Are we "All-in" this year, or...

...are we still in somewhat of a rebuild, with tempered expectations? I'm genuinely and sincerely asking what you guys think.

I was on one of those audio-only Twitter group chats (or whatever they call these things nowadays) with a lot of fellow Giants fans over the weekend. I'm far from savvy on these things, so, tbh, I really couldn't tell who was speaking at any given time. But the upshot is that someone raised what I thought was a very good point. He basically said that NO one saw Philly as a dominant team a year ago, but that they made a few key moves in the off-season--adding AJ Brown, Reddick, Bradberry, & CGJ, along with an incredible streak of good health (none of those guys missed any significant time due to injury) that suddenly propelled them into what is now seen as some type of force of Nature! His point was that we should be "All-in" this year, and try to do the same thing, maybe by adding D-Hop, among other moves.

"Hmmm," I thought, maybe he's got a point! (Maybe not about D-Hop, specifically/necessarily, but about "going for it.")

Are we close enough to contention to put our chips on the table? Maybe we are!

Last August, ESPN said this:

15. Philadelphia Eagles

"Post-draft ranking: 16

Who's on the hot seat: QB Jalen Hurts

When is the quarterback seat in Philly not hot? Hurts led the Eagles to a postseason appearance in his first year as a full-time starter and has shown signs of improvement this summer. But the Eagles will soon have a decision to make when it comes to the long-term direction of the franchise. Hurts is eligible for a contract extension after the season. Philadelphia, meanwhile, holds two first-round picks in what is expected to be a quarterback-rich draft next April. Hurts' performance this season will help inform management's decision on how to proceed. -- Tim McManus"

Last September 5th, PFF had Philly ranked 13th in their pre-season power rankings:


I’m not sure any franchise had a better offseason than the Eagles when all is considered. Trading for A.J. Brown gives them the No. 1 receiver they have been searching for, and it also allows DeVonta Smith to concentrate on doing what he does well as the No. 2. Adding Haason Reddick and Jordan Davis reinforces a defensive front that was eroding from its peak, and grabbing James Bradberry late in the day is a really shrewd signing that could make a real difference. Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean could also prove to be one of the biggest steals of the draft if he’s the same player in the NFL that he was in college."

Last September 8th, The Sporting News said this about Philly/the NFC East (having predicted Dallas to won the division):

"2. Philadelphia Eagles (10-7)

The Eagles have a good chance to return to the playoffs, this time stealing the division back from the Cowboys. Jalen Hurts has the line, receivers, backs and tight end to evolve into a reliable passer, so it comes down to him executing. The defensive potential is more solid than spectacular."

So, who saw Philly winning 14 games & getting to the SB? Almost nobody! And while they clearly always have had a great amount of high-quality LOS depth on both sides of the ball (which we don't have), they also had a QB with some serious question marks, and a thin, though top-heavy set of skill-position players last year. But they put all of those pieces together, happened upon a couple of unexpected late additions, and again, kept everyone healthy, and went on a tear.

Can we do that? I don't know, but I think I do know a few things:

1-That teams can change drastically from year to year, especially regarding the health of their key players. You never know how the injury bug will--or won't, bite you. We may be kicking ourselves in 2024 if we don't take our best shot now.

2-That we have a really good set of starters at several key positions. Not much depth, but if we stay healthy, we have the best LT, RB, receiving TE, and complete group of WRs in the division. And we have a QB who has shown an ability to make plays with his arm and his legs, while working with much less than he is expected to have at his disposal this year. And, on paper, we have a "front four" that can really get after a QB, as well as a DC who can scheme up pressure from every level.

3-That we should be much better vs the run, which will make it much easier to play Defense, overall, this year. And with a 2nd year under Wink/his pressure schemes, we just may not need that extra 10-sack edge defender that we all hope comes to us in the draft next year (if not sooner!). That's especially true if Banks balls out early, and Flott &/or A-Rob give us solid slot play.

The upshot: Maybe D-Hop is worth a shot, though I'm happy with our WR group as is. But maybe Budda Baker is, too--maybe even more so, (since Arizona seems to be in "Fire Sale" mode) b/c the only place I'm still really worried about our starter is at Safety. He's due to make $13M this year, but this is the last year of his deal. Maybe we can extend him while reducing the cap hit this year. He's only 27, and is way better than anyone we have back there not named Xavier (and maybe including X-man). He and X back deep would make me feel a hell of a lot better about our ability to send blitzers after the QB. Would they be willing to take, say, Slayton & a 2024 4th Rd pick for him? Their WR room is pretty thin now, and Slayton isn't very expensive. We've seen better players get traded for less. I'd send that to them FedEx overnight Express if they'd take it. We're deep enough at WR, and thin enough sat Safety to make this a No-Brainer, IMO.

Maybe one more veteran IOL signing is in order (Risner, Ben Jones?), to give us more depth & confidence in protecting DJ and opening holes for Saquon. Are we really willing to ride with Glow as our starter at RG? I'm not. Not if we think we can possibly make a run at a ring.

But most of all, maybe we do stay healthy, and maybe Leo is back to his 2021 self. Maybe a LG rises above the fray and plays solidly. Maybe Beavers gives us just enough to not suck at ILB anymore, and maybe we find ourselves back in the playoffs. Who's to say we won't be getting hot at the right time, with people like Banks, Ezeudu, Neal, JMS and Hyatt getting better each week and peaking in January? Could we be a Risner and a Budda Baker signing away from a deep playoff run? And if so, and we don't sign them, and their "replacements" appear to cost us a shot a ring, who will we be pointing the finger of blame at then?

Yes, that's a lot of "If's," but which will hurt more, "if" these things don't happen, or if they DO, and we didn't do the couple of relatively smaller things that would've given us a real shot at a ring?

Like I said, no one saw Philly as a SB contender a year ago, certainly not as the 2021 season came to a close. But they added 3 or 4 key pieces in the off-season that elevated them. Well, we just added Waller, Okereke, Campbell, Banks, JMS, A'Shawn, and Hyatt. And we kept DJ and, presumably, Saquon. Imagine what your expectations would be for our future if we hadn't kept/added any of those guys! Pretty bad, right? So they obviously are difference-makers, right? How much of a difference? We'll see. But I'd be willing to take my best shot with one or two more pieces, yes, even if it means extending Leo & Adoree, knowing that those last few pieces can get us back in the tourney. Because as Giants fans, we know as well as anyone, that if we do get to the post-season, anything can happen...


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