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Big Blue View mailbag: Playoff edition

The mail’s here!

It’s time for a playoff edition of the Big Blue View Mailbag. So, let’s open it up and answers some New York Giants-related questions.

Ed Capek asks: With all the injuries in 2022 is the NFL regretting adding an extra game? If they wanted more TV games why didn’t they add another bye week to get an 18 week season?

Ed says: Why would the league regret adding a 17th regular season game? They make more money, and that’s the bottom line. My guess is that 17 games is a bridge to 18 at some point, and perhaps eventually 20.

Technically, the league didn’t ‘add’ anything to the schedule. They converted a preseason game to a regular-season game, thus improving the product and putting more money in their pockets.

Ronald Buchheim asks: Evan Neal has generally been dreadful this year, leading to frequent pressure on the quarterback. His second half replacement, Matt Peart, was just as bad against the Eagles. I know it’s risky to try something new in the playoffs, but how much worse could Nick Gates, for example, be? I believe he’s played tackle before. Also, I’m wondering why the Giants don’t offer Neal more help from the running back or tight end, which I seldom see. Can you give us some perspective on this situation?

Ed says: Ronald, now is not the time to re-shuffle the offensive line into a configuration that hasn’t been used all season long. Gates played some right tackle a few years back, but that was before his leg injury and to my knowledge he hasn’t practiced in that spot this season. That’s not really an option.

The likely option would be Tyre Phillips, who did an adequate job filling in at right tackle when Neal was injured. That said, I can’t see the Giants switching starting right tackles. Perhaps if Neal struggles early against Minnesota the Giants might turn to Phillips, but I don’t see any type of drastic change happening.

Dan Murphy asks: Been saving this question since mid season and hate to ask such a thing playoff week, but with the Kafka interview request story feel like have no choice but to ask it now - do you think we get more than two seasons each from Kafka and Wink, more or less? And which one is most ready to be an NFL head coach and which one will hurt more to lose?

I feel like Kafka could benefit from the interview process but after just one season as an OC could use some more experience before being a HC, but Daboll’s offensive coordinator background softens the blow of that loss. Wink has been around long enough that he should be ready but will hurt more to lose.

Ed says: Mike Kafka has two interviews — Panthers and Texans. He drew some interest last season. That tells me that people around the league think he is ready to be a head coach now. Whether he lands one of those jobs during this hiring cycle or not, it seems like just a matter of time before he gets a chance to be a head coach. He fits the young, up-and-coming offensive-minded head coach model that so many teams look for now.

I think Wink Martindale is definitely ready to be a head coach, and has been for some time. He deserves an opportunity. I think he is a fantastic leader and motivator, and would be great as the face of a franchise. The problem is he is a 59-year-old defensive coordinator — the anti-Kafka — and he doesn’t fit the profile of what teams seem to think would make a good head coach.

He deserves a chance. Will he get one? I don’t know.

Which would it hurt to lose more? I honestly believe it would hurt to lose either of them. I would say Wink, though, because there is only one Wink Martindale. If it came down to it, Daboll could return to calling plays on offense. No one else runs a defense the way Wink runs a defense.

Eric Chavis asks: Has the Seattle kicker been very good/spectacular this year? Just feel like Gano is not getting the love he deserves from a pro bowl and all pro perspective, but this just may be as I’m a biased Giants fan. Thanks!

Ed says: Eric, you are asking why Seattle Seahawks placekicker Jason Myers was voted to the NFLPA All-Pro team rather than Giants placekicker Graham Gano. Here are the numbers:

Myers: 34 of 37 on field goals (91.9 percent); 6 of 6 on 50+ yard field goals; 41 of 42 on extra-point attempts (97.6 percent).

Gano: 29 of 32 of field goals (90.6 percent); 8 of 9 on 50+ yard field goal attempts; 32 of 34 on extra-point tries (94.1 percent).

They have both been very good.

Patrick Greene asks: Can a team request that a particular player spend time in the offseason with an approved private coach or trainer and can the team offer to pay for that? I am thinking specifically about someone like Evan Neal who may really need to focus on technique issues to get a running start next year. I suspect the answer is that the team can suggest a coach/trainer but can’t pay for it but I haven’t found a definitive answer.

Ed says: No, Patrick. A player’s offseason is exactly that — a player’s offseason. He makes his own decisions about offseason training. Teams can’t tell players what trainer or trainers to use, and they can’t pay for it.

Now, teams have exit meetings with players. Certainly, offseason goals for players can be part of those discussions. Players can take those things to their offseason trainers to plan their work.

There are offseason trainers who specialize in every position. Some have NFL backgrounds. Some have coaching or playing backgrounds. Players have often been working with certain coaches or at certain facilities since high school.

Neal is trained by Duke Manyweather of OLMasterminds, one of the best offensive line trainers in the business.

Bronco asks: I think the Giants lost their chance to sign Daniel Jones at a discount, in value and years. There are so many teams (Jets, Commanders, etc.) that are just a good quarterback away from having the talent to compete for the title, that he’s going to get a $100 million-plus offer, because he’s now easily a top 10 quarterback, and they get paid. If Jones gets an offer higher than the Giants are willing to pay, can they just franchise tag him and keep him, or do they have to do that before he hits the market?

