The number of rostered players on the New York Giants players obtained by former general manager Jerry Reese dwindles by the day.
Much of the purge makes sense, because Reese, in his latter years, had a terrible track record. Like anything else, there are exceptions. Last week, New York Giants fans were bothered by the fact that safety Landon Collins would not be getting the franchise tag placed on him.
Effectively, his career with Big Blue was over. Keep in mind that Collins represented one of Reese’s better personnel decisions over the final five seasons that he presided as GM.
True, it seems like there exists a mentality to remove any remnants of the Reese years from the roster of the New York Giants. And please remember that veteran quarterback Eli Manning was a holdover from the Ernie Accorsi days, so he doesn’t count.
The subtraction of Collins has a dual effect of the G-Men, as the former Alabama star was a homegrown player (i.e. – one whose first NFL team was the Giants).
Part of Reese’s downfall was the unending use of free agency, and that was largely due to the lack of success with his draft board. Most homegrown players will be more loyal to the franchise and provide the foundation for the team’s culture, so when Reese brought in Damon Harrison, Janoris Jenkins and Olivier Vernon, these guys were never considered “true” Giants.
Ditto with guys like J.T. Thomas, Dwayne Harris, Shane Vereen or Keenan Robinson.
It’s interesting that New York Giants beat writer Tom Rock believes that the franchise intended to take a step back last season, at least in terms of the on-field product. He alludes to the Olivier Vernon trade as another attempt to “gut rehab” the franchise.
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"“When Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur went about the task of rebuilding the Giants’ roster a year ago, they were more concerned about the locker room than the playing field. Sure, they wanted to bring in guys who could play, even a little. But their priority was to spend whatever resources they had on the culture of the team. A sour, despondent taste had been left behind and the team’s palate needed cleansing.”"
It’s hard to know how detached players were at the end of Ben McAdoo’s coaching reign. From afar, it seems like the troops were very detached.
And if that’s the case, then the demise of the kingdom falls squarely onto the shoulders of co-owners Steve Tisch and John Mara. Basically, the franchise scapegoated multiple coaches, including head coach Tom Coughlin, before figuring out that Jerry Reese wasn’t getting the job done.
Personally, I’m still not biting that having running back Jonathan Stewart around last training camp did anything for the team except take carries away from reserve Wayne Gallman. I will concede that the attitude adjustment from removing cornerback Eli Apple and tackle Ereck Flowers from the equation was a critical element toward improving team chemistry.
These unproductive draft picks point to the failure of Reese to comprehend, or at the very least consciously address, the complexities of putting together a cohesive roster.
One reason why the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins will continue to flounder can be traced to their haphazard roster construction. And one reason why the Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII was because they genuinely seem to like each other.
That may be one reason that mercenary defensive end Michael Bennett was shipped off the New England by Howie Roseman and the Birds this week. You see, back in the day, Reese signed Martellus Bennett to fill a need at tight end. That Bennett brother provided zero locker room presence for a non-playoff New York Giants team.
The old adage with computer programming is “garbage in, garbage out”. The same applies to roster construction in the NFL. It’s now time to acquire good people who can play football as well.