clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Big Blue View mailbag: Injuries, trade, the draft and more

The mail’s here

With the NFL trade deadline looming and the attention of New York Giants’ fans already turning toward the 2024 NFL Draft, let’s open the Big Blue View mailbag and see what tumbles out.

Frank Nelson asks: What is John Michael Schmitz’s injury? We’ve been told that it involves his shoulder, but that’s it. Did he break a bone? Did he tear a ligament? Is it just a sprain? Is he out for another week, a month, or the whole season? I understand that the team may think that minimizing the released information about the extent of players’ injuries may give them some kind of competitive advantage, but they owe fans of the team more information than they’re giving us.

Ed says: Frank, I don’t know anything further. Honestly, I disagree that they “owe” fans or the media anything. I wish they would give us more details on things like this, but they don’t have to. For six weeks now, all we have been told is that Andrew Thomas has a hamstring injury and he is “getting better.” The injured players themselves, the ones likely to give us more details, are rarely available in the locker room. Daniel Jones is not giving us any details about the nature of his injury, either.

When we will find out more about the injuries to guys like Thomas and Schmitz is when they are healthy and willing to speak more freely about what the true extent of their injuries were.

Larry Jamieson asks: All the BBVers and commenters weighed in on who could or should be traded. Of the players you think could reasonably be traded, what kind of return do you think the Giants could get?

Ed says: Larry, the compensation piece in NFL trades is the hard part for many people to understand. You rarely get what anyone would consider equal value in return for a player that you trade away. You might say ‘well, Adoree’ Jackson is better than most third-round picks you might make.’ Which is true. But, it is extremely unlikely you would get a third-round pick in return for Jackson.

Stephon Gilmore, a two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler, has been traded twice. The Patriots got a sixth-round pick for trading him in 2021 and the Colts got a fifth-round pick for sending him to the Dallas Cowboys last offseason.

Saquon Barkley would probably net a couple of mid-round picks, maybe a second-rounder if a team like the Buffalo Bills was convinced they had to have him to get past the Kansas City Chiefs. Maybe Xavier McKinney could net a Day 2 pick. I don’t think anyone else on the roster nets more than a Day 3 pick, probably a late Day 3 pick.

In some cases, those deals are still worth taking. If the Giants know that they aren’t going to bring a player like Jackson or Williams back in 2024, why not take whatever is the best offer? Something is better than nothing, and you can always take that something and try to flip it in a trade to move up in the draft.

Max Bernstein asks: If the Giants end up with a top 5 draft pick should they take a QB?

If they can get one of this years top-shelf can’t-miss QB prospects and give them a year to sit behind Jones that would seem to make sense.

Or should they draft a top OL or DL and really go for it next year?

Ed says: Max, I am not going to say they should take a quarterback in that scenario. I am also not going to say they should not.

What I am going to say is that it has to be on the table. I like Daniel Jones. I don’t think his 2022 season was a fluke. I believe that throughout his career a lot of things have conspired against him and made it impossible for him to show the quarterback I think he is capable of being.

This, though, is Year 5. At some point, you have to raise the white flag and decide to try something else. If this season doesn’t get better for Jones and the offense, or they have long-term concerns about Jones’ neck, they have to seriously consider drafting a quarterback.

Jones has one more year of guaranteed money left on his contract. If you are sitting there with a top 5 pick, that likely means things did not get better. So, if you love a guy like North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye and think he has the potential to be a franchise guy you have to strongly consider it. The worst thing you can do is have a chance at a guy who you think could be a franchise quarterback, pass on him, then watch him become a star quarterback while you struggle to get the most important position in football right.

Plus, the quarterback on a rookie deal allows you to reset your finances for a few years and spend some money elsewhere to build around that player.

Jason Byam asks: Hey Ed, it seems as though Jamie Gillan has been much improved this season. The broadcast mentioned he is now using “rugby style” punting. What is “rugby style” punting and what is the advantages/disadvantage between rugby style and traditional?

Ed says: As we have talked about here at Big Blue View, Gillan is having an excellent year. He does not use the “rugby style” punt every time. The Giants do it strategically, and they have leaned into it because they know it is a style the Scottish-born Gillan is comfortable with.

“It’s something we definitely went towards last year,” special teams coach Thomas McGaughey said on Thursday. “If you remember, the last part of the year, we used it a couple of times. Just, again, allowing him to mature as a pro and just understanding who he is as a coach, and just trying to put him in the best position where he can maximize his talents and his abilities.”

