First, a public service announcement (PSA) from @GiantsNationNYC: Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday morning.
Ugh, one less hour of sleep.
Spring Ahead to Cap Space and Smart Spending!
Yes, this title is a play on words appropriate for this weekend. The Giants are looking to “Spring ahead” during free agency and the draft. As fans, we all want to help our team get better and be a playoff contender in 2020. We all have our own ideas on who our team chases during free agency and the prospects we covet in the draft.
What counts though is what the Giants plan to do. Dave Gettleman said what the Giants do in free agency sets up their draft. Dave has $75M in Cap space to shop. He would like to keep about $10-15M for rookie free agents and in-season moves.
Let’s take a look at the Giants’ immediate needs, in no particular order.
Help Wanted: Edge Rusher(s)
Do the Giants solve their pass rush weakness from 2019 by signing Jadeveon Clowney (who stated he has an interest in signing with the GMen)? Do they re-sign #44, Markus Golden, the Giants sack leader from 2019? Do we trade for an edge rusher? Or do they wait for the draft to solve this challenge? The Giants should solve this in free agency.
Re-sign Golden and sign Clowney if they can get both.
The fan base would love to get Shaq Barrett, but word is he’ll get the franchise tag by Tampa Bay. Maybe Dante Fowler (11.5 sacks in 2019) or Bud Dupree (11.5 sacks) or Matt Judon (9.5 sacks)? Frankly, any two of the above would be great.
Help Wanted: Inside Linebackers
The Giants already announced they will be shopping for new linebackers. Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin are gone. Not since Antonio Pierce have the Giants had a solid ‘quarterback’ for the defense.
Ryan Connelly showed potential in his rookie season. But, he is coming back from a season-ending knee injury.
Free-agent linebackers Cory Littleton (134 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 interceptions in 2019), Joe Schobert (133 tackles, 2 sacks, and 4 interceptions), Blake Martinez (155 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception) are top choices. Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy, and Nick Kwiatkoski are also good options from free agency. The draft has some good options this year as well.
The world wants Isaiah Simmons. If he’s there at #4, let’s grab him. If not, maybe the Giants can get Zack Baun (reconnect Baun and Connelly both from Wisconsin), Kenneth Murray or Patrick Queen.
Help Wanted: Offensive Linemen
Yes, this is plural and not singular. There are some free agent linemen to consider, but this is one challenge the Giants can solve via the draft. Tristan Wirfs jumps to the front of the “Line” for tackles. Watching some film and seeing him perform at the combine, he could be the #4 pick…unless one of the top two defensive players (Chase Young or Isaiah Simmons) falls to #4, or the Giants get an offer they cannot refuse to move down.
If the Giants move down, there are a few more OL they could draft without much drop-off. In fact, the draft pundits from ESPN, NFL Network and other media state this class of offensive linemen are strong and deep.
Getting their next left tackle (eventually replacing Nate Solder) is a priority this year. The Giants have top guards with Hernandez and Zeitler.
Nick Gates has real potential to play right tackle or sub across the line. This draft class is also versatile which will allow the Giants to mix and match a line as appropriate.
What Happened to Quiet Time?
This is supposed to be the NFL’s lull in real news. The time when a lot of rumors float…like Eli having a dinner meeting with the Chicago Bears.
There has been continuous real news throughout the offseason with coaching changes, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the Combine. And now, we have just one week before the end of the Franchise Tag period on March 10, and the results of the NFL players’ vote on the new CBA are revealed on 16 March. The beginning of the NFL’s new year is on March 18th. Free agency starts that same day.
Usually, there is a load of signings announced that day too. So much for the offseason, right?
The Difference Between the Giants and Jets?
For the veterans, this is the time where we catch glimpses of then on vacations, or at philanthropic events…or sitting courtside at sports events. Recently, Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard were at a Soccer stadium in South America.
This week DJ and Shep were tossing souvenir footballs in the stands during a timeout at a Knicks game.
For Giants fans, the best part of the football toss at the Knicks game was that Jamal Adams didn’t get to participate, nor was he even introduced with DJ and Shep by the PA announcer…and he was sitting right next to them! Those poor Jets, no respect for them.
Do the Giants use the Franchise Tag? Do the players vote to accept the new CBA?
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