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Big Blue View mailbag: The Alex Bachman and Kenny Golladay questions won’t die

The mail’s here!

Let’s get right into your Big Blue View Mailbag questions and answers for this week as we wait for Sunday’s New York Giants-Carolina Panthers home opener.

John Brenner asks: Cut down day is long forgotten by now, but I have a lingering question about the Alex Bachman situation. As you know, he led the NFL in preseason receptions with 19, yet he was deemed not good enough for the Giants dad to their roster, and as of now I don’t think he’s been picked up by any other team. The explanation you gave was that he simply wasn’t good enough, coaches and teams just didn’t see enough, and I understand that from a subjective standpoint, and I realized that even though it sounds subjective, there are objective factors in play here, but we who sit back and wonder, what more could an Alex Bachman could have done to make an NFL roster, are left wondering what were the objective measures. Does that make sense? So, I realize this is getting long, but just to sum up, if an objective empirical evidence for him making a team is strong, in this case, leading the league with 19 receptions throughout a preseason, what is the empirical data that suggests he should not be on an NFL roster? And it could be as simple as, well, he put up those 19 receptions against cornerbacks who were not very good. I just found the explanation that Alex Bachman simply wasn’t good enough to be a very unsatisfying explanation, that’s all. I just really wanted more. And the reason why I hungered for more is because it leaves me with the feeling that the process is unfair in a sense, like what more could an underdog like Alex Bachman could have done? If leading the league in receptions wasn’t good enough, I just feel like I need more in the way of explanation.

Ed says: John, I’m not sure how much more I can say about Bachman. There really isn’t an explanation beyond what I have already talked about.

I don’t know that the process is unfair. Bachman got a looooooong look from the Giants. He joined them for the first time midway through the 2019 season. He was given opportunities by three different coaching staffs, and none saw fit to keep him on the 53-man roster. This isn’t just one coaching staff mistakenly passing judgment.

He is like one of those long-time minor leaguers in baseball who can’t quite crack the big leagues, or gets an emergency cup of coffee and no more.

People just have to get past the whole ‘he led the team in receiving in the preseason’ thing. This was his FOURTH preseason. He was playing with the third team against undrafted free agent rookies and other players who weren’t going to make their teams, either.

I don’t know that there is anything else Bachman could have done. He worked for four years to try and convince three head coaches and two GMs that he was good enough. They all decided that Bachman’s best, while good enough for a 90-man roster, wasn’t quite good enough for a 53-man roster.

Guys who are undrafted are always going to have a higher mountain to climb than guys who are drafted or who have already established themselves in the league. Bachman just hasn’t been able to climb it. I don’t know if he will get another chance.

Jim Colburn asks: On Saquon’s 60+ run, wasn’t he holding the ball in the wrong hand? And, he fumbled on that play but out of bounds. And, later, on the other big run, he actually did fumble when the ball was punched from behind. Imagine if it didn’t go out of bounds and Tennessee recovered. Aren’t these basic running fundamentals? Do the Giants need to hire Tiki? Saquon did a great job when the Tennessee defender tried to uppercut the ball from his grasp. If the the uppercut misses the ball and hits Saquon is that a personal foul?

Ed says: Really, Jim? After Barkley’s best game since 2019? After he ran better than he has in three years we’re really going to be critical of which hand he was holding the ball in on his most explosive play in three seasons? I just can’t.

He did not fumble on the 68-yard run. He got shoved out of bounds and let the ball go when the play was over. On the 33-yard run he had the ball tucked away properly as far as I could tell and the defender — coming from behind Barkley — made a tremendous play. Sometimes you just give credit where it’s due. What was Barkley supposed to do? Cradle the ball with two hands in his belly and slow down, in which case he would have been tackled sooner? Luckily for the Giants the ball went out of bounds. I’m not criticizing Barkley on either of those runs.

Barkley has fumbled FOUR TIMES in 873 career touches. Four times. Let’s calm down.

I couldn’t tell you for sure about the uppercut, but I would think the defender’s intent to hit the ball was clear. I don’t see how he would have been penalized. If someone out there has refereed games and believes otherwise, drop the explanation in the comments.

James Merrill asks: A local paper posted a message that Nick Gates said he was way ahead of his injury schedule and he may play this year.

How can he come off the PUP list when he was not on the ‘opening day roster’?

Ed says: James, Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) and Injured Reserve are two different things. Gates was on the PUP list during training camp, which made him eligible for the regular-season PUP list.

