Just as the Giants appear slightly uncertain about the future of the receiving corps, that’s how the team likely feels about its tight end situation, though not as concerned over the possibility of losing a Victor Cruz-type player.
Martellus Bennett made significant strides in his first action as a starter this season. He’s a big target with good hands, and though he made a few timely drops, his positive moments outshined the negative.
But like so many impact players on the Giants, Bennett is a free agent. He made around $2 million in 2012, which really was a bargain based on his production.
Given his age (25) and his durability, Bennett may be in line for a multi-year contract after finally seeing the field for the Giants, rather than backing up perennial Pro Bowler Jason Witten in Dallas.
The Giants likely have interest in bringing back Bennett, but again working out deals with Nicks and Cruz seem to be the priority. Those signings will likely directly affect Bennett’s future with the team.
When healthy, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz form a dynamic duo on the outside as targets for Eli Manning.
Yet that duo is in some jeopardy, with Nicks recovering from injury and Cruz’s contract status up in the air.
But all signs point to the Giants working out a deal with Cruz and Nicks being fully ready to go for the 2013 season.
Recent reports indicated that the Giants may value Nicks more than Cruz, though Nicks still has one year left on his contract.
The Giants could try to work out a long-term extension with Nicks now and maybe use the franchise tag this offseason on Cruz. The team would then negotiate (or choose to part ways) with Cruz next offseason.
Cruz immensely outperformed his rookie contract the past two seasons. He’s due for his big payday and appears reluctant to give out any discounts.
Sure, Cruz has been productive, but it has only been for two seasons. Can these two seasons predict his long-term success to the point of warranting a huge contract?
Michael Boley was a productive outside linebacker for the Giants the past four seasons, especially down the stretch in 2011 – the Giants’ most recent Super Bowl winning season.
But football is a business, and with the imminent salary cap issues the Giants will face, Boley, who was due to earn $4.25 million in 2013, was released.
The move was not a total shock, but it now opens the door for the 25-year-old Jacquian Williams to slide into a starting role.
However, rather than just handing him the job, the Giants must ensure Williams earns his spot on the depth chart. If he feels he’s the team’s starter even before training camp, this sense of complacency can only lessen his production.
The Giants will likely draft a linebacker or two to either challenge Williams for playing time or provide much-needed depth.
Every weekend since Nov. 21, 2004, Eli Manning has suited up as the Giants’ quarterback.
That’s a nine-year stretch and 135 consecutive regular season games, with an additional 11 playoff games. That streak is the longest among active quarterbacks and fourth longest overall behind Ronde Barber (215), London Fletcher (195) and Brandon Moore (137).
But quarterbacks don’t last forever in this league, and Manning recently turned 32 years old.
It’s tough to imagine a Giants’ team led by someone other than Manning, but that reality will come to fruition at some point, and the Giants must be prepared with a plan.
Big Blue can look at this issue in one of three ways.
Well my first mock draft is out the window because of the Washington Redskins; leave it to the Redskins to always make things harder for anyone Giants related.
I also skipped over DE Quinton Coples and left him out of the first round completely, which was brought to my attention by some of our great readers here on GFB.
So now it’s back to the drawing board in my mock draft Part 2 and I can say that it feels like I’m inching towards perfection.
1. Indianapolis Colts – QB Andrew Luck STAN
2. Washington Redskins (Trade w/ STL) – QB Robert Griffin III BAY
3. Minnesota Vikings – OL Matt Kalil USC
4. Cleveland Browns – CB Morris Claiborne LSU
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OT Riley Reiff IOWA
6. St. Louis Rams (Trade w/WAS) – WR Justin Blackmon OSU
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – OLB/DE Melvin Ingram USC (South Carolina)
8. Miami Dolphins – QB Ryan Tannehill TA&M
9. Carolina Panthers – DE Quinton Coples UNC
10. Buffalo Bills – ILB Luke Kuechly BCU
11 Kansas City Chiefs – NT Dontari Poe MEM
12. Seattle Seahawks – OT Jonathan Martin STAN
13. Arizona Cardinals – OG David DeCastro STAN
14. Dallas Cowboys – CB Janoris Jenkins N. ALA
15. Philadelphia Eagles – DT Fletcher Cox MISS ST.
16. New York Jets – HB Trent Richardson ALA To read more of this story, click here
Who knows what Carlson’s market will be like after missing all of the 2011 season with a torn labrum? We do know that Seattle had already replaced him with Zach Miller even before his injury, so he’s likely to be calling a new state his home. He’s a poor blocker, but a strong receiver and would be an upgrade over Bear Pascoe.
Bennett has the highest upside of any free agent tight end. He’s had character concerns, but maybe getting away from Dallas will help clear up his case of the head-case. Besides, Jerry Reese has not totally shied away from players with character concerns in the past. He has better receiving skills than he’s shown, and while he’s still raw, he’s only 25 and may blossom as a pass-catcher after getting out from under Jason Witten’s shadow. He’s already a great blocker, and could flourish as Ballard’s replacement. Or he could continue to be a head-case.
The clearest example of how every receiver who has ever played with Peyton Manning has had their stats benefit exponentially. Tamme is not a special player, but he’s a solid receiver who would benefit from playing with another Manning.
The former Ernie Accorsi draft pick saw his statistics rise as a result of playing with Brett Favre, and fall since Favre retired. During the ’08 and ’09 seasons, he averaged 49 receptions for 581 yards and 9 touchdowns. At age 31, the former Giant will likely never sniff that kind of production again, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a useful cog in the Giants’ passing game.
The man in charge, John Fennelly, doesn’t believe Clark is a fit with the Giants. Agree to disagree. If he’s healthy, Clark’s strong hands would give the Giants their most reliable receiving tight end since Mark Bavaro. He’s a poor blocker, and the price must be right, but Clark and Eli Manning could both benefit from playing together.
The New York Giants took a step towards getting Eli Manning a “safety blanket” receiver by signing one of Peyton’s old ones.
Today the Giants signed WR Brandon Stokley formerly of the Colts and Broncos. The 35 year old receiver is a proven pass catcher and more importantly an experienced slot receiver. That means that the youth movement at slot just isn’t working out and that an upgrade was needed.
It’s hard to think of a 35 year old receiver as an upgrade, but Stokley will at least remember his routes and line up correctly, so I guess that is a step in a positive direction
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the New England Patriots have released CB Darius Butler after failing to acquire a trade for him.
The New York Giants should be the first team in line to acquire his services. Butler has playoff experience and can add great depth to a secondary ravaged by injury. After an offseason of horrible moves and missed opportunities the Giants must act fast to grab this unexpected quality free agent.
If GM Jerry Reese once again fails to nab a much needed free agent Giants fans will be in an uproar and he may find himself on the hot seat.
I hope the all Giants fans “read between the lines” on the Jerry Reese recent press conference. Back Off, I know what I’m doing…would be the theme.
Now, with that said lets all raise a pint to Jerry Reese and laugh at some of the comments he thinks we should believe. Roll the highlights…
1. “We had a game plan and we are sticking to our game plan” – So what plan would that be? Loosing 3 out of 5 of our top Free Agents and ignore anyone on the open market that might make this team better?