In a traditional punt, the kicker steps directly forward. The rugby style punt sees the kicker move at an angle (for the left-footed Gillan, that’s to the left) and kick on the run. The rugby style punt tends to fly differently because the ball is punted off the point of the ball rather than the surface of it, which can give punt returners a different type of ball to catch. Theoretically, it should also bounce back toward the punter because of how it generally lands, making it useful when you are aiming to pin a team deep in its own territory.

Joel Friedberg asks: I think the Giants will have a lot of money to spend in free agency (Golladay dead money comes off as does Williams big cap hit, Glowinski money assuming he gets cut, Jackson, Barkley, McKinney).

Jones will be a bigger cap hit but the cap should go up enough to offset this.

Close to $70 million by my estimate. How do you think they should best spend the money?

Ed says: Joel, Over The Cap estimates that the Giants will have $56 million based on a $224.8 million cap. Now, there is a long way to go and that is fluid. I think we all know that.

I think we also know the primary areas of need — offensive line, more pass rush, interior defensive line, a true No. 1 wide receiver if they can find one. There is, though, a lot we don’t know yet.

We will know a lot more after the trade deadline. After we see the final 11 games and get an idea whether they feel like they will be drafting a quarterback. When we see how they plan to proceed with guys like Saquon Barkley and Xavier McKinney.

First and foremost, they have to build a functional offense line. Otherwise, the rest of the team is not going to be able to show what it can really do. We are, of course, seeing that now. Unfortunately, spending big for veteran free agent offensive linemen is not always wise.

Robert Biggerstaff asks: I read in your reporting that [Evan] Neal did not participate in testing pre-draft. To your knowledge did the Giants ever test or find out then or since whether he has the short area quickness to play offensive tackle? If not, why not? And does he in your opinion have that quickness?

Ed says: Robert, Evan Neal did not do the testing at the Combine or in his Pro Day. So, he never put down any official numbers.

Did they work him out privately? I don’t know. I am going to defend the Giants here the way I always defend the Giants when it comes to the Neal pick. He was pretty much universally thought to be a top 10 pick, there were no red flags and getting him at No. 7 was pretty much thought to have been a home run.

Teams saw a massive, explosive, strong young man with a great work ethic and zero off-field concerns. They saw a player who was the best lineman for a program perennially a national championship contender, and a player who had been dominant playing against the best competition college football offers.

There were concerns about balance and hand usage, but those were viewed as correctable. Other people who know offensive line play better than I do still believe Neal has the tools to be a good right tackle. Will that happen? I don’t know. It is becoming less and less likely.

Might his future be at guard? Maybe. I don’t, though, believe the Giants are ready to give up yet on the idea he can play tackle.

Eric Chavis asks: Based on what I see on Twitter/?X, it seems like the tentative plan now on a line with everyone available would be Pugh at LG. I guess that’s because it’s his natural position, but do you think it would be more helpful to put him on the right side next to Neal? Maybe the veteran presence over there would be good for him? We have already seen that Thomas and Bredeson work well together. Was wondering your thoughts on that.

Ed says: Eric, I think we have already seen that Justin Pugh will do whatever the team needs him to do. He is a class act and a team guy in that way. Although, let’s be honest, his willingness to do what the Giants asked him to do on Sunday night has certainly put some money in his pocket — and Pugh is an excellent businessman.

What I would say is that I certainly see the logic in putting Pugh next to Neal. I can also see the logic, though, in putting Pugh at his best spot — left guard — and putting him between the Giants’ best lineman in Andrew Thomas and center John Michael Schmitz. That’s a pretty good trio to handle one side of the line. I can also see the logic is allowing Marcus McKethan and Evan Neal to continue to work and grow together.

In that scenario, Ben Bredeson winds up the odd man out. Of course, you could always put Bredeson — who can play both sides — next to Neal. One thing to note — Bredeson can be a free agent at the end of the year while McKethan is a second-year player the Giants can have for two more years. They might feel the best thing to do is continue playing and developing McKethan.

I think there are arguments to be made for a variety of combinations. I like the idea, though, of putting players at the positions they play the best.

Chris Perle asks: Is anyone on the Giants having a “good” year, unequivocally? Not “good for a rookie” or whatever. Just truly “good?”

Ed says: Chris, I honestly think the answer to that is “no one.” Maybe Bobby Okereke over the last two or three games, but that is really all. Dexter Lawrence has been good, but not as good as last year. That’s it.

Submit a question

Have a Giants-related question? E-mail it to and it might be featured in our weekly mailbag.