Ed says: Whether or not to use a tag on a player has to be decided before free agency. Per NFL rules, teams can designate franchise or transition tag players between Feb. 21 and March 7. Unrestricted free agents can begin signing with new teams at 4 p.m. ET on March 15.

So, no, they can’t wait to see what other offers — if any — Jones gets and then tag him.

Frank Berzanskis asks: Multiple times this year I’ve seen players run out of bounds without forward progress being stopped, and the clock keeps running. It happened again this week against the eagles. Am I missing something? Did a rule change?

Ed says: Frank, to properly explain this I went to Cyd Zeigler of Outsports, who has refereed at the college level. The rules from college to the NFL are slightly different, but here is Cyd’s answer:

“Outside of 5 minutes remaining in each half, the clock stops briefly on a run out of bounds and then starts up again. How quickly that happens depends on the referee. I do it very quickly - the games are long enough as they are. Some referees wait until the ball is about ready for play (which is what you’re supposed to do). So my guess is it did stop - and on runs OOB it starts up again and he just doesn’t know that.

“Should be in rule 4

“4.3.2 - ARTICLE 2. SCRIMMAGE DOWN. Following any timeout (3-37-1), the game clock shall be started on a scrimmage down when the ball is next snapped, except in the following situations: (a) Whenever a runner goes out of bounds on a play from scrimmage, the game clock is started when an official spots the ball at the inbounds spot, and the Referee gives the signal to start the game clock,

“What he said happened isn’t a rule. The clock should stop, even if just briefly.”

There is also this:

“ ... if forward progress is determined while you were inbounds, the clock doesn’t stop. It’s as though the play ended while you were in bounds.”

Robert Adolph asks: What will Golladay cost the Giants for his two years of wearing Big Blue’s jersey? The guaranteed $40M? Will the Giants get some kind of compensating draft pick or refund?

Ed says: So, Kenny Golladay had $28 million in fully guaranteed money in the four-year, $72 million contract he signed.

What he has earned so far is $17M in signing bonus, $14M in base salary, $9M in roster bonus, plus $250K in workout bonus, $176K in per-game roster bonus for 2021. There are some incentives in his deal that we don’t know. So, what we can say for sure is that Golladay had made slightly more than $40M from the Giants over two seasons.

Compensatory draft pick? No. You don’t qualify for a compensatory pick when you cut a player. You may receive a compensatory pick if a qualifying players leaves of his own volition via free agency.

Refund? C’mon, man! Teams don’t shop for free agents at Wal-Mart. You can’t just return a player and get your money back. The money you guarantee him is GUARANTEED. You pay it regardless of what happens.

(H/T to Patricia Traina for helping me with the math on this one).

Jerry Panza asks: I am curious as to Julian Love’s becoming a free agent. I think this is his last year on a rookie contract. I want to know if you think he will be paid and remain a Giant next year. I’m hoping so. He’s been a good Giant and is a healthy and steady presence in our backfield and is still just 24 years old.

Ed says: Jerry, I can’t imagine why the Giants would not want Love back. He is a good player and a team leader. He is one of those “smart, tough, dependable” type guys that Brian Daboll loves.

Reality is, though, the Giants are not going to be the only team that recognizes that. Love has played himself into a situation where he has some options, and he’s going to get paid handsomely. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he tests free agency to see what might be out there. That doesn’t mean he would close the door on coming back to the Giants, but this might be his one chance at a big free-agent deal. If I was him, I would want to see what kind of offers might be out there.

Doug Mollin asks: What do you think of Lovie Smith going for two points and the win last Sunday, knocking the Texans out of the No. 1 pick?

While I get “you play to win the game”, my pragmatic side is saying “why, what’s the point?”

Would the owner/GM ever reach out to the head coach before the game with “instructions?” Sort of like what the Eagles did last year?

If that was the Giants, and I’m being honest, I do not want them to win that last game. I want the No. 1 pick.

Ed says: None. Now, mind you I only briefly saw the highlights of the end of that game. The job of the coach and the players is to try to win games. That’s what Smith and his players did.

Let me ask you this? Smith got fired on Monday. Did he get fired because he won on Sunday? No. He got fired because the Texans stunk. Do you think he probably had a pretty good idea he was going to get fired? I certainly do. If you look at it that way, losing to get a higher draft pick wasn’t going to benefit him in any way.

In all honesty, I have a bigger problem with what I think I saw from the Colts. It sure looked to me like they basically laid down and allowed the touchdown and game-winning two-point conversion to happen. In my view, that’s awful.

Len Giacose asks: Can you compare Daniel’s numbers this year versus Josh’s numbers in the year before they added Diggs to the roster?

Ed says: Len, I’m not sure what the point is. Those are not apples to apples comparisons. You are comparing Jones’ fourth NFL season to Allen’s second season. You are comparing teams with different personnel. I am giving you the stats for Allen’s first two seasons. Anyway, without any further commentary, here are the numbers:

Jones’ 2022 season

Allen’s 2018 and 2019 seasons