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Big Blue View mailbag: Organizational change, coordinators, more questions

The mail’s here!

We have to get through one more weekend before your New York Giants return to regular-season action. So, let’s spend part of your Saturday opening up the Big Blue View Mailbag and answering some questions.

John Foti asks: I thought your analysis of Jerry Reese’s’ and Dave Gettleman’s tenure was spot on. I once read that later in his tenure Reese “fell in love” with the “measurables” of prospects and placed that over football ability.

I always like to follow players and coaches when they leave to Giants to see how they fare. Looking at the Giants I find it interesting that Gettleman was forced to retire and I believe that Jerry Reese is still out of football. Looking at our previous head coaches, since being fired, Ben McAdoo has not had any success in coaching, Pat Shurmur is out of the NFL and Joe Judge would not have a job if not for Bill Belichick. What does this say about the Giant organization prior to Joe Schoen and what can we say about the organization now?

Ed says: John, I am going to give you a simple answer. I think that for a long time, going back to the later years of Reese as GM and Coughlin as head coach, there has been a disconnect between the Giants’ front office and coaching staff. When those two parts of the organization are not working together, you can’t have success.

With Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll coming in together, and coming from the same place, the entire organization — front office, coaching staff, college and pro scouts, is on the same page.

John Groff asks: While Giants fans don’t always agree about the merits of individual players, there seems to be near unanimity as to the excellence of our GM, head coach, and coordinators! My question is: Are there any limits as to what salaries can be offered to Martindale and Kafka in hopes of retaining them as coordinators?

Ed says: John, there is no ‘salary cap’ for what coaches can earn. That said, a coordinator is not going to earn more than a head coach.

There is no public database of NFL coaching salaries. There is a belief that NFL head coach salaries average around $7 million per year, with Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots getting a reported $20 million.

Vic Fangio is earning $4.5 million per year to be defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins, which is believed to make him the highest-paid coordinator in the league.

Reality is, when you have good coaches and your team has success, other teams become interested in offering those people promotions. That’s the price of being good. The Giants can’t — by league rule — deny Wink Martindale or Mike Kafka opportunities to interview for head coaching jobs, and wouldn’t do that anyway. Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll worked for 20 years or so to get their chances, and they would never try to stand in the way of any of their coaches advancing their careers.

Everyone would like to go as far in their careers as possible. Good for Martindale and Kafka if they get the chance.

Get your Giants gear!

Jon Hilsenrath asks: The Giants have been rotating three guards all summer. Putting aside who gets to be called a starter, is it possible that this is the plan for the season — a regular rotation of three, giving guys a regular spell as games progress and as situations vary. If so, what are the costs and benefits of such a strategy?

Ed says: Jon, I doubt that would be the plan. Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka has said the Giants would rather have a core group than a rotation. To get there, they have to believe there is a clear winner in the competition between Josh Ezeudu and Ben Bredeson. Yes, I think Mark Glowinski starts at right guard and Ezeudu/Bredeson are in competition on the other side.

Last season, when Ezeudu and Bredeson were alternating, head coach Brian Daboll said it was because both guys deserved to play. That was a nice way of Daboll saying neither guy had done enough to win the job outright.

To my eyes, Bredeson and Glowinski have been the better players this summer. The benefit of a rotation? I guess it would simply be that an extra guy is getting regular game experience. The cost? Cohesion on the line, especially next to a rookie center. Andrew Thomas will never complain, but he did admit last year that it’s not easy to have the spot next to him being shuffled all the time.

Scott Coghlan asks: Hi Ed, could you explain what happens when a player is waived/injured? How is the settlement determined and what is it based on? Are there restrictions on him signing with a new team?

Ed says: Scott, the best explanations of waived/injured, or an Injury Settlement, comes from Russell Street Report:

Injury Waivers – In the NFL, an injured player cannot be released. From the beginning of the league year in March until the final cut down date, Non-Vested Veterans (players with less than 4 years of service time) must pass through Injury Waivers (officially designated as “Waived-Injured”) before being place in Injured Reserve (IR). Vested Veterans (those with 4+ years of service time) do not have to pass through Injury Waivers and can be placed directly on Injured Reserve (IR).

If the player clears Injury Waivers, then the team has the option of either placing the player on Injured Reserve (IR) or working out an Injury Settlement with the player, thereby allowing the team to release the player. An Injury Settlement must occur within 5 days of being placed on Injured Reserve (IR). Otherwise, the player must remain on Injured Reserve (IR) for the remainder of the season or until the player is healthy enough to pass a physical, at which time the player can be released.

Injury Settlement – In the NFL, an injured player cannot be released. Often a team and player will reach an Injury Settlement in lieu of putting, or keeping, the player on IR for the rest of the season. Once an Injury Settlement is reached, the player is released. This is done when the player has a chance to recover from injury and play again in that season. However, if the player is still under contract for future seasons and the team wants to retain the player’s rights for the future, the team will not agree to an Injury Settlement and instead decide to continue to carry the player on Injured Reserve (IR).

An Injury Settlement is usually based on the amount of time that the team and player agree the player will be unable to play. So, for example, if the player is only expected to miss the first month of the season, the team and player will usually agree to a settlement of 4/17ths of the player’s scheduled base salary. The team then receives a Salary Cap credit of 13/17th of that salary. An Injury Settlement is attractive to both the team and player because it allows the team to create additional Salary Cap space and allows the player an opportunity to catch on with another team and not have to sit out the entire season on IR.

If a player is released with an Injury Settlement, he can not be re-signed by that team until after the term of the Injury Settlement (the number of weeks used to calculate the Injury Settlement), plus three (3) additional weeks.

Seth Weissman asks: Ed, why do you think the Giants kept Matt Peart and cut Tyre Phillips? That seems like a mistake to me.

Ed says: Seth, I expected both Peart and Phillips to make the initial 53-man roster. I missed on Phillips in my 53-man roster projection, but so did every other writer covering the Giants on a regular basis.

I see this as the Giants choose Shane Lemieux over Phillips. Maybe I should have seen that coming. Lemieux is a player offensive line coach Bobby Johnson and head coach Brian Daboll said they had hoped to draft when they were with the Buffalo Bills, and who entered 2022 training camp as the starting left guard. The organization likes him.

As for Peart, I know how much he struggled in the preseason. I know he has been up and down during his time with the Giants. There just aren’t a lot of quality backup tackles available. If these guys were without flaws, they wouldn’t be backups. And they wouldn’t be available.

Mendy asks: How do the Giants scout other teams for possible player pick ups during the preseason? Is it by film or do they send scouts? What about the regular season too?

Ed says: Mendy, this is done mostly via film. NFL teams have access to the coaches’ tape of every game from every team. It is also done via going back and looking at pre-draft reports on players.

Assistant GM Brandon Brown recently offered some detail on the process of how the Giants scout college AND pro players. It will contain a lot of what you want to know.

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