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Big Blue View mailbag: Flores lawsuit, draft strategy, more

The mail’s here!

Happy Saturday, New York Giants fans! Let’s get your day started by opening the Big Blue View Mailbag, our Saturday tradition, and answering whatever questions we can.

CTscan123 asks: Like most of the Giants fans I know, I am very excited about the new hires for a variety of reasons. The foremost is that I have a feeling that Daniel Jones is finally going to get the support that he deserves. I mean this from the perspective of a more appropriate supporting cast and an offensive system that plays to his strengths. It got me thinking about another player that I don’t feel has ever gotten a fair shake.

That’s right, star of my son’s Giants Madden franchise, good old Evan Ingram. He’s clearly never lived up to his potential in the real world, but I have to say, he’s never really been put in a position to do so. The way Garrett used him on all those stupid stop routes was atrocious. Yes, he had that one abysmal season with all the drops, but man would it be heartbreaking to see him explode somewhere else with proper coaching and utilization.

In terms of free agency, do you think he falls into the “flier” category? Is he going to get one year prove it offers or is someone going to overpay him based on potential? If it’s the former, would you be willing to match approve it deal to give him one more shot? I think I would, I mean, he’s soooo darn good on my son’s Madden team.

Ed says: CT, my gut says you are going to wind up disappointed. Engram has had five seasons with the Giants and rightly or wrongly he symbolizes a lot of what has gone wrong. Yes, there is part of me that wonders what Brian Daboll and a coherent offensive system could do with him, and if he succeeds elsewhere it will be more evidence of the dysfunction around the Giants in recent years.

In reality, I just don’t think the Giants have the cap space to bring him back. Spotrac estimates his market value at four years, $27 million — roughly $6.7 million annually. At $20 million over the cap right now and probably needing to find $40-45 million overall I don’t think the Giants can do that. Nor, quite honestly, do I think they should. It’s time for both sides to get a fresh start.


Ronald Balsamo asks: What did the Bengals do to get so good so fast. It has to more than getting a decent quarterback. Why can’t we do it. Was their drafts that good? They must have a formula. What is it?

Ed says: Ronald, let’s be real here. To say the Bengals got “so good, so fast” is a bit misleading. They won two games in 2019, got the No. 1 pick and were fortunate enough to find a superstar quarterback in Joe Burrow available to them in that spot. They went 4-11-1 last year, but they were better than that, especially with Burrow getting hurt. They got another superstar with this year’s first pick in Ja’Marr Chase. They appear to have gotten the head coach right.

It’s not complicated. Not easy to do, but not complicated.


Spencer Gross asks: What’s the chances the Giants move back from one or both of their first round picks to gain more for the second round? If they did so, could you see them spending heavy early on the O-line (Petit-Frere, Zion Johnson, L. Smith) with perhaps a player like Jackson from USC to bolster the D line? There seems to be a lot of good players available in the second rounds that could help this team. You find a way to move slightly back in the 1st, still try and land Linderbaum at center and go from laughing stock to strength in one draft if it falls that way. I know projecting the draft and how it falls is impossible but it seems like the Giants could truly find an offensive line identity by picking some bruising maulers with most of your first 3 round picks.

Ed says: Spencer, I don’t know what the chances are. I have said before, though, that I can support the idea of moving back with one of the two picks. That would give the Giants cap relief, which they need, and would add picks. My ideal scenario is moving back to the middle of Round 1 with one of the two picks, getting an additional mid-round pick this year and a first-rounder in 2023. That would be ideal in the event the Giants need to move on from Daniel Jones next season as they would have two picks in Round 1 to maneuver with.

As for the offensive line, I will be very surprised if at least one of the two first-round picks isn’t used on that position. I also think the Giants will likely select multiple offensive linemen throughout the course of the draft.


Henry Mildener asks: Do you think the Giants might lose a draft choice as a result of the Brian Flores’ lawsuit. As an incentive to hire minority head coaches, how about an increase in salary cap for those teams.

Ed says: Henry, I know that readers hate it when I waffle on an answer or say I don’t know — but I don’t know. The lawsuit makes this situation different than anything we have seen in the past. Let me try to provide some background, and some thoughts.

In my research, I can only find one instance where a team was punished for a Rooney Rule violation — the Detroit Lions were fined in 2003 for hiring Steve Mariucci and admitting they did not interview anyone else.

In 2018, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis admitted that he had an agreement in place with Jon Gruden a week before firing then-coach Jack Del Rio, and that the Raiders only interviewed minority candidates after reaching that agreement. To me, that is a far more egregious situation than anything the Giants might have done. Yet, the NFL found no wrongdoing and meted out no punishment.

There really isn’t, then, a precedent to work from. The New England Patriots lost first- and fourth-round picks and paid a fine for the DeflateGate controversy, but that isn’t an apples to apples comparison. So, it is impossible to predict, though draft picks could certainly be in play.

As for a different salary cap for teams who hire minority coaches, how can you do that? It would create a competitive imbalance, giving some teams more money to spend than others. I will offer some thoughts on the Rooney Rule and what should or should not be done with it at another time. This idea, though, is a non-starter for me.


Jay B asks: Do you think that just based off of the text messages if true the Giants might be in for losing some draft picks in the future? Not to mention if there’s a lot more that eventually comes out during discovery? If so do you think that might change their thinking about taking a quarterback in this upcoming draft for fear they might be heavily penalized in a future draft? Nobody is saying force a quarterback pick because I think that’s what they did when they took Daniel Jones but maybe you do take a longer look at a Malik Willis or a quarterback in the second round of the draft like Carson Strong as an insurance policy not only against Jones but possibly not having the draft capital that you thought you were gonna have in a future draft?

Ed says: Jay, see the previous answer for the punishment stuff. Let’s, though, talk about the draft part of the question.

My answer is no, because if the reason for doing it is fear that they won’t have the capital to do it later that would be forcing a quarterback pick. Now, I do not have an objection to the Giants using a second-round pick on a quarterback this year. If they believe strongly enough in Malik Willis, Carson Strong, Sam Howell or whoever, then fine. Don’t pick a quarterback out of fear of what might happen later.

I remain an advocate of the Giants being open for business with one of their two top-10 picks. If there are players at picks 5 and 7 they love and feel they can’t pass up, great. I believe, though, that using one of those picks to move down to the middle of Round 1 and add future draft assets — especially if they can collect an extra 2023 first-round pick — is the smart play. That gives them assets they can use if they need to move for a quarterback in the draft a year from now.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The last thing I want to do is close comments on this post. Since though, there are questions and answers here regarding the Brian Flores lawsuit, there is a potential for ugliness. If anything inflammatory happens in the comments, they will be shut down.]