The New York Giants are no longer the defending champions in the NFL. After the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl 47, the Giants are no different than the 30 other teams in the NFL that came up short in pursuit of the Lombardi Trophy.
After a disappointing season came to an end with no entry into the playoffs, Jerry Reese and the rest of New York’s front office have a lengthy list of “to-do’s”. In this off-season segment, we’ll be addressing position by position on the Giants roster, analyzing free agents, potential salary cap casualties and possible replacements.
If Giant fans had their way, 85% of the roster would be cut, but lets be realistic that’s not an option nor would it guarantee a better result. Reese has proven to be pretty good at his job. Both in the draft and in free agency, he doesn’t tend to overspend or reach on picks.
Where the Giants sit right now, it appears they will be roughly 4-5 million over the cap.
In this edition, we’ll break down the Quarterback position. Cue the QB controversy…not.
Eli Manning coming off his second Super Bowl MVP, did not have the season anyone anticipated. While statistically it wasn’t too bad of a year, he was inconsistent in the middle of the season, and had some sub-par games in big spots. There’s no question a healthy Hakeem Nicks could have had a dramatic impact on the offense’s success. Eli did find himself on the turf a bit more this year than in previous, obviously protection needs to be improved and will be a point of emphasis heading into free agency and the draft, especially with two starters that are unrestricted free agents in Beatty and Boothe, and two other starters who are near the ends of their career in Snee (also having hip surgery) and Diehl. That being said, look for Eli to bounce back in 2013 and to continue to give the Giants a shot, no matter what game, score or other circumstance. As long as #10 is under center the Giants will be competitive. It is likely the Giants will ask Manning to re-construct his deal a bit to free up some cap space, a deal Eli has done in the past. This is the obvious choice as he is slated to make the most money. This doesn’t mean Eli is taking a pay cut, but rather changes the timetable as to when he gets his money.
The Giants only had one other QB on the active roster throughout last year, David Carr. Carr initially signed with the Giants the season following their Super Bowl 42 victory. After two years with New York, Carr signed a deal with the 49’ers, only to resign a year later with the Giants. It seems unlikely that Carr will be anywhere other than with the Giants in 2013. There won’t be any opportunity for him to compete for a starting job in the NFL and he’s been quoted that he enjoys being the Giants and working with Manning. However, with a influx of mobile QB’s, the price tag on back-up QB’s could start to climb which could spell trouble for New York.
The Giants did sign Curtis Painter to “future-contract” deal. Its unlikely that he will wind up on the active roster.
This position, obviously, is the most stable position on the roster, look for little to no movement.
Next week I’ll be starting to break down the offensive line, make sure you check back.