FanPost

Mega mock offseason


Alright folks. Although the season is finished, this is one of the most fun parts of the year: it's time to take the imaginary reins of power and unleash a spectacular offseason plan to turbo-charge the Giants and build an unbeatable super-team. Here is what I would do, if I was in charge and had the freedom to spend the Monopoly money however I wanted.

I'm going to take a long-term view here. What's so special about 2023? Although Joe Schoen did a salary cap clean-up job last year, there are still some heavy burdens in there this year. Leonard Williams will count for over $32m, Glowinski $8.3m and Tyrod Taylor $7m, plus the $4.2m void money for Sterling Shepard and reportedly $3.7m dead money after trading he-who-shall-not-be-mentioned. That's why I'd aim for 2024 and '25 as my target years for success; I'd rather we front-load contracts than back-load them, to keep the cap sheet as clean as possible in the future and ready for some major spending later for a big push.

Another, more obvious, reason why 2023 is not my target year for success is because we have too many weaknesses on the roster, as many of you have pointed out; it will probably take a couple of seasons to repair and upgrade all the things we want to.

Thirdly (I just like using that word), we haven't had a lot of success from our last couple of drafts - obviously our first-round pick from 2021 is a goner, and most of the others have either been injured, kept on the sideline or have low ratings, and I think that is setting us back. So I don't agree with back-loading contracts in order to squeeze every bit of juice out of '23 as if we were in some kind of Super Bowl window. I see it the opposite way.

We start the process with just over $54m in salary cap space.

I'd pick up Andrew Thomas's fifth year option, which will be about $15m in '24.

I would release Darnay Holmes, as he is eligible for a performance escalator giving him $3m this year. Kenny Golladay would also be cut, saving $6.7m, and I would take all the pain this year, for all the reasons above - let's keep the 2024 cap as clear as possible.

That leaves me with $64m.

Free Agency

Franchise tag: RB Saquon Barkley

Earlier reports had stated that the running back tag could be over $12m, but now they're saying $10m.

QB Daniel Jones: $34m per year for 5 years (30, 38, 29, 39, 34), $136m guaranteed

It's hard to gauge how much Jones is worth, but I wouldn't go much over the non-exclusive franchise tag amount, which is forecast to be $32.5m; if he wanted a lot more than that, I would just use that tag on him. No-one will give up two extra 1st-round picks (I'll gratefully accept them if them do). I'd give him a high guaranteed amount and a lot of years, in the hope that he'd accept a moderate yearly cap figure in return. In my suggested contract, we'd be able to release him after four years with no dead money. I've set a low amount for 2025 as that's my big target year for success (in 2024, we'll still have over $11m in dead money lingering around).

Jones can still do a better job of sliding. I'd tell him that if we're making a big investment in him, we have to protect it; we can't have things like that slamming hit he took in the second Washington game, which wasn't a scoring run or critical play.

WR Isaiah Hodgins: $2m per year for 3 years, $4m guaranteed

This is my sneaky attempt to low-ball Hodgins into a team-friendly deal; it would give him some secure money. If he refused it, we could just use the RFA tender and keep him for one year for a minimal amount.

WR Darius Slayton: $3m per year

I'd offer Slayton and James pretty cheap contracts to stay on for a couple of years, and aim to secure at least one of them. I don't want to go into the draft with the cupboard bare at any position and be forced to reach for a position of need.

LB Alex Anzalone (Lions FA): $2m, one year

I'm looking for an experienced stop-gap to man the middle while the young guys develop; someone who can recognise what the offense is doing and get everyone organised. Anzalone was a pretty average LB last season, and I'm offering him the same amount as Detroit gave him then.

I've spent $47m so far in free agency for this year, although it's really $42m because of what I'll call the "Carter Coughlin effect": these signings will be replacing the Carter Coughlins and Tomon Foxes of the roster, who earn about $1m already, so $1m is subtracted as well. Thus, I ought to add back on a bit for Holmes and Golladay's replacements too. That leaves us $20m to sign rookies and pay for injury costs, the practice squad, company picnic, quad bike rides and all that stuff. It will only cost us $3.1m in cap space to sign the rookies, not their full cap total of $12m, because of the Carter Coughlin effect. There's $17m spare, then.

Here are a few lesser guys who I'd like to keep, in the $1m region:

S Jason Pinnock - he was consistent and reliable enough for us (61 PFF) and should be signable at a budget price.

DT Nick Williams - is 32, but did well for us last season.

Long snapper Casey Kreiter

Punter Jamie Gillan

RB Matt Breida

LB Jaylon Smith

SS Landon Collins

G Nick Gates

C Jon Feliciano

I'm offering those fellows a minimal deal to stay on. Some of them may opt to leave, of course; Gates and Feliciano could be worth more. If we lose the odd minor player because I ran out of cap space, it's no big deal, or I can shovel a couple of million from Jones' contract into the future to pay for someone who I feel we need - an experienced linebacker for example. Those $~1m guys are not really a cost; again, C. Coughlin effect, they're just replacing other backup dudes who have roughly the same cap number.

Draft

I used both the Draftek and PFF big boards for this, and tried to make the selections as realistic as possible.

Round 1, Pick 25: Christian Gonzalez (CB)

Round 2, Pick 57: Parker Washington (WR)

Round 3, Pick 89: Jaquelin Roy (DT)

Round 3, Pick 100: Daiyan Henley (LB)

Round 4, Pick 126: Josh Whyle (TE)

Round 5, Pick 158: Kenny McIntosh (RB)

Round 6, Pick 195: Isaiah McGuire (edge)

Round 6, compensatory: Caleb Chandler (G)

Round 7, Pick 219: Will Mallory (TE)

Round 7, Pick 222: Cam Jones (LB)

Round 7, compensatory: Tre Tucker (WR)

Had to go for a couple of "Mc" players, being one myself (and a Scot). I think that offseason gives us hope, or at least multiple options, at every position. Let's examine our positions of greatest need/BBV woe and see what my mega-plan leaves us with:

WR: W. Robinson, Hodgins, Slayton, Collin Johnson, a 2nd round rookie and a 7th round rookie

CB: Jackson, Robinson, Flott and a 1st round rookie

LB: Admittedly this could be a weakness, but at least there are lots of bodies! Don't forget Beavers, McFadden and the two rookies. If those guys don't pan out, we'll have gallons of money the next year to acquire a good free agent.

Offensive line: Yeah, it's the same crew as last year; sorry. Center and left guard will be a battle royale between Ezeudu, Lemieux, Bredeson, McKethan, the rookie Chandler, and perhaps Dirtbag and Gates, to see who is the least-bad.

If you're still reading and have got this far, well done. Now for the good news: my tight-fisted financial management has yielded us a lot of cap space for 2024. By my quick calculation, we'd be on the hook for $93m that year, with who knows, $140m in cap space? Running back and defensive tackle would be needs, plus interior OL. It would be an enjoyable spending spree.

It's unlikely that we would franchise tag Daniel Jones, but obviously that would scupper my plan for Saquon, so if that happened, I would offer Barkley a long-term contract instead; $14m per year seems fair.

If I've miscalculated or forgotten about anything, just tell me in the comments.

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