped out was how high in the structure Chris Mara is and all the people that (supposedly) report to him and not Getty.

Do you have any insight into the Giant hierarchy? Are Judge, Getty and Chris Mara all on the same level and report to John Mara directly? Does Chris Mara have a lot more control in the organization than we think?

Ed says: Douglas, forget that you ever found that site. In no world is Steve Tisch that many rungs down the organizational ladder. The Mara and Tisch families are 50-50 financial partners, and Tisch equally shares decision-making power with John Mara.

I have said it before and will repeat it again — Giants fans blaming Chris Mara and living in a world where they believe he has more power over personnel than the general manager are wasting their time and energy. Chris Mara is part of the ownership group. He has solid scouting credentials. He has a fancy title. I agree that it seems awkward having a Mara in the personnel department. The decision-makers, though, are John Mara, Steve Tisch, Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge.

Dave Snyder asks: I know many teams are dealing with many injuries this year, but it seems the Giants have had more than their share the past few years. Key players with season-ending injuries like Barkley, Martinez, Peppers, Gates, etc. Then the chronic injuries like Shepard, Engram, Golladay, Toney, Slayton, etc. Gates aside, many of these are non-contact injuries.

How do the Giants compare to other teams the past 3-4 years? I believe the Giants have had mostly the same Strength and Conditioning coaching staff during this period and surely the Giants are looking at this. This includes the individual player management of injury prevention and also post-injury rehab.

Ed says: Dave, I get soooooo tired of this “blame the training staff” stuff.

Jerry Palmieri was Tom Coughlin’s strength and conditioning coach, and during the final few seasons of Coughlin’s tenure the Giants completely overhauled their practices, especially their post-practice “cool-down” methods. It didn’t help.

Ben McAdoo replaced Palmieri with Aaron Wellman. I think it was under McAdoo’s tenure that the Giants completely revamped their weight room and weight training. Didn’t make a difference — guys still got hurt.

Wellman was also the strength and conditioning coach for Pat Shurmur.

Joe Judge has a new staff headed by Chris Fitzgerald. Guys still get hurt.

It can’t be that none of these training staffs, filled with qualified people who are well-versed in their field, knew what they were doing. It’s football. Players get hurt. It’s not “oh, xx number of guys got hurt — the training staff sucks.” That’s just fans looking to blame someone for something that frustrates them.

You can’t train to avoid broken bones. You can’t train to avoid getting rolled up on as a lineman, or to avoid stepping on a defensive back’s foot. You can’t train to avoid getting your cleats caught in Field Turf. You can’t train to avoid getting hit in the head.

This is not just a Giants problem. The NFL studies these these things, and the last study I saw reported that league-wide “The incidence of soft tissue injuries, including calf, hamstring, quadricep and adductor strains, are significantly up during the 2021 preseason compared to 2015-2019.”

It just so happens that this news follows another reduction in the amount of on-field work players do during the offseason. My $.02 is the lack of on-field work players do contributes to injuries when they have to go all out.

Christopher asks: I’ve been reading many articles and mock drafts in the last week. Some articles mention that the number one destination for Russell Wilson is the Giants. Other articles and mock drafts are showing the Giants picking a QB in the first round. Based on DG not likely to return and the continued poor play by Daniel Jones, the common thread outside of the NY area is that the Giants will move on from Jones. What is your opinion on acquiring Wilson or maybe another established QB (Rodgers, Garoppolo, etc) or drafting another QB and signing one of the many free agent veteran QB’s as a bridge.

Ed says: Christopher, the reality is that the Giants do not have any cap space. They are currently projected to be more than $9 million over a projected $208.2 million salary cap. They are going to have to cut some quality veteran players to simply get under the cap and be able to sign their rookie class.

To acquire a player like Wilson ... or DeShaun Watson or any other big-name quarterback you want to think about, the Giants would not only have to gut their draft class, they would have to purge the roster of a host of veteran players. They would end up with a top-tier quarterback, no draft capital and a worse roster than the one they already have.

What top-tier quarterback in his right mind is going to approve a trade to the Giants under those circumstances. Wilson has a full no-trade clause. So does Watson. I would think Rodgers probably does as well. No top-tier quarterback who can control where he goes is going to come to a team with no chance to be any good.

As for drafting another quarterback, you can bet that teams will overdraft Kenny Pickett (Pitt), Sam Howell (N.C. State) and Matt Corral (Ole Miss). I have yet to find any analysis that convinces me any of those guys are truly top 10-worthy quarterbacks who are going to change franchises.

I disagree that Daniel Jones is playing poorly. I believe Jones is a good but not great quarterback, probably a mid-tier guy in the NFL. He won’t consistently lift a team, but given good surroundings you can win with him. I think he’s Kirk Cousins, or maybe the Cincinnati version of Andy Dalton. Maybe he’s Baker Mayfield. You get where I’m going. The Giants have put nothing functional around Jones in three years, and the results reflect that.

I also believe Jones is the best option for the Giants for 2022, given where they are. Use those two first-round picks to fix the offensive line, or grab an offensive lineman and a pass rusher. Use those five picks in the first three rounds to build the roster. Get your cap situation under control. Dive back into the quarterback pool when you either have a better cap situation, or in a year when there are more appealing draft options you aren’t trying to talk yourself into.

Jason Byam asks: My question has to do with coaches trying to gain a “competitive advantage”. The Giants not ruling out Daniel Jones (even though I’m pretty sure Mike Glennon will be the starter), or not naming Freddie Kitchens as the play-caller for example (even though we all assumed it would be him) is obviously done to make the opponent prepare for different scenarios. How effective is this strategy? Do you think the Dolphins would have a completely different game plan depending on which QB starts? As frustrating as the lack of transparency is for us fans, I keep telling myself it’s worth it, is it?

Ed says: Jason, I think NFL coaches are ridiculous with their “competitive advantage” nonsense. I think they believe they are working in the State Department and guarding national security. To be honest, it’s pretty absurd.

Ben McAdoo spent months refusing to admit he would be the Giants’ play-caller as head coach, even though everyone on the planet knew that. Eagles’ coach Nick Sirianni absolutely knew that Freddie Kitchens would call plays for the Giants last Sunday. He knew the Giants would try to get Golladay and Barkley more involved. He knew there would be a couple of wrinkles that weren’t on film. Everyone did.

Obviously this week we already know that Daniel Jones is not going to play. What that tells the Dolphins is they will not have to defend the quarterback run game, which is something Glennon just does not do.

NFL coaches work way more hours than they should, way more hours than are probably necessary, seeing the tiniest sliver of an advantage over that week’s opponent. It’s silly. The Dolphins are going to do what the Dolphins do — attack and blitz like crazy — no matter which quarterback is playing.