The NFL Lockout is Over: What It Means For The NY Giants

Changes are coming for the New York Giants now that the NFL Lockout is officially over. Free Agency has already begun, and teams are officially signing undrafted free agents (starting at 10 EST). The are also busy cutting players, trading, and talking with unrestricted free agents. No contracts will be signed until Friday at 6 EST but make no mistake, agreements will be made.

And with that — it’s the end of an era in several ways. With the joy that comes from the end of a very serious and tedious work stoppage comes some sad news that is going to dampen spirits for those who support the GMEN. Here’s the latest regarding the end of the NFL Lockout as it pertains to the NY Giants:

1. Rich Seubert is not going to be a NY Giant in 2011. Reports have confirmed that the veteran LG is being released from the Giants because of his dislocated knee sustained in the last game of the season against the Redskins — the reason being is that the rehab was too long of a process for him and he wouldn’t be able to be cleared to play for quite a while. Obviously, he was a talented individual with loads of intangibles that anchored an aging but cohesive offensive line for the Giants – and he will be missed. The writing on the wall now should read — David Diehl to left guard, Will Beatty to left tackle.

2. Sean O’Hara might be next. Sources familiar with the situation (including Pro Football Talk and WFAN) said O’Hara will also likely be cut. He had an injury riddled 2010 campaign, and in my estimation should not have played a game last season. The Offensive Line overall performed better without the pro bowler, and suffered when he was inserted back into his starting spot and moved Diehl and Seubert back to tackle and guard respectively. The beginnings of the NY Giants OL Youth Movement have now begun — and cutting O’Hara and Seubert will save the team $5+ million. Mitch Petrus is going to have his most important training camp ever…

3. The Giants will have competition at LB, because UDFA Mark Herzlich is now a Giant. As Sal mentioned earlier:

Today the Giants signed one of them, Mark Herzlich. Everybody’s familiar with his story. In 2008 he won the ACC Defensive Player of the Year as he racked up 110 total tackles to go along with 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 6 interceptions. Most people thought he’d come back and have another dominating season but he had to sit out the entire 2009 season because of bone cancer. He would overcome his bone cancer and return to football to have a strong 2010 season, starting 13 games and making 65 tackles.

The Giants are going into training camp with some young talent to fill out their LB rotation. Jon Goff is going to have competition calling the plays and anchoring the middle of the defense with Greg Jones and now Mark Herzlich entering the system. They need options and they need them now, this was a good move made by the Giants front office to get this piece in place right away.

4. The Giants released their official training schedule. The first few days goes like this before players get some apparently much needed days off (sigh):

July 30 – August 1: 6:00-8:10 p.m. with public attendance granted to the first 2,000 people through the gate.

Full schedule here

5. Steve Smith, Ahmad Bradshaw, Kevin Boss and Mathias Kiwanuka — how in the world are the Giants going to retain these guys? Don’t tell me they can fill in with some other guys and be just fine. You’re talking about some of the most underrated and under appreciated players in the NFC if not the entire league. Smith’s route running, 3rd down prowess, and comfortability with Eli Manning cannot be understated, that’s a no brainer. Bradshaw is a breakout player that has shown tremendous upside with blocking and reading defenses — Eli needs to use him as a pass outlet a bit more often and we’re going to see a monster season from him in 2011 if the Giants re-sign him. They need to due to the complexity of the offense and his familiarity with it. Boss is a great guy, a good blocker, and needs to be utilized more. Hopefully he can catch a few clutch balls in 2011 like he did in 2007-2009. Kiwi — easily the most talented player on nobody’s radar. Top 5 pass rushing threat in the NFL since 2008 according to PFF… that’s nothing to sneeze at. A herniated disc is definitely nothing to overlook (Antonio Pierce had the same career ending injury) but he was destined for a big splash in 2010 before he landed on the sidelines and then on IR. 2011 may be a great year for the Giants DL if they can figure out how to keep him on the roster and he returns to form.

More to come as the offseason finally starts to unfold, glad the lockout is over but the 2011 Giants might look drastically different in 2011 with the loss of a few key players. I hope the last group of guys find themselves in Blue next season regardless.

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