What Next for the Giants (By Jim Green)
So, the New York Football Giants. I’d already intended to look at them next and indeed I had started writing this article but paused when I saw that Geno Smith was actually taking the field and that that could only lead to one thing – McAdoo was for the chop.
No one was really surprised. It’s been a terrible year topped off by a terrible decision to drop Eli Manning for Geno Smith. That was then further topped off by the manner with which they did it. It all but sealed McAdoo’s fate.
Following the news of McAdoo’s departure, Jerry’s Reese fate was also confirmed. Despite leading the Giants to two Super Bowl wins in his time, the last few years have been a let down capped off by this year’s lack of offensive line and no running game.
So what next for the Giants?
There’s no where else to start really is there? Even before the firings I was going to start here as I completely agree with ownerships take on the situation. Reese hasn’t drafted well. He’s spent a lot of money in free agency beefing up the defence but failed miserably at developing a running game and has built an offensive line which is a running joke in the league. Eli didn’t stand a chance and it was amazing he got through games in one piece.
So the GM position will be their starting point. They could go the traditional route of having a typical GM and head coach or they could follow the Patriots model of having one guy that can do it all. And I say that as there’s a name that comes to mind who I think would be an interesting fit. Nick Saban.
Looking at the current odds, he’s a long shot, sure. I get that. After all, he was viewed as an abject failure in his time at Miami. He gets paid a tonne by Alabama to run what is one of the most successful college programmes of all time. So why move back to the NFL? I come back to my first point – he’s got unfinished business. Given his age (66) this is likely going to be one of the last opportunities he’ll have to take on a project like the Giants. He’ll have an experienced QB there if he can convince Eli to stay. He’ll have a good defence in place. He’ll have a decent set og receivers. There’s but a few tweaks to be made to the Giants to turn them back to a winning team again. If he gets full control of the front office and coaching staff I think he might just be tempted away from Alabama.
If it’s not Nick Saban, then who? Dave Gettleman, the former Panthers GM has history with the Giants after spending 14 years there. He’s got a good history having taken over the Panthers franchise which was in a dire state in terms of salary cap and turned them into a Super Bowl bound team. He’s not afraid of dealing with big names either (see Josh Norman) which I think would be important seeing as the front office have failed miserably to handle OBJ and his ego!
If they want to go down the more traditional route and have a GM / Head Coach mix then they’ll also need a new head coach. Jon Gruden will no doubt be the first rumoured name out of the hat but I still don’t think he’ll come out of the analysts booth. I also don’t think he’ll join a division where his brother is a direct opponent though it could be interesting.
Josh McDaniels will be another popular name and it would be somewhat of a coup for a former Patriot to go to the team that beat them twice in the biggest game of all. I have always been of the opinion though that the Patriots are grooming McDaniels to take over from Bill. Other popular names from coordinators positions around the league include Mike Smith at the Buccaneers and Jim Schwartz at the Eagles. Both have head coach experience, and both are well thought of in their current roles. Of the two I would say Schwartz is probably the favourite based on the current form of the Eagles defence.
From the college game, well I’ve mentioned Nick Saban but Urban Meyer’s name will likely be bounded about based on the current Ohio State team and it’s recent history of developing NFL level talent. David Shaw from Stanford is also a name that gets mentioned a lot. And lastly there is of course Jim Harbough. That last one I don’t see happening at all though.
If it were up to me, I’d love to see Saban take on the reigns!
Whoever gets the job and whatever structure John Mara decides to install, they’ll need to decide what to do at the Quarterback position. Geno Smith is not the answer moving forward – seriously. I’m not sure Davis Webb will be either but if they think he has any chance then they best convince Eli to stay and tutor Webb as his successor.
Convincing Eli to stay following what happened this past week is going to be a tough ask. And even if they do manage it they do need to get serious about finding the successor. With that there’s two options here – free agency or the draft.
Free agency will be dominated by Kirk Cousins. The Redskins could tether him to a long term contract but after two franchise tags it’s going to cost them. If he wanted to put one on the Redskins after the last two years, moving to the Giants would be the way to do it. But he’ll cost a lot and after Reese spent a lot on the defence I’m not sure the Giants top brass will be willing to spend big on the QB.
If it’s the draft, well there’s a good well documented class apparently coming through and currently the Giants hold a high draft pick. I think the Browns will end up taking a QB but there’ll still be plenty of choices. Baker Mayfield has got obvious talent, but I wonder if he’ll be a bit too brash after the subtleness of Eli Manning. And could you imagine him and Beckham in the same dressing room……
If we say Sam Darnold will go to the Browns then that leaves Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen. Rosen and Jackson are seen by many as the top two picks after Darnold and I’m not nearly talented enough a scout nor have I seen enough of the two of them to say which one is best but if Eli isn’t staying the Giants draft a QB
Whoever the QB is, he’ll need protecting. Kevin Costner in his bodyguard days would be better then the current mob they have in place. Ereck Flowers the former first round pick has been pretty much a failure but if they get a good line coach in then he might be salvageable. If the Giants do look to a QB in the first round then they should look at free agency.
Whilst it’s too early to say who’s going to resign and who isn’t there are some intriguing names coming towards the end of their contracts. Joe Thomas of the Browns is one. He’s a legend in Cleveland and there might be riots if he’s allowed to leave but he is injured currently, he is older and the Browns are rebuilding so it’s no guarantee he stays. He might want out to try and get himself some jewellery in the shape of a ring from a contending team – whether that’s the Giants or not remains to be seen! I expect Duane Brown will resign with Seattle following his trade from Houston. Other notable names include Ryan Kalil, Bobby Massie and Taylor Lewan. All would be upgrades on the current crop of lineman in New York.
If they stick with Eli and decide to look to strengthen the line through the draft. Orlando Brown from Oklahoma and Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame are two tackles that could both improve the line. At centre Billy Price would be a solid pick though picking him in the top ten would likely be too rich so could be an option should they wish to trade down.
So, What Next?
If the offensive line is improved and they keep Eli Manning in place, then there is a lot of talent still on the roster. The new head coach has a job on his hands in terms of bringing together the locker room and installing some discipline but there’s every chance that in a years’ time, the Giants could be a leading contender again