As the offseason has played out for New York Giants, some fans and media folks have opined that the team didn’t have a plan.
That allegation aimed mostly at New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman was and is patently unfair. In the world of social media, trolls get to throw rocks at almost anything with which they don’t agree.
Accusing someone of incompetence varies greatly from an honest disagreement on how events transpired (i.e. – Odell Beckham trade), or how to go about rebuilding the New York Giants. So if you’re inclined to throw stones because you don’t “like” something, please stop reading and crawl back under your rock.
The big news from 1925 Giants Drive this week was a proposed extension to be signed by wide receiver Sterling Shepard. NFL Network and former New York Giants beat reporter Mike Garafolo first disclosed the proposed four-year, $41.0 million deal.
“While the Giants signed wide receiver Golden Tate in free agency, Shepard provides a sense of stability given he’s played the past three seasons with the Giants and the upcoming season is Shepard’s second year in head coach Pat Shurmur’s scheme.”
At a number of different levels, this represents a sensible endeavor by Gettleman and the New York Giants, but that in and of itself, doesn’t guarantee success.
Shepard has played in the shadow of Odell Beckham during his three seasons with Big Blue, and by all accounts, he’s the antithesis of the mercurial OBJ. Unlike Beckham, Shepard made headlines by marrying model Chanel Iman and having a baby.
From a locker room standpoint, the extension is a very solid move. Reasonable draft pick extensions were moves that Reese never seemed to master.
Even with veteran slot receiver Golden Tate now on the team, Shepard should see an increased role in the New York Giants offense this season. But will he be able to replace Beckham?
Absolutely not, and that should not be the expectation.
It’s obvious by now that the game plan for the New York Giants is a system that spreads the ball around among several targets. That includes running back Saquon Barkley, tight ends Rhett Ellison and Evan Engram, as well as Shepard and fellow wideouts Corey Coleman, Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler and Tate.
The Shepard extension displays another example of how Gettleman stands apart from his predecessor, Jerry Reese. Gettleman’s administration has been an active unit, a far cry from the passivity of Reese.
It’s notable that this extension did not come under duress (i.e.- training camp deadline, franchise tag). Reese almost always backed himself in a corner and then lamented about limited options.
There are no guarantees that the Shepard extension, Beckham trade, or Tate signing will pan out for the New York Giants. But from an activity standpoint, Gettleman is at least trying to make things work.