It’s Big Blue View Mailbag time, so let’s open it up and see what New York Giants-related questions we can answer today.
Gino Phillips asks: Given the disappointing performance to date of the Giants’ secondary, primarily CBs, in retrospect why do you think that they released Jarren Williams (UDFA Albany) so soon in camp? I thought he showed some promise in a few games last year, and was also being considered for safety depth early on. Was there likely more to his release than just on the field performance?
Ed says: Gino, I was rooting for Williams myself. I know that defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson likes the young man — he spoke positively about him a few times over the past two seasons.
Now, why did the Giants release him the first week of training camp? Fact is, during training camp there is zero patience for injured players at the bottom of the 90-man roster. Teams need as many players as possible on the field to practice the way they want/need to practice.
Williams missed the entire spring with an unknown injury. Remember, teams are not required in the spring to give us any injury information. When training camp rolled around, Williams was still not practicing. No idea what the injury was or how long before he would have been available to practice. The Giants, though, knew both of those things. They also knew that a young player transitioning from cornerback to safety can’t do that without practice reps.
So, they moved on. Unfortunate for Williams, but that is life in the NFL.
ctscan asks: Hi Ed, we are all aware of what is going on with Kenny Golladay this summer. At the end of every critical piece though, there is the caveat that there is no way that the Giants would release Golladay Because of the $25 million debt cap hit. In economics, that’s called the sunk cost fallacy, essentially overvaluing something because you’ve already paid for it.
While the dead cap on Golladay would be big, the $4.2 million saved isn’t nothing on a cash strapped team. The emergence of Colin Johnson doing a much better job at Golliday’s presumptive role so far is also a thing.
Now it’s entirely possible that Golladay rounds into form and that Johnson reverts two typical late round draft pick productivity, but what if neither of these things happened by the end of the summer? Week one? Or two
If Golladay doesn’t improve and Johnson continues to impress, would you personally consider eating the $25 million to develop Johnson and save that 4.2 million? Do you think the Giants would ever do such a thing considering that the current management has no ties to Golladay?
Ed says: CT, this question gives me a chance to correct a mistake that I made. I did already fix it in my recent story about Kenny Golladay, but I am certain that not everyone who read the post has seen the correction.
The Giants DO NOT save $4.2 million if they cut Golladay. They actually lose that much. Golladay’s cap hit for 2022 is $21.15 million. If they cut him, that cap hit rises to $25.4 million.
How is that possible? It is because of pro-rated guaranteed money Golladay has already been paid, but that for accounting purposes sits as part of the Giants’ 2023 cap charge. If they cut him, that pro-rated money rolls into the 2022 cap. So, it makes the Giants’ already precarious cap situation even worse.
Over the Cap, using the top 51 rule, has the Giants at roughly $5.3 million in cap space for 2022. Cut Golladay, that shrinks to roughly $1 million. They simply can’t go into the season that way.
My apologies to BBV readers for misreading the numbers in Golladay’s contract.
Edwin Gommers asks: Short and sweet mailbox question. What specific things do you want to see from the starters in the game against Cinci to give you a level of comfort that the team is trending in the right direction?
Ed says: Well, a lot like last week you want to see the first-team guys handle their business while playing against Bengals’ backups. It would be nice to see the offense complete a drive or two in the end zone. It would be nice to see the defense get off the field quickly. You want to see clean play, without turnovers or a significant number of penalties.
Beyond that, it’s really about looking for individuals who stand out — in either positive or negative ways — as the Giants try to construct their roster.
Finally, while I am in favor of starters playing because of where the Giants are in their development, you hope to get out of the game with no more injuries to key players.
James Stoll asks: As we have heard all off-season, this is the supposed “make it or break it” year for Daniel Jones and Daboll and Schoen will give him every chance to succeed. I question this narrative. By all accounts, the Giants’ roster has numerous holes to start (CB, TE), injuries will occur and our depth is questionable, and there are already several key players (Toney, Golladay, Barkley) who have long injury histories, and others (Shephard, Martinez, Lemieux) who are fighting their way back from injuries. In short, objectively speaking this looks like a 5 or less win team. That said, there appears to be no scenario in which Jones displays the qualities which make you want him as your long term QB. For him to prove to be that guy, he would need to throw 2-3 TDs per game without a corresponding turnover rate, and the defense would, in turn, need to be beyond dreadful. Of course, everything could break just right for the team, no one could get injured, the defense could be outstanding and Jones could either muddle by or surprise. But the latter scenario is the more unlikely. Accepting all of these premises, do you think that the “give Jones every opportunity” scenario is really a charade? Daboll and Schoen are expecting him to flame out and this is basically a “stealth” tank year with an eye towards grabbing either Will Levis, Bryce Young, or some other QB (not from Ohio State thank you) in the ’23 draft?
Ed says: James, first of all I don’t think I can make a blanket statement that I accept all of the premises your question is based on. Second of all, I absolutely cannot accept the idea that playing Jones is a “charade” or that this is some sort of “stealth tank year” for the Giants.
I have said many times that I think odds are against Daniel Jones showing enough to be the quarterback beyond this year, but it’s not a fait accompli or a charade. There is too much respect for Jones in that building. John Mara loves him and desperately wants him to succeed. The organizations loves him as a person and respects how hard he works. He has the respect of the players.
Jones might fail to convince Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll not to look for a new quarterback next offseason. The Giants might be bad. Those things are absolutely possible. It won’t, though, be because they are trying to throw Jones under the bus or trying to be bad in 2022. What guarantee is there they can draft a future franchise quarterback next offseason? Or, if they do draft a quarterback, that he will be any good?
If the Giants wanted to be bad, why would Schoen have brought back veteran guys like Blake Martinez and Sterling Shepard? Yes, both took steep pay cuts. Cutting them altogether would, though, have saved even more money.
If they wanted to be bad, why would they have bothered to give Mark Glowinski a three-year, $18.3 million contract?
If they wanted to be bad, why is Saquon Barkley still on the team? Why didn’t Schoen just convince John Mara that moving on from Barkley was the right thing to do, and collect some future draft assets?
The Giants might end up with a high draft and a new quarterback next year. You will, though, never convince me it is because they threw away the 2022 season on purpose.