The first week of 2022 NFL free agency is in the books, and a lot has happened for your New York Giants. Let’s open the Big Blue View Mailbag and answer some questions.
Douglas Mollin asks: The 3 OL signings so far give us a bit of flexibility in the draft. We don’t necessarily want Gono, Feliciano, Bredeson, Lemieux to start but if a few have to, they shouldn’t kill us like last season’s group.
Is it possible we could draft 3 new OL starters, or is that too much to expect with all of our other needs?
It’d be nice to see an OL group of:
LG: Draft - #109 Hayes
C: Draft #69 - Parham
RT: Draft #5 - Ekwonu
Bench: Gono, Bredeson, Lemieux, Feliciano. IR: Gates, Peart
Ed says: C’mon, Doug. You know that’s too much to expect. The Giants can’t just draft offensive linemen. And, besides, the deeper into the draft you get you can’t expect to find immediate starters. Remember when the Giants drafted Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart and Shane Lemieux in the same draft? All of those picks were praised. How many have worked out?
What about cornerback? Edge defender? Tight end? Defensive line? Linebacker?
There is a reason why the Giants signed Matt Gono, Jon Feliciano and Mark Glowinski. Now they don’t have to reach for offensive linemen at spots where there isn’t value. They can take a right tackle in the top 7 — and I hope they do — but, if they don’t like their options they can draft a developmental player later. Same with center and guard.
Best guess right now is that the OL looks like this:
Thomas (LT); Ben Bredeson or Lemieux (LG); Feliciano (C); Glowinski (RG); Round 1 draft pick or Gono (RT)
Bob Cooper asks: As free agency begins, I marvel at the Giants Situation:
-a 4 win season
-decline over the past four years
-no money to spend for free agency
Was Dave Gettleman that bad at his job or just unlucky?
Ed says: Gettleman said a number of times during his tenure that whenever he left he wanted to leave the Giants in a better place than they were he arrived. It is impossible to argue that he achieved that on any level.
- Double-digit loss seasons in all four years
- Two head coaches fired
- One Pro Bowl season (Saquon Barkley/2018) from any of the players he drafted.
- Remaining questions about whether the quarterback he went all-in on in 2019 is the right guy to lead the Giants long-term.
- A general misunderstanding of value. That led both missed opportunities in the draft and wasted draft capital, as well as paying superstar money to free agents who were — and are — less than that, leaving the Giants in disastrous salary cap shape.
Now, I say all of that knowing that I supported the Daniel Jones decision, and understood the rationale for many of the others made by Gettleman.
Gettleman’s tenure wasn’t helped by the head-coaching hires made by ownership. Still, yeah, he was bad at his job. That’s why he no longer has it.
Larry Jamieson asks: I liked Logan Ryan, but I can understand cutting him from a fit into the Wink defense standpoint.
On to your favorite subject, the cap and the dead money issue. Yes, cutting him didn’t save much this year and results in a lot of dead money, but does this clear up a lot more for next year? Essentially, this is taking the long view?
Ed says: Larry, I do believe it is Joe Schoen correctly taking the long view. I don’t, though, think making the choice now was about 2023 money. The Giants could have let Ryan play this year, cut him after the 2022 season, saved $9.25 million on the cap and carried $2.975M in dead money.
GM Joe Schoen decided to eat the money because that really didn’t serve a good purpose for either side in 2022. If the Giants had determined that Ryan wasn’t part of their future, what sense did it makes to have him take up hundreds of snaps that could go to someone like Julian Love, Jarren Williams or a draft pick?
I also wonder how much concern there was that Ryan, who was a player with a large voice in the locker room, was really a Joe Judge-Patrick Graham guy.
Jerry Panza asks: Ed, first do you think it was wise to pay $8.5 million in guaranteed money to a backup QB. Also Taylor at 32 years old has an injury history which should have been factored into this deal right? And two years at $11 million which could ramp up much higher with incentives. Do you believe he was brought in as a backup or maybe it was quietly conveyed in negotiations that he could be the starter over Daniel Jones. The way he answered in his media chat seemed to me to indicate he may have been led to believe that it will be an open competition be the starter. I think that’s what he wants and why wouldn’t he push for that having another $6 million hanging out there like a carrot in front of him. Do you think this sends a negative message to Daniel Jones and adds pressure where it was supposed to be an all in support for DJ. Didn’t John Mara just say we’ve done enough to damage this kid and we want to give him every opportunity to succeed with the support of this new regime behind him. I don’t know how you feel but there seem to be mixed messages all over this signing.
Ed says: Jerry, let me be as clear as I can about this. I have zero problem with the money the Giants are paying Tyrod Taylor. I think he was brought in as a two-year insurance policy, whether that ends up being as a starter or a backup.
As for sending a negative message to Daniel Jones, I’m not buying that, either. Listen, Jones is not a dummy. He knows he is two head coaches and a GM removed from the regime that drafted him. He knows he is in the last year of his rookie contract and it’s extremely unlikely the Giants will pick up his fifth-year option. He knows if he doesn’t play well enough in 2022 to prove to the Giants he should remain the starting quarterback, that he will probably be elsewhere in 2023. He is smart enough to have known all of those things before the Giants signed Taylor.
As I wrote the other day, I believe Taylor is the perfect quarterback for this situation. He understands the situation, will do a competent job if he gets to play, and will be a pro if he doesn’t.
I have no reason to believe Daniel Jones will not open the season as the Giants’ quarterback. Will he finish it that way? That’s up to how well he plays, and whether or not he stays healthy.
GM Joe Schoen doesn’t want to simply throw away the 2022 season, he’s been clear about that. Jones will get his opportunity. If Schoen, Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka don’t like what they see they will move on to Taylor. Whether that happens midseason or after the season.
If they move on, Taylor becomes a bridge to whoever they draft as the next potential franchise quarterback.