The PUP list has nothing to do with the ‘opening day roster.’ A player who begins the season on the PUP list can be activated after four games. That does not mean he will be activated after four games — Gates will not be. It means that it is theoretically possible.

I won’t believe Gates will play this year until I see it.

Mike Koopersmith asks: I’m not the GM, but it’s hard to believe that Schoen could not get anything of value before releasing Bradberry, Martinez and Logan Ryan. Even a conditional late-round pick has some value; and in the case of Bradberry, it would have kept a quality CB off a divisional rival’s roster. Rather than holding out for a “great deal,” maybe he should just take what he can get, and move on. Is he trying to send a message to the 31 other teams about how tough/smart he is? What am I missing?

Ed says: Mike, the short answer is if that if Schoen could have gotten something for one of those guys I’m sure he would have.

One of the things that fans forget is that team who trade for players are also trading for their contracts.

Logan Ryan would have been in Year 2 of a three-year, $30-million contract with the Giants. He is a useful player, but no one was trading for the last two years of that contract. He is not that much of a difference-maker. As a free agent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are paying him $1.12 million. The Giants are stuck with $11.45 million in dead money.

Schoen held on to Bradberry for a long time trying to find a trade parter, and I do think he was surprised was never able to make a deal. Again, though, the acquiring team would have had to be willing to both give up draft capital and take on the final year of his three-year, $43.5 million contract. Again, good player, but not good enough for anyone to be willing to do that.

The Philadelphia Eagles got Bradberry for one-year, $7.25 million. That’s less than they would have taken on via trade, and they didn’t give up any draft picks.

In the case of Blake Martinez, the fact that he still doesn’t have a job tells you that no one was dying to acquire him. He would have cost just $1.25 million plus the draft capital if I read the cap implications of his deal with the Giants correctly.

Schoen isn’t trying to “send a message” to anyone. He is trying to do what he thinks is best for the Giants in the long term.

Alan Goldstein asks: Of all the things that went down last week the most unusual was Joe Schoen getting a game ball. Sure sure sure you can imagine a coach getting a game ball after a first win, especially a season opening win, but when was the last time the players of any NFL team recognized a GM with such an honor. Jerry Reese was certainly an arms length manager and I get the feeling that Gettleman was not well loved or even respected by most of his players.

Do you think that players understand the difference between a well run team and a poorly run team and how will that impact their play on Sundays.

Ed says: Alan, maybe it was a tad unusual for the general manager to get a game ball. I had not really thought about it. I think it was a sign of respect for the GM as it was his first victory in that role. I also think it reflects that Schoen is not standoff-ish with players, or anyone.

Schoen has worked to build his own relationships with players and their families. He and Daboll do everything they can to treat people the right way. I think players see that, and the game ball is partially recognition of that.

John Churchill asks: Sorry, but I cannot get off the Golladay thing. Where was he Sunday? Is he trying to get off the Giants? Are the Giants hoping, come trade time, they can send him down the road? Why did Joe Schoen not approach him about a restructure? Or did he and Kenny turned his nose up?

Ed says: John, you and everyone else have just got to get off the ‘Kenny Golladay thing’ for this season. He is on the team. He is going to play — a lot. His contract is what it is.

Where was Golladay Sunday? He played 46 snaps, that’s 77 percent and the most of any Giants wide receiver. He caught the only two passes Daniel Jones threw to him. What more could he do? He couldn’t snatch passes out of the air that were intended for Richie James or Sterling Shepard. You can’t make plays if you aren’t asked to.

As for re-structuring his contract, I’m not sure people always realize what that entails. When the Giants re-structured Leonard Williams’ contract they added a void year to it, tying themselves to Williams and kicking some of his money down the road for a year.

Do you really want the Giants to tie themselves to Golladay for longer? It seems like what many Giants fans want is for him to disappear. If you look at his contract, it is a four-year deal that carries a $3.4 million cap hit in a fifth year. That’s 2025. You want to re-structure his deal beyond 2025? Schoen is not doing that, and that’s why re-structuring Golladay is not on the table.

The out for the Giants come after this season. Before the 2023 season the Giants could designate Golladay a post-June 1 cut. That would save them $13.5 million against the cap, although it would carry a $7.9 million dead money hit.

No one is trading for Golladay’s contract. So, next offseason is really the earliest the Giants can get out from under it.