We are now a week removed from the Giants loss to the Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs. The loss still stings, and I don’t know about you, but transitioning into offseason mode has been a struggle. What aided in that transition was the press conference held by the Giants GM, Joe Schoen and Head Coach, Brian Daboll. Through the questions they were asked and the answers they gave, it previewed what is going to be an offseason full of decisions the Giants will have to make.
At the top of decisions the Giants brass has to make is what to do with QB Daniel Jones and RB Saquon Barkley. To me, this is not very complicated. The Giants should sign Daniel Jones to a 3-4 year deal. The financials of that are another discussion, and I don’t think he should be the highest paid QB in the league, but he earned a second contract. Not to mention, he plays the most important position in the game. Joe Schoen basically said that Daniel Jones will be here, so I hope the money can be worked out and Danny Dimes is the quarterback here for years to come. Saquon Barkley on the other hand, is much more complicated. Last offseason, I was willing to take a 3rd round pick for Barkley, and that was because I didn’t think the Giants should pay him long term. This was also assuming he would want to be paid like the top paid running backs. Paying running backs like that has proven to backfire more often than not in the NFL. This has nothing to do with the player. I love Barkley but my opinion in this matter has not changed. I am not willing to make Saquon Barkley the highest paid running back in football, and I don’t particularly want him near that number. Joe Schoen himself said that Barkley and the Giants were, “off on the value.” I’m aware Saquon said he wasn’t trying to reset the market, and I hope the Giants and him can come to a middle ground, but the Giants have the franchise tag at their disposal for a reason.
Besides Barkley and Jones, the Giants have a number of other impending free agents that they have to make decisions on. Among the biggest names on this list is safety Julian Love. Love has been one of my favorite Giants since he got here. He has been somewhat of a Swiss Army Knife since being drafted here back in 2019. Former Giants Head Coach Joe Judge even gave him the nickname, “Duct Tape”, because he could use Love to fix multiple holes on this defense. He finally got a starting role this season, and made the most of it. My hope is the Giants bring him back. Another name on the list is Wide Receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. Shepard tore his ACL early on in the 2022 season but was always visible on the sidelines being the Giants hype man. His career has been riddled with injuries, but my hope is the Giants are able to bring him back on a minimal deal. Slayton is one of the more frustrating players on the Giants team. He has clear talent, speed, and a built in rapport with Daniel Jones. But too often he makes mistakes and drops balls in key moments. Slayton has had opportunities in his time with the Giants to really carve himself a key role for years to come and hasn’t fully done that. Slayton is a solid player but the Giants should not overpay to keep him. Among the rest of the impending free agents are players like Nick Gates, Jon Feliciano, Jihad Ward, Richie James, Fabian Moreau, and Jamie Gillan. All of these guys had starting/key roles on the 2022 Giants, it will be interesting to see how Joe Schoen and company pick and chose who they bring back next year.
The Giants current front office inherited a lot of big contracts. The one where they have to make the toughest decision on is Leonard Williams. Williams contract has a huge cap hit this year and despite the Giants having a much better cap space then in the past, a pay cut/restructure for Leo will allow the Giants to be more flexible in free agency. Not to mention, the Giants may want to lock up some of their 2024 free agents. These names include Tackle Andrew Thomas, Nose Guard Dexter Lawrence, and Safety Xavier McKinney. The Giants may want to lock these guys up earlier rather than later, and having money to do that whilst still being able to fill holes through free agency in the draft is important. How the Giants manage current contracts to keep their own whilst also bringing in new blood will be fascinating to watch.
The Giants season is over, and now the Giants must make a number of choices to prepare for the 2023 season. How the Giants handle the decisions of the 2023 offseason will surely spark debate amongst a reignited fanbase
Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll’s first offseason proved to be a success, let’s just hope their second one will be as well.